Whether cooking is something you love, or you are just learning the basics – anything that can save you time and make life easier for you in the kitchen is always welcomed. With this in mind, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite kitchen hacks…
1. Speed up ripening
If you have some under-ripe fruit hanging around and you want to speed up the ripening process, simply pop them into a paper bag. When fruits are stored in a paper bag concentrated ethylene gas helps it to ripen faster.
2. Slow your tomatoes from rotting
Keep your tomatoes fresher for longer by storing them at room temperature, stem end down. This works by preventing air from entering and moisture from exiting the scar where the tomato was attached to the vine.
3. Check if eggs have gone bad
Place the egg in a bowl of cold water – if the egg sinks to the bottom it is still good, if it floats it may have gone bad. Over time the liquid inside the egg evaporates, leaving a gas bubble which makes it float.
4. Skim the fat
To remove any excess fat from sauces and stocks skim some ice cubes (wrapped in a paper towel) along the surface of the liquid. This cooling method will solidify the fat, making it easier to spot and remove.
5. Peel garlic quickly
Remove all the cloves you need from the bulb and give them a strong whack with the side of a chef’s knife. The skin will then fall right off.
6. Soften butter quickly
If you are in a rush and don’t have time to leave butter out of the fridge to soften, speed up the process by grating the butter. This will give you spreadable, mixable butter in no time.
7. Prevent pots from boiling over
Place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot. As wood is not great at conducting heat, the hot water will avoid the spoon.
8. Save fresh herbs to use later
Freeze herbs in water, olive oil or stock in an ice cube tray. This can then be thawed at a later date to use as seasoning.
9. Stop chopping boards from slipping
Keep chopping boards from slipping by placing a damp tea towel underneath. This will give the board something to grip onto to avoid any slippage.
10. Learn to fight fires
If you encounter a small grease or electrical fire, sprinkle some baking soda onto the flames. Baking soda releases carbon dioxide when heated, helping to extinguish the fire.