We all want to save time in the kitchen, especially in the clean-up department. There are two ways to do this: use fewer dishes, and make the dishes you do use easier-to-clean. Here are six simple tips on how to do this. Hey, even though I’m a pig, I like to keep things clean.
Fill up your sink with warm, soapy water and wash as you go.
Nothing backs up a kitchen more than a sink full of dishes. Nobody I know looks forward to a mountain of dishes to wash after a meal. Instead, wash your pots, mixing bowls and cooking utensils as you go. Use the time between stirring or flipping the cooking food for washing up a few items. Also, place dishwasher-safe items into the dishwasher.
Line any baking pans and baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
Most of the time I’m not a proponent of using more disposable materials. I’m earth-friendly and all that, but sometimes I prefer to use parchment paper or foil to save on pan clean-up time, especially on greasy or messy pans. Saucy foods, and pans for oven-cooking bacon pans are good examples. For these pans, I might end up using much more energy and water in the washing process than just using a moderate sheet of foil or parchment instead. Some recycling companies will even accept used aluminum foil if it has been well-rinsed.
Grease or oil cooking and baking pans, crockpots, and ceramic baking dishes.
If and when you don’t want to line your pans with foil or parchment, definitely use oil or grease instead. A thin layer of cooking oil, or coconut oil around your crockpot, baking pans, or baking dishes can save much clean-up afterward. Cooking sprays are effective too, but can sometime leave residue on the edges of pans and dishes that actually takes more effort to clean than the stuck-on food. Use cautiously.
Measure the dry ingredients first, then wet ingredients.
When baking or measuring ingredients, measure the dry ingredients first so that you can use the same measuring cup or spoon for multiple ingredients. You don’t want to get moisture into the dry ingredient containers and end up with wet or clumpy ingredients.
Use splatter guards and keep pots covered.
This can seem like an obvious tip, but many of us, myself included, are caught off-guard when boiling pots spatter sauce or oil droplets fly across the stove and kitchen. Yikes! This is not only dangerous, but also leads to long clean-up later. Use a microwave-safe cover, or at least a paper towel or napkin over microwaved foods to save yourself a mess. For pots that are supposed to be uncovered on the stovetop, you can buy a splatter screen for less than $15 at big box stores. Some people won’t cook without them.
Keep rags, towels and paper towels handy.
Another simple tip, but an essential one. Wipe up spills and sticky spots as you go. Use a paper towel if needed especially for really grimy messes; but otherwise a dishcloth and towel are preferred as to be more environmentally friendly.
Happy “less-mess-cooking” from your favorite pig,
Pip the Pig