8 Lazy Day Cooking Methods
We’ve all had those days. You know the kind! When you’ve just come home for work, the kids are climbing up your legs, and everyone is demanding to know what’s for dinner. Quite frankly, you’re exhausted and just not in the mood. It all just seems a bit much so you’re looking for simple cooking methods for a lazy day!
On days like these, it’s great to have a few culinary tricks up your sleeves to allow you to make gorgeous dishes, even when you don’t feel like cooking!
So to make your life a little easier for you, we’ve gone ahead and picked out eight of the easiest cooking methods around. Master these, and you’ll never need to reach for the takeout menu again! They’re perfect for lazy days and weekends when you’ve far better things to be doing with your time than slaving away in the kitchen. Like making memories with your family rather than making mountains of food!
So let’s dive in with the first of our eight recommended simple cooking methods for a lazy day.
Let’s start with one of the easiest cooking methods in existence: boiling. Literally featuring a frying pan of boiling water on the heat, just pop your food into the (usually salted) water and leave it to create an evenly cooked dish either covered or uncovered. This method is used for foods such as rice or pasta and is also a popular way to eat eggs.
For things such as sauces, soups, or homemade stock, bring the liquid back down from the boil until there are small bubbles to simmer the dish.
Top tip? Place a wooden spoon over the pan while cooking to prevent the water from spilling out!
By cooking food above the boiling liquid, steaming traps nutrients in the food rather than boiling them off. This method most commonly uses boiling water as a base, but if you want, you can also use broth, wine, or even beer, along with many other liquid infusions to steam your food.
To effectively steam, simply place a pan of boiling water (or other liquid) on your hob on medium heat. Place food in a perforated pan roughly two inches above the steaming liquid. Be sure to space out the food, so it gets evenly cooked and use a lid to keep the steam inside.
A double boiler is really useful for steaming, but you can still create delicious steamed dishes without one.
Although stir-frying might sound impressive, it’s actually incredibly simple! Usually performed in a wok or large skillet, this method simply involves heating a small amount of oil and cooking all your food together, stirring or shaking the pan regularly for an evenly cooked, delicious dish in no time!
Based on the French word “to jump,” sautéing involves cooking your food over a burner in a hot, shallow pan with a small amount of fat, usually used to fry onions. It’s a speedy cooking method, so you’ll need to pay attention and stir/toss the food regularly.
Okay, we all know what roasting is. But while making a roast dinner might sound complicated, it’s one of the easiest cooking methods as all you need to do is set your oven temperature, prep the food, and leave it to cook! A slow process that uses indirect heat to cook your food from all sides, roasting offers plenty of time for your dishes to infuse with flavor so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing with your family and friends.
Baking is almost precisely the same method as roasting but usually takes place at lower temperatures with more sensitive dishes such as cakes, pastries, and doughs. Who doesn’t love a home-cooked Victoria sponge?
If you want a dish you can leave all day for a delicious, tender, freshly cooked dinner when you get home; then, you need to invest in a slow cooker. Simply throw in all the ingredients and turn it on to let the slow cooker do all the hard work for you. A slow cooker is particularly great for cheap cuts of meat, as it cooks over such an extended amount of time that the meat tenderizes slowly and is super soft by the time you take it out.
You can also use a Dutch oven for a slow-cooked dish, although this may take more energy and require more attention than a purpose-built slow cooker.
Another French term meaning “under vacuum,” sous vide cooking is also referred to as “low-temperature long time” cooking. In this method, food is placed in a plastic pouch and sealed with a vacuum sealer or glass jar and cooked in a bath of hot water at a precise temperature. This method can take anywhere from one hour to 72+.
Finally, another method that looks a lot more impressive than it actually is – the humble hot pot. This dish is hugely popular in Asian cuisines and is guaranteed to impress at dinner parties.
Traditionally, the hot pot is placed in the middle of the dining table and fuelled by a portable gas stove, so it’s cooked right in front of your guests. The cooking times are usually a matter of minutes and allow you to socialize as you cook so you don’t need to feel left out.
So there you have it, eight simple yet highly effective and delicious cooking methods that are perfect for when you fancy having a lazy day! Let’s face it, life is too precious to spend hours slaving over the stove and with any one of these techniques at your fingertips, you can be the host or hostess with the mostess!