Home & Living
11 Surprising Things You Can Do with a Kitchen Towel
It's not just for drying your hands. Your regular old kitchen towel might be one of the most versatile tools in your kitchen!
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The worst day of the week for anyone who works in a restaurant kitchen is the day before the linen delivery. It might sound dramatic, but we were lost without clean towels! You wouldn’t think a tiny piece of cloth could make such a big impact, but there are a surprising number of kitchen towel uses.
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Waft the Smoke Detector
This might sound silly, but anyone who has set off the smoke detector knows how annoying that noise is. Get it to shut off sooner by wafting a kitchen towel underneath it. It feels a bit like waving the white flag. We surrender!
Keep Your Cutting Board from Sliding Around
This is the best-kept secret of the restaurant industry: Every cook puts a damp towel underneath their cutting board. It keeps the board from sliding around so you can focus on your knife skills as you furiously chop your vegetables. Brilliant!
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Use It As a Pot Holder
Fold the towel over itself a few times and it’s just as good as any potholder. Just make sure the towel is dry before grasping that hot pan. I learned this one the hard way, but heat will transfer through wet cloth.
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Wring Out Watery Vegetables
The key to making good potato latkes or hash browns starts with super-dry potatoes. The best way to wring out those potatoes is with a sturdy kitchen towel. Simply pack up your shredded vegetables in the center of the towel, bring the edges to the center, and twist until you can’t twist anymore.
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A Substitute for Cheesecloth
If you don’t have any cheesecloth handy, use a kitchen towel instead! You can use it to strain yogurt and make Greek yogurt, or strain out the aromatics of your stock by pouring it right through the towel. When you’re done, wring it out and toss in the washing machine.
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Similar to our cutting board trick, slip a kitchen towel underneath your mixing bowls. You’ll be able to whisk away without the annoyance of a sliding bowl. It especially comes in handy when you’re whisking egg whites to stiff peaks or making homemade aioli.
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Prevent Scorch Marks on Your Table
If you don’t have a trivet handy, use a regular old kitchen towel instead. Simply fold the towel over itself twice so it forms a neat square. Then, place it underneath your hot casserole dishes or cast iron pans.
Keep Your Herbs Fresh
This is the best way to keep herbs and tender greens from going limp in the refrigerator! Just give them a rinse, snip off the bottom of the stems and loosely wrap them in a damp kitchen towel. Store them in the crisper drawer and they’ll stay fresh for two to three weeks.
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Say Goodbye to Your Salad Spinner
If you don’t have room to store a bulky salad spinner, turn to a kitchen towel instead. After washing your greens, place them in the center of a towel and bring the edges to the center. Without crushing the greens, gently shake the towel and spin it around to remove the excess water.
Protect Your Hands While Peeling Beets
This one is probably going to stain your towel red, but it’ll keep your hands stain-free. Instead of peeling the beets by hand, cook them in their skins. Then, use a towel to remove the skins: They’ll fall right off of boiled or roasted beets.
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Keep Your Food Warm
Save your aluminum foil for cooking in foil packets and use a reusable towel to keep your food warm instead. Simply drape a clean kitchen towel over biscuits or breads to keep them from getting cold. It’s also a great way to keep bugs off the food when throwing a backyard barbecue.