You could always use more time in your day. That’s especially true when you’re running a commercial kitchen or bakery. We’ve collected some kitchen tips and hacks on how to improve your efficiency and save time during food preparation and cooking.

Slice and Dice

Peel fresh ginger with a spoon rather than a paring knife or peeler. Scraping the spoon against the skin of the root helps to navigate the bumpy, hard surface. 

No need to mess with peeling garlic. Cut off the root end of the garlic and use the flat side of a knife to squish it.

Need to cut large, leafy herbs or vegetables? Chef Gordon Ramsay recommends to roll them up and then cut into ribbons.

Use pressure and roll citrus fruits before cutting and juicing. More juice will be extracted due to the bursting of the juice-filled cells in the fruit.

Shred cooked chicken by using your commercial mixer. Make sure to put the chicken into your mixer while it’s hot.

Cooking and Prep

Spray or wipe measuring cups and spoons with oil so that your ingredients slide right out.

Rub your hands in vegetable oil (or wear disposable gloves) when cutting spicy chilis to keep your hands from absorbing the oils.

Add salt or baking soda to your water when boiling eggs. This helps the shells to peel off more easily.

Making a lot of bacon? Lay a rack in a sheet pan and then cook the bacon in the oven. Cooking bacon on a rack helps separate grease and keep your bacon crispy!

Storage

Ripen fruit by putting into a brown bag and letting set overnight. Don’t have all night? Peel and freeze the fruit for as much time as you have to spare.

Lay the meat on an aluminum sheet tray or skillet. This will defrost meat more quickly than running under cold water.

Freeze soft cheeses like mozzarella or butter for a quick 15 minutes to make them easier to slice or shred.

Onions, garlic, and shallots will keep longer if you store them in brown paper bags with holes punched in. Holes add ventilation and keep this food fresher!

Essential Tools

These tools will make short work of your food preparation. Make sure to stock up on the right supplies so your kitchen can save time!

Garbage Bowl

  • Keep a bowl at food prep stations to put food scraps in. This technique will help prevent trips to the garbage and save time!

Bench Scraper

  • A bench scraper is perfect to gather and move chopped ingredients across a station. A scraper can also help to take ingredients from a cutting board into a mixer or cooking pot.

Sharp Knives

  • Knives in your food prep areas need to be very sharp. Having sharp knives will help prevent injuries and ingredient waste, and will also save time when chopping!

Need some more inspiration for food preparation and cooking? Check out the education section of the Central Restaurant Resource Center!