16 Kitchen Secrets You Didn’t Know About
Some things we do seem right because we’re used to doing them this way. But such typical behavior in the kitchen prevents us from discovering our culinary talents or even puts off the desire to cook altogether.
Bright Side collected some kitchen tricks that will make cooking pleasant and easy.
16. Take note of which vegetables should not be stored in the fridge.
Many still store all their fruit and vegetables in the fridge to supposedly keep them fresh for longer. However, that’s a mistake: potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, and apples are best stored without the fridge.
Potatoes become too sweet because of low temperatures, while the rest of the above secrete ethylene, which leads to faster ripening and rotting.
15. Defrost meat in the fridge.
Meat should be defrosted in advance. Put it in a suitable bowl, and leave it in the fridge until it’s defrosted. Do not leave the meat in water or, especially, run it under hot water as this spoils the appearance and taste.
14. Do not use a blender to make mashed potatoes.
A blender makes the mash viscous and sticky, not light and airy. Better use a simple masher that will keep the potatoes appealing to look at and delicious to eat.
13. Don’t keep milk in the fridge door.
The fridge door seems to be a perfect place to store dairy, but, in fact, it has a slightly higher temperature. Besides, opening the door leads to temperature jumps, shortening the shelf life of milk.
12. Stir pasta when boiling it.
It’s no secret that any pasta should be put into boiling water. But not everyone knows you should stir it in the first minutes for the pasta not to stick together or to the bottom of the pan.
11. Don’t open the oven while baking.
By opening the oven, you decrease its temperature, and your pie or bread caves in.
If you want to check on your pastry, turn on the light inside the oven. Only open it a few minutes before everything’s cooked, when the dough has puffed already.
10. Store bread in the fridge.
Bread should be stored in a cool and dry place — that is, in the fridge. Just make sure it’s packed well so that it doesn’t acquire foreign smells.
9. Use vinegar instead of adding more salt.
A rich and salty flavor is achieved with lemon juice and balsamic, apple cider, or wine vinegar, not lots of salt. Be sure to evaporate the vinegar while cooking.
8. Cook fried eggs in the microwave.
Making fried eggs is easy, but it can become even simpler if you cook them in the microwave. Just make a small puncture with a knife or a needle in the egg yolk to let it cook from the inside as well as the outside. Then put the eggs in the microwave for 45 seconds. Your perfect fry is ready.
7. Whip egg whites while warm.
For a perfect texture of the base for cream or meringues, use egg whites at room temperature: they’ll whip better this way. It’s also important to separate them from the yolks correctly.
6. Cook a crunchy-base pizza.
If you’re cooking pizza at home and want to get a golden crunchy crust, you should take some steps beforehand.
The first option: put the dough in the oven for 2-3 minutes before placing the condiments on it. This will protect the base from moisture — for example, that of tomatoes.
The second option: put the dough on a heated sheet pan, and then start decorating it.
5. Use several cutting boards.
You should have at least two cutting boards in your kitchen: one for meat, fish, and game, and the other for foods that don’t require cooking. It’s necessary to prevent contamination because raw meat can contain dangerous bacteria that are only killed during cooking.
To avoid mixing them up, buy different colored boards or ones with colorful edges.
4. Get several knives for different purposes.
Several knives are a must for any kitchen. The perfect number of them is four: a chef’s knife, a universal one, a knife for vegetables, and one for bread.
3. Fry different dishes in their own pans.
Each dish deserves its own frying pan. For instance, pancakes are best made in a small pan with a low fringe and thin bottom, or just a classic cast-iron one, while meat should be cooked in a pan with high edges and a thick bottom.
2. Leave some free space in jars.
Preserving is a difficult task that may end in a disaster if you don’t follow the instructions. However, even those sometimes neglect the free space in jars.
We mean the space between the upper part of the food and the edge of the jar. It lets your preserves swell up to the necessary size. The jar, as well as the foods inside, will stay intact if you leave this space.
1. Follow the recipe when baking.
Baking should be done strictly by the recipe, otherwise your cakes, muffins, or cookies may end up in the trash. Too much flour, overly hot butter, the wrong oven temperature — all these will affect the appearance and taste of your pastry.