Tips for Cooking, Kitchen, Food & More

Awesome tips for cooking and your kitchen. With these you will do things more efficiently and easier. Check them below:

Tips for Baking:

  • To level batter in an oblong or square pan: Place your hands on the opposite side of a filled pan and shake back and forth for some time.
  • How to test doneness: Use a toothpick and insert it in the center and it should come out clean or at least almost clean, which means that just a few crumbs stick to the pick.
  • To help a cake rise higher: Make sure all the ingredients you use are at room temperature before you begin.
  • When making a cake or something familiar: Instead of flouring the pan with flour, use a bit of the dry mix along with butter or margarine. That will prevent sticking equally well, and will not look white after the cake/item is done.
  • To cut brownies hot from the oven: Use a plastic knife.

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Tips for Cookies:

  • To blend cookie ingredients evenly: Bring the ingredients to a room temperature before using, like fats such as shortening, eggs and butter.
  • To bake cookies evenly: First make sure the cookies are the same size. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through when baking. If you are baking with more than one sheet of cookies at a time, then reverse the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the process of baking.
  • To make quick, even-size balls of dough: You can use  large melon baler, a small ice cream scoop, or measuring tablespoon.

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Tips for Cleaning:

  • Clean a roasting pan by first generously coating the surface with baking soda. Then combine 3/4 cup of hot water and 1/4 cup vinegar, and pour it onto the soda. It should fizz the pan clean!
  • Here’s a quick tip for cleaning kitchen and bathroom faucets. Wipe them down with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Clean and disinfect the surface of your butcher block by wiping with a solution of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Do not let water sit on the surface and do not submerge board in the solution for more than a moment. This could cause the block to split or swell. Squeezing a touch of lemon juice on a butcher block will help to eliminate odors. Condition block by rubbing with mineral oil using a soft cloth, after block has dried. Allow oil to soak in for at least ½ hour before wiping surface down. Do not use vegetable oil or animal fat as they may turn rancid.
  • Mildly acidic, distilled white vinegar can be added to dishwater to cut through grease. Mix with warm water and it makes an excellent non-streaking solution for tile floors and glass surfaces. It’s also an effective rinse for removing soapy film from countertops, woodwork, and stovetops.
  • After washing your wooden salad bowl in warm water, dry thoroughly, then rub inside & out with wax paper. The wax paper will keep the surface of the bowl sealed.
  • Do hard-water spots on your stainless-steel sink seem almost impossible to remove? If so, try this handy tip! Wipe them away with a sponge soaked in a mixture of 3 teaspoons laundry detergent and 1 cup warm water. Another option: Wipe down with a cloth dampened with white vinegar. Wipe dry quickly to prevent additional spotting.
  • Good garbage pail hygiene prevents odors. Line the pail with a plastic bag; drain all garbage before throwing it in the bag. Wash the pail frequently with disinfectant cleaner or hot sudsy water with a little chlorine bleach or ammonia added (do not use both!!). Dry in fresh air. Eliminate odor from your garbage disposer by grinding grapefruit, cutup orange, or lemon rinds while flushing the disposer with hot water.
  • Soak and dissolve is still the easiest way, but a plastic windshield ice scraper is good for prying loose dried-on foods from the floor, table and counter top (if you’re the impatient type). Keep sponges, plastic scrubbers, and dishcloths clean and fresh smelling; every now and then, run them through a dishwasher load in the top rack. This will keep bacteria and smells from accumulating in them.
  • Keep a toothbrush around the kitchen sink, because it is useful in cleaning graters, peelers, beaters  and similar kitchen utensils.
  • Your self-clean oven can clean “anything” that can stand real heat….such as your iron skillets, the grates on your gas stove, any aluminum pans, BBQ grill (grate) but never anything with plastic or wood handles.
  • To clean a soiled sponge: Run it through the dishwasher. Or soak it overnight in bleach water (1 teaspoon bleach per ½ gallon of water).
  • To avoid staining a plastic container: Coat the container interior with cooking spray. This helps prevent stains from tomatoes and other acidic ingredients.
  • To clean an oven spill: Sprinkle with salt as soon as possible. Wipe away once the oven has cooled.

