Best Meal Prep System: PrepDeck

Holy mise en place!

Considering all the work that goes into a great home-cooked meal, it's honestly sometimes a miracle that any of us cook at all. The more elaborate the meal, the greater the prep, and usually, what's left is a post-meal cleanup that has you questioning why you even fired up the stovetop in the first place.

Conventional wisdom says the key to more efficient (and therefore, more enjoyable) time in the kitchen is to keep organized. As anyone who's ever spent any time clicking around the Internet knows, this is called mis en place, the French culinary term for prepping all the ingredients you need for a recipe. It's an especially useful concept in professional kitchens, where line cooks at prep stations must expedite hundreds of dishes over the course of a service, and do so in a consistent and and orderly manner. 

If you're looking to recreate some of that restaurant magic at home, check out PrepDeck, the just-released all-in-one professional prep station for the home cook. A kitchen perfectionist's dream setup, it's got everything needed to measure, prepare and store ingredients as you go, containing 45 different features and accessories in a compact case that's pretty enough to be displayed on the kitchen counter when not in use. The Indiegogo project hit its funding goal in a mere 14 hours, but if that's not enough to convince you, here are five things PrepDeck can do your normal cutting board wish it could.

It will keep you organized and tidy. Fold the cutting board out and you'll reveal a brilliant modular system of containers for storing ingredients before they hit the pan. This includes large, medium and small plastic containers that can fit in the system or stand on its own, meant to hold everything from diced vegetables to pre-measured herbs and sauces.

It has a built-in spot for kitchen scraps. The secret to easier cleanup? Cleaning as you go. PrepDeck's integrated trash compartment serves as an easy way to sweep trimmings out of the way  while you prep. When you're gone, cleaning is as easy as sliding the compartment out.

It can juice, zest and . . . do a lot of other things. What you may not realize is the PrepDeck is more than just a cutting board with prep containers. The system also includes an accessory drawer that slides out to show a whole host of useful kitchen tools, from a zester and slicer to a grater and a dedicated juicer. The tools are made to fit atop the containers, which makes prep even easier.

It holds your tablet or phone for easy recipe access. An add-on gadget stand makes referencing recipes effortless. Not following a recipe? You've got a makeshift TV stand now.

It disguises itself as a sleek modern kitchen accessory. Perhaps PrepDeck's greatest strength is that it's aesthetically pleasing even when it's not in use. While the cutting board is magnetic and easily removable, it also serves as the cover for the system. Available in rose, mint and walnut, or black or white marble, there are enough options here to go with any kitchen, no matter the size or look.