There are many shortcuts we can take in the kitchen but usually don’t. Some we may not know, others we need to be reminded of and some seem way too weird. Below you’ll find a collection of 33 shortcuts you should consider using to make your time in the kitchen a little less stressful.
Avoid Plastic Wrap Battles – Want to make it easier to put plastic wrapping over your food, there is a simple solution! Simply put the plastic wrap in the fridge, as the cold plastic will be easier to work with.
Keep Sliced Fruit From Browning – To keep fruit from turning brown, you can add lemon juice or something that works just as well: mixture of one part honey to two parts water.
Slow “Rotting” Of Tomatoes – If you keep tomatoes at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, they will last longer. Also, you can store them with the stem facing downwards, which will help prevent rotting by keeping air from entering the stem, and moisture from exiting from the stem.
Speed Up The Ripening Process – Shorten ripening time of peaches or bananas by using a paper bag. The ethylene gas gets trapped inside the paper bag causing the fruit to ripen much quicker.
Creative Covering For Food – You can cover food with shower caps to keep bugs and unidentifiable particles from tainting food. This method is reusable and less cumbersome than using wrap or tin foil.
Skim The Fat – Skim excess fat from stocks, sauces and stews with an ice cube. Wrap ice cubes in cheese cloth or a paper towel and skim the surface, so the fat solidifies and is easier to remove using toast or a spoon.
Peel, Pit, Hull
Easily Pit Cherries – Be careful pitting cherries. Put one cherry at a time on top of an empty beer bottle, push the pit into the bottle with a chopstick.
Peel Paper Skin From Ginger – Instead of using a peeler or knife to peel your ginger, you can use a spoon to get into those nooks and crannies to make your life a whole lot easier.
Peel Banana Bottoms Up – If you ever had problems peeling a banana… Flip your banana upside down, press the bottom together and peel it from the bottom up.
Peel Eggshells Easier – To make removing eggshells even easier try adding baking soda or vinegar, both of which will permeate through the eggshells making it easier for the egg whites and shell to separate.
Hull Strawberries With A Straw – Push the straw through the bottom of the strawberry, all the way up until it pops out of the top carrying the hull and white center with it. Any extra leaves can be discarded with your fingers.
Cooking & Cutting
Make Citrus Fruits “Juicier” – You can get more juice from a lemon by rolling it on a hard surface, or by popping it in the microwave for twenty seconds. Get even MORE juice by using a pair of tongs to squeeze the lemon, and cut them lengthwise!
Less Mess Measuring Sticky Stuff – If you’ve ever tried to measure out honey or syrup, it sticks to your measuring spoon and won’t come off. Next time, spray on a little cooking spray, or run it under hot water first, and then measure out your sticky liquid. Now they won’t stick, and you won’t have left over sticky stuff in your measuring cups.
Speed Up Butter Softening – Not everyone has time to wait for the butter to soften at room temperature, which can take an hour. Instead, use a cheese grater to grate the butter, or put it in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to quickly create soft butter that can be spread.
Homemade Buttermilk – If you need buttermilk in a pinch and you do not have any laying around, there is a solution. If you add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk, you will get something very similar, although not as creamy and thick. Helps in making quick breads and fluffy pancakes.
Massively Cut Cherry Tomatoes In Half – Cut cherry tomatoes in half while halving your time by utilizing the “lid trick”. Simply place a large container lid on top of the tomatoes, press gently, and with a gentle, horizontal slicing motion, you’ll be able to cut every tomato in half at once.
Perfectly Poached Egg – Here’s how to make a great poached egg. To make a poached egg that looks nice and tidy and is also delicious, it helps if you use a strainer. One made of metal will be best. This helps remove the extra egg whites. You can also use the same strainer to carefully put the egg in the water at the beginning.
Wooden Spoon Boil Over – Tired of having your water boil over when you are not watching it? All you need to do is place a wooden spoon over the top of the pot. Wood is not a great conductor of heat so the heat will stay away from it, keeping the water down.
Clean Cut Brownies Without Crumbs – To cut brownies into perfectly square pieces, grease a baking pan, line it with two strips of parchment, grease the parchment paper, cook the brownies, and don’t touch them until they are cool. Use the parchment to lift the brownies, then cut them with a knife.
Foam Milk Without Frother – If you do not have a fancy espresso machine but still want delicious milk foam all you need is a small jar with a lid. Add milk to the jar, but not more than half of the jar, and then shake, shake, shake until the quantity of milk has doubled. Remove the lid and place the milk jar in the microwave for 30 seconds and now you have warm, frothy milk.
Warming And Heating
Reheat Pizza Without Drying It Out – To reheat pizza and other baked goods without drying them out, simply place a cup of water in the microwave with them to add moisture to the air. This will prevent items from drying out.
The RIGHT Way To Reheat Pasta In The Microwave – When reheating leftover pasta in the microwave, getting all of it evenly warm is the key. To do this, put a hole in the middle of the pasta like a donut. This will prevent the center from being too cold.
Warming Bread In The Microwave Without Creating “Rocks” – Ever try to heat up bread in the microwave, only to end up with a sad, hard block? This is because it needs moisture to prevent it from becoming a rock. Put a damp paper towel over the bread, and use the lowest power setting, and you’ll end up with warm bread that isn’t too hard to eat.
Save Fresh Herbs For Use Later – If you have too many fresh herbs left over, you can chop them up and put them in oil or water, and then freeze them in an ice cube tray. When you want to use your herbs, simply pop out the cube and you’re good to go!
Quick Freeze Meat For Easier Slicing – Stir fry requires thinly cut slices of meat and veggies. But while veggies are easy to cut, meat can be difficult. Partially freeze the meat first before slicing.
Extend Shelf Life Of Nuts – Looking to keep your nuts fresh longer? Freeze them to keep the natural oils in the nuts from going rancid.
Safety & Organization
Breathe New Life Into Wooden Spoons – After awhile, wooden spoons may look or smell strange compared to what they should be. By putting them in boiling water and drying in sunlight, the spoons should be back to normal.
Keep Wooden Cutting Boards Looking New – A wooden cutting board is a wonderful investment, but with time and use, it may no longer look as fresh as it once did. By rubbing the board periodically with coarse salt and lemon halves, you’ll remove scents and food particles easily. To condition, a food-grade mineral oil applied once monthly will make your board look like new again.
Two Board Concept To Combat Cross Contamination – To prevent cross contamination in the kitchen it is essential to have two cutting boards to prevent uncooked meat juices from contaminating the rest of your meal. Use one cutting board only for uncooked meat and a second one for cooked foods and vegetables. Label each cutting board or purchase cutting boards in different sizes, shapes, or colors to make them easily identifiable.
Cover sharp edges – When storing a knife consider the options available. The best option is to place the knife in a block, keeping it sharp and out of harms way. A second option is to put a wine cork on the tip when in a drawer. This keeps the knife in its place while also not letting it cut your hands while reaching in the drawer.
Keep Sponges Dry – How to keep sponges dry: You can use the clip of a binder in order to keep your sponge upright. When it is upright it will dry faster decreasing moisture, germs, mold, and stink.
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