Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips #5

Who Knew? Kitchen Tips #5: Are your fingertips stained from peeling roasted beets or handling berries? Rub a slice of raw potato on your hands to rinse color away. Click through for more tips!

In our fifth installment of Who Knew? Helpful Kitchen Tips, here are ten simple fixes for common kitchen dilemmas. I’ve also included a few fabulous tips that readers shared on my last Who Knew? post. Do you have a useful kitchen tip? Please share in the comments below!

1. Are your fingertips stained from peeling roasted beets or handling berries? Rub a slice of raw potato on your hands to rinse color away.

2. There’s a reason why cake, bread and pie recipes call for eggs, butter and other dairy at room temperature.  At room temperature, these items form an air-trapping emulsion needed to create light and fluffy treats. Cold ingredients do not incorporate smoothly or evenly, which can lead to dense and dry baked goods.

3. When grilling meat, always use tongs for turning to avoid piercing the meat and losing some of the flavorful juices. Also, wait until your food is nearly finished cooking before brushing on sweet sauces (like honey-based sauces), which may burn before the inside is thoroughly cooked.

4. Does your pasta tend to turn out sticky and overcooked? Try using a larger pot. Small pots of water cool down quickly when pasta is added, which means it takes more time to bring the water back to a boil. This can result in clumps at the bottom of the pan, which can create sticky or mushy pasta.

5. The next time you need fresh ginger, try peeling it with a spoon. It’s much easier. Just pull the edge of the spoon across the skin. This method is also better for maneuvering around the nooks and crannies than a traditional peeler.

6. Only use nonstick pans, which transfer heat more slowly, for cooking delicate items like eggs, breaded foods or fish. Otherwise, stick with stainless steel or cast iron, which are better for browning meats and hardier foods.

7. Lightly spray your cheese grater with cooking spray to keep cheese from sticking to the blades.

8. Store dairy items, like cottage cheese and sour cream, upside down in the refrigerator. This will slow down oxidation and decrease the chance of bacterial growth. It will also help to keep them from turning watery.

9. Not sure if your avocado is overly ripe? Remove the stem and look at the skin beneath. If it’s dark brown, the avocado is past its prime. If it’s light yellow, it should be just right.

10. Need to separate some eggs? Make sure they’re well chilled. Cold eggs are much easier to separate.

Reader Tips

Here are a few of my favorite tips that were shared by readers on the last installment of Who Knew!

Aluminum foil or plastic wrap tightly wrapped around the stem bunch on bananas adds 2-3 days to them before they over ripen. ~ Doug R.

or…

Break all the bananas apart from the main stem before they are ripe! Not leaving the bunch of bananas together prevents them from ripening too quickly, and you don’t have to deal with broken open bananas when you try to break one off to eat and they all collapse. ~ Victoria P.

(I have tried both of these tips since reading them and they work great! We go through a lot of bananas here at home.)

If you store your Shabbat candles in the freezer they don´t drip when you light them. Freezer to table no mess! ~ Tamara H.

When serving cream for coffee, schmear a bit of butter on the underside of the spout to prevent drips. ~ Karen S.

Keep your nuts in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them fresher longer. ~ Nancy H.

Do you have a favorite kitchen tip to share? Leave it in the comments below. Your tip might be featured in my next installment of Who Knew!

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Category: Good to Know, How To, In the Kitchen, Slide Show

Comments (35)Post a Comment

  1. Shawn Cady says:

    What???? Shut up!!´ All these years I´ve had red fingers ad all I needed was a potato?? Lol. Brilliant. Thanks for the tip. I have beets in my fridge as we speak. :)

  2. You can clean red wine out of white carpet by pouring baking soda on it, wait until it turns blue and vacuum up every trace.

  3. How about beets and white tshirt? :))

  4. Beets will bleed to death if simmered in a pot of soup! (the color leeches out of the root leaving it an off-white)

  5. Thanks Shiksa your hints really helpful!

  6. I roast my beets and use plastic gloves to remove skins

  7. Thank you!! never knew that!!

  8. Bonnie Emm says:

    Hint: if you go out to dinner every night, you´ll never cry chopping onions! You´re welcome… ~;)

  9. When pickling beets, use the (strained) water that you used to boil the beets and nix the added sugar. That beet water is plenty sweet on its own!

  10. Patti Shannon says:

    When peeling beets, rub some oil on your hands first to keep them from staining.

  11. You can also wear latex-free gloves

  12. Anne says:

    To give your dough elasticity, put 1/4 tsp. vodka in and mix.

  13. And dill pickle smell with vanilla!

  14. I love the beet greens in salad. both clean. Leaves stems and peeled beets. In boiling water. Cook till soft. Drain add. Viniagrette. Home made or bottle. And eat. Delicious

  15. Burn a candle while chopping onions….the candle flame ´absorbs´ the fumes from the onions that cause you to ´cry´. I put a candle next to the cutting board.

  16. I remember bringing these to my History teacher in high school when I was his TA…he loved them. #Memories

  17. Judy Solomon says:

    they are great roasted, very sweet

  18. to remove onion or garlic smells from ur hands after chopping them, simply rub the back of a stainless steel spoon (or the knife blade u used for chopping!) across the affected area under cold running water. some chemical reaction between steel/cold water/skin takes the smell away completely!

  19. James Allen says:

    Huh, good tip! I usually just wait for them to go in a day or two. Interesting, I´ll give it a try!

  20. Well this is good to know.

  21. You are so clever! Thank you for the tips!

  22. Rebecca Lee says:

    I came a cross a chef who taught us to boil the whole beet root for 10 mins before peeling and cutting them !! By this way, the color will stay !! Especially we cook soup or blend them !! I have not tried it yet.

  23. Cathy Burks says:

    Or use those convient disposable gloves they have for cooks now.

    • Marlene says:

      Best to consider the environment before using disposable gloves if and when there is another way to accomplish the same task.

  24. Carol says:

    Wrapping celery in foil keeps it fresh and crisp for a longer time than any other method….washed and trimmed or not!

  25. Tania Black says:

    In regards to having eggs at room temperature….does that mean if I need to separate the whites from the yolks I do that with the cold eggs first and then just have two bowls sitting out till they reach room temperature ?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Best to let the eggs come down to room temperature, then separate. If you don’t want to wait a long time, place the eggs in tepid/lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes, it should bring them down to room temp.

  26. Susann Codish says:

    Just invented this one the other day. I have a ball of twine for tying up roasts and leafy greens in soups, but it’s always coming undone; the twine tangles easily and it can be tough to find the end. So I finally dumped the whole thing is a small plastic bag, took, left the end of the twine hanging out, and cinched the opening with a plastic band. Now all I have to do is pull and snip. Homemade twine dispenser in 8 seconds! I was super-proud of myself. Love this blog, by the way!!!

  27. Emily G. says:

    To peel beets -(I boiled them), I wore gloves and peeled them using crumpled up aluminum foil. It worked perfectly and no utensils needed.

  28. Millie grill says:

    While preparing pickled hot peppers the glove tore open and the jalapeño pepper juice got on my hands.
    My hands started to burn. Water,milk,sour cream, ice, no relief. I found out the burn was the oil in the pepper, capsaicin
    So to dilute it , use oil! I rubbed olive oil on my hands. Instant relief! Just like an essential oil burn from peppermint oil, water makes it penetrate more and olive oil or vegetable oil dilutes it, since its fat soluable.

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