How I define “Mise En Place”
What is Mise En Place?
Mise en place, pronounced (MEEZ ahn plas) is a French culinary term that means to have all of your cooking tools and recipe ingredients ready before you begin cooking a meal. It translates to “everything in its place”. Mise en place is a popular technique practiced in restaurants, by professional chefs and taught very early on in cooking schools. I believe mise en place can be used at home too.
Mise en place requires being prepared and organized. It’s about knowing your recipe. This means taking the time to read and understand a recipe before cooking. Some recipes may require you to prep ingredients by chopping, toasting, dicing, peeling, cooling, blanching, grating, etc.
Here’s an easy example of practicing “mise en place”. Let’s say you’re making simple guacamole that includes avocado, red onion, lime juice, and salt. Before making the guacamole, you’ll first gather all the ingredients. Then you’ll prep EACH ingredient before mixing together. Prepping would include peeling and chopping the onion, juicing the lime, measuring out your salt, as well as pitting, peeling and dicing the avocado. Then you would continue to finish the steps of the recipe.
I have a habit of jumping right into cooking or baking without being prepared. This usually causes a little chaos and frustration. For example, last week while making macaroni and cheese, I accidentally burned a roux on the stove while searching the fridge for cheese. If I had all of my ingredients ready and close by, disaster could’ve been averted.
To begin my quest to mise en place, I tried to think like a pro and referenced what I’ve seen on television. Have you ever noticed that the tv chefs always those cute little glass bowls filled with the ingredients they need? I started by buying a few sets of glass prep bowls in different sizes. The bowls were inexpensive and have made a difference in my organization. Plus, I feel like a legit chef in my little home kitchen!
You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t this just giving you more dishes to do?”. Well, not really. The bowls are actually quite small and don’t take up much room in the dishwasher. I noticed that I make less of a mess. As a result, I am not scurrying around the kitchen searching for ingredients, spilling food or leaving scraps all over the counter. Mise en place has made cooking a little more peaceful and clean-up afterwards has been minimal.
I am new to parenting and want to be a good example for my son. He already is picking up on everything I do. Even as a 13 month old, I catch him mimicking what I do, even in the kitchen and at the table. It’s an amazing gift to be a parent and I want to lead by example. I hope, what I do in the kitchen, and serve on the table will be learned by my son.
Learning to mise en place has forced me to give better attention to recipe details and food preparation techniques. Moving forward I hope to sharpen my cooking skills, recipe development skills, and learn new techniques. I named my blog Mise En Place for this reason!
Check out my first recipe post HERE. It’s a delicous blueberry sauce I made for my son’s pancakes.
I love this idea! I, too, am usually scurrying all over my kitchen while I’m cooking. I am definitely going to practice this. And that pic of your son is too cute!!
Thank you so much!
I think this would definitely make cooking easier and faster for me in the long run! I didn’t know it had a specific name!
Live Learn better
Makes a lot of sense. I practice that sometimes and sometimes I don’t. After reading this, I will try and be more consistent.
AMEN to being prepared for successful results! This is totally relatable to being a parent too, can’t remember how many times I told myself “thank God I brought this with us” aka “I’m glad I prepared for this mall trip” lol
I always do this when it is a more complicated recipe. I enjoy the prep often more than the cooking and eating itself.
Mayra Trinidad | Giselle Y Mamá
This is ideal to me as well! Keeps me organized and helps me stay tidy. I didn’t know this actually had a name. Love learning things like this.
I love learning new things like language. When I cook, I try to have everything ready but it doesn’t work like that all the time.
I totally agree! It doesn’t always happen but I am enjoying the process of making it a habit to be more prepared. Thanks so much for commenting and reading.
I guess I like the mise en place technique! Without knowing about it I like to have everything out before I start cooking anything. Good to know that I am basically a chef 😉
That’s great! It does make it feel like I have my own little restaurant.
I have the same habit of starting a recipe without fully reading it through first… you’d like I’d learn my lesson after several mishaps but I guess old habits die hard 🙂
Oh I agree! It takes a while for me to break a habit too.
Chronically Caffeinated Mom
I didn’t know there was a name for what I do!! My husband often laughs and tells me my OCD is to blame for all the prep I do before I begin cooking. I even think far enough ahead to get the dishes done and out of the sink so that if I have to drain beef or noodles, I don’t have to do so over dirty dishes. Then all my tools are lined up on the counter for when I need them, as are all ingredients. It just makes life easier! 🙂
What a simple but good idea. I need to do this the next I’m I’m cooking. I always realize I’m out of something in the middle of the process. 🙈