Kitchen clean up ?

wallycatSeptember 2, 2012

I realize some of us are "messy" cooks and others "neat," but I am curious how you cook....

do you clean as you go? Or, do you make what you intend to and clean up everything afterwards.

I tend to be on the messy side and I try to clean as I go, but sometimes, it all gets away from me....and I finish up afterwards. Some pans even wait till the next day ;-)


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Most of the time I am a messy cook! When I'm cooking something, I can't stop the cooking in order to clean up what I've just used. If it is a recipe with drawn-out steps, then yes, I could clean and usually do.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:25AM
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I have trouble enjoying my meal when the kitchen is a disaster. So, over the years, I have become better at prepping first, cooking second. I tend to clean up as I prep which means by the time I am cooking, I don't have a lot of cleaning left to do, and most of what remains can wait in the sink until we finish eating.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 11:30AM
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I'm somewhere in between - I try to clean up a bit as I'm going along if there's time, but it really depends on what I'm cooking. Sometimes, I've got prep going along in stages so there's stuff cooking that needs tending along with prep work, so in that case, there's not usually much time to clean up. But if I don't have prep work and cooking going simultaneously, then I'll start cleaning up as the cooking is getting finished.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:21PM
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I have spent some time thinking about this point.

I think it goes beyond being a "messy cook", or not.

It depends more importantly on what method you use for cleaning your used utensils. If you use a DW, then "cleaning up" may mean simply rinsing or stowing the used stuff in a DW as you go go along in prep. This gets your counters clear of used utensils, but doesn't actually wash anything, yet.

However if you, like I, do not use a DW then the oft-recommended "clean-up as you prep" dictum is more complicated. And it requires a different strategy. A quick wash-up of prep knives is one thing, but washing mixing bowls and sticky measuring cups, or a mortar and pestle, or pans where you did a quick pre-saute of one ingredient is another issue. If you mean you are actually washing each thing with hot water and soap and parking it in the dih drainer as soon as you are finished with it, it can be very time and energy inefficient. The other common suggestion of sticking the dirty items in a dishpan of hot water isn't very appealing since sooner or later the water cools and you have to fish the stuff out of a foul mess.

As a hand, not machine, washer, I find that I don't wash up as I go (except for a knives, which are washed, and hand dried, and put away almost immediately after use.) Instead I practice a system of rinsing everything I'm done with and stacking it in my sink - or on huge cooking projects/days - on one side of the sink.

This isn't messy-cook-ness, just pre-organizing the later (end of task or end of meal) dishwashing step. I concentrate on getting the food done efficiently and served promptly; I only do the clean-up afterward.

But I can see that if I used a DW, then my rinsing step would convert to a rinse (if needed) or put in the DW step and I could claim to be a "clean up as I go cook". (But in reality the actual cleaning would be done later by the machine!)


    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I am not a good cleaner. I always decide to clean something else AFTER I have washed out the sink!! It is not such a big problem in the new kitchen because I don't have the disgusting triple stainless steel sink and rusty water, whose combination required BKF scrubbing after every use, and it still wasn't clean.

Since nobody else in my house knows how to open the DW, I always start cooking by loading the DW, so I start with the sink clean. I put stuff in there as I go, but I do a lot of handwashing, so I save all that until I can do it all at once, then run the DW after everything else is washed.

I RARELY leave anything overnight, but I am not obsessive about it. I used to have a bit of passive-aggressiveness about it, though, because at the other house, my MIL did the handwashing as physical therapy. She would say, "Just leave those pans, I don't feel like doing them now. I'll do them in the morning." And that would send me over the edge and I would wash them. So there, Hmmph!!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:42PM
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I clean as I go. I don't think it's an issue of being a messy cook versus a clean cook, though. For me - in a pre-reno, inefficient kitchen - I simply don't have the counter or sink space to NOT clean as I go.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:49PM
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I too clean as I go - old habits. Like purplepansies my pre-reno kitchen had a counter space that measured 2'x4' and so I had no choice. Now that I have a ton of counter space I love having it clear and so yes I clean as I go. I put things away, I wash bowls, cutlery goes in the DW, etc.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:24PM
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I always clean up before I start (i.e. if there are previous days' dishes to be put away,etc.) and I do try to clean as I go but am not always successful. I do always clean up at the end. With using my food processor so much this time of year (prepping veggies, freezing for winter,etc) I am forced to at least clean that as I go, along with my favorite knife,etc.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:46PM
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eat better simple food sourced locally eaten close to time it was harvested or obtained, or freeze....has helped a great deal with kitchen processes,and general health and well being.(I do know how to make a mess in the kitchen but it's not a measure of anything.]

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 8:26PM
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