If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time planning meals and preparing food, making all of those helpful kitchen tips and tricks that save you time (and your sanity) worth knowing! And so, I have rounded up some of the best kitchen tips that just might have you saying “Why didn’t I think of that?”. I certainly wish I had known these a long time ago!
A few of these “secrets” I know I will use often (like fishing out broken egg shells and freezing leftover sauces). Whether you’re a workaholic who barley has time to open the fridge, a busy stay-at-home mom, or are in the running for your own show on The Food Network, I think you’ll find a few hacks here that will make life easier!
1. Grate Cold Butter
I haven’t tried this little trick just yet, but I love the idea! Your stick of butter has to be close to frozen for it to work, and you must work fast to keep it from melting, but the grated butter is perfect for adding to flour before baking biscuits, scones, muffins, etc.. It also makes the butter melt much faster, so if your butter is too cold to spread, consider grating it first and then topping toast, veggies, or a baked potato!
2. Scooping Up A Broken Shell
It happens every time! I make eggs for breakfast just about every morning, and the brown organic eggs seem to break off into little pieces so much easier. Instead of fishing around with your finger to dig them out of your bowl (yeah, I do that), use one of the egg shell halves to scoop it out!
3. Egg Freshness Test
I eat too many eggs for them to ever go bad, but this sure is good to know. I got so excited when I saw this, I dug into my fridge to test it for myself. My eggs seemed to be 4-6 days old — good enough! You’re probably wondering how this works, and yes, there is some science behind it. Eggshells are porous, allowing air to slowly get in over time. As more air enters the egg, it gets lighter and lighter, which explains why it will eventually float.
4. Freeze Ice Pops The Smart Way
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always called these things Otter Pops! I grew up with a freezer full of them in the summer. I especially loved the jumbo ones I could get from the ice cream truck that circled my neighborhood. Our scissors were always sticky with melted popsicle syrup. Too bad I didn’t think of this then!
5. How To Peel An Orange
This tip is especially useful for those of you that don’t have any nails to dig into the tough skin of an orange. With a few clever cuts of a knife, you can peel an orange and eat it without juice dripping all over your hands. But best of all, it’s FUN! Check out the full details here.
6. Freeze Leftover Sauce
How clever is this? I hate wasting food, but sometimes it’s hard to prevent, especially when a recipe calls for half a cup, but the cans are sold in 16 ounce servings (like tomato paste). Essentially you could do this with homemade sauces as well as anything canned that you don’t use up. Simply freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray, and then once it’s frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezer safe bag.
7. Peeling Garlic The Easy Way
This is not the job I like to sign up for (who likes to smell garlic on their hands for 3 days straight?), but this technique looks like too much fun to pass up! Smash, shake, and separate! I’ve also seen this done with two ceramic bowls placed on top of each other (rim to rim) to create a dome for the garlic. The hard surface might work more efficiently than tupperware at breaking apart the garlic.
8. The Smart Way To Reheat Pasta
Instead of stirring your pasta several times in between the cook time in your microwave, leave a small circle empty in the middle of your plate so that the pasta will cook more evenly.
9. Store Ice Cream In A Bag
A plastic freezer bag keeps the cold air from making your ice cream rock hard. If you like straight spoons and soft ice cream, this trick is worth the extra step! Try to push out as much air out of the bag as you can before putting it in the freezer.
10. Keep Your Cutting Board From Sliding
Because sharp knives are not a good combination with a cutting board that slides all over the counter, use a wet paper towel or damp hand towel under your board to keep it in its place.