The one mistake that I see others posting about is not prepping their work space and running into issues, especially when trying to assemble 10+ meals in a few hours or if they have multiple people prepping in the same area. There are some simple things you can do ahead of time that will make your prepping session go easier.
- Sanitize your counters. I use disinfectant wipes and wipe down all of my surfaces that I’ll be preparing food on. Preparing this much food at once has me a more than a little concerned about sanitation. I also wipe down the surfaces when I’m done and sometimes even halfway through depending on how much raw meat I am cutting up. I’m messy with food prep as it is, so a handy container of wipes is a necessity of mine. Word to the wise, make sure after you disinfect that you also check the instructions on the wipes. Frequently you’ll need to wipe down surfaces after a disinfectant so that it doesn’t contaminate your food.
- Have plenty of dish soap on hand. It takes so much time to run a load through the dishwasher when all you may need is a measuring cup or a prep bowl washed. If you use a dish wand with the soap in the handle I recommend beginning with a fresh sponge on top and disposing afterwards depending on what you end up washing and how frequently.
- Begin with an empty trash can. There’s nothing that’s more annoying to me than when I’m in the cooking zone and I have to take out the trash in the middle. It’s also good to begin with empty recycling bins. These simple steps can save you the hassle of having to stop and run the trash and/or recycling out.
- Empty the freezer. This may take a few days prior, but you don’t want anything in the freezer that isn’t necessary so that you have the maximum amount of space available. If you’re planning on using freezer bags you’ll want space to lay them flat. One of the many benefits of living in the Midwest is having the frigid air of the outdoors during the winter. Sometimes my food freezes faster outside on my deck.
- Double check your supplies. Do you have enough pans, prep bowls, measuring cups and spoons, freezer containers and bags, a Sharpie, masking tape? Did you purchase everything on your shopping list? Do you have extra spices for items you make that you want to add something to? I’ve messed up plenty of times where I have forgotten something on my list or miscalculated the number of containers that I’ll need. With mass cooking a few mistakes can happen easily. To lessen these it’s good to double check lists and supplies before and during your prep.