Have you ever wondered what if you are not making maximum use of your kitchen? You might find yourself getting exhausted every time you make a trip to the kitchen, be it for cooking meals, cleaning and could be something as simple as boiling water.
If this is something you can relate to, then we have the best tips and tricks for you to help you get the work done and still leave you feeling fresh as a daisy!
Mentioned below are some incredible tips and tricks that will help you reap the benefits of all your hard work. Some of these are really simple but concomitantly genius and they couldn’t help but make you go “Woah, why didn’t I think of that?!”.
1. Cover the pot when boiling water
As simple as that sounds, it really helps save your time. Every time we boil water, we tend to bring up the heat to the fullest because we want to get done with it as soon as possible. You can make the process twice as faster by simply covering the pot. What this does is that it traps the heat within the pot, making it boil even quickly.
This step can come in handy when you are boiling water for cooking pasta, boiling vegetables, or heating soup. However, if a recipe asks you to leave the pot uncovered while cooking then it is better you follow the recipe’s instructions!
2. Heat stainless steel cookware correctly to prevent stuff from sticking
Do you find your food sticking to the bottom of your stainless steel pan? Well, that’s because you’re not heating it properly which is causing food to stick to the pan.
Place your cooking pot over a medium flame and allow it to heat for one to three minutes. Then pour a drop of water in the pan and if it forms up into a bead of water and rolls around the pan, that is when you know your pan is properly heated and ready to be used.
However, if your drop of water just sits and sizzles in the pot then you should let the pan heat for another 30 seconds and you’re good to go. At this point, you can add in your oil, tilting the pot so that it coats the sides of the pan too.
Allow the oil to heat up for a minute and then you can add in your food for frying, browning, toasting, and anything else you want, no matter how delicate and it won’t stick to the pan.
The scientific phenomenon that happens here is known as the Leidenfrost effect, which results in heating the surface of the pot to a point where the items in the pan are separated from the surface by a gaseous layer. This gaseous layer is formed as a result of contact between the food and a properly heated pan.
3. Use the correct measuring tool
You need different tools to measure dry or liquid ingredients. Liquid ingredients such as water, oil, or milk are supposed to be measured in a piece of equipment called a liquid measuring cup.
It is a single cup with measurements marked on the wall of the cup. You can pour in the liquid ingredient in the cup and measure upon the mark for exact measurements.
For dry ingredients such as flour, pulses, spices, and condiments such as mayonnaise and ketchup, you should use dry measuring cups.
Dry ingredient cups usually come in a set of different sized cups with the capacity of the cup mentioned on the cup itself. Fill up the cup with your ingredient and then level the surface with the help of a knife, spatula, or a piece of flat-edged equipment.
Measuring spoons, on the contrary, are suitable to be used for dry and wet ingredients both as the minimal difference doesn’t affect the recipe on the whole.
4. Prevent your food from staining the containers
If you often see your food staining the storage containers, spray the surface of the container with a cooking spray and then place your food or leftovers in. This will help prevent the food from staining your plastic container and it will be as good as new.
5. Marinade your meat ahead of time
When you bring fresh meat home from a grocery trip, pack the meat in individual zip lock bags and at the same time, marinate your meat in the same bag. Put your meat in the Zip-Lock bag, then add in your marinates such as salt, pepper, and other ingredients and pop it in the freezer. Then simply allow your frozen marinated meat to thaw a night before you need to cook it.
6. Make your ice cubes look fancy
Make your ice cubes look fancy by placing a sprig of mint, a slice of lemon, or other fruits of your choice in the ice cube compartments. Fill the ice tray to the brim with water and allow it to freeze.
Next time you need ice cubes, they will already have fruit frozen in it. Put them in your drinks to make them look gourmet and impress your guests.
Another way to serve up fancy ice is by getting a nugget ice maker. Nugget ice dissolves perfectly into the drink and gives it a fancy chilly effect. This type of ice is perfect for parties and even formal meetings!
7. Shred your own cheese
You tend to pay a couple of extra bucks when buying pre-shredded cheese, hoping it would save you an ample amount of time. Instead, buy blocks of cheese and grate them in your food processor and store it in a zip lock bag.
This will take you only a few minutes and will help you save those extra bucks. This is how you can have shredded cheese at your disposal at any time.
8. Preserve parsley longer
If you want to preserve your fresh parsley, simply wash and clean up the whole bunch in warm water to get rid of any dirt. Then, shake off the excess water and wrap it up in a paper towel. Place it in a zip lock bag and keep it in the refrigerator for later use.
If you want to store your parsley for an even longer time, remove the paper towel and pack up the bunch of parsley in a zip lock bag, and pop it in the freezer. Simply take it out of the freezer when needed and crumble it over your soups, stews and use it as easy garnish.
