Cooking Tip: Mise en Place

Posted by JMom | Monday, September 15, 2008 | | 1 comments »

If you've watched any cooking show on TV, I'm sure you're heard the term 'mise en place' it's French and it basically means 'everything in place'. One of the secrets to successful cooking is having everything ready before you even turn on the stove or mix anything together. If you notice in all the cooking shows, they have all their ingredients already portioned out, chopped and in those cute little bowls. It's not just for show, there is actually a very practical purpose to all the cuteness.

Have you ever cooked something and put sugar instead of salt or vice versa? Omitted an ingredient? Cooked them in the the wrong order? Burned something because you were busy chopping another ingredient? Or got halfway to making a recipe and discover that you didn't have one crucial ingredient?

Well you can avoid all those mishaps simply by having all your ingredients ready before you even start cooking. If you hate cleaning up and washing dishes as much as I do, you don't have to dirty up a ton of cute little bowls. I re-use the tin pie pans that store bought pies come in to put or group some of my ingredients, for instance. I saw another tip where they laid everything out on wax paper that way when you're done you just crumple up the paper and throw it out. That's not always practical when you have limited counter space like I do though. For sauces and packaged ingredients, I don't bother measuring them out into little bowls. I just pull all the ingredients from the pantry and put them on the counter next to the stove so I won't forget to add them.

Having everything in place and ready to go is especially important when you're stir frying since the cooking time is so fast that you don't have time to be looking for and preparing ingredients once the wok gets cooking.

Do you have any tips for 'mise en place'? How do you get things ready for cooking? Care to share?

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  1. Braeg Heneffe // 9/16/2008 6:33 AM  

    I always do all my preperations before i start cooking, find it so much easier, uses less energy too, not leaving the cooker on waiting for you to use it