More Kitchen Tip Quickies: {From Readers & Bloggers}

Here’s a mix of handy kitchen tips from Tipnut, other bloggers and from readers. Each of these were selected because of their usefulness and I’ve included the name of the person who submitted them beside each tip (thank you!).

  1. Whole tomatoes can be washed and frozen in containers or plastic bags. When you are ready to use simply thaw and the skin will slip right off and they are ready to be used in cooking. (Norma)
  2. When you get a good price on lemons, make big batches of fresh lemon juice at once. Freeze in measured 1/4 cup amounts so you can just take out the freezer bag or container to thaw when a recipe calls for lemon juice. You can also pour juice in muffin tins, freeze, then take them out and freeze in freezer bags. Make sure to freeze in measured amounts. (Sherry)
  3. Next time you make meatballs, try this tip: roll meat mixture into a log then slice off even sized meatballs. Time saver! (Jennifer)
  4. Perfect tiny meatballs tip: Use a melon baller. (Lisa)
  5. Buy fresh chicken breasts in bulk then wrap individually before freezing in large freezer bags. You’ll be able to grab the exact amount of chicken breasts you need without having to pry them apart. (Cami)
  6. Keep a roll of painters tape handy in the kitchen, it’s great to seal bags and such, re-sticks over and over (even stays sticky in the freezer). (Elizabeth)
  7. Line refrigerator metal racks with large washable placemats, they catch all the spills and wipe up easily. (Helen)
  8. Use a piece of bread with butter or oil to grease your casserole dishes easily. (Carol)
  9. Wrap fresh herbs in slightly damp paper towels then seal in an airtight plastic bag and store in the refrigerator, these will keep fresh for a long time! (Brenda)
  10. Try cooking vegetables in chicken or beef broth instead of water, delicious! (Kim)
  11. Keep wooden chopsticks in the pantry canisters, use them to level off measurements for cups of flour or sugar. (Shannon)
  12. Freeze wedges of lemons and limes then plop into glasses of water or iced tea. Good way to prevent the fruit from going to waste! Make sure to wash the outside of the fruit first before freezing. (Steve)
  13. Freshen up dish racks by occasionally scrubbing them with a paste of baking soda and water. Removes stains and odors. (Dawn)
  14. Place cookie cutter shapes on top of frosted cakes or cupcakes then drizzle candy sprinkles or colored coconut inside the shapes, remove cookie cutters and you have an original cake decoration done oh so simply! (Katy Lyn)
  15. Save time on baked potatoes by first boiling them for 15 minutes to pre-cook. Then put them in a preheated oven to finish cooking. (Jody)
  16. Cabbage Rolls: Wash cabbage heads, pat dry then wrap well in plastic and place in freezer a couple days before you plan on making stuffed cabbage rolls. Thaw the cabbage heads in the fridge one full day before preparation. When the cabbage is thawed the next day, you’ll find the cabbage leaves will come off the head easily and roll nicely. Another method you could try: Microwave cleaned cabbage head on low heat setting for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, peel leaves off. If you find the cabbage leaves aren’t as supple once you’re down a few layers, reheat for a few more minutes as needed.
  17. Ripen Peaches: Fill a box with peaches and cover them with newspaper to speed up the ripening process. To store in the freezer, slice the washed peaches into chunks, sprinkle on some lemon juice and pack them in freezer bags. A pound of peaches equals 4 cups sliced peaches (approximately).
  18. Protect Hands When Handling Meat: If you have a cut or wound on your hand, wear rubber gloves when preparing uncooked meat. The meat can transfer bacteria into the wound and that’s bad news. It’s also a good idea in general to cover hands that have a wound or sore when preparing any kind of food item so you don’t inadvertently transfer ickies to your family when they eat the food.
  19. Best Organization Advice: Make kits to keep all your kitchen stuff organized. Example: Measuring kit – Why go back to the drawer 80 times to get a teaspoon while you’re making cookies? Just pull out the measuring kit, use what you need and put it back when you’re done.
  20. How To Chill Drinks In Minutes: The trick is a steel pot filled with the cans or bottles, enough ice to cover the drinks, fill with water and stir in a bunch of table salt (!). Put the whole shebang in the freezer and voila! chilled drinks in 3 minutes.
  21. Southern Plate’s Handy Dandy Casserole Chart: It is meant as a handy helper, giving you ideas and a formula to create your own casseroles.
  22. How To Make Vinegar From Leftover Wine: Who knew!
  23. Chris’s Solar Food Dehydrator: Plenty of details on how to make your own solar dehydrator.
  24. Scrap Yourself A Mini Guide: Cool idea for creating little kitchen guides that can be kept at your fingertips.
  25. Kansas A’s Egg Advice: How do you easily get out an eggshell that has fallen into your egg? Use an eggshell to grab it quickly!
  26. Prevent Boil Overs: Whenever boiling potatoes, it seemed that the pot always boiled over no matter how we tried to prevent it . . . until discovering this simple tip: simply put a little slice of butter into the pot!
