105 Easy Everyday Tips that will Save You Time, Money & Face in the Kitchen


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If you cooked in the kitchen with your grandma you probably learned a lot of her everyday tips for the kitchen. By now you may be cooking in your own kitchen and have some daily hacks of your own. Some of these tips and tricks are a little old fashioned but that doesn’t mean they don’t still work. Take all of the hints that work for you and use them and leave the rest.

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105 Easy Everyday Tips that will Save You Time, Money & Face in the Kitchen at http://cookwithgrandma.com

 

    1. Put the lid on your pot of water when you are waiting for it to boil and it will boil faster.
    2. When making hard boiled eggs just put a little food coloring in the water, when storing you will be able to tell which eggs are hard boiled.
    3. If you hate that gamey taste in your venison (like I do) just soak it in a can of soda pop overnight. I think that dark soda works best.
    4. If you like soft cookies put an apple wedge in with them.
    5. Keep your plastic wrap in the refrigerator and it will be easier to handle.
    6. Store your cheese in a sealed container with two lumps of sugar to prevent mold.
    7. Trouble peeling your banana? Try peeling from the bottom, it works.
    8. Wet the knife before slicing hard boiled eggs and it makes the job easier.
    9. Do not start a recipe until you double check if you have the ingredients on hand.
    10. Microwave rock hard brown sugar to soften it.
    11. Never have dry chicken again if you soak it in the refrigerator in buttermilk for at least 3 hours. This is one of my favorite everyday tips but I usually let it soak overnight.
    12. Add an apple to your bag of potatoes to keep them from budding.
    13. When making meatloaf put a couple pieces of bread end to end in the bottom of the meatloaf pan. This soaks up all of the fat.
    14. For fluffy rice add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice for every 2 cups of water. Works like a charm.
    15. Out of sour cream but want to make dip? Substitute cottage cheese and just blend it well.
    16. Hate touching the meat when you are cooking? Wear clear plastic gloves (no powder).
    17. Add rice to your salt shaker so that it won’t clump is of those everyday tips that everybody knows already.
    18. Put onions in the freezer for 20 minutes before chopping to avoid tears. (for cooked onion use only.)
    19. Another way to avoid tearing up when cutting up onions is to take the core out first.
    20. Slice soft cheese or cake with dental floss to avoid making a mess. (Unflavored please)
    21. Prevent your brown sugar from becoming hard by adding marshmallows, a slice of bread, or an apple slice. I prefer the marshmallows because they are the least messy.
    22. My cousins taught me to peel an orange with a spoon. It gets under the rind and does a fantastic job.
    23. Store cottage cheese upside down to make it last longer.
    24. Making dumplings the old fashioned way like grandma? (rolled out) Cut them with a pizza cutter. It gets the job done in a jiffy.
    25. Always keep a pair of scissors in the kitchen silverware drawer. These can be any scissors that you buy and then designate only for the kitchen. Be sure to wash them just like your other kitchen tools. Use them to cut up kids food, when asked to cube a food they can work, any time you want to cut food in small pieces just use the scissors.
    26. To cook bacon easily separate the pieces and lay them flat on a baking sheet. Cook in a 400° oven and check after 15 minutes. It should take about 20 minutes to cook depending on brand and thickness.
    27. An interesting way to cut the corn off of the cob is to stand the corn in the hole in the middle of a bundt pan. When you cut the corn off it will go right in the pan. Brilliant! Of course they do make corn cutters specifically for this task but they can be pricey.
    28. Stop guessing if you meat is thoroughly cooked, invest in a meat thermometer.
    29. Make clean up much easier by using the silicone baking mats. Put them on your baking sheet and they are easier to clean than the pan.
    30. If your fruit is taking too long to ripen but it in a brown paper bag with an apple. This will speed up the process.
    31. Keep your own book of family recipes in a three ring binder. Make notes about any changes you make to the recipe and you can even say “Uncle Fred doesn’t like this with peas.” I like to mark my recipe once a week, once a month, or occasionally.
    32. When measuring something sticky (honey, peanut butter, molasses, maple syrup) spray the measuring cup first with vegetable oil. You could also just wipe it with any type of cooking oil.
    33. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to the water when cooking cauliflower and it will keep it’s white appearance.
    34. Grandma taught me to add a tiny bit of salt to my flour when I make gravy. This helps it not  turn out lumpy.
    35. If you want your food to heat more evenly in the microwave simply arrange it as if there was a hole in the middle of the place.
    36. To tell how old an egg is, place it in a glass of water. If it sinks it is fresh, it is floats it is old and should not be used.
    37. If you need to slice meat, it makes the job easier if you partly freeze the meat.
    38. When it is time to clean the microwave either heat a cup of water for one minute or heat a wet sponge. Be careful this will be hot! Either of these actions loosens the stuck on food and makes it easier to clean.
    39. Don’t own a jar opener? Use your gloves for doing dishes and try again. It provides a non-slip grip that usually works.  Of course, hitting the edge of the lid with a butter knife helps too. (I have known of a jar getting broken when hit with a butter knife so be careful.)