9. Clean oily surface easily with flour
Are you dreading the cleanup of the spilled oil? This simple trick will help you make the clean-up much easier. Just dust some flour over the greasy surface and allow it to sit for some time. Then scrape the flour off in a dustpan and your surface will be clean.
10. Clean stains on cups
Do you often see yourself trying to scrub the coffee or tea stains off of your cups with no success? All you need to do in this situation is pour enough water into your cup to cover the stains and sprinkle some baking soda. Scrub the baking soda in the cup and wipe it clean with a cloth then rinse. Repeat this process if needed.
If you need an alternate way, fill up the cup with warm water and drop two tablets of effervescent tablets in the cup and let it sit overnight. The stains should be gone by morning.
11. Rid the Tupperware smell with a newspaper
To eliminate the weird Tupperware smell from your containers, crumble up a piece of newspaper and put it in the container. This will get rid of the smell overnight like magic! Remember to wash your container thoroughly afterward though.
12. Prevent spillage with a wooden spoon
If your pots are boiling over, put a wooden spoon on the rim of the pot and it will prevent it from spilling. The wooden spoon settles the frothy bubbles down and prevents them from spilling over.
13. Rubbing alcohol to clean stainless steel
Soak a ball of cotton in rubbing alcohol and rub it on stainless steel to make it look spotless.
14. Easy microwave clean up
An easy way to clean up your microwave without much hassle is by putting a cup of water in the oven. Heat the water on the highest setting which will generate steam in the oven and any water splatters can be cleaned with a damp cloth. This will make your oven look as good as new!
15. Get rid of the foul microwave smell
Did you microwave something smelly like fish and now you can’t get rid of the smell? We got you covered. Take a damp kitchen towel and pour a few drops of dish soap on it. Put the damp towel in the oven and run the microwave. This will take away that foul smell, leaving your oven smelling fresh.
16. Use ketchup to clean copper
Smear some ketchup on a cloth and rub it all over your copper pot. Rinse it off with warm water and you will have a copper pot as good as new.
17. Use cooking spray when measuring sticky ingredients
Measuring sticky ingredients such as honey in a measuring cup can be a real nightmare. Having to scrub it off afterward is something none of us want to encounter. Instead, spray the measuring cup with butter or oil-based cooking spray so that the ingredient slides right off the measuring cup.
18. Use a spoon to peel ginger
Ginger is one of those tricky things to peel with all its textures and irregularities. Well, it’s time to embrace those irregularities and grab a spoon to peel it. instead of having a hard time trying to peel it with a vegetable peeler or a knife, a spoon will easily scrape off the skin and will get through all the bumps easily, giving you a beautifully peeled ginger.
19. Squeeze citrus through a strainer
I always keep a strainer or sieve near my stove. Whenever I need to squeeze out the juice of citrus like lemon, I simply put the strainer over the pot and squeeze the lemon over it. This strains the seeds and the juice goes through the strainer into the pot. Much less of a hassle than picking out those seeds by hand afterward, right?
20. Use a strainer for perfect poached eggs
Crack an egg open into a small strainer and swirl the egg around so that the excess watery white can sieve through the strainer. Poach this perfectly shaped egg to finally get a poached egg that’s appealing to the eye. You can use the same method to get picture-perfect fried eggs too!
21. Keep a garbage bowl and a bench scraper nearby
Thinking and working smart in a kitchen is of utmost importance. We tend to make a huge mess in our kitchen while cooking and our kitchen is a deadly picture to look at by the time we’re done.
Instead of having a cleaning to do afterward, simply keep a garbage bowl and a bench scraper nearby. This way, you can collect any of the excessive trash off of your counter and into the garbage bowl and then empty your garbage bowl into the trash can when you’re finally done with cooking. You’ll also be saving a ton of energy running back to the trash can and forth,
22. Use an ice tray to freeze usable portions
Do you find yourself struggling with the rock-solid frozen block of stock for half a cup of it? here’s how you can put an end to your misery: grab an ice tray and fill it all with what you think you’ll need most often. For example, you can freeze usable portions of stock, herbs in oil (herb dressing), wine, tomato puree, and anything else that can be frozen.
Simply grab an ice cube and pop as many cubes you think are necessary for your recipe. Simple, quick, and easy!
23. Freeze it flat
Freeze your stuff flat and stack them. Why? Because this way, the stuff you’re freezing be it meat, mince, soups, stews, stocks, and anything else, will take less time to freeze throughout.
The more time something takes to freeze, the more cellular damage it will sustain. Laying it flat will allow the heat to get through the meat uniformly, making all of it freeze at the same time. Science!