  27. How To Braid Garlic: Braiding garlic is easy – plus it’s the perfect way to preserve garlic and ensure that it gets proper air circulation.
  28. Speed Technique: Freezing Ginger: An ingenious way to store grated ginger is to form it into a long, skinny cylinder in plastic wrap, and freeze it. When you’re ready to use some, just break or cut off as much as you need and return the rest to the freezer! Convenient for adding quick flavor to a dish that you’re cooking for a speedy lunch or dinner.
  29. When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. (sent in by Ann, thanks!)
  30. I just read about the bananas in the cabbage salad…for years I have made mine with raisins, apples and slivers of carrots…mixed with a tad bit of sugar and salt, then mixed with miracle whip…it’s always been a big hit at picnics and parties…delicious (sent in by Gloria, thanks!)
  31. When baking chocolate cakes from scratch or using a box mix, substitute a cup of cold coffee or cappuccino (use your favorite flavor) in place of the cup of water. (sent in by Starr, thank you!)
  32. I have an excellent recipe for fruit dip: 1 tub of cream cheese (I believe they come in 8 oz) and 1 jar of marshmallow creme (I believe it is 10 oz). Mix together. Cut up some apples or other fruit and dip! Sounds strange…but it’s delicious! Our favorite is granny smith apples, red delicious apples and cantaloupe! (Tip sent in by Jessica, thank you!)
  33. A tip for you: I use glass canning jars for staples like flour, sugar, etc. and because I buy in bulk I usually have several of any one item. One jar lives in the kitchen but the others go downstairs. To remind myself that I DO have more I stuck labels on those thin, cheap magnets (the kind that you get in the mail or as business cards to stick to your fridge). I cut the magnets with the labels so they fit the canning jar lid and then wrote “more downstairs” on them. When I bring up the next jar I simply stick the magnet to its lid unless it is the last one of that item. This saves me and my feeble memory from many trips down those stairs to the reserve storage in the basement. (Tip sent in by Verity, thanks so much!)
  34. Use a steamer basket to cook potatoes for mashing (instead of boiling them). The flavor is MUCH better, and you never have to worry about your potatoes being watery. Once I started steaming potatoes, I never looked back. (Tip sent in by Jennifer, thanks!)
  35. When my daughter was young I would cut up her pancakes for her, but using a knife really didn’t work well (thin pancakes would roll up, thicker pancakes would get torn apart). One morning I spied the pizza cutter in the drawer and thought I’d give it a try. Success! Perfectly-cut squares every time, and it’s super quick. (Tip sent in by Sandi, thank you!)
  36. Just thought I would share this one with folks. I bake a lot around the holidays, but not so much the rest of the year. As a result I always have old spices left over and have to buy new to bake. I use the old ones when I clean house to simmer on the stove while I’m working. There’s nothing like your house smelling like baking spices when you get done with the cleaning and don’t have the smell of cleaners everywhere! (Melissa). (For recipe ideas, see Fragrant Home: 13 Simmering Pot Recipes).
  37. You have probably already had this one submitted but just in case, an easy way to chop hardboiled eggs for egg salad, potato salad, etc. is to use a pastry blender. The wire one works just as well as a bladed one. (Mary Ann)
  38. For an easy way to “cook” lasagna noodles, put them in a pan of very hot tap water while completing the rest of the recipe. They will be soft and pliable when you are ready to start layering them with the sauce, etc. I usually make my lasagna the day before and keep overnight in the fridge to reheat the next day. Flavor is wonderful. (Pat)
  39. Don’t shuck corn. Just put on microwave safe plate, and microwave. When cooked, remove outside shuck and then grasp the corn silks with your fingertips and gently pull. The silks will come off easily. (Margaret).
  40. Keep a supply of kitchen trash can liners in the bottom of your trash can. When you lift out the full bag, the new ones are right there, saves the extra steps to get a liner from the cupboard. Do the same for small bathroom liners (we use plastic grocery store bags for bathroom liners). (Joe)
  41. When breading chicken pieces, first coat with mayonnaise instead of egg then dredge in crumb coating. Delicious! (Melanie)
  42. Sometimes kitchen odors can linger (especially when cooking cabbage and onions). I set out a small bowl of ammonia on the kitchen table and go to bed. When we get up in the morning, the smells are all gone. (Holly)
  43. Plastic crates are excellent storage cubes for the deep freeze, they keep food sorted neatly and they’re easy to shuffle around. We have a very large freezer that came with only two baskets and I found the plastic crates to be a big help. They hold up very well in the cold. (Dianne)
  44. I use a potato masher to mash ground beef while it’s browning. It’s a time saver because the beef separates and cooks up quickly. (Joanne)
  45. Drop a teaspoonful of peanut butter in the bottom of each muffin pan then add muffin batter and bake. The peanut butter adds a nutty flavor to the muffin. (Cheryl)
