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How much time do you spend cooking on average every day?

I think I spend between one and a half and two hours per day in the kitchen, hands-on cooking when there are three meals prepared a day. I cook from scratch mostly, though I do not usually prepare lunch. And some days I spend a great deal of time prepping in advance amounting to more than two hours- but it averages out.

What about you?


Comments (31)

  • bpath
    5 years ago

    Well, life has changed significantly lately! With our younger one off to college, and my spending my day with my mom at her house or my dad at his rehab, and I often stay for dinner (at least to keep him company and chat with his cronies, if not to eat), my time in the kitchen is spent eating and watching tv, not cooking! DH cooks these days, I make my own breakfast.

    But even before, with the kids at home, my actual cooking time was only an hour or 2 a day, including making breakfast (but not cooking more than eggs), packing lunches for the kids and DH, and dinner.

    I do spend time in the kitchen doing mail, online, reading, or watching tv. More than cooking! And it's not an open concept space lol!

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked bpath
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Bpathome, my two hour figure is my tops more or less- when the house has all four boys- and I have not outsourced any food prep. The question came up in a thread today that touched on open versus closed kitchens. I am a fan of closed kitchens and was thinking that surely people do not spend that much time in the kitchen in this day and age, so why the insistence on open concept?

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  • Terri_PacNW
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    My kitchen is in the middle of the house, at the front door and is open...we hang out around the island a lot. I only make dinner and prep my husbands lunch box M-F. I spend 3-4 hours cooking and baking on the weekends, I cook breakfast and dinner those days as well, that's where the time comes from. I have one left at home. He and his girl friend pretty much fend for themselves except for dinner. They are Srs.


    The short answer- M-F, 30-60 min.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked Terri_PacNW
  • alex9179
    5 years ago

    Circumstances have changed for my family, too. We've been in transistion for a couple of months and, finally, in a long-term temporary place for the last couple of weeks. We're not quite settled. I cook dinner most nights and spend between 30 min to 2 hour w/ prep and cook. Weekends would add 30-40 minutes for breakfast and lunch.

    I used to bake sandwich bread twice a week, baguettes and pizza during cool weather, and cook along w/ an online group. I'd like to get back in that groove, eventually. I always told people that I didn't love to cook, I love tasty food - so I cook. I might have to admit that there's some fun in the process because I miss it. In those days, I'm guessing 2-3 hours a day working w/ some minutes here and there checking. 3-5 times a year I'd spend most of the day prepping several dishes for entertaining.

    We rarely ate out and didn't utilize shortcuts. I'm using more convenience options these days.

  • Emily Jowers
    5 years ago

    I spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours making dinner. Usually about 50 minutes. Once or twice a week, I cook for other things (lunch or breakfast prep for the week, making bread or desserts, etc.) so I'll cook 2-3 hours those days.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked Emily Jowers
  • beachem
    5 years ago

    When we first married, I spent two hours making dinner from scratch after a 16 hr day. It wore me down so I made it a game to create homemade dinners in 15 minutes or less with 3 courses. During the week, cooking including breakfast and lunch prep was 30 mins. Weekend had 3 hrs of cooking prep for the week.

    Now, when I cook, it's about 8 hrs daily for 3 days of the week as I have to do bulk cooking for hubby and his parents. With taking care of my parents as well, cooking averages 4 hrs a day.

    For example, tomorrow will be 8 hrs of making Halloween cookies for in laws and their bday party that night. Sunday will be 4 hrs of making yogurt and testing and 8-10 hrs of baking cookies. Monday will be assembly of 150 cookies for hubby's employees Halloween pot luck. That will take about 12 hrs.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked beachem
  • beth09
    5 years ago

    I don't cook quite like I used to now that it's just the two of us. It depends (mainly on how involved a dinner I make), but can be anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. Usually in the 1-2 1/2 ish range.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked beth09
  • nosoccermom
    5 years ago

    About 1- 1 1/2 hrs per day, just dinner. I don't bake.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked nosoccermom
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Beachem, I got worn out just reading all you have planned this weekend! Then I remembered some pictures you posted a few months ago of everything you were able to make while your kitchen was still under renovation- wow!

