Being lazy usually gets a bad rap. But the recent popularity of lazy cooking (#lazycooking and #lazygirldinners) tells a different story. In our busy post-pandemic lives, consumers are embracing quick and easy ways to get meals on the table.
Here’s the key: “Lazy” in this context doesn’t translate to eating ravioli straight out of the can. It means making smart or clever adjustments that make cooking quicker and easier.
Think of it as pandemic cooking 2.0—good, healthy food made convenient. It’s all about sheet pan dinners, pressure cookers and any meal you can make in one vessel. It likely involves fewer steps and fewer ingredients. And it may involve any number of hacks to help create meals faster and easier.
So many of us loved the time-and labor-intensive recipes and techniques we tried during the pandemic (hello, sourdough bread), but not everyone has the time or energy these days.
What’s more, many people have newfound appreciation for the importance of self-care. They’re a little more accepting of the fact that we don’t always feel like cooking a complicated gourmet dinner at the end of every busy day.
What is It?
To be certain, lazy cooking isn’t a trend reserved for people who don’t like to cook. When GWI Zeitgeist surveyed consumers who follow food brands, influencers, chefs or food personalities online, the #1 food-related content they said they’re looking for online even a year ago was “simple recipes with few ingredients or steps.”
And it’s important to remember that even though demands on our time have changed since the height of pandemic quarantines, everything we learned about good flavor and different cuisines has not.
“(Lazy cooking) doesn’t mean it’s uninspired or uninteresting,” points out Leigh Ann Schwarzkopf, principal of Project Partners Network. “It just has to involve simple steps and great ways to produce good food.”
Healthiness is also an important factor in the current convenience cooking movement. Many online chefs and food influencers make a point of incorporating healthy ingredients and preparations, as well as limiting salt and fat.
Role of Housewares Products
There’s plenty of lazy cooking recipes and hacks on social media these days, and the online trend is a good opportunity to spotlight housewares products that can help lighten the load for at-home chefs.
There are countless options, but an obvious category is appliance workhorses such as slow cookers, pressure cookers, air fryers and countertop grills. For extra bang for your buck, there’s even Zavor’s Crunch Air Fryer Oven, which provides the convenience of seven kitchen electrics in one unit: air fryer, grill, rotisserie, dehydrator, toaster oven, roaster and convection oven.
Handheld kitchen gadgets can also greatly reduce time and energy in the kitchen. Now’s a great time to feature clever new devices like FinaMill, the world’s first electric spice mill that grinds whole spices of all shapes and sizes.
There doesn’t even have to be anything high tech or fancy about making delicious lazy-style meals—sometimes all it takes is a classic vessel. Take this artisan dutch oven from Gibson Homewares, which moves easily from gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktops to ovens up to 500 degrees.
When evaluating a product’s convenience, respondents to the 2022 IHA Market Watch survey said ease of use was the most important attribute. 92% said ease of use was very or somewhat important, followed by speed (83%), more precision (80%), more control (78%) and automation (47%).