Mise en place at home might be one of the most translated French phrases in the cooking industry but it remains to be one of the most misunderstood. “Putting in place” is the literal translation of mise en place from French. But the important part isn’t just translation of the words, it goes beyond conveying the idea behind mise en place at home phrase, which is: being prepared.

A table with jars of syrups and cocktail ingredients using mise en place technique at home

The term mise en place also references the kind of discipline and organization that a good chef should practice in the kitchen. This technique is commonly used today in cooking classes, professional kitchens, cooking shows, and restaurants. There is a high chance that you have used this method while cooking but you didn’t know what it’s called. If you integrate this method into your cooking procedure, you’ll find that you save more time.

The Culinary Definition of Mise en Place

Mise en place is a French phrase used to mean “everything in its place” and it’s used in the preparation of ingredients and cooking tools before you begin cooking. For ingredients, mise en place includes peeling, measuring, cutting, and grating for the ingredients. For cooking tools, it involves assembling cooking pots, mixing bowls, and preparing pans.

What is the Importance of Organizing and Preparing Food?

Organizing and preparing food has several benefits:

  1. It helps you manage ingredients with ease. In case of missing ingredients, it is easy to spot them before you begin cooking.
  2. You can group and measure the right ingredients for your meal and put them in order of how they will be used. This ensures that all required ingredients are used.
  3. It makes it fun and easy to prepare complicated dishes when you’re no longer juggling between cooking the meal and preparing the required ingredients 
  4.  It helps in how to organize your kitchen, which will save you a lot of time. Getting your ingredients and tools from random places as you prepare meals makes cooking look complicated. But when you place them in one area, cooking becomes easier and less stressful.
  5. An organized cook is a speedy cook. Organizing your ingredients enables you to prepare your meal quickly and efficiently without having any setbacks or wasting food. 

How to Incorporate This Practice in Your Home Cooking

Mise en place revolves around three values: presence, preparation, and process. How many mornings have you spent 15 minutes looking for your car keys? Or planned to repaint your living room during the weekend only to find that you don’t have any paintbrushes?

If so, you may be missing some mise en place at your home.

Mise en place in the kitchen: best kitchen layout for cooking

Mise en place in the kitchen means where everything is in place and stored in the kitchen. The kitchen layout affects the organization in the kitchen therefore it is very important to have the right kitchen layout. Whether your space is small or large, getting your kitchen layout right is the most important factor in ensuring a functional and practical kitchen.

The most effective kitchen layout is the triangle layout with the stove in the middle. The work triangle is one of the first measures of efficiency in a residential kitchen. This layout provides efficiency by creating a clear path between the stove area, the cleaning area ( kitchen sink), and the food storage area.

What are the 5 steps of mise en place when cooking?

  1. Read the entire recipe: This will help you know what you need for the food that you want to make and make adjustments if necessary. 
  1. Prepare your workspace: This includes sanitizing workstations and countertops, preparing washing stations, clearing counters of unnecessary items, and locating trash bins for any waste that would require to be disposed of.
  1. Prepare the equipment: Ensure that all the equipment is available and clean before you start food preparation. Preheat ovens preparing the dishwasher, prepare pans, set out small utensils, and other necessary equipment. A few of my favorite tools are stainless steel bowls, pyrex glass bowls, and containers with wooden mini spoons. In case you don’t have a dishwasher and you want to minimize the number of dishes you use, I recommend using biodegradable bamboo bowls and utensils. You could also make spice mixes if possible and put that into a bowl, instead of single tablespoons in tiny bowls.
  1. Gather ingredients: After preparing the workspace and assembling all the needed equipment, you can start to assemble the ingredients. One by one, wash, cut, dice, chop, and measure all  Pre-measure all your and put them into prep cups or bowl
  1. Set your ingredients next to the cooking station: This provides easy accessibility. Remember clean as you go to help with time management.

Practicing mise en place isn’t just for famous TV chefs and restaurateurs. It’s a proven technique that makes the cooking process easy and fun! 

So don’t forget the secret.  Prep the necessary ingredients and tools upfront ensures that the time you spend cooking is much more efficient and results in a delicious meal for your family!

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