In-gel digestion has been standardised using a poly(propylene) disposable. We designed a four-step rapid and simple in-gel digestion protocol which is carried out in one self-contained reaction tube avoiding keratin contamination. In order to quantify the efficiency of in-gel digestion, we developed a rapid on-column peptide acetylation protocol. Results show that trypsin in-gel uptake is increased and in-gel digestion is 90% complete within 15 min. We further show that spectrum quality, peptide yield and sequence coverage for mass spectrometric analysis are enhanced. We utilise 2-D PAGE separation of photosystem II from barley to demonstrate that the protocol facilitates identification of highly hydrophobic membrane proteins.