    Thank you so much everyone for answering my question. I really appreciate it. It gives me perspective on where my time in the kitchen fits in and also helps me put the open plan kitchen idea into better perspective since time spent in the kitchen alone is often cited as the reason for open concept being important.

  • sheloveslayouts
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Three very simple meals for 3-4 of us 3x/day. We eat out or take out about twice a week. I'm probably in there at least 2 hours a day. I don't linger in the kitchen, but when I'm working I appreciate the time alone and do not want for an open kitchen. I also don't want to see into the kitchen when I'm not working in there.

    eta: whoops. I was including clean up and emptying the dishwasher, etc. Just cooking/making meals I'm probably in the kitchen closer to 1.5 hours.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked sheloveslayouts
  • 2ManyDiversions
    5 years ago

    Though it's just the 2 of us, and discounting additional pastry cooking for others as a hobby, it takes me about 10 minutes to make myself and DH's lunch for weekdays each morning, and about 2 - 3 hours for dinner minimum. Some days I make extra's for meals later that day or week, so add another 1 - 3 hours to that twice a week (from scratch cooking). Every so often I make something that requires a full day of prep and attended cooking. If I re-heat a frozen previously cooked meal, maybe 1 hour. But I've loved to cook since I was a kid, and consider it a pleasure and challenge.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked 2ManyDiversions
  • ILoveRed
    5 years ago

    Like bpathhome...I spend a lot of time with my 91 yr old mom, we are building a home, and with 15 yr old boys busy with activities. How much time do I spend cooking? Not nearly enough.

    And I feel a lot of guilt over it sometimes. Way too much bad food eaten at our house.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked ILoveRed
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    ILoveRed, spending time with your 91 year old mother, your boys and building a house ... your priorities inspire me much more than endless kitchen work. Please reconsider your harsh judgments. What would you say to someone else who wrote what you did?

    Bpathome, I hope things are a bit easier with your parents these days. I imagine the holidays will be wonderful for you and excruciatingly difficult all at the same time.

    2ManyDivisions, wowzers, you are a dedicated, and no doubt talented cook.

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Curry, brilliant idea trying to get the children to cook a meal. I wish I had done that. I have one child who has zero interest in the kitchen. One who likes the kitchen and two who are average in their like/dislike. The one with zero interest is away at school now and only knows how to make tea and toast :-(

    What a great plan for dividing up the cooking between you and your husband. It sounds like it works out well.

  • 2ManyDiversions
    5 years ago

    ILoveRed, I second Rita's comments, please don't be critical of yourself. What you and bpathome are doing is wonderful. I was caregiver for both my parents, and trust me, cooking at that time was not on my priority list. Spending time with your family is to be highly commended these days :-)

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked 2ManyDiversions
  • ILoveRed
    5 years ago

    Didn't mean to turn this thread into a downer. Please forgive. And thanks for the encouraging words :-) I promise to be less critical of myself. Carry on!

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked ILoveRed
  • beachem
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    @Rita LOL I get worn out thinking about it too.

    It's 1pm on Saturday and I just finished the cookies baking for tonight. Here is my prep station, on the sofa in my bedroom. I'm waiting for the cream cheese and butter to soften before making the frosting.

    That tray has been my prep station for everything for the past 3 yrs without a kitchen.

    I have 2 hrs to assemble as much as I can before heading out. I'm going to cheat and buy an apple pie. I just don't have time since I still have gift wrapping too.

    I'll show the photos of the complete creation on Monday for our weekly topic.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked beachem
  • aprilneverends
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    it drastically changed for me..now the ones who cook(not everyday) are my husband and son..I eat:) Well of course I can do simple stuff but very simple. Cooking is much harder than cleaning, in my case..you move more when cleaning(standing is harder..like in that song, from "Orange Is The New Black" lol), and you don't have to be as precise (cutting, etc) and fine in your motor skills. So I do spend quite some time in the kitchen but cleaning is much bigger part of it than actual cooking.

