Mise en place at home

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Joined Nov 22, 2015
  Hey everyone, my first thread here. I am wondering what most of you do for your mise en place at home. I have 5 3/4 cup and 2 cup glass bowls, and use a black 12" dinner plate sometimes. This works okay I guess, but I was washing out all these friggin bowls and ramekins that crowd both my dish drainer and countertop when in use, I thought there must be a better way. When using a plate, my garnishes and small dice veg get intermixed slightly which is an aggravation when I have a teaspoon of garlic accidently mixed in with 2 cups of onion which I intend on sweating or caramelizing over too long of a time for the garlic. Various other scenarios like this happen all the time, especially with Chinese food.

  So my question is if anyone has heard or seen of a "Mise en place Board", I was imagining a product about the size of a cutting board with a setup similar to how we use 9th pans at a station for our ingredients at work. Perhaps the base could actually be a cutting board with holes in the corners for the storage unit on top (Which could have rubberized feet that interlock when in storage) It could have preset compartmentalization (I'm surprised I didn't need a spell check on that one lol) or have a customizable setup. What gave me this idea was looking at a daily medication case. I really just want something that's high grade plastic that I can load with Mise, bang out over the trash when done, and sink wash quickly.

  Anyone seen anything like this for sale, or am I going to the hardware or craft store next time I have to much free time. Also any tips on how you currently organize your mise en place would be helpful as well. Thanks in advance, Josh.
 
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Welcome to the forums.  I use a plate (or two) or another cutting board.  I use a saucer or salad plate for small amounts of ginger, garlic, peppers.  I haven't seen anything like you describe.  The entrepreneur  in me says you should develop such a product if you think you can make a buck!
 
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Joined Nov 22, 2015
  I considered it for a moment, and might make something myself. Maybe get on Shark Tank or something lol; no I'm no inventor, I just cook /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif. That said I have seen threads started by inventors for a few ideas, one I recall was a replacement for side towels to reduce burns (Just work sauté for a day, you'll remember, trust me.). Another thread was asking about creating an all in one spice grinder, storage, measuring, dispensing unit or something of the like, sounds like it will be unwieldy and bulky; possibly heavy. But a compact, customizable, tackle box style tray for mise, coupled with a detachable quality (Possibly end cut.) cutting board underneath; I'd buy that. Inventors out there, just remember to send me a prototype or two /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif  
 
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I don't think I'd use something like that myself. I find anything that has compartments to be a pain to wash by hand.  I have a bunch of stainless steal bowls that stack and store effortlessly and a set of small ones too.  I need everything in little bowls, not on a flat surface.  Stainless steal cleans up much easier for some reason, and even if something sticks I stack them in the sink and soak them for an hour.  Basically it doesn't take up much space and that's all I care about - easy cleaning, easy storage.  
 
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I should note that I have only 6 square feet of workable prep space if that.../img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif  
 
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For me as a home cook, I don't think that I would use a product as you describe either.

I use paper plates, dishes (I try not to though, `cuz I don't want to be washing a heard of dishes), soy sauce dishes (very handy btw for smaller sized ingredients such as 2 minced garlic cloves or spices) or I just use my large cutting board and divvy everything up.



 
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Joined Nov 22, 2015
Yeah paper plates or bowls, thanks for the tip, going to start doing that. My biggest problem is when I stir fry and the order of ingredients are in quick succession and shouldn't be mixed at all or I'll have a few burnt pieces of garlic, or ginger, or whatever bugging me. I can level the ingredients and stack them in order of addition too. Thanks again /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif  
 
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Ugh. Paper plates? C'mon @kaneohegirlinaz. How many trees are upset right now. . . !!!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

About as many fish, I suppose.

Mis en place for a restaurant means the same dish every night, X amount of times. More or less. 

Mis en place at home is different every night.

Versatility wins. 

I use work plates of varying sizes, stackable SS bowls of all sizes, ramekins, sheet pans to collect them all if it gets out of hand. 

Sometimes everything just stays on the cutting board and use a pastry knife to move to pan.
 
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  I saw some square clear glass bowls and that seems like a good idea since they can be interlocked better than my round bowls I currently have. At the moment I haven't really had any problems as I haven't cooked anything with a thousand ingredients I need on hand quickly. I will probably stick to what I have for the moment and if I need to I have plastic shot glasses and cups I can weight the bottom with red beans or something. A tackle box doesn't seem like a bad idea for ethic kits, I have a seprate cupboard for Indian and Asian ingredients as well as baking, but want to compartmentalize it for ease of use.
 
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Joined Sep 21, 2010
For small amounts of a lot of things, I've seen something called a Masala Dabba that's in all the South Asian grocery stores around here. Each little container & the big one they sit in have lids. Good way to wrangle spices, chutneys or sauces in the kitchen.

 
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What about one of those multiple containers bartenders use to hold lemons, limes, etc. I always thought that might come in handy for home use. You could probably get one at a local restaurant supply store. Or ask the local bar to get you one. 
 
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At home I use plastic quart and pint containers just like I use to store mise in my reach in at work. I also save any plastic takeout containers (the high quality ones with the black bottoms and click on clear tops) as these come in very handy to store left overs in my fridge. Both of these are obviously dishwasher safe and reusable.

I've never actually bought any of them, I just save them when I happen to buy something in them. The seafood counter, prepared food section, bulk foods in bins and deli are all sections at the supermarket where you can get them.
 
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One set up i've been using latley is this one, with a tupper and a plastic bag for garbage. It's quick.

Also good the idea of a wet towel for the knife and hands cleaning.

 
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I just use a mixture of small Tupperware containers and some small deli contain from work. I put it all on the cutting board and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready. However I only do this if I have 10 or more ingredients and need to use them very quickly while cooking.
 
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You are not stealing from work are you?
lol, my general manager sold me a case long ago and I use them every day in the home. So to me its worth spending the money, plus I've had that case for 2 years and still only took it down about half way.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2016
I use everything from a large plate to ss portion cups at home. The one thing I would love to find for this is a porcelain or stainless artists palate that has large wells (kinda like a plate that has compartments.) But at home I just use what I have space for because the containers I've used for work are just too big for my needs at home.
 

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