Kitchen Tricks You Should Know

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I have some kitchen tricks you may or may not know. It’s funny how we take for granted what we do every day in the kitchen, or somewhere else in the house. You know, when we do short cuts when making breakfast, or even stocking the pantry. We don’t even think about it because we’ve been doing it forever. Here are a few of my kitchen tricks, please share your ideas with me. Let’s make this list super long.

Kitchen Tricks

  1. Scramble eggs in the microwave, in a bowl with the yolk, cracked, add a little milk or water, stir with a fork.
  2. Bake 12 single eggs in a greased muffin tin at 350 degrees until done.
  3. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, bake hard boiled eggs in a muffin tin at 350 degrees in your oven for 25-30 minutes. They peel so easily!!!
  4. Purchase onions in bulk, chop and freeze them.
  5. Look for frozen chopped onions (ready to use anytime).
  6. Watch for sales on frozen chopped bell peppers.
  7. When in season, buy bell peppers in bulk, chop or slice, and freeze.
  8. Store bananas attached with foil or plastic wrap on the stem to slow ripening.
  9. Freeze leftover coffee in ice trays, my grandmother used to do this. Put a few cubes in a glass, cover with ice water.
  10. If you have pickle juice left over, here’s an idea. Boil the brine, grab a mason jar and fill it with sliced onions or sliced carrot sticks, pour the brine over them. Put it in the refrigerator, wait a couple of days, it’s fabulous!
  11. When making pancakes, use a flick of water on the griddle to test if it’s HOT and ready to cook them, it will sizzle when ready.
  12. Use a 1/4 cup to pour pancake batter onto hot skillet for each one. Turn when you see bubbles. The bubbles mean the first side is now cooked and ready to flip to continue cooking.
  13. Use a strawberry slicer to make the slices more even for strawberry shortcake, dehydrating, or for salads. Strawberry Slicer
  14. Use an egg slicer to make hard boiled eggs evenly sliced for salads. This is the one I have: Egg Slicer
  15. Use a nifty Microplane for zesting citrus. I have two sizes, but I use this one more than the other. They are great for nutmeg as well. Microplane
  16. Keep your knives sharp or you may cut yourself when a knife slips off what you’re cutting and slices your fingers.
  17. Buy smaller bread pans when making bread. Unless you have a very large family these pans work great. This is the size I use for my one-pound bread loaves. Medium Bread Pans
  18. Invest in an Inversion Mixer. We all try to make sure our gravy has zero lumps, but hey, I get lumps and I need this baby every once in a while. Braun Hand Blender
  19. When slicing fresh tomatoes, use a serrated knife. 
  20. Freeze your Bundt cake before you frost it, to make it super moist. Linda’s Chocolate Cake Tip (it works for every cake)
  21. Make some buttermilk with one cup of milk and one tablespoon vinegar. Bam, you have buttermilk.
  22. If you make bread, invest in a good bread knife that’s serrated.
  23. When working in the kitchen clean as you go. Life is so awesome when you wash the prep dishes as you go.
  24. Use a blender for your scrambled eggs to make them smooth before cooking them.
  25. Think about using little or no paper towels. Yes, I still use them for bacon. Try using reusable towels like these: Cloth Paper Towels
  26. When boiling potatoes, keep the peeled potatoes WHITE by starting with cold water, then bring it to a boil.
  27. Store fresh tomatoes stem down on the counter, not in the refrigerator.
  28. Keep your pecans, walnuts, sliced pecans, or any nut for that matter, in the freezer. They go rancid very quickly.
  29. Invest in a good wooden cutting board that will last a lifetime if you wash it every time you use it. Keep it oiled with good mineral oil when needed. I never cut meat on my main board-I have a separate one for meat.
  30. If you have a casserole dish with baked on “stuff” fill it with hot water and sprinkle 2 tablespoons or so of dishwashing detergent in it. The dish must be dishwasher safe in order to do this. Let it soak for an hour or so, and the stuff comes right out. If not, repeat. It works like magic, no scrubbing needed.
  31. If your bread cutting board smells like onions, no problem. Rub some lemons across it, wash with hot soapy water.
  32. Freeze basil pesto in ice cube trays, sometimes that’s the only amount you need. Bingo, pop it out and let it thaw in the refrigerator.
  33. When cutting bread dough into shapes you a pizza dough cutter.
  34. When making bread, never pull your dough, use a dough cutter like this one: Dough Cutter
  35. Store potatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Cold temps break down the starches and make them sweet and gritty.
  36. Melons are best stored on the counter at room temperature until you cut them. Once you cut them, cover and place them in the refrigerator.
  37. Honey is best when stored at room temperature.
  38. Onions prefer room temperature. The cold in the refrigerator makes them moldy and mushy.
  39. Store bread at room temperature. The refrigerator will dry out the bread.
  40. Store apples at room temperature unless you can’t eat them fast enough.
  41. Kathie: I freeze buttermilk in one cup portions, so I always have some when I need it.
  42. Kathie: SOS works well on glass casserole dishes to remove really baked on stuff. SOS Scrub Pads
  43. Annie: an electric knife for cutting warm bread. Electric Knife
  44. Joanne: One of my favorite tips shared with me, was to wrap unwashed celery in foil until your ready to use. It extends its shelf life considerably.
  45. Becky: Do not store potatoes and onions close to each other. The gas from the onions causes the potatoes to spoil faster.
  46. Carol: A Chinese chef told me this. Sharpen non-serrated knives on the rim underneath, eg a cereal/soup bowl. Run the sharp edge of the blade against the raised rim a few times every time you use it. Even the cheapest knives become ultra sharp after doing this a number of times.
  47. Carol: And you can easily remove burnt on gunk from glass/ non-stick/ stainless steel pots/pans/dishes by sprinkling in Bi-carb Soda ( AKA Baking Soda) then adding hot or boiling water to cover the gunk. Soak for a few hours and the gunk will just wipe off.
  48. Leanne: use a potato masher when making your strawberry shortcake. Add the sugar to the bowl of strawberries about an hour before mashing. Let the juices flow and mash the strawberries with your potato masher.
  49. Leanne: A trick I learned at my mother’s knee was to “measure” the temperature of oil for deep frying using a wooden spoon handle. If the oil was hot enough, it would have bubbles come up when inserting about an inch of the spoon handle. If it was not hot enough, nothing would happen and if it was too hot, it would spit – not to the point of hitting you with hot oil.
  50. Shirley: Hi, Linda! I recommend that cut onions be stored in a tight container before freezing or putting in the fridge to keep them from tainting the butter. I also freeze pesto in ice cube trays as well as lemon juice to use for lemonade then transfer to freezer bags. Wrap a paper towel around cilantro or lettuces to keep them fresh longer in the plastic bags, especially if they are damp.
  51. Shannon: I use an egg slicer to uniformly cut mushrooms for sauteing. They cook evenly and so much faster. I always have sauteed mushrooms with garlic and shallots in my fridge to add to scrambled eggs, cooked chicken, pasta, whatever actually! I can cut a pound of mushrooms in no time using an egg slicer.