    The only time I do really cook -and really push mysef to-is for holidays. I mentally prepare myself in advance. I start as I wake up since I'm my best in the mornings. I make just a couple traditional dishes/bake/both, depending on a holiday. I try to pick simpler recipees but of course can still take several hours if you count the time one needs to check on everything. With some dishes that take more prep, I enlist help of my family, helping me with this or that. Or I can choose to go as simple as I can, again depending on a dish made.

    Clean up I don't count separately since I alsways clean up as I go. Usually when done, the kitchen will be clean as well. I can't function otherwise, I need everything to be tidy around. That's probably one of the reasons I could never master cooking more than 3-4 dishes simultaneously..:)

    When I was cooking I was usually making more complicated things several times a week but not every day (but I rarely went for something that would require more than 30-40 min prep...), and that would be mostly lunch/dinner. Of course I'd prepare lunches for everybody early in the morning. Until kids were big enough to do that themselves. Some days I'd spend more time on soups and stews and cutlets; and some days it'd be something simple like quinoa with veggies and chicken legs, or some pasta or something easy like that.

    I was never great in cooking but I started getting a taste for it. Trying new things from cookbooks etc. Oh well.

    Breakfast, I consider much easier(well because it is. lol), and if we have guests, I'll make a breakfast for them now as well-it won't be anything fab like my DH does, but as I wake up first...:)

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked aprilneverends
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Oh, april I am sorry for the difficulties you are enduring. I thought of you the other day watching a YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ADQtmkfYJ0 ) about a trip to St. Petersburg (your DH is from there?) I have wanted to visit that city my whole life and am starting to plan a trip for some time in 2019.

  • aprilneverends
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Thank you Rita! I guess it'd be much worse if I had nothing to eat..:)

    yes! DH is from St Petersburg(they're special over there..)) and I'm watching your video with great interest right now lol, even though I obviously visited the city, once as a girl...and everybody seemed very well-mannered in comparison to us then..but maybe not now..and twice, recently.

    It is a beautiful city, it sure was hit hard not once..and was built with quite a lot of sacrifices too. It has plenty of character, and people who were born there and especially lived there for generations, will have this invisible stamp of the city on them.

    They also-for the rest of former Soviet Union folks-have this ongoing funniest competition with Moscow..:) endless source of joy

    I'm excited you want to visit, and it'd be cool if you go-and share your impressions from the trip!

    I spent so many years abroad I'm surprised about silliest things when I go there-even little kids speak Russian! stuff like that

    or-it's not as normal there to just smile to people you don't know as here..I embarassed many people with my smiles and compliments I'm afraid..:) They're nice-but first you need to establish some trust, have some social situation..give it some time.

    Thank you for sharing!

    PS and getting back to the kitchen topics..yes.,that smelt fish is something my DH can't stop talking about..:)

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked aprilneverends
  • Toronto Veterinarian
    5 years ago

    On average, probably 1.5 hours a day (not counting time where I am not involved in the cooking, like a roast roasting or a stew stewing). There are occasional times when I spend more time, like making pot pies, but those are averaged with the times I eat those pot pies instead of cooking a meal. I bake desserts rarely.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked Toronto Veterinarian
  • CurryUp
    5 years ago

    Thanks Rita

    Re alternate cooking weeks: some things you do for maintaining marital harmony :)

    because our grocery shopping, meal palnning, our cooking styles and our clean up routines are so opposite to each other.. in fact that's true for a lot of how we both think and work... so different .... reminds me when we were at Sedona many years ago and got our auras read(it's the new age method where they read the energy you generate as colors ). And our aura reader was amazed that DH and I were Married because our auras were so contrasting, none of our colors matched..except this teeny tiny bit of green ..and she claimed that's what made us click in the cosmic sense. We both had a good laugh about it afterwards

    anyways back on the kitchen : our current kitchen is one cook\one eat space. Wonder if our cookin schedules will change with our new kitchen ....

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked CurryUp
  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    5 years ago

    Even when I was in full Julia Child mode 30-50 yrs ago, I never spent two hours preparing a meal! Yikes! But then I never was a "roast and 3 sides" kind of gal.

