Cooking and Kitchen Hacks

Kitchen Hacks to make Cooking Faster and Easier

The kitchen is a haven for food lovers and those who love to cook. But meal preparations can sometimes be difficult considering your busy schedule. If you could only make things faster, simpler, and less messy then cooking will be so much easier and enjoyable.

If you are a kitchen master then you probably know a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to food handling, but if you are not a pro yet, these kitchen hacks will definitely come in handy.

1. How to properly store sugar and what to do when it gets hard

Sugar is a kitchen essential that has many uses but when not stored properly, it gets hard and can no longer be used. Softening a hardened sugar can take extra time and energy so avoiding such is smart. The best way to store sugar and keep it fresh is to place it in a cool and dry place inside a sealable airtight container or freezer bag. This will prevent air from drying it out leading to its hardening. Additional trick is to put a few marshmallows on top of the sugar to prevent it from drying out.

But, if sugar gets hard, you can place the hardened sugar inside a zip lock and pound it gently until it softens, or place it in the oven for 20-30 seconds or until it is ready to use.

2. How to peel garlic easily

Garlic is a basic necessity for cooking and since it is often used for a lot of dishes, it is imperative to know the simple trick on how to peel its skin easily. You can do either of these tricks. One way is to separate the cloves from the whole bulb of garlic then put it inside a microwave for about 20 seconds. The moment you take them out, their skin will slide right off. The other way is still to remove the cloves from the bulb and this time whack each clove with the side of your knife and it will do the same trick as the first.

3. Peeling a potato without a peeler

Ditch the peeler and de-skin potatoes the easier way by boiling the potatoes and giving it an ice batch immediately after taking it out from the pot. You will be amazed how easily the skin of the potato separates from the body.

4. How to grate cheese easier and less messy

Cheese is love but they can be really messy to prepare. To minimize the mess and make the process easier, put your choice of cheese inside a freezer for about 30 minutes. This will make the grating a total breeze.

5. Shred chickens in seconds

Chicken is incredible for a lot of dishes but shredding is quite fiddly and time consuming. If you want to reduce mess and shred faster, the best way is to put your boneless chicken inside a food processor, and within seconds, you’re shredded chicken is good to go.

6. The right way to peel ginger

You might be using the traditional way of peeling ginger which is by using a peeler or a knife, but there is a better way to do it and you might be surprised as to what it is – using a spoon.

Spoons have smooth edges allowing you to peel ginger smoothly and more effectively. In addition, it only removes the outermost part of the skin leaving you with more of the flesh, which is great in reducing cost and waste.

7. A cooking hack to soften butter

Butter serves a lot of different purposes but everyone may agree that it makes everything better. From frying, to baking, to cooking pasta, or making sandwiches, butter is always a must have. But in making sandwiches, spreading butter to the bread becomes difficult if the butter is hard which sometimes even leave a hole right into the bread. To quickly soften the butter, grating will do the trick. The friction will produce a warming effect to the butter and allows the grated parts to be exposed quickly to air with room temperature.

8. Removing squash skin and seeds

If you love soups and stew, squash is definitely the perfect vegetable to have. It is not only a versatile vegetable but also very affordable compared to other veggies. However, peeling a squash takes a great amount of effort because of its thick skin. A quick remedy for this is to put the squash in the oven for about 3 minutes and after taking it out, its skin will be so much easier to remove. Moreover, the best way to remove its seeds is an ice cream scoop. Its round shape and sharp edges makes it perfect to scoop out the seeds.

9. How to preserve herbs for later use

Herbs are a must-have in the kitchen. They provide texture and more flavor to any dish. But herbs don’t last that long. Sometimes they wither in your shelves and therefore needed to be thrown away in the trash. We don’t want this to happen, and drying the herbs will do the magic in preserving your herbs for a longer time.

Simply put your herbs inside a paper towel and pop it inside a microwave for 30 seconds until fully dried making them usable even until a later date.

