Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips #3

Slice a lemon or lime lengthwise & yield up to 3x more juice! This and more on today's Kitchen Tips from TheShiksa.com

In our third installment of Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips, here are ten simple fixes for common kitchen dilemmas. I’ve also included a few fabulous tips that readers shared on my last Who Knew? post. Do you have a useful kitchen tip? Please share in the comments below!

1. There’s a super simple, gadget-free way to getting the most juice out of your citrus. Instead of cutting your lemons and limes in half horizontally, try cutting them length-wise. You’ll get up to three times the amount of juice!

It’s true! Check out this video if you don’t believe me. The video was produced by Gourmet Magazine, shared recently by TheKitchn:

2. Keep your crudité (fresh vegetable appetizers) fresh by storing between damp paper towels and then covering the container in plastic wrap. This will ensure that your veggies are still crunchy and fresh when it’s time to eat.

3. Some ovens run hotter than others, so don’t always trust what the temperature setting reads. Find out where your oven stands by taking the temperature yourself with an oven-safe thermometer. Then you can compare the readings and adjust for next time.

4. Rubber dishwashing gloves help create the perfect grip on those hard to open jars.

5. To repair crystallized honey, simply put the container in a bowl of hot water until it is smooth again. Then store it in a cool, dry place. Also, never allow water to get inside of the container, which can ruin your honey by creating mold.

6. Not sure if your oil is hot enough for frying? Test it with the end of a wooden spoon. If small bubbles form around the wooden handle you’re ready to go. You can also check the temperature by dropping a cube of crustless white bread in the oil. If it turns golden brown in about 60 seconds, you’re ready to fry!

7. Separating a large amount of eggs? Try doing one or two at a time into a separate dish first, that way if a small amount of yolk drips into your whites you haven’t wasted your whole batch.

8. You’ve just hosted a dinner party and you’re left with several bottles of wine with just a small amount at the bottom of each. Don’t pour it down the drain! Try freezing it in ice cube trays, then pulling it out later for use in sauces and reductions.

9. Do you add olive oil to the water when you boil pasta? Many of us do, and yet there is no need! Oil rises to the top and separates from the water, which means it doesn’t affect the texture of your cooked pasta one bit. Save that oil for after you’ve cooked your pasta, when you can drizzle it on or use it as the base for a healthy Mediterranean pasta sauce!

10. When using fresh fruit and berries in cakes, breads and pancakes, toss them in flour first. They will distribute more evenly throughout the batter, plus they won’t break open as easily when you’re stirring.

Reader Tips

Here are a few of my favorite tips that were shared by readers on the last installment of Who Knew!

Don´t store tomatoes in the refrigerator, it takes away from the sweet taste. ~ Gilly

Another tomato tip – when you are storing them on your counter, which you should ALWAYS do to avoid mealy, icky tomatoes, sit them on their bottoms. The stem end of the tomato is delicate and you can bruise them when you store them top down. I keep mine in a pretty glass dish and get decoration from them while storing :) ~ Catazure

On a cold day you can have a great pea soup in minutes if instead of using dried peas you use a bag of frozen petite peas in your recipe. It also tastes so much yummier… ~ Ruti

Fresh eggs are almost impossible to peel when hard boiled. There is a solution: As soon as you remove them from the stove, pour off the boiling water and immerse the eggs in cold running water. As soon as they are cool enough to touch, crack the shells. Peel a small bit of shell with the membrane away from the egg. Leave them in the cold water until the eggs are completely cool. They will peel easily. (As the egg cools, it draws cool water between the egg and the membrane loosening the egg from the membrane and shell.) ~ Betty Freedman

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!

Comments (50)Post a Comment

  1. Nice tips, but the oil in pasta water isn’t for flavor – it’s to keep the water from foaming and boiling over. :) Any oil works tho; I usually use a dab of butter or whatever’s handy.

    1. Really Jeannine? I got this tip from America’s Test Kitchen and they’re pretty reliable when it comes to kitchen science. They didn’t mention the pot boiling over issue. I’ve had my pot boil over with oil in the water, maybe I didn’t add enough?

    2. Exactly. The oil keeps the water from boiling over. Been doing this for years. I usually don’t use olive oil but it’s perfectly fine.

  2. A couple of tips:

    When browning ground beef, use a turkey baster to remove excess fat from the pan. I just use an empty can and then throw it away.

    Use a pizza cutter to cut pancakes, waffles, rolled cookie dough, etc. Works like a champ!

  3. Got this tip from our daughter: Store your fresh ginger in the freezer (in a freezer bag). It doesn’t turn moldy and is much easier to grate when you take it out of the freezer and give it a minute or two to slightly defrost.

    1. Genius! My fresh ginger always goes bad before I have a chance to use it up.
      Something I’ve done to avoid wasting ginger is grating a lot of it and packing it into ice cube trays. When frozen, I transfer to a plastic bag and store in the freezer. Ditto with lime juice. I have a lime tree and when the fruit is ripe I have more than I know what to do with, so it’s great to have little lime cubes handy when the tree is bare of fruit.

  4. Tip
    When I brown ground beef, I then put the beef in a strainer, and run water, it removes the fat and then add the beef into the pan. Beef has such a strong taste that it does not harm the flavor

  5. Not sure if I’m posting to your reply or not, and if not, I’m sorry for not being very web savvy. If I am, go me! lol I respect America’s Test Kitchen very much, as well, but this time I think they’re wrong. I usually use somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of whatever fat I have to hand (usually butter or olive oil) and it keeps the foaming to a minimum – doesn’t eliminate it, but keeps it mild enough that I almost never have pasta boilovers. As with anything, of course, your mileage may vary. This explains why it works better than I can: link to antoine.frostburg.edu

  6. Total BS about getting more juice from the lemon cutting it lengthwise. I always like to cut them crosswise, it cuts through the pulp making it easier to squeeze and I get the lemon completely dry, especially if I use an electric citrus machine. The “scientific” demonstration is bogus as well, every lemon is different so you cannot conclude that you got more juice because of the way you cut the lemon.

  7. RE: testing if the oil is hot enough, someone I know worked in an Italian Restaurant in NY. He told me they would test it by spitting in the oil :-)

  8. I will have to try that tip about peeling the egg. When I get one with a stubborn shell, I cut the egg in half and scoop out the egg with a spoon.

  9. Comment on frozen fresh ginger. Don’t let it defrost, it becomes flaccid. It needs to be grated immediately and then returned to the freezer. I cut the root into smaller pieces and freeze in a freezer bag. If you’re after minced, it’s not as important but the thawed ginger is harder to work with.

  10. To keep fresh berries from spoiling, immerse them into solution of one part white vinegar to ten parts water. It keeps berries fresh for at least ten days to two weeks.

  11. How to boil an egg (seriously): this is a great tip especially if you are in a hurry and need to go out and do not want to wait the 10 mins for the eggs to boil. Bring the water to boil and add the eggs. Place the lid on the pot and wait for the water to boil again, then turn off the heat and let eggs sit in the pot & water for 10 minutes. Apparantly this way we get the full nutrition out of the egg and it also tastes different; like more delicate.

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