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Kitchen Tips

How to peel ginger with a spoon

Ginger can be tricky to peel with all its bumps and irregularities. Rather than using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, reach for the spoon. Scrape it against the skin and it'll come right off, following every contour and minimizing waste.

How to Use a Garbage Bowl and a Bench Scraper

New York Site Editor Max recommends always having a garbage bowl near your workstation. I wholeheartedly agree, and I'd add that a bench scraper is an essential piece kit as well. Not having to walk back and forth to the garbage every few minutes can take a lot of drudgeries out of your prep, and nothing's better than a bench scraper for moving large quantities of fiddly ingredients or scraps from point A to point B.

How to Freeze Liquids in Usable Portions!

Serious Eats Drinks Site Editor Maggie Hoffman says that she freezes wine in ice cube trays and stores them in the freezer, ready to be pulled out one at a time and added to pan sauces and stews, saving you from having to open a whole bottle every time a recipe calls for some wine.Similarly, if you make yourself a large batch of stock, freeze it in convenient portion sizes in the freezer ice cube trays and half-pint deli containers are great for this then transfer them to a plastic freezer bag to be pulled out an used whenever you need fresh stock.

How to Sharpen knives with a ceramic mug in a pinch

A quality knife stays sharper longer, cuts better, and helps you save you money because it lasts forever. It's considered an investment for a reason.

But if you're stuck with a dull knife, simply stroke the blade against the exposed, unpolished ceramic bottom and voila, your knife is ready for action.

How to Cut cherry tomatoes in half all at once

Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half with ease by placing them between two lids. Gently slice horizontally through the bunch of tomatoes while pressing down the top lid for perfectly halved tomatoes. What kind of lids? Anything works! Large yogurt container lids or Tupperware tops are two good options.

How to bake bacon in the oven

Ever wonder why the bacon you get at a restaurant is always evenly and consistently cooked with no annoying raw ends? Ever wonder why the middles don't get all crumbly or hard and overcooked? The difference is all in the cooking. Whereas most home chefs fry up bacon on the frying pan, most restaurant workers bake it in the oven. Try it out at 400 to 420 degrees Fahrenheit and be amazed!

How to replace vegetable oil with butter to make your recipes richer

This is a suggestion for improving cake, but you can actually improve a number of foods this way. It works great for brownies as well if you want a richer flavor and consistency. You can also replace water in these recipes with milk. Depending on the recipe and your taste, you might also prefer something like coconut, buttermilk, or even juice. Just about any recipe will automatically taste more decadent when you cook this way. This applies to savory foods like eggs as well (more below).

How to freeze leftover vegetable juice and broth

One thing that professional restaurant workers learn quickly on the job is the importance of not wasting food. How many times do you dice up tomatoes and pour the excess juice down the drain? Here's a handy trick-freeze it instead. Get an ice cube tray and pour in excess juice from fruits and vegetables. You can also freeze leftover broth this way instead of letting it go to waste. When you need some extra fruit or vegetable juice or broth for a soup or stew, you will have it handy! Never forget that there is almost nothing that you can’t freeze. Have leftover vegetable bits? Even parts like onion stem ends and carrot tops are useful. They are great for flavoring soups.

How to check if eggs are fresh or rotten

There are times you don't feel like you can rely on the use by "date for eggs". If you are in doubt, one easy way to check whether an egg is fresh or not is to put it in a large bowl of water. If it sinks and rests on its side at the bottom of the bowl, you can rest assured the egg is fresh and safe to eat. If it is on the bottom but upright, it is on its last legs. Eat it ASAP, and consider hard boiling it just to be on the safe side. If it floats, get rid of it, it's done.

How to Squeeze lemon juice with tongs

When you are trying to make lemonade, what do you do if you don't have a lemon juicer? Or what if you just don't feel like cleaning the extra dishes? Here's one easy alternative: use tongs! With a pair of tongs, you can easily squeeze all the juice out of your lemons, straight into the pitcher. It doesn't get simpler or faster than that, and there's less cleanup involved.

How to cook an egg in a mug

You get up in the morning for work and look at the clock and realize you've woken up fifteen minutes late. You only have a few minutes to get out the door and on the bus. But you really, really feel like an egg! You don't have time to stand over the stovetop cooking though, and you really don't have time to deal with the dishes afterwards. What do you do?
Put the egg in a mug. We'll be honest—this doesn't make the most amazingly delicious eggs in the world (microwaves can be finicky and it can be tough to get the timing exactly right), but in a pinch it's still pretty satisfying. You can make scrambled eggs, poached eggs, and even omelettes in a mug!

