9 Tips to Simplify
the Cooking Process

Cooking should be fun and simple — and a quick cooking and cleanup process helps a lot. Cooking is easier when you follow tips and tricks to get your food from the stove to your plate much quicker. Check out these nine tips to learn how to cook faster and simpler. 

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1. Read the Recipe Thoroughly

Reading the recipe before starting your meal preparation can save you from making any mistakes. It can also prepare you for your next steps, so you can move seamlessly from one place to another without pausing. 

Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a top chef attempting a new dish, reading the recipe a few times can ensure you have the proper ingredients and utensils to complete your perfect meal. For instance, you may have all the meats and veggies you need to create a meal, but reading the recipe ahead of time will help if you need to prep some ingredients or have anything rest overnight. 

2. Use “Mise en Place”

“Mise en place” is a French term that translates to “putting in place.” Using mise en place is to prepare your kitchen with food and equipment before beginning the meal prep. Many professional chefs and cooking shows use this technique to organize in the kitchen. 

To properly use mise en place, you’ll want to have your recipe on standby and develop a clear action plan. You’ll need to gather everything you need to complete your dish, then wash, dice, prepare and measure each ingredient before you start cooking. Move your ingredients into small bowls and place them in an easily accessible spot. This way, you can quickly grab your ingredients as you need them for effortless cooking. 

3. Salt Your Water

Adding salt to boiling water is one of the easiest quick cooking tips. The next time you’re preparing pasta, add salt to the water to speed up the cooking time. When you salt water, it raises the boiling point, and some say that can help water to boil faster. As a bonus, salt adds flavor your food can absorb in boiling water, making your dish even more delicious and letting you skip a seasoning step as you cook.

4. Don’t Crowd Your Pan

Piling all of your veggies or meats into one pan may seem like it saves you time, but it does the opposite. Overlapping food prevents hot air from passing through, an essential step in the cooking process. When multiple pieces of food touch or overlap, it results in excess moisture that cools your pan. When the liquid builds up quickly, it can cause your food to stew or cook slowly. Spread food out evenly to fully bake or cook your dish quicker.

5. Line Baking Sheets With Foil

When preparing an oven-based dish, you can make the cleaning process much simpler by using foil on the baking sheet. The foil will catch any moisture as your food cooks. When you wash your baking sheet, you’ll only need to throw away the foil and give the dish a quick rinse. Additionally, using foil to cover your meals can help keep sauces from bubbling over the sides or food from over-browning. 

6. Clean as You Cook

Cleaning is another significant part of the cooking process. Cleaning as you cook is a much more efficient way to keep your after-dinner cleanup simple and easy. You may also enjoy the clear and organized space as you work on perfecting your meal. 

To clean as you cook, you can:

  • Have a scrap bowl: When the trash can is too far away, you can use a small bowl for the bits you won’t need. You can keep your space clear without running to the garbage multiple times. 
  • Keep a soapy bowl ready: When dealing with liquid and dry ingredients, some food will stick to your measuring cups and spoons. Before measuring anything out, prepare a bowl with soap and water in the sink so you can toss utensils in to soak as soon as you’re finished. 
  • Put your ingredients away: After you cut your veggies and place your meat in the pan, you can keep your cleanup simple by putting away your ingredients as soon as you’re done with them. This step will also help keep your chilled ingredients from sitting out on the counter.
  • Wash some dishes while you cook: While your pasta boils or your casserole bakes in the oven, you can take the time to wash up some dishes or wipe down your counters. Although you may still have some cleaning up to do after you eat, you’ll cut down on the work. 

7. Make One-Pan Meals

One-pan and one-pot meals can drastically reduce your cooking and cleanup processes. You can find tons of delicious recipes when you’re trying to create delectable meals that require minimal dishes. With fewer dirty pots and pans to worry about, you can get to enjoying family-favorite meals in no time.

Check out these one-pan meals:

8. Use Pre-Cooked Meats

Cooking raw meat can take up valuable time in your cooking process, but you don’t need to know how to cook meat faster to beat your cooking times. Pre-cooked meats can reduce the pans you need and speed up the total cook time. John Soules Foods offers fully cooked proteins, so you can have nutritious and delicious protein at your table in much less time. 

9. Try Meal Prep

Meal prepping involves creating your dishes a few days in advance. When your weekdays are busy with activities, or you just want to come home and treat yourself to delicious and healthy food, meal prepping on the weekends can save you hours in the kitchen. Decide what you want for the week and make it on Saturday or Sunday evening. When you’re ready during the week, take your meals and warm them up whenever you’re hungry.

Get Meals on the Table Faster and Easier With Help From John Soules Foods

John Soules Foods makes it easy to prepare quick and delectable dishes. Our recipes are simple to make, and our pre-cooked proteins allow you to cut down cook time and enjoy your dishes sooner. Find us in a store near you to discover our nutritious and delicious proteins for every meal!