Keep It Clean
Cooking and cleaning go hand in hand. Instead of cooking first and cleaning up second, try cleaning as you go and see the difference it can make in your meal, your attitude and your kitchen.
There’s no doubt that cooking is a form of art, and most cooks, even amateur ones, focus much more on the cooking than the cleaning. Of course we want our food to taste good, but why not learn to clean while we cook? This saves time and helps us stay organized during the cooking process, making the meal that much easier to create and enjoy.
Step 1: Prep
The first step in being a tidy cook starts with the preparation. Take all the necessary ingredients out of the cupboard and place them on kitchen counter. If you’re cooking more than one dish, group the ingredients based on where they’re needed. Get your pots and pans on their correct burners, preheat the oven and get out any other needed items, such as a cutting board, mixing bowl or measuring cups. Having everything set out in front of you before you begin eliminates scrambling for items as you go and causing an even bigger mess.
Check out this super-spicy chicken stir-fry recipe >>
Step 2: Clean as you go
Whether you’re making cookies or a stir-fry loaded with veggies, it’s vital to keep your cooking area clean. Here are some tips to make this happen:
Step 3: Clean up afterward
Tip: After loading the dishes, spend an extra few minutes wiping down the stove and countertops.
By the time the meal is finished, the only visible dirty dishes should be whatever dish the food was cooked in and plates to serve your meal on. For sauces and stir-fries (or anything in a pot or pan), rinse the cooking dish immediately after the food is put on the plates. Rinsing spaghetti sauce or caramelized onions is much easier when the pan is still hot. The same goes for the plates — once you and your family are done enjoying your meal, finish the job by rinsing all the plates and loading everything into the dishwasher. Since the pre-cooking dishes are already in it, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to get everything else loaded up.
Being a tidy cook for every meal guarantees that you will always have a clean kitchen. Once you’ve used this process a few times, it becomes a habit — one you won’t want to break!
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