Cooking – responsibility for many and passion for the others. Whichever the reason , every house is incomplete without a functioning kitchen. One either gets joy from eating or by seeing smiles on others faces while they are eating the cooked food. When indulging in elaborate cooking, one always complains about how much time it can suck out of a person’s daily schedule. Fortunately there are some shortcuts that can be used in the kitchen also known as kitchen hacks that can help a person cook the same meal in the same method but in a quicker and more efficient way. Some of these methods also helps you in reducing cost, wastage and even innovative ideas that can bring life to otherwise simple mundane cooking. Here are the top 10 kitchen hacks that could probably make your life in the kitchen a lot easier.
10) Save time by boiling water before you add it to what you’re cooking
We are all aware of how processes like making tea, cooking rice, steaming vegetables etc always consumes a considerable amount of time and delays our overall cooking time. Moreover , if we are actually present in the kitchen , hovering around the stove we feel that it is slower than it actually is . There is a technique to quicken up this process,and the appliance to our rescue is the electric kettle. Water can be pre-boiled in the kettle before adding it to the utensil on the stove. Not only does this help in saving time but it also reduces the gas and energy on the stove If the water required is a large amount ie- for pasta , rice fill up the kettle with 2 litre.However,if the water is required in relatively smaller amounts ie – blanching , cooking etc put exactly half of the required water in a kettle before adding it to the pot on the stove.
9)Clean your oven with vanilla so it always smells good.
Items in your oven such as Gravy, curries etc tend to spill over and settle in crevices which cant be reached during cleaning.Also,bits of food soaked in grease a lying at the bottom of the oven, round the door and in the vents can also be a major reason for such foul odour. overcooking dishes can also emit such smell. Apart from just cleanliness , another disadvantage is that anything you put in your oven absorbs the foul smell or flavor and will always have a hint of that unpleasant smell or taste.This issue can be resolved by putting two caps of vanilla extract in a microwavable dish and then placing it in the oven at around 300 degrees for approximately an hour. In around half an hour you will notice not only the oven but the entire house will be filled with a wonderful fragrance.
8)Freezing and reusing kitchen scraps
Freezing ingredients and other food items is an excellent way to avoid wastage. Items such as leftover wine, stock , fresh herbs etc can be stored in ice-cube trays. These frozen tasty chunks can be used as ingredients or flavouring agents in other dishes whenever required. They can either be added directly or melted before adding it to dishes during the process of cooking. Also,rinds and zest of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon can also be frozen for future use.Freezing them avoids the spoilage and will not alter the taste or aroma when melted. Herbs , leaves etc can be chopped and mixed with butter to form cubes.
7) Put ice cream in a zipper bag can keep it soft
Whether you’re making homemade icecream or planning to indulge in a readymade tub of it , something which always gets onto the nerves of people is the icecream being so stiff and hard that it bends or actually manages to even break your spoon. A warm spoon can help you scoop out the icecream but it’s still going to have an icy consistency. Storing it in a Ziploc bag provides an airtight atmosphere thus preventing the formation of ice crystals
6)Get More Juice out of your citrus fruits
Place your lemons or other citrus fruit in hot water or in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm them. The cell membrane consist of many structures one being fatty acid tails. Microwaving these fruits will melt this cell thus making it more ‘fluid’ and permeable. In turn you have a more flexible and juicy fruit.After taking it out of the microwave, roll them back and forth with your hand on the counter a few times before cutting it into half and juicing them. Rolling these citrus fruits on a countertop will break the membranes around the capsules within the fruit’s flesh that contains all the juice.
5)Get the entire cake out of the pan with ease
you can prevent a baked cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan by either greasing the pan or applying waxing/baking paper and then greasing it. Even non-stick pans require a certain amount of greasing. The greasing agent will allow the flour to adhere to it, and as the cake bakes, it will cling to the flour and not to the side of the pan. Butter and shortening are the 2 most common fats used to grease baking pans. This will also add a certain flavor and aroma to the cake to make it truly scrumptious. Flour should then be added to this greased tin to ensure that the cake slides out easily after being baked.
4) Cutting onions without the waterworks
When you cut an onion, you break cells, releasing their contents such as Amino acid sulfoxides. These enzymes mix with the sulfenic acids to produce propanethiol S-oxide, that moves upwards and travels toward your eyes. This acid in a gaseous state reacts with the water in your tears in order to form sulfuric acid which gives you a burning sensation. In response to this , the eyes produce tears in order to wash them away. Firstly refrigerate the onions before cutting them. Then put a piece of bread in your mouth before you begin to cut them. The piece of bread absorbs the propanethiol S-oxide before it reaches your eyes. However,you have to make sure that more than half of the piece of bread should be outside your mouth inorder for this trick to work effectively.
3)Make perfect pancakes with a ketchup bottle
Who doesn’t love a batch of fluffy pancakes for breakfast . But people always have a problem getting them perfectly round . There is a perfect solution for this, and you don’t even have to buy anything new for this. Use an old ketchup bottle which can act as pancake mix dispensers.This avoids a messy workplace at the kitchen and enables you to pour just about the right amount onto the pan. These containers can also be washed easily and used again. They can also be made to make various patterns and intricate designs on the pan.
2) Cook your fried eggs inside of an onion ring
Keep the egg white and yolk contained inside of an onion ring, not only is it helpful but also delicious. It is also extremely attractive in terms of presentation . Slice your onion into 1/2 inch slices. Then, using the biggest one, place in an oiled skillet over medium heat. When one side is lightly browned, flip the onion ring over and crack an egg in the middle. If you want the egg yolk to show, dab the top of the egg yolk gently with a paper towel and remove the white over the top of it. Then, sprinkle a little water in the pan and cover the skillet. Cook until your egg is done as you like. You can add seasoning such as salt , peper , paprika onto this or even cheese and butter for a more decadent and scrumptious meal.
1) On microwaving food
Put a glass in a microwave with your food to prevent it from getting chewy pizza, bread or other food items.This works because of the principle that the water reduces or slows the heating effects on the moisture already present in the pizza or within the toppings of the same. Without the presence of the beaker, that moisture is rapidly heated to the point of vapourising. It is then able to permeate through the food, where it is trapped and condenses when the process of heating ends thus making the food devoid of its softness.