When you spend most of your days in the kitchen, like I do, you pick up some helpful tips along the way. I’ve decided to share these nuggets of cooking knowledge in a regular feature on the site: Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips. In our first installment, I’m sharing ten simple fixes for common kitchen dilemmas, from hardened brown sugar to burned rice to broken cakes and more. I’d love to hear your own kitchen tips in the comments, please feel free to share!
1. The next time you’re a little heavy handed with the saltshaker while making soup or sauce, try dropping in a raw, peeled potato. It will absorb some of the excess saltiness.
2. Tired of brown sugar hardening in the bag before you have a chance to use it? Put a couple of marshmallows in the bag to keep the sugar soft (if you keep kosher, make sure they’re kosher marshmallows!).
3. Onions and garlic are super important ingredients in many recipes, but chopping them can leave an odor on your hands for days to come, no matter how much hand soap you use. Try rubbing your hands with a stainless steel spoon when you’re finished, they’ll smell squeaky clean again.
4. Cooking rice seems simple enough, but it’s actually pretty easy to burn. If you find yourself in this predicament, put a piece of white sandwich bread on top of the rice for about 10 minutes to absorb the burned flavor. When serving, be sure to leave out any rice that may have burned to the bottom of the pan.
5. Because of their opaque shell, it’s difficult to tell if an egg has gone bad. An easy way to know if they’re still safe to eat is to place them in a dish with about 4-5 inches of water. Fresh eggs will sink, rotten eggs will float, and eggs that stand upright should be used immediately.
6. Bananas can both help and hinder the ripening of other fruits. If you want something to ripen faster, put it in a brown paper bag with a banana. If you’re not in a hurry, keep bananas separate so that your apples and oranges aren’t overly ripe before you’re ready to enjoy them.
7. Did you break your cake while rushing to remove it from a pan? Simply use your frosting as a binder. Seal the assembled pieces back together and pop the cake into the fridge for about an hour. No one ever complained about too much frosting anyway…
8. To keep parchment from rolling up on your baking sheets before dropping your cookie dough, you can use magnets, cooking spray or even water to seal it down.
9. Bundt pans can be used for more than just cakes and breads. How about using one to help your chicken stand while roasting? Or for keeping stuffed peppers upright while they bake?
10. Does your new cookbook keep turning pages on its own, causing you to lose your place? Stand it in a napkin holder so your hands are free for cooking and chopping.
Do you have a favorite kitchen tip to share? Leave it in the comments below! Your tip might be featured in my next installment of Who Knew!