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Tips for Cooking:

  • If you add too much salt to your stew or soup, drop in a raw potato and boil for around five minutes. When you remove the potato, the overt salty taste will be gone as the potato will absorb it.
  • When you are making soup, to absorb the grease, place lettuce leaf on the top of soup while cooking. Remove when the leaf has done its job.
  • Add some vinegar to the water when an egg cracks during boiling. It will help the egg to seal.
  • Sprinkle some salt in your frying pan before cooking which will keep the grease from splattering.
  • For batter that is lighter and fritter: substitute an equal amount of beer or club soda instead of liquid called for.
  • Butter the rim of a pan in which you cook macaroni or rice so it won’t boil over.
  • Dredging in flour is simply when you lightly coat food (fish or meat) with flour in preparation for sautéing or frying. After dredging it in the flour, lightly shake off excess and continue with the recipe. Dredge your ingredients before you are ready to cook them. Dredging and breading is not the same thing.
  • Spray a bit of non-stick spray on your grater before you shred cheese. It will prevent the cheese from sticking to the blade.
  • Never have your rice boil over again. First put the amount of rice and water in a roaster, cover put in cold oven-turn oven to 350F and 25 minutes later, you will get the perfect rice with no mess at all and almost no sticking to the roaster. It really works.
  • A marinade should cover the food completely. If needed, weigh the food down by placing a plate on top of it.
  • Discard marinade that was used for raw meat. You don’t want someone dipping into marinade after it’s been used!
  • Rather than frying, cook the low-fat way – broil, roast on a rack, meat or fish, back or steam poultry.
  • Cut the Fat: removing fat from homemade soup with skimming or a paper towel is a pretty slow and messy process. Simply add 3-4 ice cubes and the fat will congeal around them so you can easily remove it with a spoon. You might need to reheat it a little when you are done.
  • To avoid a mess when cooking thick soups:  Thick soups and pureed soups tend to splatter when they bubble. Protect the top of your stove by partially covering the pan with a lid or using a splatter screen. You can as well loosely cover pan with foil that has been punctured in a number of places so that steam escapes.
  • To cook soup more quickly: Cut all the ingredients into small pieces.
  • Streching a pot of soup that is small for your number of guests: Serve in a wide shallow soup bowls. They can hold a ladle of two only.
  • To rinse or not to rinse pasta: You should only rinse it after draining, when you are not going to use sauce and plan to serve it immediately  and when you plan to use it in a cold dish. In those cases, rinse the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain well.
  • Cooking Pasta:  Boil water until it bubbles, shut fire off, after place pasta in pan stir once to separate, cover and set timer for twenty minutes…after five minutes stir again then cover,wait till timer goes off. This way it is perfect each and every time..
  • To rescue a burning stew:  Pour the stew immediately into a new pot. Don’t scrape any of the stew that is burned from the bottom of the first pot. If necessary, just add more liquid to the new pot.
  • Don’t bother boiling corn: Save the flavor, nutrients and time. Toss husks, corn, silks and all into the microwave, three min per ear on high. Let sit for a couple of min. Carefully handle with a couple of kitchen mitts. Stand next to the trash can, peel off silks and husks in one sweep each side. Butter and enjoy, you will see a big difference.
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Tips for Spices & Herbs:

  • Place garlic in microwave for 15 sec. By doing that garlic skins will slip right off.

  • For bringing the flavor out of the herb try the next tip. Marinate the herbs in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil for around 30 min. Then add to the sauce or stew, it will bring out the full aroma of the herbs.

  • Peeling of the papery garlic skin is easy, just press the clove firmly with knives handle. Placing the cloves in very hot water for some minutes before peeling works too. Store peeled cloves in olive or vegetable oil in a jar and put it in refrigerator. They won’t dry out, and the oil will be nicely flavored for use in stir-frying and salad dressings.

  • Pierce each garlic clove with a toothpick when cooking, it makes them  easy to retrieve especially when they are in a sauce.

  • If your hands smell like garlic, fish, onions or whatever, put some shakes of salt on your palms and rub quickly. They will then wash up fresh.

  • To revive wilted dill or parsley, place in cold water for ten to fifteen minutes.

  • Onion odors can be removed with mustard from  cutting board or your hands. Rub in and rinse off.

  • To keep crawling insects away place Bay Leaves in flour/sugar containers and kitchen drawers.

