Mise en place is French for everything put in its place. Doesn't that sound like a nice idea? It is, and it's especially nice when you apply the idea to cooking, which has the tendency to get out of hand - literally. How many times have you dropped eggs, spilled flour, or accidentally dumped too much spice into your sauce. Right, us too. So imagine how relaxed you would feel if everything was already all ready to go as soon as you began to cook.
That is exactly why the mise en place method is so great.
The essential ingredient of being a chef is is your ingredients. So why would you treat the key to a great meal with anything less than the upmost respect? When all the ingredients are mise en place, perfectly proportioned and laid out together on the counter, it not only makes cooking so much simpler, but it paints such a pretty picture.
You won't help but be able to whisk through any cooking project you can dream up. Still not convinced? Here are five perfectly portioned reasons why you should listen to the French on this one.
1. It takes time to save time.
If you take the time to prepare everything beforehand, the actual act of cooking will be a breeze.
By pulling out all the necessary ingredients, measuring them out, and making sure that you have the correct tools to get the job done, you won't waste any time or energy pausing the process to search for something you knew you should have had in the first place.
2. You'll instantly be more organized.
With everything laid out in front of you and perfectly proportioned, even the most daunting recipes become a cinch.
Better yet, why don't you set things out in the order you need them and see what happens? You'll think that you've just stepped into your own professionally-streamlined kitchen.
3. You'll know if you're missing an ingredient.
There is nothing more disappointed than getting half way through a recipe and realizing that you are one egg short. What do you do? Do you substitute something? Do you leave it out and hope for the best?
Spare yourself the agony of these last minute decisions by preparing everything mise en place, and you'll never have to knock on your neighbors door to replace an ingredient ever again.
4. It makes cleaning fun
Yes, it's true. Cleaning can actually be fun. When you aren't having to worry about cleaning up spills in the middle of your preparation or looking for a clean bowl that you can conveniently grab with your sticky hands, cleaning is not so stressful.
If you have everything already laid out, then you'll know instantly how much you will have to put up. No unexpected messes to worry about.
5. It's kid-kitchen friendly
A mise en place method becomes even more important if you're cooking with kids. Imagine you have pre-measured everything. Now there is no hassle or worry about accidentally having too much flour in your chocolate chip cookies. Instead, you can let the little ones freely add ingredients to the mixing bowl.
Alternatively, you can even teach them to carefully measure out flour without having to worry if they can do it quickly enough so that your roux won't burn! Mise en place is a perfect way to teach your kids the art of patient measurements in the kitchen.