Ina Garten's Measuring Cup Tip Cuts Down On Dishes

Cooking and baking at home can be a messy sport, especially for those who might have a less-than-perfect kitchen setup. If you've ever tried baking a pie from scratch in a studio apartment (or any small kitchen space, for that matter) you know the value of using ingredients and cookware wisely. That's why when we heard what queen of home cooking Ina Garten said she does to save on dirty dishes, we were shocked we hadn't thought of it before.

The host and 20-year veteran of her Food Network show, "Barefoot Contessa," as well as the author of several cookbooks, you likely know Garten as the food world's doyenne of easy elegant entertaining. But what you may not know is that you don't have to spend a dime to learn some of the entertaining maven's secrets, as many of her tried and true tips can be found for free online: from her Instagram profile to clips from her shows on YouTube, via the Food Network, and beyond.

A classic Barefoot Contessa cooking tip

In a clip of her show, "Barefoot Contessa: Cook like a Pro," that was uploaded to YouTube, Garten explains her simple trick for cutting down on dishes while measuring out the ingredients for a batch of donuts. Garten shares, "I always mix things in a measuring cup because then you can measure and mix at the same time." The Food Network star then goes on to whisk her wet ingredients directly in the measuring cup instead of measuring them out individually and pouring the ingredients into another container, eliminating at least one dirty dish. (A genius move, if you ask us.)

If you plan on trying out this mixing technique at home, it's worth keeping in mind you'll need a large enough measuring cup to hold all your ingredients and then some to prevent overflow while you mix, and you'll have to do some basic math. You may want to start by using a recipe that has only a few wet ingredients (like one that requires all the liquid ingredients to be measured by the cup or half-cup) to get the hang of adding up your measurements. You may also want to keep a conversion chart on hand and hold off on adding any more complicated or smaller measurements till the very end.

Though it may take some practice, we're pretty sure the benefit of following Garten's measuring tip is well worth a little math in the kitchen.