I’m actually someone who enjoys cooking but I’ve never figured out how not to make a royal mess in the kitchen. I’ll be making something really small, like rice and chicken wings, and the next thing I know there’s tinfoil and spatulas and grease everywhere. I never really know how it gets to this point but my wife, who’s the cleanest cook in the world, usually watches me and just shakes her head. A few months ago, after I tried to make spaghetti and meatballs and ended up using every pot and pan in the kitchen, she decided to sit me down and show me her tricks of cooking cleanly. It’s amazing the combination of organization and common sense that goes into it and it’s resulted in a very clean kitchen ever since. Read my review about best cookware set
This was one of the main reasons the kitchen looked like a war zone after I’d been in it. I would use a spoon or a fork for one task and then throw it in the dishwasher right after. In order to avoid a lot of clutter, it’s best to simply wash the utensil you’ve been using and just use it again.
Wash as you go
After I had cooked something there was usually a mountain of pots and dishes waiting for me at the sink. Because I cook really fast I never realized how quickly everything piled up. My wife told me that in order to avoid this, I had to plan my cooking times and wash as I went. For example, if I’m boiling spaghetti for 10 minutes then I’ll have the time to start washing any dirty dishes that are lying around.
Have a waste bowl when you’re chopping veggies
There are always bits and pieces from fruits and veggies that aren’t fresh or edible. For example, you usually throw away the stems in red peppers or the rinds from oranges. When you’re chopping produce, it’s best to have a bowl next to your cutting board so you can throw away your wasted bits quickly. I usually made a mess when I carried these bits from the board to the garbage each time.
Have preparation plates
Just like waste bowls, preparation plates keep you from making a mess and they help you to organize your meals. If you’re making stir fry then you know that all of the vegetables are going to be thrown into the wok at the same time. When you’re chopping your veggies you can just throw all of them onto the same preparation plate since they’re going to be cooked at the same time. Prep plates help you to establish an order when you’re creating a dish.
Buy mess-free appliances
When you’re making rice on a stove top, there’s always the risk of water overflowing onto your burners. Because there’s so much starch in the water, it can burn and crust onto the stovetop which makes a big mess in the end. You can avoid this by buying a rice cooker which will steam your rice in a contained environment. Look for other appliances that have sealed tops like food processors and blenders to help you in the kitchen.
Cook with the appropriate pans
If you’re planning to pan fry something, make sure that the edges of your pan are high enough. Nothing spills grease and oil onto your countertops quite like hot oil in a shallow pan. If you’re making multiple fried dishes then try reusing the same pan over and over again. Because hot oil can be reused, this is a much more efficient way of cooking.
Try to do things in the sink
There are a lot of things you can do in the sink other than wash veggies and dishes. Whenever my wife wants to make a cake, she actually lowers her bowl into the sink and mixes in there. This ensures that any spray off from her electric mixer stays in the sink. When you’re making homemade salad dressing or stirring anything in a bowl, just do it in the sink so that any mess stays in there.
I’ve been following my wife’s clean cooking tips for about a month now and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. I no longer have to wash five pots whenever I make spaghetti and I’ve actually become a more organized cook as well. These tips have really helped me in the kitchen and I hope they help you too.