10. Separate yolks from whites

Separating the egg yolk from its white part is very difficult if you don’t know some tricks. The best way is to use a plastic bottle by gently squeezing it over a cracked egg. When air will re-enter the plastic bottle the egg yolk is also scooped right up.

11. How to keep potatoes fresh and white

Ever wonder why potatoes turn brown or gray after peeling them off? Potato skins serve as a protective layer that blocks oxygen from reaching the enzyme. When the skin is removed, the potato’s flesh is exposed and oxidation begins which results in the change of color.

To prevent this chemical reaction from happening, place the peeled potatoes in a bowl of cold water and your potatoes will stay white and fresh. This technique is also applicable to other fruits such as apples and pears if you want to consume them at a later time.

12. How to make the most juice from citrus fruits

Citrus fruits make healthy drinks and also a great addition to spice up your dishes. In order to maximize the juice being squeezed out of citrus fruits, pop them in a microwave for 15-20 seconds. In addition, before slicing them in half, roll them first and you are sure to have the most juice from your lemon or orange. Those are a dozen kitchen hacks that will surely help you cook better and faster. Apply these tips when needed and your cooking experience will surely be a total breeze.

Six Cooking Tips Men Should Know

It’s time men stopped waiting eagerly at the dinner table every day for their serving. Kitchen duties are no longer limited to women as it used to be decades ago. Cooking is an art that not only prevents you from starving but allows you to express yourself and get inspired to seek out more recipes to experiment with.

Why should you even bother learning to cook when you have everything you need to sustain yourself? Even your kitchen doesn’t serve any purpose as it’s just for show. Well, perhaps you’ve never thought of cooking as an essential life skill that your potential partner will love. Furthermore, cooking allows you to try new things and soon you’ll be amazed how much money you’ve saved. And don’t forget it is really, really, fun to cook. Here are important cooking tips you should know as a man.

Prep is Important

While prep is the least enjoyable thing when it comes to cooking, it’s the most important aspect and shouldn’t be ignored. No matter how long you should take preparing your recipes, be sure to do everything properly. Without prep you’re likely to end up in stress and confusion when you start cooking. Save yourself the frustration, stress, and confusion and prepare thoroughly before getting that fire on.

Sharp Knives for a Sharp Guy

When was the last time you purchased a knife? If you’re still using some old, blunt knives donated to you by your parents, it’s time you bought a new set of good, sharp knives. The knives you use will determine your cooking experience and the last thing you want is trying to chop using a blunt knife. Ensure you have all the different types of knives needed for your prep and cooking.

Learn to Chop Correctly

It is one thing to have a good, sharp knife and it’s another thing to know how well to use it. It’s not uncommon for men to injure themselves when chopping food in the kitchen. Who said you have to do it like a pro? The idea it to learn the different ways to correctly chop whatever needs chopping.

Don’t forget to Taste the Food

You’re the chef and you can’t serve something you haven’t tasted yourself. How will you know if it’s under-seasoned, over-seasoned, or even ready for serving? Make sure you taste the sauces, curries, and other foods you’re preparing. Don’t worry about serving food that’s 100 percent perfect for everyone since everybody has a different palette.

Make Clean-up Easy

Usually, after enjoying a large, delicious, and sufficiently filling meal with your friends or family, the last thing you want is to get to the kitchen to do the dishes. The more you wait the more the juices soak into your chopping boards and grime and grease solidify on the cooking pans. It’s a good idea to clean the knives, pans, pots, and other kitchen items you’ve used during the waiting time when still cooking. You can always clean while waiting to save yourself this kind of work once you’re filled up and lazy.

Enjoy Yourself, Dude

Whether it’s your first time or you’ve been doing it for a while, cooking isn’t supposed to be stressful. As mentioned, it should be something you enjoy. From grilling and baking to frying and dicing, it should be really, really fun. Don’t limit yourself. Go ahead and experiment with different ingredients. Grab a glass of wine and embrace the fun and enjoyment that comes with cooking.