A simple, fast, and reproducible sample preparation procedure was developed for relative quantification of metabolites in adherent mammalian cells using the clonal β-cell line INS-1 as a model sample. The method was developed by evaluating the effect of different sample preparation procedures on high performance liquid chromatography- mass spectrometry quantification of 27 metabolites involved in glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle on a directed basis as well as for all detectable chromatographic features on an undirected basis. We demonstrate that a rapid water rinse step prior to quenching of metabolism reduces components that suppress electrospray ionization thereby increasing signal for 26 of 27 targeted metabolites and increasing total number of detected features from 237 to 452 with no detectable change of metabolite content. A novel quenching technique is employed which involves addition of liquid nitrogen directly to the culture dish and allows for samples to be stored at -80 °C for at least 7 d before extraction. Separation of quenching and extraction steps provides the benefit of increased experimental convenience and sample stability while maintaining metabolite content similar to techniques that employ simultaneous quenching and extraction with cold organic solvent. The extraction solvent 9:1 methanol: chloroform was found to provide superior performance over acetonitrile, ethanol, and methanol with respect to metabolite recovery and extract stability. Maximal recovery was achieved using a single rapid (∼1 min) extraction step. The utility of this rapid preparation method (∼5 min) was demonstrated through precise metabolite measurements (11% average relative standard deviation without internal standards) associated with step changes in glucose concentration that evoke insulin secretion in the clonal β-cell line INS-1.