8 Ways to Save Time Cooking

8 Ways to Save Time Cooking

Posted on: April 21, 2020

It can be hard to find the time to sit down with your family for a healthy meal together, but with some organization and the right products, you don’t have to feel pressured to compromise a nutritious meal for a quick meal.

We have three major cooking tips that’ll revolutionize how quickly your next meal comes together when your family is busy.

1. Start a Meal Prep Plan

Perhaps the most time wasted in cooking is spent trying to decide what to eat! By determining a meal schedule in advance, you’ll avoid the fuss and indecision later.

Meal prepping is a popular cooking trend these days for both convenience and portion control. Some home cooks find it helpful to prepare a few extra servings than needed. Those leftovers can go in airtight, reusable containers, and you can store them inside the refrigerator or freezer for future, easy-to-reheat meals.

2. Stock Some Essential Cooking Gadgets

The right kitchen tools and appliances can shave minutes or hours off your prep time. Here are some must-haves for your kitchen:

  • Electric pressure cookers: These programmable multi-cookers boil water and trap vapor for a constant temperature. You can have a healthy portion of steamed vegetables, meat or cooked rice in much less time. Clean-up afterward is simple too, so it’s easy to see why more people swear by these appliances for faster food on the table.
  • Slow cooker: Great for cooking tender meat and hearty soups and stews, these appliances steadily keep the temperature up even if you’re away for a few hours. San-J easy slow cooker sauces are perfect to add to your dish. When everyone’s together, you can serve a warm meal right into bowls or onto plates.
  • Kitchen shears: A versatile pair of scissors can snip off animal fat or divide meats, so they cook faster. Kitchen shears also remove vegetable stems, then cut up leaves for quick salads.
  • Food processor: This device might count as a knife, blender, pastry kneader, grinder and shredder in one. With it, you can crush nuts, make purees and whip up your own sauces. If you want an easy way to toss some ingredients together and combine them in a flash, this needs to be on your countertop.
  • Mandoline slicer: Home cooks lose a lot of time handling knives, so mandoline slicers offer the perfect time-saving solution for cutting anything from veggies to fruit with an easy wrist motion. A good slicer has multiple settings for straight, julienne or waffle cuts and lets you adjust for a uniform thickness.
  • Air fryer: If you have the space, you can use an air fryer for just about anything you can cook in the oven. Fries, chicken nuggets, fish fillets, potatoes, pork chops, vegetables — an air fryer lets you cook them all in record time. Additionally, air fryers don’t need to preheat, so you’re always going to save time with this step. 

3. Keep Basics on Hand

Staples like flour, oils, grains, spices, herbs, sugar and your go-to sauces or condiments are must-haves in your kitchen. You’ll always be prepared for your recipes if you have these essentials. 

Don’t be afraid to build on your stock of favorites! For example, keep some Tamari Soy Sauce ready anytime you want to enhance your food’s flavor. 

Pre-Cut Your Produce

4. Pre-Cut Your Produce

Cutting your produce can be time-consuming, especially when you have other things going on in the kitchen. You can save time by pre-cutting your veggies to have them ready when you need them. 

Use airtight containers to keep your veggies fresh in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook or eat them. You can make this step easy by doing your slicing, dicing, grating, cutting and peeling when you bring your groceries home from the store. You’ll be able to set yourself up for the rest of the week quickly, and it encourages you to reach for veggies throughout the day. However, be wary of products that can bruise or discolor easily, like cucumbers, avocados and peaches. 

5. Use Shortcuts When Needed

Shortcuts can make the cooking process much quicker and simpler. You don’t have to start from scratch every time you make a meal — instead, find ways to minimize prep time by eliminating lengthy steps. Check out these food shortcuts:

  • Buy pizza crusts from the store rather than creating them from scratch. 
  • Pick up some pre-made sauces, so you don’t have to make them at home. 
  • If you’re in a hurry, stick to the recipes you know best to avoid needing to look at cookbooks. 
  • Stock your freezer with baked bread to serve with pasta and soups instead of waiting all day for it to rise. 
  • Pair any dish with a bagged salad mix rather than purchasing separate ingredients to toss yourself. 

6. Batch Cook

You can plan ahead for big meals that need an entire whole chicken or large chunks of meat by preparing it in advance. Grab a crockpot and cook the food you need over the weekend. When it’s time to make your favorite recipe, you can minimize your steps and cooking time. You can also store leftovers in the fridge and freezer and use them to complete other meals as the week continues. 

7. Clean as You Go

One of the best kitchen hacks for cooking is to clean your space as you make your way through the process. You likely won’t want to spend another hour cleaning up after you’ve finished your meal. Instead, look for opportunities to wash dishes and put items away during the cooking process. 

The next time you cook, consider using some of the following tips:

  • Scrub pots and pans as meat cooks or sauces simmer, getting them clean before food residue can stick to the bottom of your equipment. 
  • Keep a bag near you so you can easily toss wrappers and shavings. 
  • Rinse used equipment and place it in the dishwasher as soon as you’re finished with it. 

8. Mix in San-J’s Asian Cooking Sauces

Cooking hacks don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Not everyone has the time to chop up herbs and measure spices and powders, especially for recipes with long ingredient lists.

San-J simplifies the prep and brings delicious world flavors to your kitchen. Our Asian Cooking Sauces feature a perfect blend of rich Tamari Soy Sauce and a variety of Asian-inspired seasonings. If you want a convenient and authentic way to add a twist to your leftovers or complete a stir fry, all it takes is splashes of San-J sauce to enhance the taste.

Simplify Cooking With San-J

Simplify Cooking With San-J

San-J began its legacy in 1804 and we have continued growing since our start. We’ve passed our brewing method down through eight generations to continue crafting high-quality Tamari from the finest soybeans. Our Tamari Soy Sauce contains no wheat, letting you enjoy the authentic taste of soy sauce without the added ingredients. 

You can always find ways to save time and get new ideas for the kitchen with San-J. You can look through our easy-to-make recipes for your next meal. We hope you and your family enjoy sitting together at the table!