Advice on how to prepare faster, tastier meals with top products and practices
YONKERS, N.Y., Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Five to ten minutes may not seem like much, but when cooking a weeknight meal, almost half of Consumer Reports subscribers said they wished they could get those minutes back. The average difference between actual time spent and what respondents desired: eight minutes.
With that goal in mind, Consumer Reports experts set out to create the ultimate time-saving kitchen feature with top time-saving countertop appliances and expert tips from chefs, designers, organizer and others.
Five Tips to Save Eight Minutes or More in the Kitchen
- Design for efficiency. The work triangle – connecting the sink, fridge, and cooktop – is still the baseline for maximum efficiency. But in two-cook kitchens, it often makes sense to have a second triangle, possibly designated around an island counter with a prep sink.
- Think ahead. One of the top cooking gripes in Consumer Reports' survey was that it takes too much time to plan. A slow cooker is handy for make-ahead meals. The $250 All-Clad 99005 slow cooker turned out tasty spareribs in tests, and its nonstick interior helps with cleanup.
- Minimize maintenance. Some materials and finishes are harder to care for than others. Stainless-steel appliances remain popular, but if fingerprints are a concern, a newer, smudge-resistant finish such as GE's Slate may be a consideration. As for flooring, vinyl held up best in Consumer Reports tests against scratches and dents.
- Contain the clutter. In the kitchen, try to put things close at hand. For example, dishes and flatware should be kept in a cabinet next to the dishwasher; cutting boards and sharp knives belong near food-prep counter. Creating a separate landing spot, ideally just off the kitchen or along its perimeter, for mail, school papers and the like will help keep counters clear.
- Make it a family affair. Look for ways to enlist other members of the household. If kids are present, designate a lower cabinet for everyday dishes or flatware, allowing young ones to help set the table.
As part of its time-saving kitchen feature, Consumer Reports surveyed 3,435 Consumer Reports subscribers about their experiences cooking weeknight meals. The full report on time-saving kitchen tips also includes top-rated steam ovens and ranges, seven steps for quick kitchen cleanups and frozen dinner ratings and is featured in the February 2014 issue of Consumer Reports and at www.ConsumerReports.org.
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SOURCE Consumer Reports