Life is hard enough as it is, and the kitchen is a place that should be warm, welcoming and a place to create some wonderful food at the start of a long day and perhaps at the end of a long one. The following are 13 brilliant hacks to make your time in the kitchen stress free and as productive as possible.
1. Rotten Tomatoes
Do you find that your tomatoes start to rot very quickly, maybe after a few days in the fridge? The best way to stop this is to store them with the stem facing downwards. This will prevent air from entering and moisture will not exit as rapidly as it would if the stem was facing up. Also try storing tomatoes at room temperature instead of inside the fridge to make them last longer.
2. Brown potatoes
Do you find your potatoes turn brown if you leave them in the open even for a few minutes after cutting them? This is because the starch that releases from potatoes oxidizes in the open air. To prevent this from happening, pour cold water over your bowl of potatoes before cooking to keep them looking fresh.
3. Hard sugar
Does your brown sugar become hard and lumpy sometimes? Store it in an airtight container with a slice of apple or an orange peel. The other method is to microwave brown sugar next to a small glass of water, and the moisture from the microwave will help to break up the hard lumps of sugar.
Not sure if those eggs in your fridge are still fresh enough to eat? Don’t worry, there is a simple method to find out instantly. Simply place the raw eggs in a bowl of cold water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it’s good to eat, but if it floats then throw it away!
Tired of wrestling with a peeler to remove the skin of ginger? Use a spoon instead, it’s much easier to maneuver.
6. Soften butter
If you are in a rush in the morning and want to soften your slab of butter, cut it into smaller pieces. The greater surface area will make the butter soften faster. If, on the other hand, you find that you have over-softened your butter instead, revive it by giving it an ice bath. This is done by placing the butter in a small bowl and placing that in a larger bowl that is filled with ice and cold water. Easy and rapid results!
7. Avoid spills
If you want to be sure your liquids won’t spill or boil too much, place a wooden spoon across the pot. This works because wood is not the best material for conducting heat and so the hot water keeps away from the handle of the spoon, and therefore, the top of the pot. So it would be wise to invest in a number of wooden spoons by comparing their prices on websites such as Idealo. To quickly clean your wooden spoons after they have been in use for a while, boil them and leave out to dry in the sun.
8. Heat baked food
When you want to heat up leftover pizza or any other baked goods, place a glass of water in the microwave along with the food as the water will add moisture to the air and will prevent the food from drying out. Similarly, when heating up bread in the microwave, wrap it in moist paper towels to retain moisture.
9. Cold cocktail
When you want to reduce the temperature of some wine or cocktails, don’t add ice cubes as this will dilute the drink. Instead add a few of frozen grapes for the same results.
10. Smell remover
Do you find that after cooking with garlic and onions, your hands remain smelling of these not-so-delicious smelling ingredients all day? A quick way to remove all traces of these scents is to rub your hands with lemon juice, baking soda or even stainless steel. When you touch stainless steel the molecules from it bind with the garlic or onion molecules on your hand. It’s quite a genius tip to have at the back of your mind when cooking!
11. Clean Microwave
Do you find it hard to remove hardened food bits from inside your microwave? Simply soak a sponge in water and put it into the microwave, and run the microwave for a minute or so. This will loosen all the grime from inside the microwave making it easy to wipe away everything. Another great benefit of this kitchen hack is that microwaving a wet sponge will disinfect it instantly. A clean electrical appliance and a clean sponge will be the result of this one quick move.
12. Separate board
Cross contamination between meats and vegetables is the fastest way to fall ill. To avoid this, have one board to chop meat and another one to chop raw fruit and vegetables. Even different colored boards will work.
13. Sharp knives
While the best way to store sharp knives is a wooden block as it protects them and keeps the blade from dulling, knives can also be stored in drawers. If you do this then try fitting a wine cork on the sharp tip of the knife. This will stop anyone mistakenly hurting themselves when rummaging through the drawers while also stopping the knife from moving around too much when the drawer is opened.
These 13 hacks are brilliant because they are simple and also because they save you plenty of time and make your life as stress-free as possible. By using these hacks you will have more time to think about what to cook and less time to worry about annoying smells, rotten eggs and hardened sugar!
Korie Cantor is a writer who writes about living and lifestyle. She possesses a great sense of style and loves to share her thoughts about fashion and it’s latest trends. Follow her @koriecantor