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Mise en Place is a French culinary phrase for “everything in its place.” It’s a helpful technique that can help make you a better cook!
Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” That is much the same premise behind then term mise en place.
What is mise en place?
Mise en place (pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs) literally translates as “to put in place.” In cooking, it refers to having all of your ingredients and tools prepared and in place before you start to cook.
With mise en place, you’ll:
- Read through the entire recipe.
- Chop, peel, slice, toast, and measure out all of your ingredients. (We often use small ‘pinch’ bowls to hold the different ingredients, or we sometimes just keep the ingredients right in the measuring cups.)
- Gather all of the different mixing and cooking vessels you might need such as mixing bowls, pots and pans, as well as serving platters and plates.
- Place any utensils nearby including whisks, spoons, spatulas, etc.
Why should you do it?
Mise en place helps a cook stay organized – especially when a recipe is more complex, or you are trying to juggle more than one dish at a time.
Or, in the case of recipes such as a stir-fry where you need to add ingredients quickly throughout the cooking process, you won’t have to stop to search for an ingredient in your kitchen pantry, or stop to measure things out.
If you have all of the ingredients and tools laid out before you start to cook, it’s also easier to make sure you haven’t missed anything. And, if you even organize ingredients in the order they are added to the recipe – it is that much quicker to move from step to step as you cook.
My husband Jack will tell you that mise en place is absolutely mandatory in a professional kitchen – and he has carried the practice over into our kitchen at home. It’s a very effective way of staying organized and maintaining calm in the kitchen – and it really can make you a better cook!
Interested in making the recipe using the ingredients shown above? Click here to see our delicious Beef Teriyaki and Vegetables.