Final Word

As I continue to teach the world to cook from scratch, I think we can always learn a few new kitchen tricks here and there. If you have some tricks I haven’t listed, please let me know and I will add them. We are here to help one another be prepared for the unexpected. Let’s do it. May God bless this world, Linda

Linda’s Homemade Dinner Rolls

15 thoughts on “Kitchen Tricks You Should Know

  • April 13, 2019 at 9:00 am
    Permalink

    I freeze buttermilk in one cup portions, so I always have some when I need it.

    Also, SOS works good on glass casserole dishes to remove really baked on stuff.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 10:38 am
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      Hi Kathie, thank you, I’m adding both of these tips! I love them! Linda

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    I like to use an electric knife for cutting bread. It makes perfect slices every time, even when the bread is still warm ( because, seriously, who wants to wait for it to cool before having a slice?).

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Annie, oh, I need to add an electric knife to the post!! You are so right, no one wants to wait for the bread to cool! Hot bread is the best!!! Great tip! Linda

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    One of my favorite tips shared with me, was to wrap unwashed celery in foil until your ready to use. It extends its shelf life considerably. Live your blog by the way, thank you!

    Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    Do not store potatoes and onions close to each other. The gas from the onions causes the potatoes to spoil faster.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Becky, oh my gosh, this is a great tip! I’m adding it to my post right now. Thank you!! Linda

      Reply
  • April 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm
    Permalink

    A Chinese chef told me this. Sharpen non-serrated knives on the rim underneath, eg a cereal/soup bowl. Run the sharp edge of the blade against the raised rim a few times every time you use it. Even the cheapest knives become ultra sharp after doing this a number of times.

    And you can easily remove burnt on gunk from glass/ non-stick/ stainless steel pots/pans/dishes by sprinkling in Bi-carb Soda ( AKA Baking Soda) then adding hot or boiling water to cover the gunk. Soak for a few hours and the gunk will just wipe off.

    Reply
    • April 13, 2019 at 5:48 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Carol, oh I love these tips! I’m adding them to my post! Thank you so much! Linda

      Reply
  • April 14, 2019 at 6:36 pm
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    Perhaps I am weird, but, when I make strawberry short cake, I always use my potato masher to mash the berries. Makes them juicier. Also, before I mash them, I add my sugar and let them sit for an hour or so. If I am using the berries for decoration, then I slice them. And if dehydrating, I slice.

    A trick I learned at my mother’s knee was to “measure” the temperature of oil for deep frying using a wooden spoon handle. If the oil was hot enough, it would have bubbles come up when inserting about an inch of spoon handle. If it was not hot enough, nothing would happen and if it was too hot, it would spit – not to the point of hitting you with hot oil.

    Reply
    • April 14, 2019 at 7:12 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Leanne, I have never heard of the oil trick! I use my potato masher when making strawberry shortcake! Thanks for the reminder1 I am adding both of your tips! Thank you so much!! Linda

      Reply
  • April 14, 2019 at 11:50 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, Linda! I recommend that cut onions be stored in a tight container before freezing or putting in the fridge to keep them from tainting the butter. I also freeze pesto in ice cube trays as well as lemon juice to use for lemonade then transfer to freezer bags. Wrap a paper towel around cilantro or lettuces to keep them fresh longer in the plastic bags, especially if they are damp. My best trick, however, is to have each family member specialize in 2 or 3 areas of cooking: breakfasts, BBQ-ing, cake baking, chopping, canning, cookies and bread making. I love to cook when I have willing young ones around to teach and help. Life is good!

    Reply
    • April 15, 2019 at 6:26 am
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      Hi Shirley, great ideas!! I’m adding them to the post!!! Isn’t it wonderful how we can help each other with tips and tricks? Thanks again, Linda

      Reply
  • April 15, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Linda
    I use an egg slicer to uniformly cut mushrooms for sauteing. They cook evenly and so much faster. I always have sauteed mushrooms with garlic and shallots in my fridge to add to scrambled eggs, cooked chicken, pasta, whatever actually! I can cut a pound of mushrooms in no time using an egg slicer.

    Reply
    • April 15, 2019 at 1:04 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Shannon, great tip! I’m adding this tip to my post, thank you so much!! Linda

      Reply

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