My kitchen is small, very old and 99% of the time looks messy and far from organized. When I have to cook for a crowd, big or small, my kitchen can look like a disaster zone in a matter of minutes. That being said, I still love to entertain and would have guests for dinner every night if I could. But, when the guests arrive, there’s no way to “hide the kitchen”, so I have to find time to clean it up after cooking. I’ve come up with a few little tricks that help my kitchen look clean in no time, even after I’ve prepared a meal to satisfy all the guests. I call these: My Kitchen Clean-Up Confessions.
10 Tips for Easy Kitchen Clean Up:
1. Cover the work station: before you start taking out bowls, ingredients, etc place some dish towels or paper towels on the counter tops/ work station. Then when you are done cooking, you can just scoop up the towels and the counters are presentable in a flash!
2. Table Clothes: Just like covering the counters, if you use a table cloth on the tables, coffee table, etc you can clean up quickly. For example, change or shake out the table clothes between hor d’oeuvres and dinner & then between dinner and dessert. It keeps things looking clean and neat!
3. Soapy Bowl in the Sink: Before you start prepping the food and cooking, put a large bowl into the sink with hot soapy water. As you cook, throw the spoons, measuring cups, etc into the soapy bowl. Then when it’s time to do the dishes or put them in the dishwasher, they are already almost clean.
4. Spray all of your baking dishes, pans and cookie sheets with PAM. Even if the recipe doesn’t call for greasing the pan, PAM makes the clean up so much easier. There’s never a need to soak the dishes/pans. With PAM, you can transfer right to the dishwasher!
5. Bowl for Food Trash: While prepping food and cooking keep a large bowl or a paper plate on the counter. Place all scraps and trash into the bowl. Then when you are all done, you can dump the whole bowl and the counters are trash free.
6. Take it to the Grill! One of the easiest ways to keep the kitchen looking cleaner is by moving some of the cooking outdoors. Marinate meat in plastic zip locks in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, bring them outside, grill and throw out the bags. This leaves 0 mess in the kitchen and your main dish cooked!
7. Easy Clean Up Grill Tip: I always cook vegetables on the grill. My clean up confession for grilling veggies: make a them a “bed” out of tin foil. “Sautee” them in the foil bed using PAM Olive Oil and place the whole “bed” onto the grill. When they are cooked, throw the foil away and there’s nothing left to clean. Thanks to the PAM Olive Oil, the vegetables won’t stick to the foil, even on the hot grill.
8. Another clean up tip for the grill: Use PAM Let’s Grill on the grill, grill pans, baskets etc. This PAM is specially formulating for using on the grill and really helps grill clean up. There’s no need to scrape and scrub after grilling with PAM Let’s Grill. It also helps the grilled food come out better.
9. Paper Goods: It’s not the most eco-friendly option, but sometimes the easiest way to have no kitchen mess and a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your guests is to go with paper goods. Then, when dinner is done, so it the mess!
10. Clean Guests Dishes Right Away: One thing that can make a cluttered kitchen in no time is the pile up of guests dishes. It’s wonderful when guests bring a dish to share, but make sure to clean their dish and send home with them. Otherwise you’ll have a pile up of dishes and the chore of returning them all over town.
Now it’s time to enjoy a meal with your family and friends! #EasyCookingWithPam
Click on the image above to learn more about PAM® non-stick cooking sprays. “Leaving up to 99% less residue, PAM is your ally in the kitchen and allows you to save time during prep and clean up.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ConAgra via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ConAgra.