20 Clever Kitchen Tricks For Home Cooks

Olu Ojo
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Cooking can be an art, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many simple and clever kitchen tricks that home cooks can use to make cooking easier and faster. Here are 20 of the best kitchen tricks for home cooks:

Just eat the peels

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Regarding organic fruits and vegetables, the majority of essential nutrients are usually concentrated in their peels. Surprisingly, many peels are edible despite appearing otherwise, with ginger being a prime example. However, there is a notable exception when it comes to tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, and papaya, which have thick peels that are difficult to digest.

Save your pickle or olive brine

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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If you have ever opened a jar of pickles or olives, you know that liquid left over at the bottom of the jar is usually discarded. But this brine can be used for more than just making sandwiches! The salty, vinegary liquid makes a great addition to salad dressings and marinades for meat and vegetables.

It can even be used in place of water when cooking rice or other grains. Additionally, it adds flavor to sauces like tomato sauce or gravy. Try saving your pickle and olive brine next time instead of tossing it out – you never know what delicious uses you may find for it!

Always reserve some pasta water

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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When preparing pasta, always reserve some of the cooking water before draining. This liquid gold helps to create an emulsion when mixed with fat and other ingredients making for a creamier sauce that coats each strand of the pasta perfectly.

Not only does this help to bring out the flavor in sauces but it also prevents the dish from drying out as you can add more liquid if needed. Additionally, starchy pasta water can be used as a replacement for stock in soups or added to a risotto for extra texture and flavor.

Regrow veggies from scraps

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Regrowing vegetables from scraps is an easy and economical way to keep your kitchen stocked with fresh produce. You can regrow a wide variety of veggies from just the scrapings of root vegetables, such as celery, beets, and carrots.

Simply place the ends in a bowl or container filled with water and wait for them to sprout. Once they are ready, transplant them into the soil in either a pot or garden bed, give them plenty of sunshine and water, and you’ll have yourself some delicious homegrown produce!

Save leftover pulp

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Leftover pulp from vegetables like carrots, beets or tomatoes can be turned into a delicious soup stock base. To make the stock base, simply sauté the leftover pulp in olive oil with salt and pepper until it softens. Then add water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

A flavorful and healthful stock is ready that can be used as a base for soups, stews or even sauces. The bonus of using vegetable pulp is that it adds an extra dose of nutrients to your dish

When you rinse rice

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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If you rinse the rice in water to remove extra starch, don’t dispose of the water in the sink. Instead, you can utilize it for other purposes like washing your hair or face. The water holds small quantities of vitamins and minerals that promote hair growth and provide relief to your skin.

Alternatively, you can use it to hydrate your houseplants, which might appreciate the additional starch. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on them since rice water can potentially nourish harmful bacteria in the soil.

Keep a bag of veggie scraps

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Reducing food waste is a major priority for many home cooks, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to keep a bag or container of veggie scraps specifically for making vegetable stock. Collecting the scraps from onions, celery, carrots, and other vegetables can give you the basis of flavorful stocks that add depth and complexity to soups and stews.

Once you have collected enough scraps you can freeze them until you are ready to make your next pot of stock. If done correctly it also ensures that no nutrition-rich parts of veggies go to waste.

When you finish a block of Parmesan or other hard cheese, freeze the rind

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks
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When you finish the last block of Parmesan or other hard cheese, don’t throw away the rind. Instead, wrap it tightly and store it in a freezer bag. This may seem like an odd tip for home cooks, but freezing cheese rinds can help you add flavor to soups and sauces without having to buy more cheese.

Simply drop the frozen rind into simmering soup or sauce; as the food simmers, the flavors will slowly infuse into your meal. Plus, when you’re done with the rind, remove it from your dish – no extra grating is required!

Have leftover broth or wine?

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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If you have leftover broth or wine, don’t let it go to waste! You can add them to your sauces and soups for a more flavorful and richer taste. You can also use them as an alternative liquid for cooking grains and other dishes.

Other than that, you can reduce the broth or wine down in a pan on low heat until it’s syrupy and use it as a glaze for roasted vegetables, poultry, pork tenderloin and seafood. Not only does it provide an extra burst of flavor, but it also looks beautiful when presented at the table.

If you love fresh herbs but hate when they wilt in your fridge

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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If you love fresh herbs but hate when they wilt in your fridge, there are a few clever tricks that can help. One way is to store them on the counter in a glass of water like you would with flowers. This will keep them hydrated and fresh for up to two weeks.

Another trick is to wrap stems loosely in damp paper towels and store them in a container or plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. The paper towels will absorb moisture and regulate humidity, helping the herbs stay fresh longer. You can also freeze fresh herbs as whole leaves or chopped into cubes of butter or oil; this helps lock in their flavor until you’re ready to use them again.