    40. Ever have your pot boil over? Grandma said to put a wooden spoon on top and mom said to use a drop of cooking oil. Either method works but since I never seem to have a wooden spoon around anymore I reach for the oil. Beware that if you use oil your sauce won’t stick to your pasta.
    41. Add just a pinch of salt to your gallon of milk when you bring it home and it will last longer.
    42. Add a pinch of salt to coffee grounds when making coffee and it helps take away the bitter taste.
    43. Can’t wait for your bananas to ripen to make banana bread? Put them in the oven for 30 minutes at 300° and they will be perfect.
    44. Line your baking sheets with aluminum foil when making food that ooze and make a mess. Discard the foil when finished and save all of that work. (I use silicone mats now instead.)
    45. Store your dry goods (flour, rice, pasta) in a plastic container with a lid and then add a bay leaf. This will keep out the bugs. (I have done this for 32 years and it works!)
    46. When you drop a piece of egg shell in with your eggs you don’t have to fish around forever. Use part of the egg shell that is probably still in your hand and try to get it out. The amazing thing is that the piece of shell seems to be attracted to the shell half and you can get it out quite easily.
    47. Your lettuce and veggies are cut up and in a large bowl in the fridge but they go bad so quickly. Wet a paper towel and ring it out. Place it on top of your salad mixture and then cover with plastic wrap or a lid. Your salad will now easily last a week if you can get people to put things back the way they found them.
    48. In my grandma’s day she just washed her fruit and vegetables under the tap. Let me tell you, that is all you need to do today too! It is not necessary to use a special fruit and vegetable spray to clean your food. If I can’t convince you and you feel better using one you can make your own with a tablespoon each of lemon juice and baking soda and one cup of water. Put it in a spray bottle and have at it. Now please do wash all fruits and vegetables no matter where they came from or if they are organic or not. But truly, water does just as good of a job if not better.
    49. Make meats more tender by placing them in white vinegar and water for 10 minutes before cooking.
    50. When using a cheese grater simply coat it with non-stick spray to make it easier to grate and clean up a breeze. Alternately, you can simply wipe it with vegetable oil.
    51. Like I talked about in my directions for cooking a turkey, if you don’t have a rack you can use stalks of celery or rolled up aluminum foils instead.
    52. I never drink my beverage fast enough and if I use ice cubes it tastes watered down. One hint is to free grapes and use them in place of ice cubes. I have become attached to my Ozark Trail 30-ounce stainless steel tumbler and no longer have to worry about this. I keep it beside me all day and it is cold hours and hours later.
    53. Add baking soda to caramelize your onions faster.
    54. Out of baking powder? Substitute one part baking soda and two parts cream of tartar. (I can’t help it but I find it strange that you don’t have any baking powder but you do have cream of tartar.)
    55. Never, ever try a new recipe when you have guest coming over. Stick with the tried and true! 
    56. Don’t throw away your leftover sauce. I agree with this but many people say to save them in an ice cube tray and then use what you need. Personally, I save it in a freezer bag because it is an amount less than what we use for one meal. This works for homemade sauce, leftover chili with no beans to put on hot dogs and even that bulk can of tomato sauce that you bought and don’t want to spoil. Just freeze it.
    57. Add a pinch of baking soda when making iced tea to cut down on the bitterness.
    58. When you are broiling meats, place a few pieces of  bread in the broiler pan to soak up the fat.
    59. Test baking powder to see if it still works by putting some in a small bowl and adding some water to it. If it foams, it’s still good.
    60. Test baking soda to see if it is still good by putting some in a small bowl and adding a little vinegar to it. If it bubbles, it’s still good.
    61. If you think it may be time to replace your non-stick skillet just try frying some eggs in it. If they stick, it is time to replace the pan.
    62. Put a little baking soda in your milk when you have to boil it to keep it from curdling.
    63. Use your food processor to make gluten free bread crumb with brown rice or cereal.
    64. Don’t have any brown sugar? Mix 1 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of Molasses.
    65. Stock up on cheese when it is on sale and freeze it. Defrost the day before you need to use it. Be aware that sometimes freezing it does change the texture a bit but it will still be perfectly good for using in recipes.
    66.  Got some smelly plastic containers. Just put a little vinegar in the container for about 1 hours, then clean as usual. Wadded up newspaper works as well but slower.
    67. To remove the smell of onions or garlic after chopping, rub them on a stainless steel spoon or faucet.
    68. Can’t remember how long to cook that meal in the crock-pot? A safe guide is 4 hours on high and 8 hours on low.
    69. As a general rule leftovers will stay good in the refrigerator for 3 days with the exception of fish and seafood. Toss it out at the end of the third day.
    70. You can thicken your stews by adding a spoon of peanut butter. (Be mindful of peanut allergies in those consuming the stew.)
    71. When scrambling eggs add a tablespoon of warm water to make them light and fluffy.
    72. Wipe your cutting board with vinegar (either white or apple cider) to avoid the tears while cutting an onion.
    73. To test to see if a cake is done cooking, insert a clean toothpick in the middle and take it out again. If it comes out clean the cake is done.