If you have a vacuum sealer, use it to seal your raw meat, soups, and stews. Don’t have a vacuum sealer? That’s fine too. Fill in the food in a heavy-duty freezer-safe ziplock bag and squeeze out as much air from the bag as possible. Use your hands to lay out the food as flat as possible and stack it in the freezer.
24. A hassle-free way to slice avocados
Instead of struggling with getting the peel off of the avocado, making a huge mess all around the counter, and wasting a ton of the fruit. Slice the avocado in half, whack the heel of the knife onto the pit, and twist it right out.
Slice the avocado with the peel on with a knife then with the help of a spoon, scoop out the cubes and you will have perfectly sliced avocado with much less of a mess.
25. The Microplane is more important than you think
I think the microplane has to be the most underappreciated thing in your kitchen. There are so many things a microplane can do. It can peel the zest off of your citrus, grated ginger, and garlic within seconds, and give you instant grated cheese whenever you need it.
26. Freeze your meat partially before cutting
A soft, soggy slab of meat can be really difficult to cut. Pop your meat in the freezer for a while before cutting it. The meat will stiffen and cut easily into your desired shape.
27. Don’t throw away the Parmesan rind
Don’t throw the rind of the Parmesan (or any other cheese) away after you have finished the cheese off. Store the rind in a zip lock bag in the freezer. It can be used to enhance the flavor of broths, soups, and stews by adding it to the simmering liquid and letting it cook for 20 – 30 minutes.
28. Use an immersion blender
An immersion blender is simply the most efficient tool to use in your kitchen. It is a handy appliance to help blend your purees right in the pot, getting rid of the annoying lumps from your cheese sauce or using it to blend sauces to make them appear silky and beautiful.
My immersion blender gets all the job time within minutes and makes much less of a mess as compared to a food processor or a countertop blender.
Much easier to clean and much less of a hassle as you don’t have to transport the hot food from the pot to the blender, making your work so much easier.
29. Buy pre-peeled garlic
I know there is not a single person out there who enjoys peeling garlic clove by clove getting their fingers bruised. No matter what the critics say, a dish made with pre-peeled garlic will taste the same with fresh, painfully peeled garlic.
As long as the garlic you are buying is fresh, it will stay good in the freezer for weeks, ready to be used as soon you need them without having to worry about peeling them.
30. Use a scale for baking
You need to be efficient and precise when putting your baking skills to taste. Having the perfect measurement is the foundation of any well-baked food. Using volumetric cups to measure compressible foods like flour is highly inefficient as flour measured with a volumetric cup can have a whooping difference in measurement of about 50%!
Using a scale on the other hand will give you the exact same measurement every single time, giving you consistent results. Moreover, using a measuring scale will require much less cleaning using multiple cups to scoop out different ingredients. Simply place a bowl over the scale and measure all your ingredients one by one in the same bowl.
31. Microwave your cleaning sponge
Just when your sponge seems to be irreparably gross, toss it in the microwave and heat it for a few seconds. Rinse it with water, squeezing out the dirt and your sponge will be good to use.
32. Enhanced grill marks
Do you ever see those beef burgers with beautiful grill marks and wonder why you can’t get such marks while grilling at home? Here’s how you can achieve that at home: add a little honey or sugar to your marinade while or sauce while grilling. What this does is that the sugar in the honey caramelizes and imprints gourmet-looking marks on any food you’re grilling.
33. Instant oat flour
Realizing you are out of a specific ingredient in the middle of a recipe can be super annoying. If one of those ingredients is oat flour, we got you covered. For one cup oat flour, process 1-1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats and process until finely ground. And there you have it! Hassle-free oat flour!
34. Dust with cocoa powder
While baking chocolate recipes, instead of dusting the baking pan with flour, dust it with cocoa powder instead. This helps enhance the flavor and also eliminates the white flour dust.
35. Stack skillets to prevent scratches
While stacking skillets, separate the skillets by putting a paper plate between the skillets.
36. Easy cleanup after canning
If you don’t want to keep scrubbing at the stove after you are done with the canning process, spread aluminum foil all over the stove cutting out holes for the burner. When you are done with the process, simply remove the aluminum foil and your stove will be clean and you won’t be making any extra mess.
37. Sharpen your knives
Having a sharp knife takes your cooking experience to a whole other level. Nobody enjoys working with a blunt knife. Apart from that, having a sharp knife is also very important as a dull knife can slip while cutting which is also a potential hazard.
We hope that our compilation of these 37 tips for a smooth kitchen experience will surely help you out loads. Make use of all these tips to truly make the fullest of your kitchen experience! Happy cooking.