If there is one thing that will forever be ingrained in my culinary training, it would have to be the technique of Mise En Place.
What is Mise En Place? The french translation means: “put in place”. This is a culinary technique that helps you prepare your ingredients and organize your workspace before you start the cooking process.
Every day, in preparation for class, we had to identify what tools we needed, gather all the ingredients that we needed, and get familiar with the cooking task for the day. We were trained to arrange each cooking task in a sequence of events that was timed correctly because flow matters in the kitchen.
In cooking, skipping steps or going in blind with a recipe always creates chaos.
Here’s an example, you know when you just start cooking without knowing what ingredients the recipe calls for, you forget to put your pots and pans out, none of your vegetables are chopped or peeled, you don’t know what step you’re following in the recipe, and all of a sudden you’re a hot mess in the kitchen? Well mise en place can help avoid these situations.
Applying mise en place in cooking helps meals come together more smoothly. Utensils should be within reach and ingredients should be prepped. Your flow of cooking should have you moving easily from the food item to the cooking utensil to the stove or pan and to the sink and to the trash can.
Here are some tips for Mise En Place :
Before you start, read through each recipe, get familiar with the ingredients, equipment, utensils and cooking method for each recipe.
Equipment and Utensils:
- Gather all your cooking utensils: pans, cutting boards, knives, etc
- Preheat the oven if needed
- Gather any pantry items: spices, oil, foil, plastic wrap
Prepare your ingredients:
- Rinse and slice all your produce
- Measure out each ingredient and set aside
- Season/marinate your meats
Clean as you go:
- Keep your workspace clean
- Throw away any trash removing clutter as you go
- Rinse and put away dishes
Using this technique will definitely save time in the kitchen and make meal assembly so much more effortless!