7 Kitchen Hacks & Simple Solutions
Genius hacks and simple solutions are amazing because they make our lives easier, save time, and minimize effort. Whether you're a novice or a professional chef when it comes to cooking, you'll benefit from these time-saving kitchen hacks. Discover these 7 handy kitchen tips and tricks for anyone who wants to simplify their time in the kitchen while cooking. These quick and effective kitchen hacks are hopefully going to make your time in the kitchen just a little bit happier!
1. Cool off with cutlery
If you find yourself with two hot dishes or baking sheets and only one trivet, try flipping over four large spoons or dinner knives and laying them on the countertop a few inches apart. Then you can set the hot item on top of the silverware to cool.
2. Cooling-rack substitutes
During holiday baking marathons, cooks may find themselves with a shortage of equipment. Here are some clever ideas for improvising.
A. Next time you find yourself with a baking sheet full of hot cookies and a shortage of cooling racks, try transferring the cookies to a splatter screen to cool.
B. You can also use cardboard egg trays for the same purpose. Set two empty inverted dozen-size egg trays side-by-side to fully support a cookie sheet or pie plate.
C. Set the hot pan on an over-turned muffin tin. The muffin tin will also support a cake after it’s been turned out of its pan.
D. When baking in a kitchen that isn’t equipped with a cooling rack, move the extra oven rack to a counter before heating the oven. You can prop up the rack with corks and then use it as a cooling rack for your finished baked goods.
3. Less pain, better strain
Pushing any type of food through a fine-mesh strainer goes much faster—and requires less elbow grease—when the round bottom of a ladle is used instead of a spatula or wooden spoon. Simply press the bowl of the ladle, which follows the curve of the strainer, against the solids in a circular motion.
4. Straining above it all
When draining ingredients such as grated potatoes or yogurt in a mesh strainer set over a bowl, the strained liquid can sometimes rise back into the food, ruining the effort. Solve the problem this way.
1. Place an overturned ramekin or small bowl in a larger bowl that will catch the strained liquid.
2. Rest the strainer on the ramekin to elevate the food, preventing liquid from seeping back into it.
5. No-slip strainer
When straining vegetables or broths, it can be difficult to keep the lip of a fine-mesh strainer from falling into the bowl or pot you are straining into. Try wrapping a thick rubber band around the balancing loop of the strainer to create a no-slip grip that stays in place.
6. Makeshift colander
To avoid dirtying a large colander for a small cleaning job, reuse the perforated plastic containers in which small produce items such as cherry tomatoes and berries are packaged.
1. Place the items to be cleaned in an empty container and rinse, letting the water drain out through the holes.
2. Once thoroughly cleaned, transfer the items to paper towels to dry.
7. Strainerless straining
Here are some tips for situations where you might not actually have to dig out a strainer after all.
A. Use the can
Rather than dirtying a colander to rinse and drain canned goods like beans and olives, try the following method.
1. Hold the can upside down over the sink and make three small holes at the bottom with a church key or can opener.
2. Turn the can right side up, set it over the clean drain in the sink, and then open the top with a can opener. Liquid from the can will drain through the holes.
B. Mesh bag
If you don’t happen to have the right strainer for small jobs (such as straining the juice of one or two lemons) and would rather not haul out your larger strainer, try this trick.
1. Save the leftover mesh bags from small produce items (such as shallots or new potatoes). After cleaning the bag well, drop in a lemon half.
2. Squeeze as much juice as needed. All of the seeds and pith will be trapped in the mesh bag.
C. Use the rasp
After using your rasp-style grater to zest citrus, you can turn the grater over and use it to strain the seeds and pulp from the juice.