I can never get enough kitchen tricks and hacks. I love finding new ways to do everything just a little bit better and more efficiently. Here are 41 Kitchen tips & tricks to get you started.
#1. Never sear meat in a non-stick pan: It won’t brown nicely – you may end up with splotchy, grey meat.
#2. Never heat non-stick pans past the manufacturer’s instructions (or past medium heat, if you no longer have the instructions).
#3. When cooking crockpot meat, sear first. Use meat with the highest fat marbling to prevent greyness.
#4. Make your own incredible butter. Whip 35% cream until it is firm. Squeeze out the whey. Add orange zest & a splash of juice.
#5. Keep cheesecloth in your kitchen. It’s handy for straining the liquid from yogurt, tofu, and straining whey from home-made butter!
#6. Rub your steak or roast with fresh cut garlic before cooking. Stick slivers of fresh garlic deep into your meat for incredible flavor.
#7. Be prepared! Always keep your pan lid handy for dowsing fat fires – they do happen! (Put the lid onto the pot to smother flames.)
#8. Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen – and learn what to do for different types of fires. (Retweet!)
#9. Use vegetable oil instead of butter in cakes containing dense, starchy fruits and veggies like carrots, apples, and banana.
#10. Next time you make gingerbread cake, try replacing your liquid (but not fat) with ginger beer!
#11. Do as much of the prep as you can the night before for stress-free cooking. (What do you set out in advance?)
#12. To add oil to a dish already cooking, add it to the edge of the pan. That way, it will be heated when it reaches your food.
#13. Make sure fruits and veggies are stored in a refrigerator no warmer than 40 F.
#14. Wash your fruit and veggies before peeling – not after. (Too much risk of contaminating the knife, if you wash after.)
#15. Soak veggies like broccoli and cauliflower in cold water for at least three minutes to make sure contaminants are released.
#16. Add a splash of milk to salted water when cooking to keep cauliflower white. Rinse momentarily in cold water before serving.
#17. Dry your potatoes before mashing by returning them to the pan after draining. Cover. Let them sit on the turned-off burner for 5 min.
#18. When storing fresh herbs, stand the stems in a glass of water in your refrigerator. They shouldn’t go limp and will stay fresh.
#19. For a quick and easy meal, cover uncooked ribs in a roast pan with BBQ sauce and 1-liter coke. Cover and simmer at 325F for 2 hours.
#20. Save leftover sauce in ice cube trays. When frozen, add to a bag of the same type of sauce cubes. Reheat and use for quick dishes.
#21. Crack an egg into a bowl. Use clean plastic water or pop bottle. Place bottle mouth against egg yolk – and squeeze to separate from white.
#22. Never over mix muffins and quickbreads. Fold dough with a large spoon until the flour is barely mixed and the dough is lumpy.
#23. Sprinkle your cutting board with salt before chopping fresh herbs. It will keep them on the cutting board. (Share this!)
#24. Store sharp knives in a knife block – or stick wine corks on their tips before placing them in drawers.
#25. If you need to finely chop bacon, put it in the freezer for 20 min. This will make it easy to chop without being stringy.
#26. To test if your oil is hot enough for frying, use a thermometer or stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. (Bubbles=ready!)
#27. Always let meat “rest” for at least 10 minutes when you take it out of the crockpot, pan, or oven. It will cut much more easily.
#28. Get to know parchment paper. Great for lining baking pans or preventing pastry from sticking to your roller.
#29. When rising dough containing yeast, cover loosely with plastic wrap instead of the traditional tea towel.
#30. Run out of baking powder? Combine 3/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
#31. Never slice cake more than 15 minutes before serving. It will not taste fresh and may dry out. (Retweet if you agree!)
#32. Never open the oven door while cooking soufflé. And when you take your soufflé out of the oven, never bang the oven door.
#33. For perfect Baked Alaska, make sure your cake is not warm and your ice-cream is the hard-brick type – not the creamy type.
#34. Learn “base” recipes and then experiment by adding different seasonings or ingredients – basic sauces, muffins, cakes, and bread.
#35. Don’t just bring your butter to room temperature when preparing to bake: Do it to the eggs you’re planning to use also.
#36. Cool your cakes on a wire rack, upside down. (Place rack on the cake; then flip over, holding both sides of the pan and rack firmly.)
#37. Make ordinary cake, cookies, or pancakes special by using heart-shaped Valentine’s Day pans.
#38. Make Valentine’s Day trifle in a heart-shaped bowl (large or individual-sized) for extra visual impact.
#39. When camping, fully prepare soups, stews, and other one-dish items ahead of time. Just reheat while you’re in the woods.
#40. Camp foods that dirty very few dishes: Hot dogs and smokies cooked on a stick, baked potatoes cooked on coals, meats cooked in a roasting cage and s’ mores.
#41. There is no right or wrong cheese for a pizza. Go with what you like and what you have on hand.
Like these kitchen tips and tricks? Check out my Favorite Kitchen Hacks here.