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Old 04-01-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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How do you cut down on the number of pots to use?

I have two pots boiling up water right now, one's smaller than the other. The small one's for my frozen vegetables and the bigger one is I'm using first for potatoes and then for 1-minute rice. Then I'm using either a pan or the oven to cook up some salmon.

This probably doesn't seem that overwhelming, but in the future do you guys have any tips on reducing on the number dishes to use?

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Old 04-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #2
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Make stew. One pot.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:50 PM   #3
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How about using your microwave to take up some of the slack? Our microwave, for instance, has settings for rice (perfect, by the way), fresh vegetables from soft to al dente, baked potatoes, etc. You could utilize your microwave to do some of the tasks you might do on your stovetop. Then, your cookware would be freed up to do other jobs.

You would also save time and energy. Where's the down side to this?
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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I always do my frozen veggies in the microwave. I don't add any water and just a little butter with the veggies in a 2 qt. covered casserole dish. They come out great! They don't get saturated in water that way. While it will still require a dish, it does free up stove top space and sauce pans if you are limited on them.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:16 PM   #5
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There are many "one pot" meals. Soups, gumbo, jambalaya, stews etc. Coq-au-vin etc. Then there is the Crock Pot..endless ideas there!

Enjoy
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:46 PM   #6
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The cooking method dictates the number of pans you use. You are making potatoes, rice, vegetables, and salmon. That would dictate four different vessels if you want everything to be done at the same time.

You can reduce the number of pans if you cook the different parts of the dinner sequentially rather than concurrently but then you have to deal with reheating or keeping parts of the meal warm, not to mention some dishes will not do well if cooked too far in advance of service.

If you want one pot meals, you can switch to that kind of cooking. There are cookbooks that cover that subject.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:55 PM   #7
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I have a rice cooker. There is a steamer insert that fits into the top rim of the rice bucket. Therefore, I can cook my rice and steam my vegetables in the rice cooker at the same time. That eliminates two of your pots. Or I could conceivably stir fry the vegetables in my wok and steam the salmon in the steamer insert.
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caine
I have a rice cooker. There is a steamer insert that fits into the top rim of the rice bucket. Therefore, I can cook my rice and steam my vegetables in the rice cooker at the same time. That eliminates two of your pots. Or I could conceivably stir fry the vegetables in my wok and steam the salmon in the steamer insert.
You've just replaced the two separate pots with a rice bucket and a steamer insert.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:35 AM   #9
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How many pots-n-pans you need to prepare a meal depends on the menu - and as AndyM. said ... if you want it all "done" at the same time. You could prepare your entire menu of veggies, potatoes, rice and salmon in one skillet ... but you have the problem of keeping them "hot" while the next item cooks ....

As others have suggested - you might want to check into the world of "one pot" or "Crockpot" meals ... if you only want to clean one pot.

Using the microwave means you still have a dish to wash .... doesn't really save over a pot on the stove.

Oh, and Caine - if you go back and read what Easton originally said ... how do you reconcile using a rice cooker for "Minute Rice"?
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:18 AM   #10
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Easton: My poor dear Easton, they designed dishwashers for one meal clean-ups. Here are some of the tips that have been posted around DC:

Cook 3 lbs of ground beef (with or without seasonings depending on your needs), drain the fat, cool, divide into three portions and store in ziploc bags. You can store it in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze it and use as needed.
You can follow this procedure for rice as well. (cold cooked rice is called for in fried rice recipes)
You can boil potatoes too. But you should not make them into a recipe until the day that you are going to eat them because your mashed potatoes or potato salad will get watery. Twice baked potatoes would be good.
However there are many vegetables which cannot be cooked in advance and stored.
Many people buy aluminum pans for cooking lasagna because of the clean-up and because many lasagna recipes make two pans full and one can be frozen and used for another meal.
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