By Allison Sadlier // SWNS Staff

W/ VIDEO + INFOGRAPHIC

One-third of Americans can whip together an “ultra-fast” dinner in just 10 minutes or less, according to new research.

Egg sandwiches, grilled cheeses, hamburgers, hot dogs and microwave meals were all common dinners respondents said they could whip together in a pinch.

A study of 2,000 census-balanced Americans examined how people are attempting to get creative in the kitchen as the pandemic continues.

Many respondents will play mind games with themselves as they cook, with two in five (42%) pretending they are on a cooking show to see just how fast they can put dinner on the table.

It’s no surprise that 61% of respondents are pretty proud of their quick skills in the kitchen and 46% even have secret “cheat codes” to pull meals together at lightning speed.

Forty-three percent said they opt to incorporate pre-made ingredients into a recipe to shave valuable minutes off the clock and over a third (37%) prep part of their recipe in advance.

Nearly two in three said they expect their meals to be quality without sacrificing too much time (61%) and that in the ideal world, every meal would be delicious and quick to make (62%).

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of fresh-dried mashed potato maker Idahoan Foods revealed those crafty shortcuts definitely come in handy as three in ten cook nine or more meals a week for themselves or those they live with. 

With so many plates to make, not all of them will be up to the chef’s standards. One in two respondents confessed to sometimes being disappointed in their own cooking.

Some respondents even face culinary critiques from others at the dinner table. The harshest critics within respondents’ own homes were their spouses and partners (34%). 

Following closely behind for cooking complaints were respondents’ kids (33%) and parents rounded out the top three (21%).

Fifty-six percent admitted they sometimes feel like they have to sacrifice flavor and healthy options for something quick and easy.

A spokesperson for Idahoan said, “It makes sense the majority of Americans are getting creative to save time in the kitchen, but it’s also no surprise they sometimes end up disappointed when cutting corners. Saving time only works when it doesn’t come at the expense of quality.”

Two in five (43%) revealed the pandemic has sapped them of their culinary inspiration since they’ve had to cook so much more often.

Respondents were most commonly tapped out by May or June 2020 so they’ve been running on 

fumes ever since.

Nearly two in three (64%) said they’ve developed a craving for comfort food during the pandemic and 58% think they would cook more often if they had easier and healthier side dishes to add to their meals.

The spokesperson for Idahoan added, “People haven’t grown tired of good food but are feeling fatigued when it comes to the time that goes into making it! We’re seeing people move on from trends like bread baking and pickling in favor of finding a way to put dinner on the table fast while keeping the whole family happy.”   

 

TOP SHORTCUTS TO MAKING DINNER

  1. Incorporating pre-made ingredients into the recipe                               43%
  2. Making part of the recipe in advance                                                    37%
  3. Substituting recipe ingredients with other choices                                35%
  4. Cook using a different appliance (grill, stovetop, etc.)                          30%
  5. Cook the meal at a different temperature than recommended             26%

 

TOP ELEMENTS OF A DISAPPOINTING MEAL

  1. Lack of flavor                                                              42%
  2. Not cooked properly                                                   39%
  3. Didn’t live up to expectations                                      29%
  4. Too mushy                                                                  28%
  5. Bored of the meal                                                       27%
  6. Didn’t make enough to be filling                                 19%
  7. Complaints from those that were cooked for              15%
  8. Others didn’t finish their plates                                   14%
  9. I didn’t finish my plate                                                 13%

 

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