Although many people view cooking as a hobby, in reality cooking skills are essential for a healthy and satisfying life. Being able to cook a nutritious and tasty meal is a guarantee that your family will always be full and won’t have to eat fast food or frozen food three times a day. However, our busy lives don’t always allow us to spend as much time as we want in the kitchen. Find out 7 genius ways that will significantly cut your cooking time without sacrificing the quality of the food.
Study the recipe
It may seem like the most obvious piece of advice, but a lot of cooks skip this part or don’t pay too much attention to the recipe, which results in wasted time and lack of efficiency in the kitchen. A recipe can tell you a lot about saving time on cooking: for example, you can chop the vegetables and marinade the meat the night before, and when it’s time to cook the meal, you will only spend time on grilling the meat and sautéing the vegetables, cutting your cooking time in more than a half.
Get a trash bowl
When you have to peel and prep a lot of fruits and vegetables, the issue of scraps becomes a prominent one. Normally you have two options: pile the scraps on the side of the cutting board until they start falling over, or make constant trips to the trash can and back. In order to save time, you can have a designated trash bowl to store your scraps in until the cooking is over and you can throw them out all at once.
Save the skins
Some people absolutely can’t stand vegetables with their skins still on, which is why they spend a great amount of time on peeling carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, and other veggies. But if you can live with skins and want to maximize your efficiency in the kitchen, cooking vegetables with their skins still on can save you a lot of time and effort while cooking. Plus, unpeeled veggies have more texture, which is essential for dishes like salads.
Soften the butter quickly
Butter temperature has a huge influence on how your baking goods will turn out. If a recipe calls for softened butter, the easiest way to get it is to leave the butter out of the fridge for a few hours. But if you forgot to prepare your butter, you can soften it in just 5 minutes by securely placing it into a sealed plastic bag and putting it into a bowl of warm water. You’ll save the precious time and won’t have to deal with the mess of softening the butter in a microwave.
Don’t forget the lid
Often the most time-consuming thing in the kitchen is waiting for a pot of water to boil. If you don’t want to waste your time watching the water slowly get to the boiling temperature, you can speed up the process by simply putting a lid on the pot. This is basic physics – having a lid cover the pot insulates the heat and makes the liquid boil much faster than you expect. Try this trick next time you cook pasta!
Cook once, serve twice
A lot of time and effort goes into cooking major dishes like roast chicken or beef, which is why a lot of cooks save time by serving one meal multiple times. In case with the roast chicken you can surprise your family with the delicious chicken on Sunday, and use the leftover meat on Monday in any dish you want, from salads to casseroles and from pizzas to pies. You can also make big batches of soups and sauces and simply freeze the leftover portions, reheating them as needed.
Make one pot meals
One pot dishes are one of the latest trends in the international cooking scene. With the right recipe and ingredients you can cook hundreds of dishes in a single pot. Beef, poultry, pork, fish, vegetable dishes, and even desserts – there is nothing you won’t be able to do. Cooking one pot meals doesn’t just save you time on preparing the meals; it also leads to less dirty dishes and other work in the kitchen. Additionally, one pot dishes are great for freezing and reheating.