How to make your bad wines taste good

Ever end up with a bottle of wine that is just"meh,"but you don't want to waste it? There are a number of options for improving the taste (assuming you don't just use it to cook, which is a perfectly good option!). You can try chilling the bottle, or you can mix it with fruits and herbs to get sangria (people have been using that trick for centuries). If it's a red wine, you can try eating mushrooms. For scientifically inexplicable reasons, this seems to improve the flavor. Spicy food is also great for suppressing unpleasant flavors in wines.
One more amazing trick that works for wines with a sulfury odor or taste is to drop a penny inside. Those smells and tastes really are coming from sulfur compounds, and the copper from the penny can neutralize them. This makes the bad taste and smell go away. Isn't chemistry cool?

How to remove excess fat from cooked food

If a dish you've cooked turns out to be unexpectedly rich, you can easily remove excess fat using a couple of ice cubes and a paper towel. Wrap the ice in the towel and wipe it over the top of the food. The ice will act as a magnet, drawing floating fat towards it to congeal on the tissue.

How to grate soft cheese with less mess

Bung it in the freezer for half an hour before grating. The cheese hardens, and doesn't stick to the grater. It's easier to sprinkle it too.

How to cut onions without tears

The freezer will help you here too. Put the onions in for 30 minutes before chopping them. Bear in mind that it's only worth doing this if you plan to cook the onions; don't subject them to this treatment if you want to make a salad with them or they'll lose their crunch.

How to roast a whole chicken

When your roast a chicken (or other bird) whole, lay it on its breast. This is because the breast contains most of the meat; the closest it is to the source of heat, the quicker it will cook through.

Whats the right way to warm up baked items

When warming up pizza or other baked items in the microwave, put a cup of water in alongside it.The moisture will stop the pastry from drying out too much and preserve crunchy crusts.

How to use up leftover chicken

Cooked chicken should be fine to keep in the fridge for two to three days. With any hot food that you want to store, you need to cool it down as quickly as possible and then refrigerate it. The easiest way to cool chicken quickly is to portion it out, or better still, cut it into pieces, lay it out on a tray or a plate in one layer and as soon as it's cold, place it in a bowl covered with cling film or in a lidded container in the fridge, making sure all the steam has evaporated. To store your chicken for longer, you can place your cooked chicken in the freezer, but you should never remove uncooked chicken from the freezer and then re-freeze without cooking. If you want to heat leftover chicken, make sure it's piping hot and only reheated once.

The right way to clean a cast iron frying pan

To stop a cast iron frying pan from rusting over time, avoid washing it using regular dishwashing liquid. Use table salt instead. This method will also rid the pan of persistent odors from spices used during cooking.

How to keep your recipes clean

When we cook, we often use a recipe book or our own notes. It can be a bit difficult to put the book on the worktop open on the right page without getting it splashed and stained. To protect cook books from this fate, use a regular trouser hanger to keep the book open on the page you need and suspend it over the work surface, where it’ll be quite safe.

How to clean wooden chopping boards

To remove odors and food residues from wooden chopping boards rub them with coarse grain salt and leave for 10-15 minutes. Then wipe with half a lemon and dry. This procedure is guaranteed to get rid of unpleasant smells.

baking tray

Microwave and oven-safe dishes commonly used for slow-cooked meals such as roasts and bakes.

cooking pot

A deep dish that is stovetop-friendly. Frequently used to cook meals that contain liquids such as stews or soups.

skillet

A small metal cooking pot with a long handle.

cleaver

A knife with a sharp, broad blade. Used for chopping meat.

carving knife

A knife with a long blade used for carving cooked meat into slices.

meat tenderiser

Did you know a meat mallet used to pound meat in order to tenderize it in preparation for cooking.

chopping/cutting board

This is a durable board on which food is cut and prepared.Chopping boards are commonly made of wood or plastic and come in various widths and sizes.

Benefits of Glazing

To cover the chicken by brushing it with a syrup-like liquid in order to give it a shiny smooth texture.Glazing chicken not only adds flavor to the meat but also adds color and a juiciness that helps prevent it from drying out.Glazes are great for grilled, baked or slow-roasted chickens.

Roast

To cook, uncovered, in a very hot oven in order to create a golden-brown color. Once a golden-brown crust has formed, the temperature is reduced while the chicken continues to cook.

Truss

To securely tie the wings and legs of a chicken against the body to enable a more compact shape for the bird to evenly cook. This is generally done if cooking meat on a spit to prevent the wings and legs from charring.

