Top hacks for time-poor cooks

For some, cooking is a way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day, but for others it’s purely a necessity. For those who are time-poor, in need of a quick fix or just don’t enjoy getting their hands dirty in the kitchen, these hacks should come in useful…

Frozen vs. fresh

Most of the time, fresh food tastes notably better than frozen food – but there are exceptions. When it comes to buying your veg, there are benefits to buying them frozen; they take a lot longer to go off and due to the freezing process preserving nutrients and vitamins (which fresh produce lose just lying around) frozen veg can even be better for you…


If you want to avoid washing up, foil can come in pretty handy. By placing a layer of foil on your oven tray beneath a pizza, or your grill pan under some bacon rashers, you can just dispose of the foil after use, leaving the trays and pans clean as a whistle

One-pot stop

To save on washing up and having to keep your eye on the oven and the hob (as well as chopping veggies) at the same time, it’s a good idea to embrace one-pot meals. A slow cooker will really help you out with these dishes – just bung everything in and wait to plate up. Check out the BBC’s Good Food page for some recipe inspiration

Fresh is best

Okay, forget for a moment what we said earlier about buying frozen foods. When it comes to pasta, fresh is best. It’ll cook in just 2-5 minutes and it tastes a lot better (it’s just a little pricier)

Handy tools

If you’re a lazy cook, it’s okay to accept a little help in the form of some handy kitchen tools. For example, by investing in an electric cutter/blender, you’ll be able cut and slice your food items in half the time with a reduced risk of injury. This is ideal for dishes like salads, coleslaw or even as a base for sauces

Utilise the microwave

Embrace the microwave – it’s time-efficient and many a delicious jacket potato or bowl of scrambled eggs has been made in one, you just need to use it right. With a jacket potato, cook it in the microwave for 10 minutes (turning halfway through) before placing in the oven for a couple of minutes for a crisp finish. With scrambled eggs, just combine your ingredients in a bowl and pop it in the microwave, stirring regularly at 20-30-second intervals until done to your taste

For more food-related tips and info, take a look at our cooking page…