Despite having been spending my spare time in the kitchen for as long as I can recall, having a few handy kitchen and cooking tips and tricks definitely makes my life easier. In fact, I am always learning new hacks for the kitchen!
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the kitchen if you’re just starting out. There are so many recipes, so many techniques to learn that many people give up before they even start! But there’s always kitchen tips and cooking hacks and tips that are there to help you along the way, to boost your confidence and make you feel more at home in your own kitchen.
Every foodie and chef has their list of cooking hacks, tips and tricks they swear by. If you’re new to the kitchen then having a few tricks up your sleeve is a great way to elevate your cooking. From safety tips, to cooking tricks, knowing a few kitchen hacks will help you feel more confident in the kitchen. And a confident cook is the best kind of cook there is!
The best kitchen hacks you need to know
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 handheld knife sharpener (rather than a stone) sharpening knives 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 quick and effective way to remove the 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 watermarks. 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 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
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!)