    With it just me, and my physical limitations, a "special meal" might take 30 minutes (that would probably mean shrimp/asparagus risotto), or it could mean 10 minutes like last night and tonight. Tonight, it's carrot/ginger soup (from a box - delicious!), and a toasted Eng muffin with chutney and cheddar cheese on it. Dessert? A frozen fruit bar.

    I'm making bean/lentil/veggies soup tomorrow afternoon - will eat on it for a week!

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked Anglophilia
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Curry- An aura reader- that sounds interesting. No trips to Sedona in my near future though. There is an East-West Bookstore in the neighboring town- I might check and see if they have aura readers.

    It will be interesting to see if the new kitchen affects routines. Keep us posted.

    Toronto- Those times are averaged out the times I eat pot pies- Ha!

    April- Did you ever see Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing? Obviously it's about a lot more than Mikoyan's version of hamburgers. I really enjoyed the book.

    Anglo, those Julia Child recipes from the 60s were quite complicated- you are a speedy cook!

  • Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
    5 years ago

    Hi Rita,

    Fun question!

    I am about the same as you, but I also love it.

    I'll have my music playing, a glass of wine, chopping veggies, etc. I also like having the tv on, but on mute with closed caption.

    I'm also in charge of putting leftovers away and hubs does all the cleaning.

    My kitchen is tiny, as we're in a 519 sq foot condo, but I'm a retired hospitality professional, I'm used to working in restaurant kitchens where one has a compact work station, elbows closed, mise en place set up.....

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked Janie Gibbs-BRING SOPHIE BACK
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Janie, I know a lot about tiny kitchens like yours as well. Though I am not a pro by any means, I am all about mis-en-place and clean as you go, otherwise you are toast in my old kitchen- plus my mother brought me up that way.

    I do not love to cook- but I love to eat well and have children- so I cook.

    I have found listening to podcasts makes chopping vegetables a much more pleasant activity for me. If I were to have a glass of wine, I would probably sit down, have some bread with cheese and pick up a book and that would be the end of the home cooked meal! Though in my family a board with bread and cheese and cold cuts and pate is a very acceptable dinner :-)

    I am pretty sure food prepared by someone who is having a great time in the kitchen tastes better than food prepared by someone for whom the task is a drudgery.

  • Mrs Pete
    5 years ago

    I think I spend between one and a half and two hours per day in the
    kitchen, hands-on cooking when there are three meals prepared a day. I
    cook from scratch mostly, though I do not usually prepare lunch. And
    some days I spend a great deal of time prepping in advance amounting to
    more than two hours- but it averages out.

    I'm much like you ... 1 1/2 - 2 hours per day ... a little less on weekdays, a little more on weekends ... I also don't prepare lunch, but leftovers are always available. And when I'm making a wedding cake, I'm in the kitchen non-stop for a couple days.


  • aprilneverends
    5 years ago

    no, Rita, I haven't:)

    but we give a small tribute to that every New Year's Eve:) and that'll be me cooking since everyone thinks his version of Olivier salad is the best one lol

    (of course it's one of the simplest dishes being a salad. just a lot of boiling and cutting)

    many times we do celebrate as a company though, with friends etc, then it will be a kind of a potluck, and LOTS of yummy food. I'm literally a zero compared to some of my friends.

    if they're from different regions even better..a dear friend from Kazachstan taught me to make simple but delicious plov for example after I was smitten with hers

    (a non-simple one takes few hours minimum and is usually delegated to men as they love making it-or so they say. )

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked aprilneverends
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
    Original Author
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    April, it's funny how in French we call it 'salade russe' and it turns out to be a French salad, according to the book I read. I love that salad. I don't love all the dicing - I am not quick with a knife. It takes a lot of effort to make sure everything is diced uniformly for me. I make the salad a lot in the summer.

  • 2ManyDiversions
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Ok, I got curious and looked up salade russe and Olivier salad... they aren't exactly the same but are somewhat similar to the German hot potato salad my Grams passed down, and it has meat in it. DH ate it for the first time the other night and didn't know what to make of it initially, but he loved it :-) Funny how different countries and regions have similar recipes! I love to make a frisée and spinach salad with poached eggs, which is so similar to the 'kilt' or 'killed' spinach salads of the South here in the States.

    Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real thanked 2ManyDiversions