Here we go, another night that you reach out to the phone and call your already favourite fast food eatery. The salvage is too easy, right? There’s simply not enough time to prep the dinner – your daily routine is crumbled with an array of different activities both at the job place or the university. One of the best tips we read in The Kitchn magazine and here in John’s Oven Cleaning feel like sharing it with you, the overworked class that thinks home-made dinner requires plenty of time and effort and needs to be genuinely home-made all to the last detail – scratch that. That’s not necessary and with that mindset you’ll never be able to cook at home. Break down that rule – don’t be afraid to buy some of the ingredients already pre-made.
Here’s the next 6 things that will help you reduce your cooking time by the numbers.
1. Oven Cleaning will Reduce Cooking Time
We are going to take a wild guess and say that you mainly use your good old oven in to cook. Or, at least, the better part of you are. Pressure cookers and slow cookers can work on their own, too, but they are still not able to conquer the first spot in every kitchen’s heart. Therefore, let’s concentrate on how to make your oven work for you. And one of the best and sure-fire ways to do that, is, of course, keeping it neat.
Imagine food leftovers and greasy oil splatters congesting the heat coming from the oven radiators. That will surely decrease your cooking time by making the oven heat slower. A properly clean oven doesn’t have these problems, though, so make sure you give your cooker a good sweep from time to time. Twice or three times a year a deep cleaning of the oven chamber will be enough, whereas the hob burners should be taken care of every week, depending on how often you cook.
2. Cook in Advance and Freeze in Portions
If you want to be fast in cooking, make sure you fully use the freezer. Cook more than you will eat at once and freeze the portions in different zipping bags to use later. It works with any grains, blanched vegetables, pesto sauces. You can even freeze ahead seasonal products, which are, otherwise, too pricey when it’s not their season. But don’t restrict to only those items – dough, soups, sauces are perfect to freeze as well. Several zipped bags with goodies you have in the freezer equal a quick dinner.
3. Don’t be Afraid of Pre-Cooked Food
You don’t mind buying a burger or a pizza slice, so why avoid store-made sauces, stocks and cooked meat? You can use either already chopped and washed vegs for the side dish, or get a grilled chicken. We mean, why not? You are busy during the night, so that’s a much better solution than buying pizza. It’s cheaper, but unhealthy. But if there’s one thing you shouldn’t be too cheap about, it’s the food.
4. Plan the Meals
It’s not necessary to be the strictest schedule you’ve ever made and kept. Just be enough organised with it so that you don’t pound your head on what to cook for dinner every evening when you’re back home. Pre-chopped vegetables from yesterday’s night are going to help a lot here. Combine them with different egg-based meals – scrambled eggs, frittatas. Throw in some hearthy salads with grains or proteins that can be easily cooked. Grilled chicken breasts, for example. Sandwiches are not strictly reserved for breakfast only. There are always ways and doors to tweak your cooking schedule in order to be faster.
5. Get the Machines Working for You
We’ve mentioned earlier the benefits of oven cleaning and how it reflects cooking time. We also mentioned the use of slow cookers. Even though not as popular as ovens, slow/pressure cookers are the easiest way to cook large batches of meal. Now, cooking itself won’t be fast at all – some dishes take hours to prepare. But the easiest thing here is to put the ingredients in the morning to slowly simmer in the appliance and only serve them in the evening, when they should be completely ready. That’s the beauty of slow cookers – they eliminate the attentive factor to the bare minimum.
6. Reserve a Fast Food Day
With caution. It’s better to choose store cooked meals over pizza, but you can have a day in the week that allows for it. The Asian cuisine is full of appropriate choices, such as falafel, sushi, hummus, stir-fries and many others. Combine with a chopped salad to compensate with minerals and vitamins.
Now, we ask you, what are your tricks to prep a quick dinner?
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