Food Prep Tips
Here’s a dozen kitchen suggestions – that’s 12 easy food prep tips – just little tidbits that cooks use to make life easier in the kitchen. Nothing mind-blowing, but nonetheless helpful information that’s never mentioned in a recipe. It’s the little things that will lift your home cooking from good to great.
Here’s our list of twelve tips and timesavers that we hope you’ll find useful and helpful with everyday cooking. Following these tips will also help a little bit with food waste in your kitchen by getting the most use out of each food item.
Food Prep Tips
Easy Food Prep Tips
Keep your kitchen knives sharp.
Believe it or not, they are safer that way! Sharp knives will cut through your foods while dull ones can easily slip off your food and slice into you instead.
A damp paper towel under your cutting board will keep it from slipping.
Other great options to use are a shelf liner (that roll of puffy mesh like material available at the dollar store) or a rug pad. These are nice because you can place them into the top rack of the dishwasher whenever needed.
Pat meats dry before placing them into hot oil.
Not only will you get a better sear on the meat, but you might prevent a burn from a flying drop of oil that excess moisture could cause.
When sautéing, don’t overcrowd the pan.
If food doesn’t have enough space, it will create moisture and begin to steam instead of sear.
Use an instant read thermometer.
Sticking it into meats is far better than cutting meats open to see if they’re done and then loosing all of their tasty juices.
Microwave lemons and limes for 15 seconds or give them a quick roll between your palm and the counter.
They will give you much more juice when squeezing after they’ve had a quick zap or roll.
Use room temperature eggs for baking recipes.
Room temperature eggs whip up much better. If you don’t have time to let them sit on the counter for an hour, try submerging them into a bowl of warm tap water for about 5-10 minutes.
Buy frozen fish.
Generally, fish displayed at the seafood counter has been frozen and then thawed. Purchase it frozen instead, usually at a cheaper price, and place it into your fridge to thaw. It doesn’t take long to thaw fish in the fridge and you usually end up with fresher fish this way.
Lighten up homemade creamy dressings and dips with Greek yogurt.
Using low-fat Greek yogurt for at least half of the mayonnaise called for in a recipe will significantly reduce the fat calories. If you haven’t tried Bolthouse Farms salad dressings yet, there’s no better time than now. They’re in the refrigerated section at the grocery and have 60-70% fewer calories and 80-90% less fat than most comparable dressings because they use yogurt. They have less of everything except flavor, of which they seriously have as much or more than comparable brands.
Place marinade on tougher meat cuts before placing them in a freezer bag and freezing.
This way, the meat marinates at the same times as it defrosts in the fridge.
- Pour oil along the side of the pan, if you need to add more of it while pan frying.
This gives the oil time to get hot before hitting your food. Otherwise, it will absorb into the food and make the food greasy instead of helping it to cook.
Freeze bananas for smoothies.
Even if your bananas are beginning to turn brown, just peel them and then toss them whole into a freezer safe bag (note: we just threw whole bananas into the freezer for this picture which was a big mistake as they are extremely difficult to peel once frozen). Using peeled, frozen bananas in your smoothies will make them extra creamy and extra cold at the same time. Win-win.
Additional Info for Food Prep Tips
See our other posts for help with grocery shopping, menu planning and making your produce last longer.
Here are a few more more quick food prep tips from an earlier post.