In our fifth 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 opens in a new windowWho Knew? post. Do you have a useful kitchen tip? Please share in the comments below!
1. Are your fingertips stained from peeling roasted beets or handling berries? Rub a slice of raw potato on your hands to rinse color away.
2. There’s a reason why cake, bread and pie recipes call for eggs, butter and other dairy at room temperature. At room temperature, these items form an air-trapping emulsion needed to create light and fluffy treats. Cold ingredients do not incorporate smoothly or evenly, which can lead to dense and dry baked goods.
3. When grilling meat, always use tongs for turning to avoid piercing the meat and losing some of the flavorful juices. Also, wait until your food is nearly finished cooking before brushing on sweet sauces (like honey-based sauces), which may burn before the inside is thoroughly cooked.
4. Does your pasta tend to turn out sticky and overcooked? Try using a larger pot. Small pots of water cool down quickly when pasta is added, which means it takes more time to bring the water back to a boil. This can result in clumps at the bottom of the pan, which can create sticky or mushy pasta.
5. The next time you need fresh ginger, try peeling it with a spoon. It’s much easier. Just pull the edge of the spoon across the skin. This method is also better for maneuvering around the nooks and crannies than a traditional peeler.
6. Only use nonstick pans, which transfer heat more slowly, for cooking delicate items like eggs, breaded foods or fish. Otherwise, stick with stainless steel or cast iron, which are better for browning meats and hardier foods.
7. Lightly spray your cheese grater with cooking spray to keep cheese from sticking to the blades.
8. Store dairy items, like cottage cheese and sour cream, upside down in the refrigerator. This will slow down oxidation and decrease the chance of bacterial growth. It will also help to keep them from turning watery.
9. Not sure if your avocado is overly ripe? Remove the stem and look at the skin beneath. If it’s dark brown, the avocado is past its prime. If it’s light yellow, it should be just right.
10. Need to separate some eggs? Make sure they’re well chilled. Cold eggs are much easier to separate.
Here are a few of my favorite tips that were shared by readers on the last installment of Who Knew!
Aluminum foil or plastic wrap tightly wrapped around the stem bunch on bananas adds 2-3 days to them before they over ripen. ~ Doug R.
Break all the bananas apart from the main stem before they are ripe! Not leaving the bunch of bananas together prevents them from ripening too quickly, and you don’t have to deal with broken open bananas when you try to break one off to eat and they all collapse. ~ Victoria P.
(I have tried both of these tips since reading them and they work great! We go through a lot of bananas here at home.)
If you store your Shabbat candles in the freezer they don´t drip when you light them. Freezer to table no mess! ~ Tamara H.
When serving cream for coffee, schmear a bit of butter on the underside of the spout to prevent drips. ~ Karen S.
Keep your nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresher longer. ~ Nancy H.
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!