Meal prepping is great (when I actually do it). It helps me get in the food I otherwise would struggle to eat and it saves me so much time during the week I can do more things outside cooking and eating, but still I wish it didn’t so long.
This article is about the kitchen gadgets that make meal prepping ten times easier and quicker.
…and that translates to an increased likelihood of you actually doing it.
Of course if you insist on doing everything manually yourself it will take forever, but if you embrace the technology that exists in our kitchens today, you can easily reclaim a few hours.
Instead I’m getting on with the rest of my prep, or reading a book or watching TV. Get the point?
Rice cookers do vary in price from very cheap to relatively pricey but a good rice cooker is worth every penny. I find the non-stick coatings with cheaper models tend come off after a few uses and that means all the rice in contact with the bowl is wasted – and it makes cleaning it a chore![insert image of my Tefal 8 in 1 rice cooker]
Whichever rice cooker you choose note it sometimes takes a little trial and error before you get the rice how you like it.
Large Oven Trays
Okay this isn’t a gadget but when it comes to batch cooking, the oven is my best friend. That being said in order to get the most out of your oven you need to find trays that fill the entire shelf.
This will allow you to cook everything in one go and that is a beautiful thing when it comes to express meal prep.
This also applies to pot and pans too. If you’re planning to cook in bulk you need to have large capacity pots and pans.
If you want to come home to hot food, there really is nothing that compares to a slow cooker…unless you have a husband, wife or mother who cooks for you, in which case the slow cooker comes in second.
You will need to do a little preparation before bundling all the ingredients inside, but do it in the morning before leaving for work and come home to a phenomenal meal, and it really isn’t that much work.
Alternatively you can always prepare the night before and switch it on in the morning if you’re not a morning person
Technically the image I’ve put up here isn’t purely a slow cooker but an instantpot 6 in 1 electric pressure cooker but, slow cooking is one of it’s functions and if your short on space this will also double up as a rice cooker and steamer.
If you’re unsure how to use a slow cooker there are plenty of cookbooks specifically for slow cookers available and plenty more free recipes available online. Google it.
If you’re a real chef in the kitchen maybe you don’t need one but I certainly do. They are inexpensive and when it comes to cooking perfect meat I’d say my best tool.
Insert the probe into the centre of the meat, set the alarm to sound when it reaches the desired internal temperature and bam, no more dry meat.
Dryness is often due to overcooking and this simple device makes sure you never cross that line.
Note that beef, chicken, salmon, etc are ready when they reach different temperatures but there are charts available to help (shown below). Even with these charts I needed to experiment a little with oven and internal temperature before I found the combination that got me perfect results (for me)
This is not the same as a blender. Maybe you wasn’t thinking it but for a long time I did (izzziat!)
Blenders have blunt blades and are designed to pummel and puree whatever you put into it. In contrast food processors have razor sharp blades and are designed to chop, slice and grate whatever you put into it (although they may come with different attachments’ for other tasks too)
A food processors is like having a cooking buddy, you need some onions chopped, throw them in (not your buddy, the onions). Garlic? Herbs? Sure
If I think it will save me any effort at all I try handing it over to the food processor and through this ridiculous process I learn. Of course sometimes a good knife does a far better job but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own a food processor.
This one is not so common and I’m probably alone on this, but this makes roasting a chicken 100% hands off.
Marinate your chicken with a little oil, dry rub and herbs (or whatever you want), thread the whole chicken through the spikes and switch on for 90minutes.
The rotisserie will switch itself off and you have a whole chicken ready to do whatever you want with it. Cut into pieces, shred parts of it and make a soup or a sandwich, etc.
This couldn’t be easier, although cleaning it is bit of a hassle
You can cook a whole chicken in 10 minutes, do I need to say anymore.
Everything you want to boil can be done quicker in a pressure cooker.
Soup in minutes
Great way cook a whole bunch of vegetables together. Alternatively steaming a white fish fillet like cod or tilapia works well
The electric ones are great because you turn the switch and it’ll turn itself off, although for some reason I prefer to use the stackable steamer pans you sit on the hob (they do not turn themselves off however)
Electric Egg Boiler
If you like to have soft boiled eggs in the morning, this is a must have.
No more guessing when they are ready
Add water, switch on and it will tell you when it’s ready – in 2 minutes!
Okay this on also isn’t a gadget but every kitchen needs a good set of knives, and sharp ones too.
For years I used cheap knives because I did not know any better. A knife is a knife I would say, until I used a decent set, then I had to buy my own.
Good knives just make cooking more fun. Crap knives are nothing but frustration
If you can only afford to buy 2 knives, make one of them a chef’s knife and the other a paring knife.
And that finishes my list of gadgets that make meal prepping ten times easier, and quicker. There are so many other things you could use like, juicers, mixers, blenders, air fryers and so on but these are my favourite and I use each of them regularly.
Pick and choose what suits you best
Ultimately if you want to spend less time in the kitchen you need to automate as much of the cooking process as possible, and that needs gadgets.