Brilliant and easy to follow tips for any busy person who wants to keep the kitchen clean while cooking.
Whether you are cooking up a large thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or simply making a nightly dinner, you can keep up with your kitchen mess as you cook. These are easy-to-follow strategies that even professional cooks use to keep their workspaces neat and tidy, so they can do the best job they can do in making delicious meals.
Whether you’re a super busy stay at home mom who needs some help to keep the kitchen cleaner in general, or a working momma who simply doesn’t have the energy to clean the kitchen after cooking dinner every night, this post is for you.
I find that when I’m cooking dinner each evening, if I start the cooking process off correctly with a clean and tidy kitchen, it is easier for me to keep the kitchen tidy and then it motivates me to clean up the small mess after everyone has eaten their dinner.
Hopefully my tips on how I handle my personal kitchen messes while cooking will help you get your kitchen routines under control as well.
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Getting Started – Keep Your Kitchen Clean While Cooking
Clean The Kitchen
Before you even begin to prepare your meal, clean the kitchen. This means any sippy cups and plastic bowls that the kids have thrown into the sink in the last few hours, any remaining breakfast dishes that didn’t make it into the dishwasher earlier and clearing the countertops of crumbs, water spills. Basically, clean the kitchen before you start working on cooking your meal.
Having a clean work space means you can give yourself all the room you need to get the job done. Cooking on cluttered and dirty countertops is stressful, messy and even discouraging.
I’ve definitely had to cook in a dirty kitchen a few times when I simply did not have time to clean up, and it’s the worst.
Remove all the clutter from the counters, spray down with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe down with a kitchen counter cloth.
You’ll also want to give the sink a good quick clean to ensure you can fill it with water for easier washing up. Clear the sink, sprinkle some baking soda and a dash of dish soap, scrub it clean and rinse it off.
Because cooking will create dirty utensils quickly, you must be ready to tackle the dirt when you have a moment.
Once you have clean kitchen counters and a clean sink, you’re ready to start cooking.
Prepare Paper Towels And Dish Towels
You’ll want to portion out some paper towels if you are going to handle meat so that you have to touch less things with meat fingers. This ensures that your kitchen will stay safe and you’ll have less items to throw into the sink for washing.
You can also use disposable gloves like these if you’re going to handle raw meat for a while such as when making meatloaf, meatballs or a hands on chicken rub.
You’ll also want to ensure you have a few dish towels ready to handle any messes as you go. I like to sling a dish towel over my shoulder when I cook and it comes in handy for wiping up hands and other messes as I need to.
Set Up Compost Bin
Grab a clean compost bag for the compost bin and have it open and ready to receive any trimmings and dirty paper towels that you will use when cooking your meal.
If you want to use any cores of peels for a soup stock, use a glass container with a lid and leave it on the counter while you cook so you can throw your items in there, then store that in your fridge until you are ready to use it.
Instead of spending time measuring while you’re in a time crunch during the cooking process, measure your ingredients before hand. Most of the time, the prep bowls are very easy to clean with a simple rinse off in soapy water, depending on what was in there.
Clean Spills Immediately
While cooking, if you happen to make a mess and spill something, clean it up right away. This is a good general safety rule which can prevent falls in the kitchen and is a good way to keep your workspace clean and tidy.
Wash As You Go
When you have finished with a utensil, wash it as you use it. If you’re on a time crunch, set everything aside in a neat pile and when you get a break in the cooking process, such as waiting for water to boil, you can quickly wash up the small number of dishes you have to do. If you have a dishwasher, simply place your dishes straight into the dishwasher when you finish with them.
Before You Eat
Before you eat your delicious meal, take a few minutes to wash up any easy to clean dishes, throw dirty dishes into the dishwasher, wipe up counter tops and even soak up any dishes that have hardened food on them.
If you have baked something in a Pyrex baking dish, take out all of the food and place into a glass container to serve or to store, and then proceed to sprinkle salt onto the pyrex baking dish to soak up all of that hard to clean fat.
When you’re eating, you can have harder to clean items already soaking so that they will be very easy to clean up after the meal.
After you have eaten, make sure to store up any leftovers right away and clean up any remaining mess in the kitchen. If you’ve done the job right, you should only need 10 minutes to clean the kitchen up.
Don’t forget to take out the compost and the garbage if they are full or stinky.
Habits To Keep Your Kitchen Clean While Cooking
It might take some practice to get some of these habits into place, but you can do it!
The entire concept of clean as you go is really more of a mindset trick. You have to believe that you are doing a great thing that will make your life easier and be happy doing it in order to make this a successful habit. If your mindset is stating that this is now you having to do 2 things while you’re busy in the kitchen (cooking and cleaning) then you might just be grumpy about the whole thing and you’ll never get the kitchen clean while you cook. You have to want to keep a clean space in order to actually accomplish this cleaning habit.
Just keep practicing and you’ll soon fall in love with the idea of a clean kitchen, even after you’ve cooked a large family meal.