There are many tips and tricks you can use in the kitchen to make cooking faster and definitely more pleasant. One of the most basic and most important of those is called mise en place and it will definitely make your time in the kitchen easier!
What is Mise en Place?
Put simply, it means “everything in its place”, or having all of the ingredients for your recipe laid out and ready to go before you start cooking.
Mise en place is one of the culinary foundations. It’s one of the very first concepts you’ll learn about in culinary school and it’s one that you must follow at all costs (or face the wrath of your instructors… scary).
In an NPR article about mis en place, Culinary Institute of America (CIA) instructor Dwayne Lipuma says of his students and their mis en place, “Every component of one single dish is in one single corner so their hand literally moves inches… Once [students] set up their station I should be able to blindfold them and tell them… and they should know that their tongs are always here, their oil is always right here, their salt and pepper is always right here.” In the fast-paced world of the professional kitchen, mise en place is essential. Your home kitchen may not be as fast-paced or require the same type of military precision, but mise en place can still be an important part of your kitchen routines.
Why is Mise en Place Important?
Things can get complicated when you’re cooking. There is usually a lot going on, many steps to follow (especially when you’re trying a recipe for the first time), and many ingredients to add at a specific time. It’s easy to miss a step or completely miss adding an ingredient (ask me about the flour-less banana bread someday…).
With mise en place, all of your ingredients are right there which makes it a lot easier to grab what you need when you need it. Mise en place makes the whole cooking process smoother and honestly faster because you’re not taking the time to stop, search for, and measure out your ingredients.
Mise en Place: How To
Once I have all the ingredients out, and checking one more time to make sure I actually have everything I need, I measure them all out, like so:
I usually keep each ingredient separate, but there are times when the recipe calls for adding a few at once and those I group together.
Finally, I set everything around my work station, wherever that may be. After that, it’s as simple as starting the recipe and going from there!
To be honest, I don’t use mise en place every time I cook; sometimes I’m just in too much of a hurry or too tired. But I also have to say that I usually end up regretting it. I inevitably forget something, burn something while I’m searching through our cavernous cabinets, or just end up taking longer to cook something than I should have.
If you’re looking to make your time in the kitchen faster, easier, and more fun, I definitely say you should give mise en place a chance!
Until next time!
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