1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Handy Kitchen Hints

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by sormuijai, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. sormuijai

    sormuijai Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    Sydney
    With so many great cooks in this forum, I thought I'd start a thread for people to share their handy hints around the kitchen! Little shorts cuts to certain recipes, good methods of storing fruit veggies, how to clean an oven in 2 mins, whatever you can think of!

    Let me start it off:

    - To rid your hands of stinky garlic/fishy smell rub your hands around your kitchen sink. The stainless steel neutralises the odour.

    - Crush a clove of garlic with the blade of a knife will make it much easier to take the skin off, rather than trying to peel the skin off and then crushing it.

    - Put ripe bananas into the freezer if you're not going to eat it. Defrost and use in a banana cake. When it defrosts, it almost self pulverises making it very easy to mix into the batter.

    - If you've over salted your broth, chuck in a piece of fresh potato and it'll absorb some of the salt and help save your soup!

    - If you've been making caramel/toffee in a pot, best way to clean it is fill it with water and bring it to the boil. The steam and hot water will melt the hardened sugar making it very easy to clean.

    - Store a, opened jar of tomato paste upside down in the fridge to prevent mould. Makes it last much longer.

    - Put sugar in the cookiejar to absorb excess moisture, this prevents the cookies going stale.

    - When steaming things, place a tea towel over the pot and THEN put the lid on. This will prevent excess condensation dripping onto whatever you're steaming and diluting the flavour. Just be careful if you're using a gas stove!

    - When washing up bowls, pots or surfaces that have flour or batter on it, never use hot water or a hot cloth. The flour will cook and turn into glue. Even worse when it sticks to the sponge and you need to chuck the whole thing away. Rinse with cold water to get rid of most of the excess flour first then use a sponge on it.

    - If you have a hot plate stove, when you're done cooking, put a pot of water onto the hot plate with the lid on, stove off. The residual heat on the plate will warm up/boil the water. Use this to wash your dishes in winter. Saves you running the tap for 2 mins before hot water comes out!

    Any other helpful hints that people can offer?
     
  2. HUMMER

    HUMMER Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    8,786
    Location:
    sydney
    if you have eaten seafood with you hands washing with soap can sometimes still leave the seafood smell on your hands. solution. get some lemon juice and put some on your hands. use like soap. then wash hands with normal soap. fishy or seafood smell gone.

    lemon rind and charcoal will rid of bad smells in fridges. so put some in a small open container like a take away container and leave it there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  3. OP
    OP
    sormuijai

    sormuijai Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    Sydney
    Here's a few more I can think of:

    - If you've burnt something onto the pan, instead of scrubbing it off, pop it back onto the stove and "deglaze" it with some water. Usually works depending on how badly you've burnt it. But works well for those little stubborn black spots on the bottom of the pot.

    - When reheating something that's frozen, i.e pies, to test if its hot in the centre, stick a metal skewer into the middle for a few seconds and then touch the skewer lightly to your lips. If its hot, then the centre is hot. No more guessing.

    - After deep frying stuff, you can clean and reuse the oil by straining the oil through a paper towel. I.e. put a paper towel in a sieve and pour the oil through that.

    - If your plastic containers are stained from tomato or curry, dry the container out in the sun for a few hours to remove the stains.
     
  4. scon

    scon Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    5,220
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Always use dry teatowels when handling hot pots!
     
  5. juf

    juf Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    439
    When cleaning small serrated steak knives only use a plastic brush and only scrub away from yourself with the blade pointing away.

    Any other way you will get tiny pieces of chux or plastic barbs stuck in the knife.

    Use cheap tissues to wipe off the excess food before cleaning stuff in sink.

    It's sometimes better to cook stuff on low for a long time if you have patience and less explosions.
     
  6. Arch-Angel

    Arch-Angel Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,940
    Location:
    Brisbane
    NEVER put kitchen knives in the dishwasher. It's dulls the blades very fast. Handwash in warm water instead.

    If you use a knife block, shame on you. But if you still use one, insert your knives unside down (ie, sharp blade up). That way you won't run the sharp edge along the wood/plastic and dull the edge.

    Wooden chopping boards are harder to clean, and usually harbour more germs. Glass/steel chopping boards kill knives, and can be dangerous to work with. Plastic chopping boards are best – just make sure to wash them and soak in bleach regularly to kill off any nasties.

    Steels aren’t used for sharpening knives… they’re for deburring. If you want a sharp knife, buy good quality, look after it, and sharpen with a wet stone.

