Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jan 31, 2014 11:50 PM

Clean/wash up while cooking ?

A friend was over for dinner and she hovered in the kitchen while I was cooking. She noticed how I tend to wash dishes/cooking utensils/other prep bowls, plates, cutting boards and wipe the counter and stove top WHILE I cook. She mentioned she's never seen that with other people. I do it ALL the time (maybe being used to having relatively small kitchens in most of the places I've lived in, incl. my current apartment) so I don't even think about it when I do it.

Is this behaviour of mine unusual and unique ? I think it's efficient and prevents a sink full of dirty messy pile after all the cooking is done (shhhhh, that's how my wife does it and it drives me totally nuts !!!).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's not unique; my mother did it that way and so do I. For me, part of my reason for doing it is that my kitchen is not huge and I don't have a lot of counter space AND if I don't need to stand over the stove, I feel I should be doing something while my food is cooking so it's natural for me to do the dishes while I wait. It does help in that once dinner is eaten, it takes me about 10 minutes to finish cleaning the kitchen normally. I consider it worth the trade off.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cherylptw

      +1. Always clean up while cooking also to do something when I'm not doing actual cooking and to keep from having to face a sink load of dishes after eating.

    2. I like to start with a sink full of hot soapy water, an empty dishwasher and empty countertop compost and trash bins. Ingredients get put away when I'm finished, prep dishes and utensils get washed or loaded in the DW, and by the time I am serving dinner, there's generally nothing to deal with but plates and flatware. So much nicer to be able to relax at the end of a meal, instead of knowing that there's a disaster waiting to be tackled.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tacosandbeer

        I have a sink half full of very hot soapy water ready when I start cooking a meal. If I need to reuse say a knife I'll give it a wipe with the paper towel then a swish in the soapy water then a quick rinse under the hot water tap and I'm good to go. The rest, except for any large pots and pans go into the soapy water. After dinner I drain the sink and give whatever is in the sink a quick hot rinse then onto the drying rack. Quick and easy.

      2. This is what I do. In fact, I always empty any clean dishes out of the dishwasher and then put in all the stray glasses, etc., before I start. Knives, cutting boards and similar items are cleaned as I use them, mixing bowls and measuring cups/spoons get a warm soapy water soak as I progress, the dishwasher gets loaded while everything's cooking (and gets started if it's full). I have a small kitchen and it drives me crazy to cook with a lot of clutter. Plus,I am very protective of my "special" knives.

        1. It's SOP in every kitchen I have ever worked. It is how I was taught by my parents too. Nothing worse than a disaster of a kitchen when you are done cooking!

          It goes hand in hand with prepping before cooking.

          1. I always clean as I go... it's a very efficient way to work as long as you are careful. I won't stop to wash a pot while I have garlic sizzling in oil, but while onions are caramelizing or veggies are sweating, sure!
            I also make sure to do any dirty dishes before starting to cook and make sure the dish rack is clear so I have room to put the big bowls as I wash them off.