  • Crush dried herbs between your fingers before adding them to a dish for more flavor.

  • Freeze fresh herbs,cut up green peppers and corn by adding little oil to the plastic freezing bag and mix well. Oil will help to keep them fresh and food stuffs frozen this way separate very easily when you want to use some.

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Tips for your household:

  • To make your house smell great: Take aluminium foil and sprinkle it with cinnamon. Place it in a hot oven and leave the doors open, this will make your house smell great  when the cinnamon heats.
  • Removing hard water spots from tile of any kind and glasses can be done with lemon oil.
  • Cleaning holstery can be done by sprinkling it with soda and letting it set  for a few min. before vacuuming, it will also remove any smoke odors.
  • Use common table salt for cleaning. It can be used to clean stuck on spills in the oven and on  the range. If you need stain out of that white shirt soak it in strong salt water mix and toss it in with the rest of your whites comes out bright and fresh.
  • Place a charcoal briquette in each corner of closet to keep mildew away from must areas and damp. Charcoal absorbs the moisture and mildew needs it to survive. Wiping walls with a cloth that is soaked in vinegar will eliminate mildew, dust and odors.
  • If you are on a low budget make your laundry detergent and dish washing liquid last twice as long by dividing it in half and adding equal parts of ammonia and water to each half. To divide it in half, save an empty bottle. You can use ammonia in a spray bottle 2 parts water 1 part ammonia for any general house cleaning.

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Tips for The Kitchen:

Here are a couple of plastic wrap tips you may find quite useful:

  1. When plastic wrap won’t stick when you cover a dish, moisten the outer edge of the dish before you wrap it.
  2. Keep your roll of Saran Wrap in the freezer – It is then easier to unroll, doesn’t stick to itself until it warms up and is easier to tear.
  • If a sponge or dishcloth becomes slimy or smelly, soak it overnight in a solution of half vinegar & half water, after soaking rinse in clear water and leave to dry.
  • Store cooking oil in a clean and “very well rinsed” dish detergent bottle. Squirt top is better for pouring and best of all there’s no dripping!!
  • Here’s a quick tip for cleaning kitchen and bathroom faucets. Wipe them down with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Save time and mess when preparing a meal by hooking a spare plastic bag to the inside of a kitchen drawer, I just hook the handle of the bag over the side of the drawer and close. You can clear debris into it as you go, so your worktop remains uncluttered. When you’re done you can dispose of the rubbish with one trip to the trash bin.
  • Eliminate holdover odors and taste of food residue in non-stick fry pans by gently scrubbing them with a paste of baking soda and water. Its low abrasive quality prevents it from harming the finish.
  • A thoroughly cleaned squeeze-type syrup bottle is an ideal container for cooking oil. The bottle is easy to handle, and there are no messy drips and spills to clean up.
  • Before using a spoon to stir something sticky or gooey, spray it with non-stick spray. Spray your spatula before frying, your beaters before mixing.
  • How can I tell if baking soda is fresh? Test for freshness by pouring 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice over the baking soda. If it does not actively bubble, it is too old to be effective. Instead of throwing out the old baking soda, put the open box in the refrigerator, this will absorb any odor’s that may be lingering about in the refrigerator. I also put it in the garbage disposal and let it sit. Baking soda makes a great odor absorber!!
  • At the grocery store, buy items in the form you will use them in a recipe: shredded or grated cheese; boneless, skinless chicken breast; cut-up fresh vegetables from the salad bar.
  • Use the egg slicer in your kitchen gadget drawer to slice fresh mushrooms – Clean, trim the stem and slice just as you would hard cooked eggs, the slices are uniform with no effort.
  • Wiping the inside of the fridge with vinegar helps prevent mildew because acid kills mildew fungus.
  • Having trouble removing those stubborn bottle tops and jar lids? Twist a fat rubber band around the lid or use a pair of rubber gloves, then twist open. Works like a charm!
  • If you cover the plates under the burners on the stove-top with foil, it will be easier to just change the foil occasionally when dirty rather than try to scrub the plates themselves.
  • Lining the inside doors of your kitchen cabinets with self-stick cork tiles and turn them into bulletin boards. It’s great for holding take-out menus, favorite recipes, emergency telephone numbers and more!
  • Remove those coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing coffee maker parts, and coffee and teapots in a solution of 1/4 cup Baking Soda in 1 quart of warm water. Try soaking overnight for stubborn strains in the Baking Soda solution and detergent. Unsightly stains from your favorite cups and mugs can be removed too, by sprinkling Baking Soda on a sponge and scrubbing the stains away!

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Tips for Oven:

  •  To deal with hot spots: Most ovens heat unevenly. For baking, try rotating baking
    pans from top to bottom and front to back at least once during baking time.
  • To clean: Scrub with a paste of baking soda and water.
  • To speed cleanup: Line the oven floor with foil (avoid covering any vents). When the
    foil is dirty, toss it in the trash.

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Low Fat Tips:

  • By taking fat out of a recipe, add some liquid to make up the difference in moistening power and liquid volume.
  • Use good Teflon baking pans – they will help reduce the amount of oil needed in cooking.
  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk.
  • Make marinades with chicken stock rather than oil.

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Tips for Pasta:

  • To save boiling time: Add salt to the pasta water after it comes to a boil. Salted water takes longer to a boil than unsalted.
  • To unstick pasta: Submerge it in hot water and separate.
  • To save draining time: Use a large pot equipped with a perforated insert.

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Tips for Seafood and Meats:

  • After handling raw meat, fish or poultry – Use PAPER TOWELS to wipe up juices. After discarding the paper towels, clean and disinfect any surface that is soiled, such as cutting countertops and boards. Disinfect by using either liquid household bleach or a disinfectant (antibacterial) kitchen cleaner.
  • Here are some things to look for when purchasing fish; the flesh should be firm, tail should be stiff, gills red and the eyes should be bright and not sunken. There should be no unusual odor. Fish is best when eaten on day of purchase. When refrigerating, cover loosely and store high up in the refrigerator.
  • When choosing fish, look for shiny skin. The skin should spring back when touched. The eyes should be bright and clear, not cloudy and sunken. The flesh should be firm and elastic. If the fish has a strong odor, it is probably old or may not have not been stored properly. Fresh fish should be sold no more than two to three days out of the water.
  • To remove the smell of fish from your hands after preparation – pour a little vinegar into your hands, rub together and rinse well.
  • Eliminate fish smells in a boiling pot of water containing a few whole cloves, stick of cinnamon and a slice of lemon on the stove.
  • It is easy to open an oyster by using a beer can opener. Just wedge the point under the hinge at the top of the oyster, then push down hard.
  • Add a little chicken broth to fry fish instead of butter. It’s less fattening.
  • Heating lemons before squeezing them will give you double the amount of juice. Look for those that have the smoothest  skins and no points at the end when buying them. They will have more juice and better flavor. If you love fried fish but not the smell, soak your fish in lemon juice for about 20 minutes before frying.
  • For easy flouring of meat, poultry or fish frying or sautéing, shake pieces in a plastic bag containing the flour and seasonings.
  • Save the liquid you use to poach fish in for use as a base in a sauce or chowder.
  • When grilling fish, brush oil on the fish and make sure that the grill is very hot.
  • To prevent a fillet from curling:  Score the skin with a knife.
  • To loosen fish that is stuck to a pan bottom:  Drizzle a small amount of oil or other cooking fat on the pan where it is sticking, and gently loosen with a spatula.
  • To store leftover cooked crab meat: Refrigerate the meat and keep it tightly covered. Use within 2 days.
  • To rid canned crab meat of a metallic taste: Soak the crab meat in ice water for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
  • To mute the frozen taste:  Thaw frozen fish in cold milk.
  • To quickly thaw frozen fish:  Seal in a zipper-lock plastic bag and submerge in a
    container of cool water.
  • To remove the stubborn odor of fish from a pan:  Boil equal parts vinegar and water
    in the pan for 10 minutes.

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Tips for Stains:

  • Before pouring tomato based sauces in your “Tupperware” spray the inside with a non stick cooking spray to prevent staining.

  • Stains on formica and other plastic laminates respond best to the bleaching quality of lemon juice that is freshly squeezed. Leave the juice on for around a half hour, then sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub it with a cloth, rinse, and dry. This process works well for both dull-finish and shiny Formicas

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Tips for Vegetables:

  • Produce (like many grocery items) is priced according to the supply versus demand. The best time to buy is when the item is in peak season. It will not only taste best, but will usually be less expensive than other times of the year because it is more abundant.
  • Buy frozen green peppers or chopped onion for a recipe shortcut, or since they freeze so well, chop a a whole bunch and freeze in single servings.
  • Control your tears when cutting an onion by starting at the top. Sulfuric compounds which make you cry are concentrated in the root end. When using only half an onion, use the top first and the root end will stay fresher longer that way.
  • Onions can be kept for 2-3 months without sprouting by removing  them from their mesh or plastic sack and put them in a paper bag on the bottom shelf in refrigerator.
  • Stove Top Secret. Add fluff to your mashed potatoes with a pinch of baking soda during mashing.
  • Heating lemons before squeezing them will give you double the amount of juice. When you buy lemons, look for those that have the smoothest skin and no points on the ends. These will have better flavor and more juice. If you love fried fish but not the smell, soak your fish in lemon juice for about 20 minutes before frying.
  • Three to four medium shallot bulbs equals the flavor of one medium yellow onion.
  • Add a little lemon juice (and sugar to taste) to make tomatoes in any recipe have the tangy, acidic taste that is so elusive to our modern-day tomatoes.
  • Most recipes call for 2 or 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, so instead of wasting a whole tin just separate the rest of the tin into tablespoons on a piece of foil and put into the freezer. When completely frozen, transfer to freezer bag and you have individual tablespoon servings of tomato paste.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Scrub: Baking Soda is the “food safe” way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Sprinkle it on a damp sponge and scrub, and rinse.
  • To keep raw cut potatoes from turning brownPlace them in a bowl of acidulated water (4 cups water & 4 tablespoons lemon juice or 2 teaspoons vinegar). Remove the potatoes as soon as possible to prevent excess water absorption, which will dilute their flavor.
  • To keep potatoes white long after cooking:  Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice to the cooking water.
  • To whiten cut potatoes that have oxidized:  If you’ve cut potatoes and they have started to turn brown, cook them in milk at a bare simmer to whiten them.
  • To store corn: Refrigerate corn in its husks in a plastic bag and use it the day you buy it. Freshness is crucial because the sugar in corn begins converting to starch as soon as the ears leave the stalk.
  • To make the most of old corn:  Slice the kernels off the cob and add to soups, salad, salsa, or burritos. Simmer stripped
    leftover cobs in water or broth to use as a base for corn chowder.
  • Leftover cooked corn on the cob can be reheated in a bit of water brought to the boil with a couple of tablespoons of sugar added to the water. Just leave in the hot water long enough to heat to eat!!!
  • To select apples:  Flesh should be firm; skin tight, fresh and free of bruises and blemishes. Scent should be fresh and full.
  • To tell when an apple is ready to eat:  As an apple ripens, its color, texture, flavor and aroma change. Flash slightly softens, sweetness intensifies and the acidity drops when aroma becomes stronger.
  • Revive limp, uncooked broccoli: Trim half from the base of the stalk and put head in cold water in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Cook limp broccoli:  Use shallow pan  and steam-boil in water, add pinch of sugar  and salt per one cup of cooking water.
  • Overcooked broccoli: Cut into small pieces and toss it with seasonings and rice, sprinkle over baked potatoes, and top with melted cheese.

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Mixed/Other Tips:

  • When you take food off the indoor grill, put a paper towel on it and pour about 1/2 cup water on it. Close lid and unplug grill and by the time you are finished with your meal, it will wipe off easily.  You can even wait until morning, if you are too tired to clean it then.
  • Clean shower stall racks by running it through your automatic dish washer.
  •  Freeze wine you don’t need anymore into ice cubes for future use in sauces and casseroles.
  • Clogged drains? Try this recipe: 1/4 cup vinegar & 1/4 cup baking soda. Pour baking soda down the drain first, use vinegar affter. Close drain and let sit until the bubbling stops. Now pour in a bucket of hot boiling water.
  • Mix sweet milk with some lemon juice when you need a substitute  for buttermilk or sour cream
  • Eggs can be tested if they are good by putting  them in a bowl of water and if they float they are stale.
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