7 Kitchen Hacks & Simple Solutions
Genius hacks and simple solutions are amazing because they make our lives easier, save time, and minimize effort. These simple ideas and tips will make your time in the kitchen a little bit more pleasant!
1. Raked across the coals
Arranging lit coals in a grill with a pair of long-handled tongs requires patience: the tongs can only grasp one or two coals at a time. Try using a handheld metal garden rake to arrange the coals as desired.
2. Keeping grill platters warm
When you’re barbecuing on a gas grill, the flat lid of the grill is an ideal spot to warm a serving platter. The heated platter can then be used for serving foods right away or for keeping meat warm as it rests before carving. Make sure to handle the platter with potholders.
3. Check your levels
It’s a huge pain to run out of propane halfway through grilling. If your grill doesn’t have a gas gauge, use this technique to estimate how much gas is left in the tank. Boil a cup of water and pour it over the side of the tank. Feel the metal with your hand. Where the water has succeeded in warming the tank, it is empty; where the tank remains cool to the touch, there is still propane inside.
4. Turbo-powered pepper grinder
At one time or another, many cooks face the task of seasoning a huge quantity of meat with salt and ground black pepper while preparing for a large dinner party or big outdoor barbecue. Instead of wearing out your arm peppering 16 pounds of beef with a hand-operated grinder, try using a cordless power driver/drill to motorize the pepper mill. Two tips make the whole operation run smoothly: first, make sure the driver/drill is scrupulously clean. Second, use only the slower driver settings—the higher speed settings might overheat the pepper mill.
1. Unscrew the finial at the top of the mill to reveal the tip of the square shaft that runs down the center.
2. Insert the shaft into the chuck of a power driver/drill and off you go. Changing the tension in the connection between shaft and driver/drill controls the grind size, from fine to coarse.
5. Hardware store nutcracker
A pair of curved-jaw locking pliers are the perfect tool for cracking hard-shelled nuts (especially walnuts). The adjustable rounded jaws can accommodate nuts of almost any shape or size, and the grip is strong enough to break through the hardest shell, leaving the tender flesh intact.
6. Onions in the mist
When browning small amounts of onion, there’s a tendency for drying and scorching, even if you use a high-quality pan. Keep small batches of onions moist with a plant mister, spritzing them lightly if they start to look dry. The water not only helps them caramelize evenly but also deglazes any flavorful browned bits (fond) stuck to the bottom of the pan.
7. Putting down roots
Keep root vegetables such as ginger, carrots, and beets usable for several months with this trick.
1. Fill a plastic container or clay pot with clean, dry sand. Bury the root vegetables in the sand, and store the container in a dark, cool cupboard or in the refrigerator.
2. When you’re ready to use a vegetable, just brush off the sand and peel.