  46. Remove the smell of garlic from hands by rubbing your fingers over a stainless steel spoon. I don’t know how it works, but it does! (Jean)
  47. Coat greased loaf pans with a layer of cinnamon sugar then pour in batter for banana bread and top with more cinnamon sugar. A very tasty addition that my kids love! (Barbara)
  48. My friend taught me this tip: Add onion skins to the water when boiling eggs, this turns the shells a tint of brown. When stored in the refrigerator, you’ll know at a glance which eggs are hard boiled and which aren’t. The flavor of the eggs aren’t affected at all. (Sarah)
  49. Save onion peels for the bbq, toss on the hot coals and they’ll give extra flavor to the food that’s grilling. (Kenneth)
  50. Your tip suggested thawing and then slipping the skins off. At the end of the season I pick off the green tomatoes, then keep them on the counter to ripen. Once they do I pop them into a zip top bag in the freezer. To use I throw the whole tomato into soups or stews. Freezing makes the skin fragile so it breaks down while cooking. Neat and easy! (Cheri)
  51. The ranch dressing that is pre-made doesn’t taste nearly as good as the kind mixed at home, but I hate the large awkward container or bowl in my ‘fridge. So I marked out the measurements of the mix on an empty bottle of dressing (e.g., 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of mayo). Now I pour the ingredients in the bottle and add the powder. I put the lid on, shake vigorously to completely mix it and have a perfect container to fit in the door of my refrigerator! (Kymberli)
  52. Place raw fish on a coffee filter before steaming it and you can lift out the cooked fish in one piece, the fish won’t fall apart into pieces this way. (Eunice)
  53. Mix pancake or waffle batter in a blender. Put all ingredients directly into the blender jar (I use the “just add water” variety of pancake batter, so for me it’s two ingredients) and blend. You can thicken or thin as needed while it’s blending. No lumps in the batter, and you can pour right from the blender jar/pitcher onto the griddle. Quick, easy cleanup, too. I just fill the jar with water and a little dishwashing liquid. (Robin)
  54. Get two batches out of one recipe of marinating liquid by marinating meats in a sealed plastic bag. Put half the amount you usually would in the bag with the meat, remove all the air and seal the bag. Squish around the liquid and it will stretch a lot farther than it would if you marinated in a covered container. I like to make two batches at once, one is for that night’s meal and the other is frozen in the bag with the marinating sauce. (Leona)
  55. Because of my husband’s heart condition, we try to eat “heart healthy”. When a soup recipe calls for heavy cream or half & half, I have found using 3/4 fat free milk & 1/4 half & half still gives you a wonderful flavor. Pair that with fat free broth & the soup always comes out flavorful & healthy. (Cheri)
  56. I like a rather expensive wine, but have found if I mix it with a cheaper wine in the same family, the flavor is still quite good. I use approximately a 3 to 1 ratio. (Cheri)
  57. For greasing your pans use a sandwich baggie over your hand with shortening or great, then just toss the baggie. (Tracey)
  58. This is a trick I have used for years. I love peanut butter but hate spreading it on bread because the thickness of it tends to tear the bread. What I have done to resolve this problem is to freeze the bread and then spread the peanut butter over the bread. It’s quick and easy plus it will thaw by the time I want to eat it later that day. (Linda)
  59. Here’s one for your kitchen equivalents chart, 1 large marshmallow equals 10 small ones. (Rhonda)
  60. Try using biscuit dough for meat pie shells and top crusts, it’s delicious and you won’t go back to regular pie pastry! (Lorraine)
  61. Use a spring loaded icecream scoop to measure shortening, it comes out cleanly and easily. It should measure an even 1/4 cup. (Patti)
  62. Bang a head of lettuce hard against the countertop with the core side facing down. When you turn it over you can pop out the core very easily. (Amy)
  63. Keep an unused toothbrush in the kitchen to scrub things like fresh mushrooms and corn on the cob to remove the silk. It comes in very handy! (Val)

*These were published on separate pages and combined here for better organization

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    • Sandy

    These are great tips!

    • gem

    Love banana nut bread and can get the old ones for a bargain? Then buy them and freeze them until you are ready to use them. The older the banana the better the bread. Just thaw and use.

    • gem

    Love cooking? Clean up as you cook so you don’t have so many dishes when you are finished. Keep hot soap water ready for cleaning counters and stove tops. If you do this each time you are only spending a couple extra minutes and your kitchen stays cleaner and tidier.

    • Quick Dinner Recipes

    Thanks for this great post of your readers’ best kitchen tips. I’ve featured your post on my blog.

    • Sharon

    So many tips. So many tips I didn’t know.

    Thank you

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