How to organize kitchen that will make cooking less stressful:
Whether you’re following a new recipe preparing multiple dishes at once or simply desire to cook in a clean stress free environment organization is key. With so many of us in the kitchen more than ever baking banana bread, tending to sourdough starters, cooking one pot dishes it’s time to make your kitchen space work for you and suit your needs.
- Keep the leftover in sealed containers:
Cooking in bulk can be a great time saving technique and cut down on the number of dishes to wash, but it’s important to keep track of leftovers so that they’re eaten before they go bad. Leftovers should be stored in proper containers and visible in the refrigerator so they are not forgotten when the week gets busy. Using glass containers with tight fitting lids as those are best for keeping cooked leftovers fresher. Dedicate a full shelf or separate half a shelf for cooked food and the other half for raw and prep ingredients.
- Use a whiteboard to keep track of what's in your fridge and freezer:
In a similar way freezing homemade broths, sauces and prepared dishes for a later date can save time and cut down on food waste. Having an organizational system allows you to know what you have and actually use it. Have a system to keep frozen veggies stacked together, alcohol together and any broth, sauces or frozen entrees together with dates written on the freezer bags. If the freezer is packed try keeping a small checklist of what’s stored in the freezer with dates.
- Keep commonly used ingredients with easy reach and get rid of what you don't use:
Purge things you don’t need! Old herbs from a recipe you tried five years ago and you’ve never used again expired items that you haven’t had the heart to throw away toss it all. Clearing up your cupboards and organizing ingredients alone will make you more efficient. Bring ingredients you use most and those with a shorter shelf life to the front.
It may be tempting to keep commonly used cooking oils and ingredients near the stove for even easier access but the heat can negatively affect the shelf life and quality of these products. Keep spices, olive oil and other delicate ingredients in a separate area farther away from the stove in a cool, dry place.
- Organize pantry ingredients based on how you use them:
In addition to keeping your most used cooking oils and spices within reach it can be helpful to keep baking ingredients separate from savory cooking ingredients and even further subdividing based on cuisine. In addition to grouping similar ingredients together use small, inexpensive glass jars that keep things uniform. Since they’re stackable.
- Find a home for everything in your kitchen:
Ensuring that everything from spices and cooking oils to knives and spatulas, has a designated place in your kitchen will help prepping, cooking and cleanup go seamlessly. If you have to think about where something is then it’s not organized effectively. You shouldn’t really even have to look just grab whatever you need because you know it will be there clean and ready to use. As long as everyone using the kitchen is on the same page about this it should operate pretty smoothly. Try to organize things based on their function it can get easy to sort aesthetically but the more you cook the more you know what you use most frequently. You can make the best use of your time in the kitchen by sorting your tools based on what you use the most, and for what purpose.
- When its time to cook and bake:
A French phrase which translates to “everything in its place,” mise en place is the process of preparing the ingredients in a recipe before you start cooking. Just think about what it looks like when you watch a cooking show and the chef already has all their vegetables chopped up in nice little glass bowls. Mise en place is super helpful before starting a recipe and will make everything come together so much more quickly. Get all of your chopping, measuring and prep done before starting to actually cook and you’ll get through it in a breeze.
Calmly preparing and measuring everything you need before you turn on your stove or oven ensures you’re not scrambling to find an ingredient and paying attention to the task at hand. This means less mistakes in the kitchen and a more zen environment while preparing food.