In days gone by, the idea of standing in the kitchen for a few hours every night and cooking a two or three-course meal was normal for most American households.
These days, with busy work schedules meaning families have less time to spend together cooking, the average dinner time is probably around six or seven o’clock.
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Save Time, Save Life
That’s why it’s so important to create efficient modern kitchens that allow you to be creative and also save time during busy weeknights.
Here are eight simple ways you can save time in the kitchen:
Stop Staring at the Clock
Start measuring out spices early. The less time spent opening spices, the more time you’ll wind up spending on cooking. It beats waiting for the timer to do its job!
Food safety is also more important than ever, so measure out spices before making food items like chili, soups, and stews, which require hours of simmering.
Create a Well-Stocked Pantry
Make it your goal to eat from your pantry whenever possible. This can be as simple as stocking up on canned vegetables and cooking them often since the preparation time is very low, and you can use them for lunch and dinner hours later.
It’s also a good idea to keep a variety of dry spices on hand, so you never have to run out of spices when you need to whip up something from scratch.
You can definitely do things to make your preparation time more efficient, like making sure you plug in the slow cooker well before making stew, for example, because it takes time to warm up.
If you do certain tasks regularly that are slow or tedious, try delegating them to someone else in the family.
Add Items That Complement Your Recipe
For example, if you’re chopping up onions for soup, prepare extra chopped onions so they’ll be available to use for omelets or salads later in the week and store them in the freezer.
You can also create extra sauces or salad dressings so they’ll be ready when the time comes to use them.
Upgrade Your Pots and Pans
The better quality your cooking utensils, the less time you’ll need to spend on preparation.
You can also save time by investing in cookware that has multiple uses, like an excellent cutting board that doubles as a serving platter.
Stock Up on the Right Pantry Staples
Items like olive oil, canned tomatoes, and frozen vegetables can be used to create easy dishes for nights when you’re too tired to prepare something more complicated.
Buying these items doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking gourmet meals though, they’re just very easy to prepare and will save you heaps of time during dinnertime!
Cut Out the Prep for Starters and Sides
It’s very easy to skimp on the prep for side dishes and steamed veggies, but it can be worth investing in a good knife set that will make these tasks easier.
Eliminate Time-Consuming Dishes
This can be as simple as using a rice cooker rather than a burner for cooking rice. Having the option of a rice cooker is something that should be available to every household.