What is Mise En Place?
Mise En Place is a French term pronounced as – meez ahn plahss, which means “put into place.”
Mise En Place basically is a culinary process in which every ingredient is organized and prepared (in kitchen or restaurant) before cooking.
“Mise en place is the religion of all good line cooks.” – Anthony Bourdain
This term isn’t just for professional restaurants and chefs kitchen; in fact, it’s for everyone who loves to cook. It’s a way to keep your cooking organized, your meal better, and you less stressed out. It can even turn your hectic weeknight cooking to be fun.
Got your Mise Ready?
Are you all set? Is your mise good to go?
Well, I still remember these phrases when I stepped into a professional kitchen for the very first time and truly have zero ideas about what on earth people were asking me.
Being confident is the only weapon you have in such situations, so, I used to reply “Oui Chef.”
But, deep down I didn’t know what everybody was asking me.
So, What is the True Meaning of Mise En Place
Technically, Mise en Place is a preparation of your section in the kitchen. It covers all your catering equipment – pans, oil bottles, oven clothes, pans, spray bottles, sanitizer, marker pen, knives, chopping board, greaseproof paper, gastronorm tray, etc. Set up anything that is essential for your cooking.
Moreover, it also refers to food.
Food that you are going to use in your recipe must be chopped and placed in different dishes on the worktop or inside the kitchen.
How to Organize?
There are some standards of Mise En Place, referring to food cutting mainly, which classified in French terminology as – “Large Mirepox veg,” “Julian Carrots,” “Brunios Shallots,” and so on…
Below are some steps that I follow to Mise en place for cooking pretzel rods:
- I read the whole recipe and make notes of the ingredients and tools that I need. If you want everything to be at one place when you start with the recipe, just add everything to your shopping list and then purchase them.
- I clear the counter and unpack the chocolate chips, pretzel rods, and other ingredients. I set up the bowls, spatulas (two for stirring and spreading the chocolate), and three paper plates.
- Then, I put the baking tray on my counter, covered with wax paper and then placed a wire tray on the top. This is where I put the pretzel rod to relax so that the chocolate set properly.
- I put almost every type of chocolate chip in the bowls along with a spatula. A half-cup of sprinkles & chocolate chips (mini) and I am all set to begin.
This way you can cook any cuisine by organizing your worktop.
To ensure that you cook scrumptious dishes, the following are the factors to consider:
- Event – To ensure that you utilize your capital fairly, understand your goal for good. Is it to celebrate employees, build an audience, motivate a team, or spread information?
- Budget – No matter how keen you are to serve the delicious dishes to your audience, never mess-up the budget. Calculating the budget will help you to start with a realistic projection. There must be enough scope of change in your budget that it can cover up the unexpected expense.
- Timeline – This is a roadmap to better Mise en place. This step makes sure that nothing is overlooked and the cooking procedure ends before the deadline. Timeline saves time for edits approvals, delivery, etc.
Importance of Mise En Place
- Saves time – If you want to prepare delectable food without spending much time, Mise En Place is what you should follow. Your cooking will breeze by pulling all the ingredients out, measuring their quantity, and choosing the right tools to get the job done.
- Instantly Organized – When everything is in front of you, in an accurate proportion, even the most daunting recipe becomes a pushover. For better results, set everything in order and feel as if you have stepped inside your own professional streamlined kitchen.
- Missing Ingredient … Not a Chance!
Nothing could disappoint you more than not having the major ingredient ready for your recipe. What do you in this situation? Of course, your procedure can’t wait for you to go back the grocery store and buy that one ingredient as it can ruin the flavor and even worsen the present ingredients. Spare yourself the agony of last moment panic attack by preparing everything mise en place.
- Cleaning is Fun
Yes, you read it right! Cleaning can be really fun. When you don’t have many spills and you have used fewer dishes during your food preparation, cleaning is a piece of cake.
The biggest reason why you spill is not having everything on the board. The things that are in front of you and are easy to reach helps you to stay calm and focus on the main recipe.
- You can Review the Entire Process
You get enough time to think about using the equipment that can multi-task your job and save you from cleaning extra dishes. For say, can your pan be used for both stirring and frying?
- Mise en place your pantry
Separate and organize items available in your pantry such as bottles, canned beans, veggies, spices, and tomatoes. Knowing they are just a glance away can help you to make healthy decisions. For example, you can cook plain turkey or tomato and beans turkey.
How to Get Started?
- Planning is Crucial
Planning saves you from the situation when you are completely in a mood of killing a recipe, but suddenly realize that you don’t have enough ingredients. So before you start, take your time to figure out the dishes you need for your recipe. Make sure you have or buy even a tiny ingredient to give your dish an authentic flavor.
- Cook that goes with your Rhythm
Do you know that your emotions have a higher impact on your cooking than the procedure? Yes, you read it right! Cook something that suits your degree of difficulty to match your emotional tolerance level and ability to focus on multiple tasks. Never rely on one plan. You must always have a plan B such as if you don’t have corn starch, you should have corn flour to balance the taste.
- Flow Matters
For stress-free meals, an organized workplace is the key. Each ingredient and utensil must be placed in such a way that it goes with the flow of your recipe such as if you are going to use the pan and then oil, they must be placed in order of use.
- Multi-tasking is just in the Books
Repeat after me – “it’s tricky to do multiple jobs.” Multiprocessor is available in computers not in your brain. We do things more proficiently when we focus on one task at a time.
First, I will explain “why” so that you don’t have to wonder. Let’s suppose you are preparing the sauce in the pan and on the other side you are cutting vegetables and have pasta to get cooked in another pan. Now, in this case, you would either divide your focus or ruin the taste.
So don’t rush! Cook peacefully by taking baby steps to retain the taste you always wanted in your dish.
- Cooking isn’t an Errand
Heavenly taste demands both enjoyment and engagement. How do you cook isn’t what you can control; it depends on how are you feeling at the moment and how do you craft & diverse each recipe step. Grab your favorite apron, play your favorite playlist according to mood du moment, pour some toothsome beverage in the glass, and get your mind on the ‘mise en place.
Some Tips and Tricks
Don’t leave it on others! No matter how better the person standing next to you cooks, never leave your cooking to them ever. It’s only you who knows what must be added to the dish, it’s you who knows what your dish should taste like, and it’s you who can justify with the ingredient quantity. So, why leave your cooking to others, halfway?
Don’t waste your time! Having everything done before time is great and using the spare time in measuring other aspects such as how much time you would need to boil or how long you should roast the beef. Wasting even a single second can lead to problems, which cannot be solved.
Keep everything clean. Whether it’s a big or small counter or some outdoor area, ensure to keep it clean. The rule is simple “clean work clean food!” So try to keep everything as managed as possible so that you can see and reach ingredients in a flash.
Always have a backup. If plan A fails, go for plan B. If you don’t have chili flakes, use green chili or even the black pepper is a great idea. So you have to be creative with the choices. Also, your mind should work instantly to avoid any disgrace in the taste.
Cooking is an art and those who cook are artists.
When you learn the tact of cooking the right way, you are just a step ahead from those who get lost in the ingredients and equipment.
Anyone can be a good cook and I see a great chef in all.
So now that you know what is “Mise En Place,” it’s time to implement this information and proud of your Mise en Place.
So is your Mise en place ready?