Rescue your greens

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Green vegetables are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, but they can be tricky to store. To keep them fresh longer, be sure to store greens in an airtight container with a damp paper towel. This will create a humid environment for the vegetables, preventing them from drying out too quickly.

When you’re ready to use your greens, make sure to rinse them thoroughly before eating. This will remove any dirt or bacteria that may have been present during storage. Finally, if some of your greens start wilting before you can enjoy them, try blanching them in hot water for a few seconds then plunging into cold water – it’ll revive the crispness!

Label, label, label

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Labeling food items in your kitchen is a simple yet effective way to stay organized. It’s important to label all of the ingredients you put into dishes, both fresh and frozen foods, so you know exactly what they are and when they should be used.

Label all containers with their contents and the date the food was added, so you can monitor shelf life and ensure maximum freshness for every meal. You can also use labels for organizing pantry items or keeping track of recipe ingredients that need to be replenished soon. Labeling will help reduce waste by making sure nothing goes bad before it has been used.

Measure oily ingredients first

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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When it comes to baking, one of the most important tips for home cooks is to measure out any oily ingredients first. This helps prevent your measuring cups and spoons from becoming greasy and makes it easier to accurately measure other dry ingredients that are added later in the recipe.

To do this, lightly coat your measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before adding oil, butter, margarine, peanut butter or cream cheese. This will help ensure accurate measurement and also create an easy release when you’re done!

Crack eggs on a flat surface

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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To crack an egg with minimal mess and maximum precision, put it on a flat surface such as a countertop or cutting board. This will help you keep the shell pieces together, ensuring that all the egg whites and yolk remain intact.

To make sure there’s no spillage, gently tap the middle of the eggshell with the back of a butter knife then slowly pull apart each half. This should provide enough space to easily separate the contents into a bowl without any unnecessary shells getting in your way. With this trick, you’ll be able to crack eggs cleanly every time!

Use a scale

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Using a kitchen scale is an incredibly useful tool for home cooks. Not only does it help measure ingredients accurately, but it can also help increase the precision of your cooking and baking. A kitchen scale can provide precise measurements so you know exactly how much of each ingredient to add when making recipes. This helps with portion control and ensures that all elements of a dish are balanced properly. Additionally, weighing food can save time since you don’t need to use measuring spoons or cups.

If a recipe calls for a room-temperature ingredient

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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When it comes to mixing ingredients, room temperature is the way to go. Room-temperature ingredients mix with ease and provide a more consistent texture in the finished dish. This is especially important when making baked goods like cakes or cookies.

When butter and eggs are at room temperature they combine more easily with sugar and flour, resulting in a better cake crumb. The same goes for creaming butter and sugar – start with softened butter as this will help you get a smooth texture without overworking your mixture.

Forgot to soften butter ahead of time?

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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If you’ve ever found yourself in a pinch when baking and have forgotten to soften ahead of time, there is an easy solution. Simply cut the butter into cubes and microwave it for about 10-15 seconds until it becomes soft but not melted. Another method is to place the stick of butter between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper and heat with a rolling pin for a few seconds until it softens.

Stay sharp

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Staying sharp in the kitchen is an important part of being a great home cook. To ensure your knives are always ready to go, try this clever trick: Soak them in a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water for five minutes. This will help remove any built-up residue on the knife blades and keep them razor-sharp!

You can also use an old coffee mug or jar with some coarse sea salt to sharpen more delicate blades, such as paring knives. Simply rub the blade along the salt in a circular motion to create a fine edge. Additionally, you can purchase honing steel or stones from your local cooking store to keep all your kitchen knives razor-sharp.

Safety first

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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From the time you enter the kitchen to the time you leave, safety should always be your top priority. Put on hand protection before handling sharp knives and other equipment. Wear an apron if necessary for extra protection. Always read and follow recipe instructions carefully, making sure that all ingredients are mixed correctly and cooked thoroughly before serving.

Be sure to keep a close eye on any food that is being cooked so it does not burn or overheat. Additionally, take all necessary precautions when using gas stoves or electric appliances such as ovens and microwaves, and never leave them unattended while in use.

Master the basics

20 Clever Kitchen Tricks for home cooks
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Mastering the basics of kitchen skills is essential for any home cook. After all, many of our favorite dishes are built upon the basic foundations of chopping, sautéing, boiling, and baking. Becoming a master in the basics is the key to unlocking delicious meals.

To become a master of the basics, start by learning proper knife skills. When learning to chop, slice, and dice, make sure to keep your knife sharp, use proper posture, and keep your fingers tucked safely out of the way.

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Author

  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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