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20 Kitchen Secrets For Those That Love ‘Em

I haven’t posted a kitchen tips list in ages and thought it was about time we had one! This collection’s a little different, it’s a mix of vintage tips I’ve collected from old cookbooks, several from readers who sent them in and a few goodies I found online. Lots of great ideas here, enjoy!

Vintage Certo Advertisement (Altered) From 1939

Vintage Certo Advertisement (Altered) From 1939

  1. Ground beef taste with ground turkey calories: Add about 1/4 cup of Worcestershire to 1 pound of ground turkey, mix up well and cook as you normally would, it will taste almost like hamburger! Skip adding any salt to the recipe since Worcestershire already has it. Sent in by Margaret.
  2. Mix equal parts butter and flour together (about a cup each will do), scrape into a small glass jar with lid and refrigerate. Grab a spoonful as you need it to thicken sauces and gravies. You can also cut into cubes.
  3. Freeze wedges of lemon and use them to flavor glasses of water and keep them cold just like ice cubes. Make sure to wash the outside of the lemon before cutting into wedges and freezing. Sent in by Dianne.
  4. Perfectly Shred Chicken [1] quickly and easily by tossing cooked chicken into your KitchenAid mixer with the cookie paddle attachment. Chicken should still be warm when you do this.
  5. Rub vegetable oil on your hands if they have been stained with food coloring. Wash and repeat until color is gone. Sent in by Sandy.
  6. If you have any slices of leftover cooked bacon, wrap them in paper towels in a single layer then wrap well with plastic and freeze. Take out what you need and microwave strips in a single layer (while still frozen) in 45 second intervals until they’re hot. Sent in by Jill.
  7. Run ground beef under hot water right after cooking it to remove the most fat possible.
  8. Keep a batch of Magic Sauce [2] on hand at all times to add flavor to all kinds of dishes, from scrambled eggs to soups, noodles and more.
  9. All it takes is a pork chop [3] to turn homemade tomato sauce into something special.
  10. Cool a freshly baked Angel Food cake by placing it upside down over a bottle that has somewhat of a tall neck. Sent in by Jeremy.
  11. A quick & easy Comeback Sauce [4] is good on everything (except Cheerios).
  12. Add freshly squeezed juice from one lemon to a stew while it’s simmering, will blend the hidden flavors of all the ingredients into one savory dish that’s sure to bring forth compliments.
  13. As you take a cake from the oven, place it for a very few moments on a cloth wrung out of cold water. Then it may be turned out easily without sticking to the pan. Plenty more cake baking tips found on this page [5].
  14. Secret to a tender steak? Tea! It contains tannins which are a natural meat tenderizer. Make a cup or two of strong black tea, allow it to cool and then marinate steak.
  15. If you’re baking dozens of cookies and are short on cookie sheets, line sheets with aluminum foil first and you can quickly pull them off with the cookies as they’re done baking. Rinse pans under cold water and when they’re cool, wipe dry, line with a fresh sheet of foil and start again. Saves having to wait until the sheets cool down enough to start the next batch. Sent in by Louise.
  16. Add the grated rind of one orange to a boxed gingerbread mix and it will taste just as good as homemade.
  17. Tired of soggy sandwiches in bagged lunches? Mix a tablespoon of dry mustard with a stick of butter and keep refrigerated. Use this spread on both slices of bread before adding sandwich ingredients. The butter will repel the moisture from the bread while the mustard adds a nice flavor.
  18. Need to chill cookie dough in a hurry? Freeze it 20 minutes per every hour that recipe indicates to refrigerate.
  19. Before creaming butter and sugar together, first pour hot water into the mixing bowl, let it sit for a few minutes and then dump it out and wipe bowl dry. You’ll find the butter and sugar mixture will cream together more quickly. Sent in by Judy.
  20. Not sure how many cups your casserole dish holds? Take a one cup measuring cup and fill with water then pour into dish. Keep count how many cups it takes to fill the dish. Sent in by Mary.

“Sift flour just before using it. Then measure it, spooning it gently into the measuring cup. Using a spatula or knife, cut the excess flour off the top of the cup sharply.”

From Down-On-The-Farm Cook Book (1943)

If you enjoy quick tip-bits, do a search for “timeless wisdom” in the search box at the top of the page and that will get you started, this site is loaded with them ;).