How to Keep Food Preparation Simple

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Cooking isn’t that hard, and it doesn’t take that long either. The part we all dread is the preparation and getting all the ingredients together. We all watch those programs on TV that make cooking look so easy but we never have all the bits handy to get the recipe moving.

Take it one step at a time and give the recipe some thought before you want to cook it, deciding that you want to make an interesting dish in the spur of the moment can often lead to problems as you just won’t be ready! Not into cooking? Just remember that takeaway and food delivery options are still around.

Have the equipment

The right kit is important when it comes to being able to cook certain recipes and there are some basic things you need:

  • Saucepans in small, medium and large sizes;
  • 1 large frying pan;
  • 2 baking trays;
  • 2 20cm(ish) sandwich tins
  • All the utensils including peelers, a garlic crusher and a good set of knives;
  • Weighing scales and a measuring jug.

Of course you need a flare to start cooking creatively but at the end of the day it comes down to cooking what you want. Once you have all right kit it makes it a lot easier to create great dishes, without the mess and struggles associated. You don’t need to rush out and buy all of these tonight, but over time start collecting your cooking arsenal.

Use the freezer

When you don’t finish something, or have some fresh ingredients that have a short lifespan, make use of the freezer – it is your best friend. Use it to store anything fresh and just take it out in advance to when you want to make something. It’s a great place for vegetables, herbs and even meat. The freezer is often underused as all you need to do is bag your leftover bits and leave them in there until you need them.

Preheat the oven

You’d be amazed at how much everything speeds up once you preheat the oven. This can save up to 15 minutes in real time, so just put the oven on when you know you are going to start cooking, so once everything is prepared you can just stick it in. So simple, yet a great tip.

Know the recipe

The recipe can take some time to read, but familiarise yourself with it and you’ll become more comfortable whilst cooking making the whole process simpler. Once you’ve done it once you will be quicker at getting the ingredients together, and you will start to use them in other types of cooking. Remember that when you buy things like dried herbs you will be able to use them multiple times and will always have them for future use.

Don’t be too ambitious

If you’re not an experienced cook, then don’t try to get ahead of yourself. Be sensible and just tackle what seems to be in your range or you’ll just get in a fluster. Remember that cooking should be fun and keeping it simple is the best way to do this. Food is a pleasure and cooking it shouldn’t be any different. A lot of recipe websites will have difficulty ratings on each recipe and time allowances too, so you are often able to see what is involved before you jump in at the deep end. Start simple and then tackle more complex recipes as you become more comfortable with cooking and the techniques involved.

Order takeaway

Cooking isn’t for everyone and it can just be simpler to order pizza delivery from Just-Eat. There are plenty of takeaway menus on the site, so if you’re short on bits for the recipe in your freezer or storage then just take the easy option and order takeaway. You can always order next time, and save anything you have for then. It is sometimes about time and remember takeaway food can be delivered in under an hour making it one of the most convenient ways to get good food.

Buy things shop-bought

Some things don’t need to be made from scratch, and there are perfect alternatives out there for some of the harder and more time consuming recipes. Here are some examples of shop-bought things that make a lot of sense:

  • Readymade bread;
  • Puff pastry;
  • Passata (pizza base sauce);
  • Sauces such as mayonnaise.

There is no shame in using these bits as everyone takes shortcuts to make the process easier and more straight-forward.

Prepare in advance

Some bits can be prepared well in advance, and then just brought out of the fridge before you need to cook them. For example if you make a big batch of sauce or curry you are able to put it in the fridge and heat it up again at a later stage. It is sensible to cook in larger quantities to save time, and the freeze is the place to store your creations so you can just defrost them whenever you want. Marinades are a time consuming part of cooking, and meats can be left to absorb the flavour overnight if you want make everything as tender and flavoursome as possible. is another great place to order takeaway from if you’re struggling for ideas to cook. It’s especially good for people in London who want food delivered to their office.

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