Knowing your way around a kitchen doesn't have to take years of practice. These simple hacks can make life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable for anyone from a professional chef to a first time cook.
Cutting Tomatoes Quickly
Place the tomatoes between two plates. Press down on the top plate to keep the tomatoes in place and then slice across.
Freezing Fresh Herbs
Herbs can easily be stored for later use by placing them with olive oil in ice cube trays and freezing. You can chop the herbs first or add them in larger sprigs. Hard herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano work best. When you're ready to cook, just pop the cubes out and melt the oil in your pan.
Food Stuck On Pans
An easy fix to remove stubborn burnt-on foods is to dribble a bit of dishwashing liquid into the pan, add hot water and then bring to a boil on the stovetop. This also works great with cast iron pots and pans but just make sure to leave out the dishwashing liquid for these and use plain water instead.
Quickly Ripen Bananas
You can ripen a banana faster by placing it in a brown paper bag, but if you simply can't wait pop the bananas in a 300 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The peel will be black but the insides will be soft and sweet.
Trim The Fat
To remove the layer of fat that rises to the top in stews and sauces wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and skim it along the top. The fat will solidify from the ice making it easier to scoop out with a spoon.
Too Much Salt
To fix soup that's oversalted, place a couple of slices of potato for the last 10 minutes of cook time. The potato will absorb any excess salt. Discard the potatoes after cooking.
Keep Cut Apples From Turning Brown
Apples begin to brown once the fleshy insides are exposed to air. To prevent this from happening drop the fruit into a bowl of acidic liquid such as lemon or vinegar.
Stubborn Tomato Peels
Core the tomatoes then pop them into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge them into cold water. The peel will slide right off.
Testing Eggs For Freshness
Place the whole egg in a shallow glass of water. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom and lie flat. An egg that’s about a week old will bob slightly in the water. A three week old egg will stand on its end and a rotten egg will float right at the top.
Juicy Lemons And Limes
To get the most juice out of lemons and limes, keep them at room temperature. Or you can pop them in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds before juicing. A warm fruit will release more juice.
Quick Soak Your Beans
Unsoaked beans are not easy for our bodies to digest but soaking overnight can be a pain. For a quick soak, place beans in boiling water. Boil for two minutes and then turn the heat off and let them sit for an hour to get the same results as overnight soaking.
No Brown Avocados
To prevent that browning that occurs with avocados, brush the exposed flesh with olive or lemon juice. You can also chop a red onion and place in a container with the avocado, peel side down on top of the onion to store.
Keeping Brown Sugar Soft
To prevent brown sugar from hardening into an unusable lump, place a ribbon of orange peel in with the sugar and seal in a plastic bag. A wedge of apple or slice of bread will soften up sugar that’s already hardened.
Reuse Coffee Grounds
Don't throw away your coffee grounds after using if you have houseplants. Plants like roses, tomato, strawberry and blueberry love the nutrients found in coffee and will thank you for the extra boost.