    If you want to cut tomatos and you’re knives aren’t sharp enough to cut the skin easily, use a finely serrated knife.

    Let pans cool slowly. If you put cold water into a hot pan it can warp the bottom (often the centre will rise). It’s a serious pain in the ass cooking on an uneven surface… eggs run, pan juices go everywhere and someone think of teh pancakes!!

    Eggs take a LOT longer to boil when they’ve been kept in the fridge…

    Eggs will cook even after they’ve been taken off the heat. If you find that you tend to overcook eggs, just take them off early and let their own heat continue to cook them.

    If you’re ever looking for inspiration, remember to keep flavours simple and use the best quality ingredients you can afford. Often simple flavours are best.

    An open box of Baking Soda (Bicarb soda) will kill fridge odour for a long long time, and it's pretty cheap to buy.
     
  7. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    27,379
    coffee filters work even better, but are obviously more expensive.

    what would you suggest instead?
     
  8. AussieHusky

    AussieHusky Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    When reheating pastries, or anything crispy, do it in the oven and not the microwave, they will just go soggy. However when cooking frozen things, microwaving briefly to defrost and then heating in the oven significantly reduces cooking time.

    When carmelising onions, a sprinkling of brown sugar can speed up the process.

    When you want tender meat, marinate in an acid like lemon juice, or yogurt. These will also help to penetrate the meat with the flavor of the marinade.

    When making garlic bread, a little dill and parsley helps reduce the garlic smell on your breath.

    Spray oils give a more even coat and require less oil.

    When thickening a sauce, never add flour directly, it will clump. Depending on what you're making you can either stir it into cold water, then add, or make a roux by rubbing the flour into butter to disperse it.

    When baking bread, use a large ceramic plate in the bottom of the oven, and spray with water as you put in the bread. This will form steam which will cause a much crunchier crust on the bread.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    sormuijai

    sormuijai Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    Sydney
    Won't this cause the plate to crack? Are you spraying the plate or the bread?
     
  10. ravencs

    ravencs Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    831
    Location:
    Sydney 2089
    Spraying will likely evaporate instantly, your only after a steam.
    The plate will only crack if its experienced a large drop in temp. (i.e. thrown into cold water)
     
  11. AussieHusky

    AussieHusky Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    536
    Sorry, I should clarify, It should be unglazed, like a terracotta tile, or a pizza stone.

    When sprayed with a mist, (IE from a spray bottle) The water will evaporate before touching the stone.
     
  12. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Hervey Bay
    Just a little rider to this .. the acid will also cook the flesh so do not marinade for a long time.
     
  13. darksilencer

    darksilencer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Syd
    If you have any spare egg whites from cooking custards or desserts, keep them and add them to your marinade for beef/pork/chicken for stir frys etc, makes them really tender and you don't waste food :thumbup:
     
  14. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    4,279
    Location:
    Hervey Bay
    Lots of vegetables and herbs can be frozen.

    To avoid waste with onions I quite often buy them fresh, dice and then freeze.

    Herbs can be chopped and frozen in ice cube blocks. Defrost when you need the herb. (Beware that most herbs may need a quick blanch before doing this. Just dip them quickly into a pan of boiling water and remove immediately. Chop then freeze.)
     
  15. Johnbu

    Johnbu Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    3,344
    Location:
    SE Melbourne
    I use both wooden and plastic chopping boards, plastic as they are easier to wash.. however it's been proven that wooden chopping board habours LESS bacteria, as it tends to dry faster and kill bateria as it dries.
     
  16. Foxster

    Foxster Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Messages:
    436
    Actually, if you wrap the frozen pie/pastry/whatever in a paper towel, it will come out nice and crispy as the paper towel will absorb the excess moisture.
     
  17. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    27,379
    i find that when i keep onions in the fridge instead of the cupboard, i don't cry as much when chopping them.
     
  18. crix75

    crix75 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Get a sharper knife.. If the onions are making you cry, it means that you are doing more crushing than cutting. This is a something that was pointed out to me recently, and damn me if it isn't true..
     
  19. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Messages:
    27,379
    while that is sometimes true, i can assure you that in this case it is not because of the knife.
     
  20. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,073
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    To prevent onions from making you cry, keep them in the fridge. Sharp knife (as above) works as well.

    To help meat brown, rub a tiny amount of caster sugar on the meat.

    Peppering food after cooking results in a more intense flavour than peppering before cooking.

    To preserve flavour in any food, always steam your food instead of boiling. The only exception is if you wish to make a soup from the water.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: