Kitchen Tricks to Reduce Prep Time

Yes, while preparing your meals at home rather than buying takeout saves you money, the ordinary adult’s daily time constraints (work, leisure, etc.) make it challenging to find time to prepare healthful meals. People are working longer hours, sleeping less, and cooking for an average of 37 minutes each day—barely enough time to prepare three healthy meals. Thankfully, there are some tricks to reduce your meal prep time, giving you more time to carry out other functions.

Our number one trick here is to salt your pasta water. Adding salt to your pasta cooking water adds flavor and increases the boiling point of the water, thereby making your pasta boil much pasta. Also, try covering boiling food with the lid. This way, the external temperature doesn’t affect the boiling temperature of the food, thereby making it boil faster.

Getty Images / EyeEm / Inna Chernish

Next is to invest in some kitchen appliances that reduce meal prep time. For example, kitchen tools like shears help reduce chopping time for vegetables. The shears also produce more precise vegetable cuts and reduce the risk of accidents. Additionally, stay away from dull knives in the kitchen, as cutting with a dull knife is a waste of time. Sharpening your knives regularly will give you more exact cuts, making it easier to prepare your food fast and evenly. Sharp knives are also less likely to slip, sparing you a trip to the ER.

Here’s another tip: try adding baking soda to your beans soaking water before cooking to reduce cooking time and improve texture. Lastly, don’t be afraid to use your freezer to store up sauces, butter, and protein. Rather than producing a new batch of sauce for each meal, freeze it in reusable containers or ice cube trays for later use. You can use compound butter and stocks in the same way, melting a cube into your recipe for a taste boost in no time.