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Mise en place at home

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

  Hey everyone, my first thread here. I am wondering what most of you do for your mise en place at home. I have 5 3/4 cup and 2 cup glass bowls, and use a black 12" dinner plate sometimes. This works okay I guess, but I was washing out all these friggin bowls and ramekins that crowd both my dish drainer and countertop when in use, I thought there must be a better way. When using a plate, my garnishes and small dice veg get intermixed slightly which is an aggravation when I have a teaspoon of garlic accidently mixed in with 2 cups of onion which I intend on sweating or caramelizing over too long of a time for the garlic. Various other scenarios like this happen all the time, especially with Chinese food.

 

  So my question is if anyone has heard or seen of a "Mise en place Board", I was imagining a product about the size of a cutting board with a setup similar to how we use 9th pans at a station for our ingredients at work. Perhaps the base could actually be a cutting board with holes in the corners for the storage unit on top (Which could have rubberized feet that interlock when in storage) It could have preset compartmentalization (I'm surprised I didn't need a spell check on that one lol) or have a customizable setup. What gave me this idea was looking at a daily medication case. I really just want something that's high grade plastic that I can load with Mise, bang out over the trash when done, and sink wash quickly.

 

  Anyone seen anything like this for sale, or am I going to the hardware or craft store next time I have to much free time. Also any tips on how you currently organize your mise en place would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance, Josh.


Edited by NewOrleansCookJ - 1/28/16 at 11:04am
post #2 of 28

Welcome to the forums.  I use a plate (or two) or another cutting board.  I use a saucer or salad plate for small amounts of ginger, garlic, peppers.  I haven't seen anything like you describe.  The entrepreneur  in me says you should develop such a product if you think you can make a buck!

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If you make a pizza you can eat for a day.  If you make two pizzas you can eat for a day.
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post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

  I considered it for a moment, and might make something myself. Maybe get on Shark Tank or something lol; no I'm no inventor, I just cook :chef:. That said I have seen threads started by inventors for a few ideas, one I recall was a replacement for side towels to reduce burns (Just work sauté for a day, you'll remember, trust me.). Another thread was asking about creating an all in one spice grinder, storage, measuring, dispensing unit or something of the like, sounds like it will be unwieldy and bulky; possibly heavy. But a compact, customizable, tackle box style tray for mise, coupled with a detachable quality (Possibly end cut.) cutting board underneath; I'd buy that. Inventors out there, just remember to send me a prototype or two :thumb: 

post #4 of 28

I don't think I'd use something like that myself. I find anything that has compartments to be a pain to wash by hand.  I have a bunch of stainless steal bowls that stack and store effortlessly and a set of small ones too.  I need everything in little bowls, not on a flat surface.  Stainless steal cleans up much easier for some reason, and even if something sticks I stack them in the sink and soak them for an hour.  Basically it doesn't take up much space and that's all I care about - easy cleaning, easy storage.  

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

I should note that I have only 6 square feet of workable prep space if that...:crazy: 

post #6 of 28

For me as a home cook, I don't think that I would use a product as you describe either.

I use paper plates, dishes (I try not to though, `cuz I don't want to be washing a heard of dishes), soy sauce dishes (very handy btw for smaller sized ingredients such as 2 minced garlic cloves or spices) or I just use my large cutting board and divvy everything up.

 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yeah paper plates or bowls, thanks for the tip, going to start doing that. My biggest problem is when I stir fry and the order of ingredients are in quick succession and shouldn't be mixed at all or I'll have a few burnt pieces of garlic, or ginger, or whatever bugging me. I can level the ingredients and stack them in order of addition too. Thanks again :) 

post #8 of 28

Ugh. Paper plates? C'mon @kaneohegirlinaz. How many trees are upset right now. . . !!!  :)

 

About as many fish, I suppose.

 

Mis en place for a restaurant means the same dish every night, X amount of times. More or less. 

 

Mis en place at home is different every night.

 

Versatility wins. 

 

I use work plates of varying sizes, stackable SS bowls of all sizes, ramekins, sheet pans to collect them all if it gets out of hand. 

 

Sometimes everything just stays on the cutting board and use a pastry knife to move to pan.

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

  I saw some square clear glass bowls and that seems like a good idea since they can be interlocked better than my round bowls I currently have. At the moment I haven't really had any problems as I haven't cooked anything with a thousand ingredients I need on hand quickly. I will probably stick to what I have for the moment and if I need to I have plastic shot glasses and cups I can weight the bottom with red beans or something. A tackle box doesn't seem like a bad idea for ethic kits, I have a seprate cupboard for Indian and Asian ingredients as well as baking, but want to compartmentalize it for ease of use.

post #10 of 28

For small amounts of a lot of things, I've seen something called a Masala Dabba that's in all the South Asian grocery stores around here. Each little container & the big one they sit in have lids. Good way to wrangle spices, chutneys or sauces in the kitchen.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

  Thanks @summer57, something like that would definitely help a lot rather than pulling all the bulk containers out on the counter.

post #12 of 28

What about one of those multiple containers bartenders use to hold lemons, limes, etc. I always thought that might come in handy for home use. You could probably get one at a local restaurant supply store. Or ask the local bar to get you one. 

post #13 of 28

At home I use plastic quart and pint containers just like I use to store mise in my reach in at work. I also save any plastic takeout containers (the high quality ones with the black bottoms and click on clear tops) as these come in very handy to store left overs in my fridge. Both of these are obviously dishwasher safe and reusable.

 

I've never actually bought any of them, I just save them when I happen to buy something in them. The seafood counter, prepared food section, bulk foods in bins and deli are all sections at the supermarket where you can get them.

post #14 of 28

I use SS bowls, cutting boards, and wax paper deli sheets.

post #15 of 28

I have 8 of these I use

 

 

post #16 of 28

One set up i've been using latley is this one, with a tupper and a plastic bag for garbage. It's quick.

Also good the idea of a wet towel for the knife and hands cleaning.

 

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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #17 of 28

 

I just use a mixture of small Tupperware containers and some small deli contain from work. I put it all on the cutting board and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready. However I only do this if I have 10 or more ingredients and need to use them very quickly while cooking.

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post #18 of 28

You are not stealing from work are you?

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimyra View Post
 

You are not stealing from work are you?

lol, my general manager sold me a case long ago and I use them every day in the home. So to me its worth spending the money, plus I've had that case for 2 years and still only took it down about half way.

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post #20 of 28
I use everything from a large plate to ss portion cups at home. The one thing I would love to find for this is a porcelain or stainless artists palate that has large wells (kinda like a plate that has compartments.) But at home I just use what I have space for because the containers I've used for work are just too big for my needs at home.
post #21 of 28
An Explanation of Mise-en-place.
By chefwriter Posted 446 views 2 comments

 

Posted recently by one of our chefs.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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post #22 of 28

I think mis en place is a great concept but like any cooking tool, with time you learn how to and when to apply it.  I use various little bowls and containers but sometimes if I have a couple of things that all go in at once, they all get done on one cutting board for a sweep into the pot.  Home cook mis en place is absolutely different from restaurant, it would seem to me, because a restaurant has to be able to have large quantities of prepped items but only needs to produce smaller volumes of finished product at a time.

 

I also think that over time you realize that the recipe guides the need.  For boeuf bourguignon, it takes so long to brown the meat and eventually cook it, there's almost no need to have everything cut up before you need it.  You can do it at the same time.

post #23 of 28

I find it essential when doing a stir fry since the entire dish is done so quickly.  I have everything steam blanched that needs to be, all my other ingredients sliced and ready, my sauce ready for the starch, etc.  A whole meal comes together in less than 10 minutes.  Too bad it took an hour to prep for it - :lol:

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
 
An Explanation of Mise-en-place.
By chefwriter Posted 446 views 2 comments

 

Posted recently by one of our chefs.


Excellent article! Even though I am a home cook I practice Mise-en-place. I like having everything set out before I start :)

post #25 of 28
What works for me, is...

Having my most utilized tools close at hand. Pots and pans are on s hooks in a pot rack. Kitchen tools in a pitcher on the counter and on s hooks over the sink. Lemons and or limes in an apothecary jar on the counter. Over the door dish towel holder by the sink. Dry herbs/spices - the few I do use are close by in the pantry. I don't premeasure or use bowls for same. I have two indoor grills, but rarely use the larger of the two, as I like to free up the counters, and it,s heavy. I like and try to eat as many fresh fruits, Vegs and salads as possible. In a perfect world, I would wash, chop and place them in airtight containers in the fridge as soon as I get them home. But, often I just want to put all the groceries away asap. Can't help with the bowls you mentioned, as I would not have the need for small compartment premeasured ingredients in quantity.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SicariiX View Post
 

lol, my general manager sold me a case long ago and I use them every day in the home. So to me its worth spending the money, plus I've had that case for 2 years and still only took it down about half way.

That  is good.  I buy these at home also.  I buy by the case and they do last a long time.

post #27 of 28

Would a muffin pan do?

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnniesKitchen View Post
 

Would a muffin pan do?

Not if you want to dump ingredients into a pot/pan/wok singularly, at different junctures in cooking. 

 

Would be difficult to only throw in one ingredient out of 12 in connected containers. Muffin liners might work, if the ingredient isn't too wet. 

 

I should be re-iterated, though, that some dishes don't really require mis en place.

 

Time between ingredient additions allow for collecting an ingredient needed at the next stage. It just sits on a plate or cutting board. 

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