Increasing your productivity in the kitchen is something we can all use, especially if we have a family to feed. A boost in productivity will especially be helpful to working mothers who cook for their families, due to the scarcity of time that they have allotted to preparing dinner each night. Even stay-at-home Dads or freelancing folk can be well served learning the art of fast cooking. What steps can be taken to achieve an increase in kitchen productivity?
Get your private island
The addition of an island or free-standing working surface to your kitchen will do wonders for your productivity. Years ago, being an avid woodworker, I built an island for my wife, at her request. This was, by far, the biggest and most important addition to our kitchen. Fortunately, I was able to build it to her specifications. The proper height is especially important and it will typically be the exact same height as your kitchen countertops. If the height is too low, it could add to back problems due to the chef bending over to work on the surface. If it is too high, it will be very uncomfortable to use the work surface. There are many advantages to utilizing an island in your kitchen. The main advantage is that you now have a much larger surface to prepare your meals. Rather than using approximately a two foot deep countertop as a work surface, your work surface could potentially double or greater. It is important to locate your island in a central location in your kitchen. As a result, it makes it very easy to get at your refrigerator, pantry, or your pots and pans. The island I built also has a built-in cabinet where my wife keeps many of her large pots and pans. This also puts the cookware in close proximity to her when she needs them. Another pleasant advantage to using an island in your kitchen is that you can now face the center of your kitchen rather than facing a wall when using your countertops. This can lend itself to having a conversation with your children or your spouse while preparing your meal. Do not underestimate the importance of an island in your kitchen. Ask someone who has one and they will tell you that they cannot live without it.
Well, this isn’t fast cooking, per se, but still a kitchen accelerator. Purchasing a slow cooker or Crock-Pot can result in a tremendous productivity boost in your kitchen. Why, you might say? You can be cooking your nightly meal while you are busy taking your kids to their soccer game. All you have to do is load up the slow cooker and your meal can be cooking itself throughout the day. Not only does it make your life a whole lot easier, it will fill your house with a wonderful aroma. Just peruse the internet and you will find recipes, books, and sites that are devoted to slow cooking. Some favorites that my wife makes are pulled pork, chili, and basically any type of stew. Believe me, it is worth the investment.
Buy a free-standing mixer
The most popular free-standing mixer that is out there is made by KitchenAid. We picked one of their mixers up years ago and the advantages of this kitchen tool are numerous – and the time saved is tremendous. They may not be cheap, but the advantages are numerous. If you bake bread or make pizza for your family, a free-standing mixer is invaluable. If you purchase an attachment called a dough hook, you can use it to knead the dough while you are busy working on the rest of your meal. This mixer can also be used to whip potatoes, mix up meatloaf, or combine ingredients for cakes, pies, or any other type of dessert. Even though this type of mixer is expensive, they will last for years.
Get your gadgets
These days, kitchen gadgets that can be purchased are numerous. One special gadget that my wife utilizes is called a microplane. It is a tool that is approximately one foot long which includes a metal blade surface, about one inch wide, and a plastic handle. It is similar to the size of your typical hand file. The microplane is used to shred cheese, puree garlic, and to shred lemon or lime zest. The uses are endless and it has become an essential gadget in my wife’s kitchen arsenal.
A bread knife – especially if you cook or buy any type of bread – is an essential kitchen gadget. A bread knife is a special type of knife that has serrated edges which make it very easy to cut into a loaf of fresh bread. A bread board, which is a wooden surface with holes, allows you to cut the bread and the crumbs, will fall into a metal plan beneath it. The two pieces are separate which makes for easy cleaning.
Two other gadgets that are well used in our kitchen are the lemon and lime reamer. All you have to do is slice the lemon or lime in half and by simply pressing each side of the reamer together the juice can be easily directed to the food you are preparing.
Avoiding Hell’s Kitchen
There are numerous ways to increase your kitchen productivity; I have only scratched the surface. I didn’t even get into the clean-up! With the right setup, methods and the tools in place, you can make working in your kitchen not only more productive…but a lot more enjoyable.
Popular search terms for this article: