When I am not looking at shoes or recipes, I am in the kitchen cooking my little heart out. Cooking for me is the greatest stress relief, and I look forward to my time spent in the kitchen most thoroughly and plan my recipes well in advance. I am pretty sure Ben is sick of being asked months in advance what he may want to eat in some unforeseeable future, but them’s the breaks!
The time I spend in the kitchen also means times trying to refine my skills and knowledge, so it’s only natural over the years I have learned a thing or two to make my kitchen life easier.
Every foodie blog has their list of kitchen hacks, tips and tricks and even though my blog isn’t specifically about food, that doesn’t mean I can’t share my hacks with you. See, everyone has their own unique trick that no one has read before, so the more we produce these lists the better we’ll all become in the kitchen, right? Right!
Now, these are just my top ten hacks, and I have plenty more which I am sure I will be posting from time to time! These are the hacks though that I think are the most basic, most important for the kitchen – they’re not cooking hacks, they’re not organising hacks, they’re just the little things that help make everything else in the kitchen that little bit easier – but that’s what a hack is!
So, let’s get into my top ten kitchen tips and tricks (and hacks), shall we?
1. Sharpen knives after each wash
After washing and drying your knives, give them a quick sharpen to ensure they are ready to use whenever you need them, rather than waiting and finding out they’re blunt when you go to use them. By investing in a hand held knife sharpener (rather than a stone) this can be done quickly, with very little effort.
2. Store knives upside down in their block
Storing your knives upside down in their block prevents the blades from becoming blunt and dull.
3. Use stainless steel soap to remove Garlic odour
Stainless Steel soap is a super quick and effective way to remove garlic odour from your hands. Simply rub your hands with the “soap” under cold water and next thing you know – stink-free hands! Don’t have any Stainless Steel soap to hand? Try using a teaspoon instead.
4. Rest a wooden spoon over the pot when boiling pasta
Resting a wooden spoon over a boiling pot of pasta helps break the starchy bubbles, and prevents the water from boiling over and making a mess.
5. Add salt and bicarb soda to water when boiling eggs
When boiling eggs, always add a dash of salt and bicarb soda to the water. The salt helps prevent the eggshells from cracking and the bicarb soda makes peeling them a breeze!
6. Use egg shell to remove egg shell
If a bit of shell falls into your cracked egg, use another piece of shell to scoop it out.
7. Wipe Glassware and Pyrex with Vinegar for a streak-free shine
If you don’t have a dishwasher, moisten a cloth with white vinegar and wipe over glassware and Pyrex for a streak-free shine and to remove any soap residue and water marks. Don’t worry about any smell, that will go away as the vinegar dries.
8. Use pre-boiled water for clear ice cubes
Instead of using cold water from the tap to make ice cubes, boil a pot of water, allow it to cool for a few minutes, before filling your ice cube trays. Not only do you get clear ice cubes, but thanks to the Mpemba effect, the cubes may actually freeze faster!
9. Rinse and soak rice before cooking
Before cooking rice, rinse it under cold water for a minute to remove any excess starch (and arsenic!), and then let it soak for at least 15 minutes before cooking. This ensures perfectly cooked rice that doesn’t go cloggy.
10. Freeze meat in takeaway containers
There is nothing worse than reaching into the freezer and pulling out a frozen bag of unidentifiable meat! By storing meat in plastic takeaway containers, you can write on the container what’s inside, how much it weighs, and the date it was frozen. Also – they stack up neatly saving space and making things easier to find!
11. Freeze meat before finely slicing (courtesy of The Scotch Kitchen)
If you need finely sliced meat for a stir-fry, pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes before getting out the knives. Semi-freezing meat makes the flesh firmer meaning it’s easier to slice (or dice!)
What are your favourite kitchen hacks, tips & tricks? Let me know in the comments!