Good tips when shopping

Chicken needs to be bought as fresh as possible; make sure to pay attention to the "Use by" date on its packaging. Pack your raw poultry and meats into separate bags from your other shopping items for unpacking convenience and to stop contamination across your groceries.

Tips on things to do when at home

Once you've unpacked your freshly bought chicken you’re going to need somewhere to put it until dinnertime.Place the chicken in your fridge immediately, away from any cooked items. Do not let raw chicken sit at room temperature for more than 15 minutes, as bacteria contamination will start to occur. When you're putting your chicken in the fridge, put it on the
bottom shelf, that way any juices cannot drip down and cross-contaminate any other food. The temperature of all fridges and
chill storage cabinets should be between 0°C and 5°C degrees.
You can find out the exact temperature of your fridge with a non-mercury thermometer. These can be purchased from most department stores and supermarkets. Make sure that you don't use a mercury thermometer as it runs the risk of breaking and contaminating the other food that’s in your fridge. If your fridge isn't between 0°C and 5°C degrees (the ideal temperature is 4°C) then the thermostat inside the fridge can be used to reduce/increase temperature. Consult your manufacturer's handbook for more information if you are at all unsure of how to change the temperature on your fridge's thermostat.

Things you should have in the kitchen

Dish towels,Paper towels,All-in-one kitchen cleaner,Air tight storage jars,A good set of matching crockery for dinner parties and festive occasions, Plastic bags/zip lock bags for storing food,Some easy recipes printed out and categorized into various meals,A good sturdy rubbish bin,Solid chopping board,Antibacterial hand wash soap by the sink

Tips how to select onions

Should be clean and well-shaped
Have no opening on the neck
A crisp and dry outer skin

Tips for storing Onions

Onions should be stored in a well-ventilated area at room temperature, away from heat and
bright light.

Place them in a wire hanging basket or a perforated bowl with a raised base. This will allow
air to circulate from the underneath.

Those that are more pungent in flavor, such as the yellow onions, should keep for about a
month if stored properly. White onions, on the other hand, will not keep as long due to the
compounds that confer their sharp taste.

Scallions should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about
one week.

All onions should be stored away from potatoes, as they will absorb their moisture and
ethylene gas, causing them to spoil faster.

Store cut onions by placing in a sealed container. Use them within a day or two since they
tend to oxidize and lose their nutrient content rather quickly.

Although peeled and chopped onions can be frozen, this process will cause them to lose
some of their flavor.

How to cook flavored beans with less gas

Sort out the bad beans Soak the beans overnight or 8+ hours Resist the urge to stir a lot. Pour off soaking water, add fresh water. Season by adding with fresh vegetables, like a carrot, ½ an onion, some rosemary, celery. Do not salt. Cook for an hour or more until tender.

How to keep your potatoes white

Cover your diced potatoes with cold water and prevent them from turning brown due to oxidation

How to peel a garlic the fuss-free way

Remove all cloves from the bulb and then whack each clove with the side of a chef’s knife. The skin will fall right off.

How to prevent Onions from making you cry

Freeze the onion before chopping.

How to prevent a pot from boiling over

Place a wooden spoon across the pot. Because wood is not a good material for conducting heat, the hot water strays away from the handle.

How to give left overs a new life

Save the rice, pizza toppings, and grilled chicken. Instead of tossing leftovers into the bin, repurpose into other meals.

Tips on how to reheat baked foods without drying them

Place a glass of water in the microwave with the food to add moisture to the air, therefore keeping foods from drying.

How to clean fresh vegetables and fruits

Scrub fresh produce with a mixture of water and baking soda to remove grit and pesticides.

How to bring new life to wooden spoons

When wooden spoons don't exactly look (or smell) like they used to, boil them in a pot of water and leave them lying in the sun to dry.

How oversalted food can be fixed, & here's how you do it

Rinse
If the overly salty ingredient can be rinsed off, that is a good place to start. If you've left meat in a salty brine for too long, for example, or steamed vegetables in overly salty water, then rinsing them off with cold water in a colander might help.

Starch
If your soup or stew is too salty, try adding sliced potatoes, rice or even a bit of flour. This might help to absorb some of the saltiness and bring more balance to your dish.

Tips on how to reduce salt in foods

Dairy
If your dish already has some dairy in it, or you think it would enhance your dish, mix in some plain yogurt, sour cream, or heavy cream to the dish. Or, add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to the top of each serving.

Sugar
Sometimes an aggressively salted dish can benefit from a touch of sweetness. By introducing a foil to the salty flavor, sugar or honey might counteract it. Be sure to not add too much sweetener, though!