As terrifying as the kitchen may seem, there are Kitchen Hacks to help simplify your life and save you sanity!
For the next edition of The Cooking Class Files, I have round up 26 tips and tricks to make your time more efficient in the kitchen. Even the most experienced chef can benefit from learning a few new tricks! If you have one that I didn’t mention, leave a comment letting me know! I would love to know more creative ways around the kitchen!
Now get excited to be Wow’ed!
*Food Preparation and Storage*
1. Soften Butter Quickly
Grate cold butter with a cheese grater to have softened butter in a flash! Or if grating isn’t ideal to you, cut the butter into small pieces, such as 8, to soften quicker as their is more surface area.
2. Speed up ripening.
Help bananas, peaches or avocado’s go from blah to ‘ahhh!’ in a speedy fashion by placing in a brown paper bag. The concentrated ethylene gas that is released helps them ripen faster.
3. Lengthen the lives of bananas
Wrap the ends of bananas in plastic wrap. For brownie points, individually wrap each one. The plastic wrap helps to block ethylene gases from releasing of the stem.
4. Fresh, Chopped Garlic on Hand
Save time and chop garlic in bulk, then store in an air tight container covered in olive oil, then store in the fridge for up to one week.
5. Make Your Own Buttermilk
Forgot to get buttermilk at the store? No need to worry, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk.
6. Cut Soft Cheese Beautifully
Use dental floss to cut soft cheeses, such as brie or goat cheese with ease. Make sure to use unflavored!
7. Rejuvenate Lettuce, Celery, Carrots and Cucumbers
Toss sad looking veggies with ice chips and a bit of salt to help draw life back! They absorb the liquid and help bring the crunch back!
8. Clean Your Fruits and Veggies – Chemical Free
With a mixture of baking soda and water to remove the dirt and grime from fruit and veggies.
9. Prevent Brown Sugar from Going Hard
To keep brown sugar soft, toss an orange peel or apple slice into an airtight container. For last minute fixes, microwave brown sugar and small bowl of water for a bit. The moisture from the water will help to break down the brown sugar and make it soft again.
10. Don’t Waste Excess Ingredients – Freeze Extra Tomato Paste and Herbs with Olive Oil
Only using a few tablespoons of chopped herbs? Or only half of a can of tomato paste? No problem. Simple add extra herbs to a ice cube tray, then cover with oil olive. Freeze then when ready to use, add cubes to pan and cook right along! Do the same with tomato paste to ensure that can does not go to waste.
11. Get More Juice Out of Your Lemons.
To ensure you get the most out of your lemons, microwave for 10-15 seconds, roll back and forth with your balm on the countertop before juicing!
12. Keep Your Coffee Cup Hotter Longer.
Add boiling water to your coffee mug before adding your coffee, rather than a cold mug and your drink will stay warmer longer! Use with coffee, hot cocoa or warm water as well!
13. No More Icey Ice Cream
Cover ice cream with a piece of wax paper, then peel back when ready to scoop out another serving!
14. Freeze Nuts to Extend Their Life
Soring nuts in the freezer prevents the natural oils from going rancid.
15. Remove Cakes from the Pan Perfectly Every Time
Besides greasing a pan before baking, another sure way to get the cake out of the pan every time, let the cake pan cool on a damp towel immediately once removing from the oven, for a 5 minutes. Then loosen the edges and invert to remove the cake from the pan in one piece!
16. Check to See If Your Eggs are Still Good
Place raw eggs in cold water – if they sink, then you are good to go! If they float, then time to purchase new eggs. As eggs get older, the liquid evaporates leaving a gas inside the egg, which what makes it float.
17. Easily Slice Meat Thinly
Getting ready to make stir fry or Philly cheesesteaks and need thinly sliced meats? Partially freeze meat first then slice.
*Kitchen Safety And Preparation*
18. Easily Measure Sticky Ingredients
Spray measuring cups or spoons with cooking spray or hot water before measure sticky ingredients, such as peanut butter or honey, and easily remove them with no sticking or leaving ingredients behind!
19. Stabilize your cutting board.
Wet a paper towel or kitchen rag, place underneath the butting board and enjoy a wobble free work surface!
20. Revive Your Wooden Cutting Board
Clean your wooden cutting boards and keep them looking new by cleaning with a sea salt then massage in with a sliced lemon. This will remove any food particles and smells that may be lingering.
21. Easily Clean Your Microwave
Microwave a water soaked sponge for a minute or two and see how easily all the gunk in the microwave comes out! Plus it sanitizes the sponge at the same time!
22. Clean your Cast Iron Skillet the Right Way
They say to never soak your cast iron skillet with water and soap – that will strip the seasonings! Rather use a salt rub to degunk!
23. Stand In Funnel
Make a makeshift funnel for filtering dried goods into a container by snipping off one corner of a coffee filter with scissors and open it into a cone.
24. Dry a Sieve quickly.
Baking up a storm and needing to use a sieve multiple times but it is already wet? No bid deal! First wash then dry quickly with a kitchen towel, then place in a preheated oven for a minute. The excess moisture will evaporate quickly and you will be on your baking way!
25. Easily Open Jars
No need to wrestle a stubborn lid of a jar, simply run it under hot water for a moment, wrap a damp kitchen towel around the top to get tighter grip.
26. Get Rid of Fruit Flies
In a small bowl or container, add a few drops of apple cider vinegar and dish soap, then cover in plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the top. The fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the vinegar and the dish soap draws the flies in, trapping them in.
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