Most arthritis patients get comfort from eating a good meal, yet have difficulty spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing the meal. It's important to use cooking techniques which are simple and efficient. Plan meals you enjoy, but plan at least several days ahead. Plan to prepare extra so you can freeze meals and have them ready for those days you don't feel like cooking.
There are myriad cooking gadgets — utensils with built-up handles, lightweight cookware, Teflon pots and pans, and more — which you may find easier to handle. If that's not what you have now, consider it an investment for your better health. If you surround yourself with an accessible kitchen space and arthritis-friendly equipment and dishes, you will be inclined to cook more often and eat better. Here are some kitchen and cooking tips:
Your stove should have controls on the front of your range so you don't have to reach the back panel to turn it on or off.
You can buy one of the electric cookware products (e.g., electric fry pan, electric wok, electric grill) and sit while cooking.
In the summer, outdoor grilling also allows you to sit down while keeping an eye on the barbecue.
By attaching small casters to the bottom of a cutting board, you can change it into a transporting board, to help you move heavy pots along your counter top to the sink or wherever necessary.
Boil potatoes before peeling them.
To peel hard-boiled eggs, run the eggs under cold water after they're done cooking. The shells come off without a struggle.
To drain cooked spaghetti easily, some people put a colander in the cooking pot then add spaghetti. Once the spaghetti is done cooking, you just need to lift out the colander. There are also pasta pots with strainer holes in the lid.
Slow cookers or Crock-Pots are very arthritis friendly.
Use an electric knife to cut meat, especially large roasts.
Get your store or butcher to pack meat in portions you will use so you don't have to cut them and divide them again before freezing.
Sign up for a newsletter from a Web site geared toward making cooking easier. You will get tips and recipes delivered to your e-mail, and you won't get stuck in the rut of making the same old meal too many times in any given week. For example, check out Busy Cooks at About.com (
Once you realize arthritis requires that you do things differently and more simply, don't be afraid to learn how to best accomplish simple living. The examples given only tap the surface of what's available to you. There is so much written about meals in minutes, in large part because busy men and women who work outside the home need that kind of help. You, as a person with chronic arthritis, benefit from the flood of information about quick cooking because you need the same kind of help in the kitchen.