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. Offset spatula substitute
If you’re unwilling to pay premium kitchenware-store prices for a large offset icing spatula, try a large offset palette knife with a flexible blade from the hardware store, which is normally used for mixing small amounts of paint or spackle. The knife works almost as well as an icing spatula, and it costs only a fraction as much. Palette knives can also be purchased at art supply stores.
2. Chocolate chisel
Instead of using a knife to break apart chocolate or frozen liquids, consider keeping a cheap chisel from the local hardware store on hand. The chisel’s sturdy edge does a better job—and keeps your knives’ sharp, delicate edges out of harm’s way. Place the chisel on chocolate or ice, angled away from you. Using short, quick strokes, chip into pieces of desired size.
3. Torch your dessert
Crème brûlée aficionados already know that you can use a toolshed butane torch instead of a little kitchen torch to get a faster and more crispy caramelized sugar layer on that classic dessert, but you can also get more from your torch by using it to brown already-baked meringue-topped pies, tartlets, and cakes.
4. Watering your pans in the oven
Putting boiling water into a pan in the oven when baking bread helps achieve the desired crust. Unfortunately, this can lead to scalding or burning yourself if you are not careful. Try using a copper (not plastic) watering can with a long spout to solve this problem. This method also works perfectly when adding water to a bain-marie.
5. The rules of reducing
While some cooks are comfortable eyeballing it when reducing liquid for a sauce, jam, or jelly, others like more precision. If you’re in the latter group, a stainless-steel ruler can help. Simply dip the ruler into the pot to measure the initial level of the liquid, then check periodically to determine when it has reduced to the desired point. The ruler is cheap, heatproof, easy to clean, and reusable.
6. Follow the ruler for perfect cookies
For the best-looking cookies, it’s important to start with balls of dough that are all the same size. In order to get an accurate measurement, set a ruler on top of the mixing bowl. Rather than placing the ball of dough on top of the ruler (where it’s hard to measure the equator), bring the ball up along the side of the ruler.
7. Handling hot pans
Pulling a hot baking sheet out of the oven while wearing oven mitts can be tricky, sometimes resulting in smushed cookies. Try putting curved-jaw locking pliers to work in your kitchen instead. Use the pliers to latch onto metal baking sheets (or other bakeware without handles) and then slide the sheets out of the oven.