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 selection of vintage notes 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!

  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. (Margaret).
  2. Combine equal parts butter and flour (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. (Dianne).
  4. Perfectly shred chicken 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. (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. (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 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 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. (Jeremy).
  11. A quick & easy Comeback Sauce 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.
  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 pans, 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. (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. (Judy).
  20. Not sure how many cups your casserole dish holds? Take a one cup measure and fill with water then pour into dish. Now it’s a simple matter of keeping count to how many it takes to fill the dish. (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 ;).

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    • Ekior

    #6 Leftover cooked bacon, I wish

      • Nancy T

      I am 57 years old and have yet to see even 1 slice of leftover bacon.

    • Stacey

    In regards to #7. Pouring oil/fat down the sink is a terrible idea. 1) It is terrible for the environment as it takes more energy for wasterwater treatment plants to clean oil from the water. And if you don’t care about the environment, consider 2) It will clog your pipes.

      • Kathy

      I tried that once and it certainly blocked the pipes. Boiling water would not clear them. Very unhappy husband who had to clean the goo from the pipes.

    • Joey

    i cook for my family, and they love the magic sauce on their premium biscuits. Well done!

    • Deb

    I had not heard of Comeback Sauce before but it sounded interesting so I made a pint. I almost wish I hadn’t. The stuff is so good it is addictive! This will be a staple in my kitchen from now on. Thanks for the recipe and the site.

    • polly

    mix softened butter with olive oil for healthier thinner(easier)butter spread that goes much further.Also,sliced pound cake topped with vannila icecream,and or whip cream topped with strawberries or other fruit makes a quick and easy(if pound cake is store bought)deluxe dessert for any occasion.(better than strawberry shortcake)

    • Linda

    What is comeback sauce?

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