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Maybe you think you’ve got it all figured out in the kitchen – you’ve watched a lot of Jamie Oliver over the years, and you know your way around a double oven. Whether you can crack open an egg with one hand whilst simultaneously seasoning the omelette-to-be, or you’re a little more nervous about producing the goods at dinnertime, we’re here with 10 kitchen hacks to help you stroll into the dining room, victoriously clutching the goods. And by goods, we mean everyone’s dinner… plus your own sanity fully in tact. Sound good? Dive in!
Potato Peeling Perfection
The humble yet ridiculously versatile potato is a staple in so many of our diets – but prepping it can be a bit of a nightmare. Chop up your spuds too far ahead of cooking and they’ll end up a horrible grey colour… very unappetizing. Why? Because once you’ve chopped into them they release starch, and that starch causes oxidization… which means there’s an easy solution! Simply immerse your chopped spuds in cold tap water whilst they wait, and they’ll stay white and fresh. Simple!
Sliced Fruit Freshness
A twist on one of the most well-known kitchen hacks out there – you’re probably already well aware that a squeeze of lemon juice is a great way to keep sliced apples from browning… but have you ever tried feeding a toddler an apple slice that tastes of lemon?! Fortunately there’s a much more appetizing way to keep their chopped fruit fresher for longer. Simply mix up one part honey with two parts water and use in exactly the same way. The taste is far less intrusive, and the results pass even the grumpiest of toddler taste tests. How does it work? There’s a peptide in honey that slows down the oxidization process that causes that yucky browning… and there’s no bitter aftertaste!
Serve Egg-cellent Omelettes Every Time
We’ve all been there – you cracked that egg a little too confidently, and now there’s a stray sliver of shell in your pan threatening to ruin lunch. No need to reach in and chase it around with your fingers – simply dip the other half of your already cracked eggshell into the mix, and it will act as a magnet to draw up the runaway shell pieces. Easy! And no-one need know you can’t crack an egg without disaster…
Egg Shell Removal The Easy Way
Speaking of eggs, ever wondered if there’s an easier way to separate the shell from the white of a hard boiled egg? There is! Simply add a little vinegar or baking soda to the water whilst the eggs are boiling. Both these ingredients will help the egg white to separate from the shell.
Fresh Cookies For Days
If you’re an avid baker but wish your cookies kept their day-one freshness for longer, then we’ve a kitchen hack you’ll love. When storing your cookies, add a simple slice of shop-bought white bread to an airtight container, and pop your cookies inside with it. Friends and family will think you’re baking up a fresh batch every day… and the truth can just stay between us!
The DIY Proofing Drawer In Every Kitchen
And here’s another our kitchen hacks included with bakers in mind. Since the rise of Bake-Off we’ve all fantasized about that new kitchen-fit that features the all-important proofing drawer… but we’re here to tell you that you already have a proofing drawer – it’s your oven! All you need to do is place a glass baking dish on the bottom rack and fill it with boiling water. Pop your dough inside the oven on the middle or top rack above the water, and shut the door. The steamy environment created inside the oven will help you achieve the perfect rise… no kitchen re-fit required!
Bananas For Every Dish
Desperate to bake a banana bread, but still have a bowlful of green bananas that won’t be anywhere near mushy enough for another week? Don’t be deterred – pop the oven on and turn up to around 300 degrees, then throw that bunch of bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet and pop them inside for around 30 minutes, or until the skin is dark brown. Once done, the fruit inside will be lovely and soft, and perfect for your bake! On the flipside, if you want to keep your bananas fresher for longer, simply separate the bunch, and wrap each stem in film or foil. This helps trap the naturally-produced ethylene gas at the stem end of the fruit, so it can’t spread to the whole banana and speed up the ripening process.
Lightning Speed Ripening
And now you know what ethylene gas is, and all the sorcery it can bring to your fruits and vegetables, you’ve probably guessed that you can channel its powers to speed up the ripening process too! If you need to ripen up those avocados to make a tasty guacamole for example, simply pop them in a brown paper bag and fold over the opening to seal it, trapping all the ethylene gas inside (whilst allowing a little air flow for breathing).
Kitchen Sink Calm
We all know the drama a clogged kitchen sink brings with it – but did you know there’s a clever way you can help prevent this problem from building up? Periodically pouring boiling water down the drain ensures the oils and fats from food products run away down the pipes, rather than building up on the interior surfaces, to eventually cause blockages and slow drainage. For added oomph, pour a little baking powder down the plughole before the boiling water – it’s a powerful cleaning agent and will help to dispel any nasty odours.
Stainless Steel Envy
If you love your stainless steel appliances and accessories but hate the fact that they’re constantly sporting smudges and fingerprints, then we’ve a cleaning hack for you. Did you know that glass cleaner is also perfect for achieving a streak free shine on stainless steel too? Alternatively, if you’d rather opt for a fully-chemical-free approach, you can buff up your stainless steel goods with, wait for it… flour! Simply sprinkle the flour onto a completely dry microfibre cloth, and buff it into your steel sink, counter or appliance. Rinse it off, and voila – it’s shiny and new again!
Have more clever kitchen hacks you think the world needs to know about? Share them in the comments below! And if you want more inspiration on transforming your home, kitchen and garden, discover more articles, ideas, and inspiration right here!