21 Kitchen Tips You’ll Actually Use
Time to get creative in the kitchen with these kitchen hacks and solutions for everyday issues.
When it comes to cooking and cleaning in your kitchen, the more help, the better! Make things a little easier on yourself by trying out these handy kitchen tips that really work. Also, make sure you know how to organize your kitchen the right way.
Prevent Food Storage Stains
To protect your containers from tomato-based stains, coat the inside with nonstick cooking spray before adding the leftovers to keep the plastic as good as new. Too late to save your containers? Pick up a few of our picks for the best food storage containers.
Clean Pasta Breaks
To prevent bits from soaring across your kitchen when you break spaghetti into the pot, first wrap your pasta in a clean dish towel. Bend the towel back and forth to break the noodles, then carefully open the towel and slide the pieces into the boiling water. Avoid these common pasta cooking mistakes.
Keep lemon and orange extracts on your pantry shelf to use when you don’t have fresh citrus zest. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of zest, substitute 1/2 teaspoon extract. Make sure to add the extract with the rest of the liquid ingredients in the recipe. Get all of our helpful Test Kitchen tips right here.
After grocery shopping, repackage boneless, skinless chicken breasts in freezer bags with marinade before you freeze. Then just thaw overnight in the fridge and prepare as desired. Check out these easy freezer meals that you can make ahead.
Save extra crescent rolls from last night’s dinner and reuse them as sweet treats. Lightly spritz with butter-flavored spray or non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle each with sugar and cinnamon and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds. They’re perfect for busy mornings and make delicious treats for brunches.
Enhance Grill Marks
Add a little honey to your marinade or sauce when grilling. The sugar in the honey caramelizes to help create gourmet-looking grill marks. You can even use this trick when cooking foods on the stove! You’ll wish you knew these kitchen hacks way sooner!
Upgrade Ice Cubes
Liven up your libations and freeze a sprig of mint, a bit of lemon or other garnishes in ice cubes. Try experimenting with other types of cubes, too. For example, plunk a cherry in an ice cube tray cup, cover with pink lemonade and freeze. Here’s how to host a virtual party that will definitely lift your spirits.
Shred Your Own Cheese
You usually pay a premium for pre-grated cheese at the store. Instead, buy blocks, shred in your food processor, then freeze in heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Then you’ll have shredded cheese at your fingertips whenever you need it. Learn how to freeze just about anything here.
Instant Oat Flour
If you find yourself mid-recipe without any oat flour, don’t worry! Simply process some oats in a blender. For 1 cup oat flour, process 1-1/4 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats until finely ground. Take a look at these gluten-free recipes that might call for oat flour.
Easy Hulled Strawberries
Use the tip of a serrated knife to easily scoop and remove the stem and hull of a strawberry. You can even insert a steel straw through the top of a strawberry to thread the hull and stem off. Get more details on how to remove a strawberry hull with a straw here.
Cocoa Powder Dusting
When baking chocolate recipes, dust the pan with cocoa instead of flour. The cocoa enhances the chocolate flavor and eliminates the white flour dust!
Pizza Cutter Slicing
Rather than try to cut dough for baked goods free-hand, use a pizza cutter and ruler to make things much easier. Read up on how to cut dessert bars cleanly and easily each time.
Instead of frying, bake your bacon! Lay strips on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Prepared this way, the pan cleans easily, and there are no splatters on your stove-top.
Sweet Smelling Kitchens
To get cooking odors out of the kitchen, boil some spices, orange slices and a few cinnamon sticks in water for several minutes. Soon a delicious aroma will fill your kitchen. This is also fun to do around the holidays. Check out these other tips for making every room in your house smell good..
To keep fresh parsley in the refrigerator for several weeks, wash the entire bunch in warm water, shake off all excess moisture, wrap in a paper towel and seal in a plastic bag. If you need longer storage time, remove the paper towel and place the sealed bag in the freezer. Then simply break off and crumble the amount of parsley you need for soups, stews and other cooked dishes. Here’s how to store every type of fresh herbs.
Clean Up Oil Easily
Don’t cry over spilled oil! Just sprinkle a thick layer of flour over the spill. Wait a moment, then just sweep the flour into a dustpan. Take a look at these handy hints for removing hard-to-remove stuff.
To remove coffee or tea stains, wet the cup and sprinkle in some baking soda. Scrub the baking soda around with a cloth, then rinse the cup. Repeat if needed. Or if you want a second strategy, fill the vessel with warm water, drop in two effervescent denture cleaning tablets and by morning, the stains should be gone.
When stacking non-stick skillets on cupboard shelves, place a paper plate between each to prevent scratches. Or, turn to one of these creative solutions for storing pots and pans.
To keep stale odors from building up in your fridge and freezer, put 1-2 plain charcoal briquettes in a small cup in the back of each appliance. The charcoal absorbs odor well, takes up very little space and doesn’t need to be changed very often.
Easy Canning Cleanup
To prevent a messy stovetop when canning, cover it with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making holes for the burners. When you’re done canning, simply remove the foil to save yourself a lot of scrubbing! Next, read up on these other canning tips.