Getting better organized in the kitchen feels like a daunting task. We’re so tempted to just jump right in to cooking that sometimes we forget how important it is to prep. To get better results, we’re taking on the challenge of mise en place.
What Does Mise en Place Mean?
Mise en place means “put in place”—it’s the idea of prepping all ingredients and organizing what you’ll need before you start cooking. Carrots, celery and onions are peeled and chopped. Liquids are poured into measuring cups and spices are measured out. When the work is put in upfront, the process of cooking is smoother and the end results are better.
Professional chefs swear by mise en place—it’s what makes it possible to serve 100 plates at once at a restaurant—and at OXO, we couldn’t agree more. We’re all about properly preparing when we take on a dish so the process is easier and the results are better. Here is our guide to mise en place like the pros:
Start By Reading the Recipe
Read the whole recipe first. Find out what ingredients you need from your cabinets and what you’ll need from the fridge. So many times we’ll catch ourselves skipping this step and then learning the meat was supposed to come to room temperature or a whole sauce is supposed to be made beforehand.
Find the Right Kitchen Tools
Grab the right equipment. Along with laying out ingredients, we like to make sure the right tools are ready to go, so you don’t have to pause to clean a knife or find your peeler.
Chop Your Ingredients
Start chopping. Get a good knife and a big cutting board so there is room to prep. Non-slip edges make this cutting board a stable work space.
Put Chopped Ingredient in a Bowl
Once an ingredient is chopped, add it to a bowl (keeping each ingredient separate). Keep clearing the cutting board so there is space to work.
Measure Out Spices into Bowls
Glass Prep Bowls(Opens in a new window) can be used to hold smaller ingredients like spices, minced garlic and herbs. They’re handy and keep ingredients organized.
Ready Your Liquids
Liquids such as milk, oil and stock go in liquid measuring cups(Opens in a new window). Have anything that needs to be heated up in the microwave? Use these silicone measuring cups(Opens in a new window) to protect your hands when handling.
Prepare Your Sauces
For mixed sauces and dressings (for dishes like stir fry or grain bowls), we enlist squeeze bottles(Opens in a new window) that have measurement markings. Add ingredients to the squeeze bottle and give it a shake.
Move it to a Sheet Pan for Easy Transportation
Once ingredients are prepped and in bowls and measuring cups, add everything to a sheet pan(Opens in a new window). This will make it easier to transport to the stove or the counter where you’re working.
Et Voilà, You're Ready to Cook
When all ingredients and equipment are in the right places, you’re ready to start cooking. Grab each ingredient as needed. We find the cooking process to be less stressful and we get better results—steaks cooked perfectly because you can focus on it and pasta cooked al dente since you can keep track of time.
And who said mise en place is just for fancy dinners? Prepping your ingredients makes cooking a breeze for backyard grilling or weekday meal prep too.