    74. Don’t throw away crystallized honey. Just place it in a bowl of warm water for about ten minutes and it should return to the desired consistency.
    75. If you put too much salt in your soup just put in a peeled potato and it will absorb the salt.
    76. To clean a coffee pot or electric tea kettle just run half vinegar and half water through. Be sure to follow up with a clear water cycle or two.
    77. Put a piece of celery in the bag with your loaf of bread to keep it from going stale.
    78. Save the bread wrapper when you use the entire loaf. Next time you want to freeze bread to save for later use put the extra wrapper around the loaf and remove the tie and put it around both bags. This helps eliminate those really hard pieces of bread that happen because air got into the bag.
    79. For really fantastic pastries use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients. It is much more accurate.
    80. Buy a pork loin and bring it home and slice it into pork chops. This is often cheaper and there are no bones. (Thanks for this one, Lynn!)
    81. Take any meat you intend to coat out of the refrigerator one hour ahead of time and the coating will stick better.
    82. Your baked goods will turn out better if you take the required butter and eggs out of the refrigerator the night before.
    83. Read recipes with an attitude of, “How can I make this work for my family?”.  Many ingredients can be omitted and many more added to fit your tastes. The recipe is just the blueprint…you have to make it your own.
    84. If you let your meat rest for 20 minutes just one time, you will do it every single time after you see how much better it tastes.
    85. When making a salad ahead of time, put a damp paper towel of the top and then seal the container or bag. This really helps keep the ingredients fresh.
    86. Have your butcher cut your meat the way you want before you bring it home. Most will do it at no charge, even in the regular grocers. They have better tools most of the time and this saves you prep time. No need for a meat slicer.
    87. Cut up a green pepper by putting it on your cutting board and holding the stem. Go around the pepper slicing off just the edible layer from top to bottom. When finished you will simply have the seeds left and you can throw those away.
    88.  When freezing something be sure to put it as flat as possible. I like to put my food in a Gladware container and then once it is frozen transfer it to a gallon size freezer bag. This makes everything a uniform size.
    89. Anything you have to smash or crush, do it inside a plastic bag to avoid the mess and keep everything together without losing any.
    90. If you don’t have bread crumbs, just use a sleeve of saltine and crush them inside of a plastic bag with a rolling pin. No food processor needed.
    91. Even if you always use and electric can opener, be sure to keep a handheld one in case of a power outage.
    92. Keeping your knives sharp actually makes them safer. When you have to struggle that is when accidents happen.
    93. Everyone knows this one – dip your ice cream scoop in hot water to make it easier to use.
    94.  If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, either buy oven liners or use heavy aluminum foil to line the bottom of your oven. Be sure to change them when they are dirty.
    95. If you burn yourself in the kitchen, run the area under cold water. Do not use butter.
    96. Use masking tape to label things in the kitchen such as the date your leftovers will expire.
    97. A wet paper towel under the cutting board stops it from sliding all over.
    98. If you fish and clean your fish at home, freeze the part you are going to throw away and remember to throw it away on garbage day. No nasty bugs.
    99. Store your kitchen scale in a gallon size zip lock bag to keep it clean and ready to go.
    100. Every month find one recipe that you can prepare at home from scratch instead of buying the box mix. Soon you will be saving money and eating healthier.
    101. Get a three-ring binder and some plastic inserts and print out the recipes that your family likes. Not only will it save time looking things up but it will become a treasured item that can be passed down for generations.
    102. For heavens sake, taste your food before you serve it.
    103. Store everything in the kitchen closest to where it will be used.  Pans closest to the stove, knives closest the counter where you prep food, etc.
    104. Have some hamburger or chicken cooked ahead of time in the freezer. If that new dish you tried needs more practice, you can always cook some pasta, add meat thawed in the microwave and some jar sauce and have a meal within 15 minutes. (Wouldn’t it have been nice to have some of your own homemade sauce on hand?)
    105. If you have idle time while food is cooking, clean as you go. BUT do not let your attention stray too far from what you are cooking or your meal could be ruined. In that case, it is better to deal with the mess later.

 

There are tons more hints and tips for the kitchen, what everyday tips do you use to make your life easier in the kitchen?

 

This is my favorite cutting board: Fred & Friends OCD Chef Cutting Board

 

In our house the most used and loved pan is a 5 quart non-stick frying pan by Farberware.

We even had this red one (one of my favorite colors in the kitchen) but now we have a black one.

nonstick pan

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About Theresa

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother. I love cooking in the kitchen with my grandchildren and dearly wish my own grandmothers were still here today. They were an important part of my life and with this site I wish to honor grandmothers, families and the recipes they have shared with us.

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