The key to better cooking at home is efficiency at your kitchen. Planning, preparation and organization are all part of any successful chef’s arsenal in creating the top-most meals whether at home or at a busy hotel restaurant.
Better, hotter and fresher dishes will be easier when you put an effort to manage your time at the kitchen. Preparing even the most extravagant dishes can be easy as long as you have made a plan from start to finish. Lower stress and more confidence is the results of a time managed kitchen.
Managing my Kitchen time?
Having a plan will make any master chef or cook at home wannabe more confident the dishes they prepare. Memorizing the meals in your head can be easy if you are just preparing one meal. But if you are simultaneously cooking two, three or more dishes using just your head might produce a kitchen disaster.
The plan starts out hours before the cooking time. If you can spend 5 minutes to skin and chop up onions that you will be using for the week, you can save tons of time when it’s actually time to cook them. You can prepare several items this way. Eggs, vegetables, garlic, onions, garnishing can all be sliced or cooked beforehand. In fact some hotels pre-cook their poached eggs the night before breakfast buffet. That is the only way they can keep up with hundreds of guests for breakfast.
Pre-cooking meat is an open secret in many a posh restaurant. You may think that your steak has been freshly grilled but in fact it was half cooked hours before your order. Fresh lobster? Think again, that crustacean was sitting on the pot long before you sat down on your reserved seat.
It is absolutely essential to save as much time as you can in doing the things that aren’t related to the act of cooking itself. You can measure your sugar, salt, pepper, paprika or any spice and put them in little plastic containers ready to be used instantly when they are needed. Gourmet dishes can be prepared at lightning speed with this method.
Doing the dishes can be done in fast-forward mode. It just takes four fills of your sink. The first one being the pre-rinse stage to get rid of all the leftovers. The second stage will have the dishes pass through a soapy water fill and wipe briskly with a sponge. And the last two to rinse. Try it and save tons of time.
Preparing for any situation if the real key to time management in the kitchen. If you know that you may run out of hot water for your chop suey and you have a few quarts ready to pout you will definitely save time. Writing down all the ingredients and steps with the meal your currently doing will boost your confidence and productivity.
All great cooks have several arsenals in their kitchen. And the kitchen timer is the prime weapon. Not one cook in the world can cook several dishes together without a trusty kitchen timer. In fact a cook can use as many as 5 at a time. One for eggs, one for that chicken soup. One for baking and one for timing that icing mix. Several more high end kitchen timers can time all of those in one digital timer device.
A kitchen timer will mean no second guessing if you beef is already tender enough or if your toast has been down the oven long enough (French toasts need an oven to be done well, another secret from a chef).
Make sure you have a kitchen timer right on a convenient place on your kitchen. Free from anything that would obstruct its view and would cause it to fall. Along planning, preparation and the other techniques mentioned in this article, time management in the kitchen can be easy for anyone learn.