5 Quick Tips for Reducing Cooking Times at Home

 Two women cooking noodles - Image Courtesy of Pexels

Reducing cooking times is more than convenient. It can also save you money in the kitchen. Over time, you have probably developed habits that increase your cooking times. So here are a few quick tips to help you overcome long times in the kitchen and save you some cash.

Use Modern Devices

Gadgets in the kitchen, such as electric mixers, are a godsend for saving time when preparing food. Yet there are also many timesaving and energy-efficient devices for cooking. Please don't snub your microwave. It uses almost no energy and is excellent for cooking frozen vegetables and reheating sauces. Also, air fryers (see this recipe for sweet potato fries made in an air fryer) are becoming popular because they cook as well as in an oven for a fraction of the cost.

Cut Chunks into Smaller Pieces

It can be a lengthy process to cook some cuts of meat. And slow cooking will help some things, like cheaper cuts of meat. Still, a recipe could tell you to cook a whole piece of meat or fish. But if you cut the food into smaller pieces, you can often make it faster. Cooking boneless chicken or meat will also cut down on the time it takes to cook. For example, you could quarter a chicken into pieces. If you do this, the cooking time will drop from 1 hr and 20 min to about 45 min.

Use Pan Lids

This is a simple step that often gets overlooked in the rush of making dinner. When there's a lid to keep heat in, your food will cook faster. Make it a point to cover pots and pans unless the recipe says to cook the food without a lid. This will cut down on the time it takes to cook the food. This is also a great way to help bring liquids to a boil, which is a step in many recipes such as cooking corn. And if you don't do this when you boil water for pasta, you'll be wasting money.

Defrost Food First

Adding frozen ingredients to some cookbook recipes makes them even easier to make. There's nothing wrong with this, either. But if you want to shorten the time it takes to cook, defrost the meat or vegetables before you add them to the dish. If you cook something frozen, it will take a lot longer. It can also be risky if you aren't careful. The outside of your meat can look cooked, but the middle can still be raw. This can cause severe food poisoning and illness.

Preheat Pans and Oven

Not preheating the oven and pans is another common mistake in the kitchen. Even though most recipes don't need it, it helps cut down on cooking time. When you put cold food into an oven or pan, the temperature drops in the area. Also, some foods won't caramelize as well, like meat chops. And you will mess up a steak completely. But most foods only need a few minutes to cook on the stove in a frying pan and not much more in the oven if cut into pieces.

Summary

Reducing cooking times in the kitchen gives you more to do the essential things. And it can save money. You can use cooking gadgets, cover pans with lids and always preheat.



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