Mise en place: what is it and how to put it into practice?

It is a fundamental term in gastronomy, which is used to maintain order and organization. Discover how to apply it in the home kitchen.

Last update: 28 January, 2022

You may hear the term frequently during cooking shows. mise en place. This is because order and organization are essential aspects to achieve quality dishes. It is a previous instance in which all the ingredients and utensils are available for the final preparation.

The mise en place It is a technique applicable to all sectors that are related to the gastronomic process. Not only to the kitchen, but also to the dining room. A good organization in the previous steps has numerous advantages.

What does mise en place mean and why is it important?

It is a term of French origin, whose translation is “put in its place”. However, a more adequate transcription would be “everything in its place”. It refers to set of actions carried out prior to the culinary process that contribute to maintain an organization and control of the sector.

It is a very common technique in gastronomic spaces such as bars, restaurants and event halls, since it designates a way of thinking and working in the kitchen. However, it can also be applied at home, especially during dinners with several guests.

Includes tasks like cutting, washing and organizing the ingredients. In turn, the preparation and arrangement of the utensils to be used, as well as the set-up of the diners’ table. On the other hand, some dishes require prior cooking, a step that is also carried out during cooking. mise en place.

The organization of the kitchen is an essential step when cooking complex dishes or when doing it for guests.

In the restaurant and at home

This is a very popular term in professional gastronomy and one of the first teachings in cooking schools. Your application takes a long time to work. The first hours of waiters and cooks in restaurants are occupied by this organizational technique.

Once finished, all the necessary ingredients are available, the risk of unforeseen events or accidents is reduced and quality and hygiene are increased. These details are fundamental in any gastronomic establishment.

But the mise en place it is also adaptable to the home kitchen, where it contributes to improving the experience and enjoying more the elaboration of recipes.

Advantages of mise en place

The biggest advantage and the main objective of mise en place is to maintain order and control, fundamental aspects within the kitchen. Knowing the arrangement of the utensils, the ingredients and the quantities makes the culinary experience more pleasant.

  • Organization. Having everything cut, washed and prepared beforehand increases the chances of achieving a quality final product.
  • precooking. Some recipes require that certain preparations are already cooked or mixed before the final preparation. For example, fillings or sauces. Having these preparations ready avoids simultaneous activities that can disturb the order.
  • Avoid distractions. The mise en place helps keep attention in the kitchen. The prior study of the layout of the elements ensures that distractions are avoided, even if the guests have already arrived.
  • Speed. It is possible to obtain a final product faster, something advantageous for businesses.
  • Complexity. a correct mise en place generates confidence for the preparation of more complex recipes, which include various ingredients and previous cooking.
  • Hygiene. An essential aspect in the kitchen. This gastronomic technique contributes with the constant cleaning of the equipment and the space, which favors general hygiene.
  • Security. Cooking in a hurry and improvised can be a risk. Mixing up ingredients, not finding the salt or oregano while the sauce is burning is stressful and predisposes to physical damage.

Steps to put mise en place into practice

Although it is not a complex process, get a correct mise en place It takes some time and certain steps. Once it is incorporated into the habits, it becomes the frequent action.

1. Have all the ingredients

The first thing to consider for any recipe is the raw material. Check that all ingredients and elements are available. This avoids last minute runs to the market, while the cooking processes have already begun.

2. Preparation

The hardest step of the mise en place is this. Is about prepare all the ingredients that are going to be used later.

This includes washing, cutting, chopping, grinding, melting, marinating and even cooking the previous preparations that the recipe indicates. Within this step you can select the right amounts, using measuring containers. For example, for flour, salt or sugar.

3. Distribution

Once the preparation and possible preliminary cooking have been carried out, distribute the ingredients in different casseroles, dishes or saucers. Then, order them in such a way that they are consistent with each moment of use, following the indications of the recipe.

4. Utensils

A similar action must be applied to the pots, pans, tables or sources that are required. Making sure they are clean and leaving them close at all times is key.

This also includes knives, ladles, or spatulas. With all the elements at hand you can start cooking and enjoy the culinary experience.

5. batch cooking

Another term associated with this technique is batch cooking, which means cook to save as backup. In other words, plan meals for the week. Although it is not a mandatory step of the mise en place, you can take advantage of the moment to make some commonly used ingredients available.

For example, chop and wash onions or slice or dice vegetables. Among them, carrots, peppers, leek or celery.

Note that They must be stored in airtight containers to favor their conservation. On the fridge. As for the lettuce, after washing and drying it, it is convenient to keep it in kitchen paper.

We can take advantage of this moment to prepare ingredients that we will use another day and that can be kept in the fridge.

safety and hygiene

The mise en place It has multiple advantages, but some measures must be taken into account so that it does not turn against it. This includes cooking and cooling times, as well as knowing which ingredients should be cut and which should not.

Previous preparations, such as sauces and fillings, should be kept covered or in the fridge to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms that can cause poisoning. It is important that no cross contamination occurs.

The preservation of cooked food is another aspect that depends on each product. However, it is not convenient to keep it in the fridge for more than 5 days.

In addition to its most important application in the kitchen, the mise en place it can also be carried out as a protocol at the tables. For example, arrange the row of plates, spoons and glasses, review the utensils so that they are sparkling, place the clean and ironed tablecloths.

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