There are so many great ideas that will help anyone improve their cooking skills. While some people find cooking to be a relaxing hobby, many of us just want to get the food ready to eat! These great little hacks will help simplify your cooking tasks and help you lessen the mess in your kitchen as well.
Cover the potatoes you’ve diced or shredded with some cold water before you start cooking to prevent them from changing colour. Polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme present in potatoes, comes into contact with air when the potato is cut open, hence turning it brown.
To keep tomatoes from spoiling very quickly, store it stem end down. This prevents the air from getting into the tomato and does not let the moisture exit the scar where it was connected to the vine. You can make them last longer by storing them at room temperature rather than keeping them in the fridge.
You can keep bananas fresh by wrapping the end of the bunch with a plastic wrap. It is better to separate the bananas and then wrap them. This is done to contain the ethylene gases that come out of the stem, which usually ripens bananas faster.
You can keep fruit from browning with a mixture of two parts of water and one part of honey. You could also keep fruit slices from discolouring with a little squeeze of lemon. The peptide present in the honey and the Vitamin C in the lemon juice slows down the oxidation process which causes discolouring.
Brown sugar can be made to stay scoopable and soft by placing a slice of apple or an orange peel along with the sugar in an airtight container. For fixing it quickly, microwave the brown sugar next to a glass of water. This moisture thus generated inside the microwave with this trick will help break up the many blocks of the sweetener.
To keep unidentified particles and bugs from flying into your food, cover the leftovers with a fresh shower cap. These caps are reusable and are very easy to use when compared to the constant removing and replacing of tin foil and plastic wraps.
To check if raw eggs have gone bad, take the eggs and gently press them down in a bowl of cold water. If the eggs you put in the bowl sink to the bottom, then it means that they are perfectly fine. When an egg gets older, the liquid found inside the egg evaporates through the tiny shell that is porous, leaving a gas bubble inside. Therefore, the more it floats, the older the egg is.
Easily remove the seeds from vegetables such as pumpkin and squash with your ice cream scoop. This is because the edge of this scoop is very sharp and it cuts through the gooey and fibery stuff inside the squash. It’s, therefore, easier and less messy than doing it with your hand or a spoon.
From a batter or bowl of cracked eggs, scoop up bits of broken eggshells with an already cracked eggshell. With a large piece of an eggshell, gently ladle out the broken piece of shell from the bowl. This will make the process easier since the shell acts as a magnet without wasting too much egg to draw up shell pieces.
By skimming a few ice cubes along the surface of the stews, stocks, and sauces, you could spoon out excess fat. The ice cubes must be wrapped in a cheesecloth or a paper towel. This makes it easier to remove that fat with a spoon or even a piece of toast as the ice helps to solidify the fat.
Peeling a potato can now be done without a peeler! First, boil potatoes and then, place them in an ice bath. You can pick the skin right off as the skin will separate from the flesh, making it easy for you to peel the potato in a couple of seconds.
Stone fruits like nectarines and plums should be firstly cut into two halves. Twist these halves in opposite directions. After that, just use your thumb for popping out the pit. In case your thumb cannot do this job, gently take it out using a butter knife. You could also cut the fruit into quarters for separating it easier.
Add vinegar or baking soda to the water you’re boiling your eggs in. This way, removing the shell will become a lot easier. Both of these compounds permeate the shells and help the albumen (egg whites) separate from the eggshell.
You could use a straw to hull strawberries. Gently press the straw with your hand through the bottom of the strawberry until the straw comes through the top and takes the white part (the hull) off the centre of the berry along with it. You could remove any leaves using your fingers.
To slice corn kernels off the cob, use a bundt pan. Place the pointy end of a cob in the hole in the centre of the pan. The open part of the pan should face up. Push the cob downwards to remove the kernels. The pan is good at both acting as a stand and as a kernel collector.
Freeze onions before cutting them to stop the tears induced by them. But remember, this trick will only work if you are planning to cook a dish with the onions later, otherwise, after they thaw out, the raw pieces might get a bit soggy. Another idea is to put a slice of bread in your mouth but having it stick out so that it absorbs the irritant gas before reaching your eyes.
If you need to open a stuck jar lid, wrap a rubber band around the lid and twist it once more. You will be able to get extra traction this way. If your hands are still hurting, cover the top with a dish towel. Give it another try.
Slice soft cheese such as goat and brie cheese with your dental floss (unflavoured). This way, you can avoid smashing them. This cool trick will work for cookie dough logs and cakes too.
You can soften butter quickly simply by cutting it up into smaller pieces. The butter stick softens rapidly when there is more surface area exposed to room temperature.
Place a bottle of crystallised honey in a bowl full of hot water for five to ten minutes to bring it back to normal.
You can prevent overboiling by placing a wooden spoon across the top of the pot. The hot water strays away from the handle since wood is not a good material for heat conduction.
For perfectly square and clean-cut brownies, grease a baking pan and line it with strips of parchment (one parchment from left to right and one from back to front). You should grease the parchment paper too. After it is cooked, let the brownie sit until it becomes cool. After cooling, use these pieces of parchment to lift it off the pan. Then slice it.
On top of a bottle, place the cherries, one at a time, and use a chopstick to gently push the pit into the bottle.
Use a spoon instead of a peeler to peel finicky ginger root.
Wrap fruits in a cheesecloth while squeezing them for having a seed-free juice.
Learning all these fun cooking tricks along with a little patience will make you a master in the kitchen. Cooking will definitely become one of your favourite activities with these tricks!
This post was last modified on June 1, 2019 11:59 am
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