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Some Essential Kitchen Tips and Tricks – Kitchen Utensils

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There are some things in life that, had you only known them before, could have saved you a whole bunch of hassle and effort. Especially in the kitchen.

Here are a few game-changing things to remember

Using an Egg Slicer

Egg Slicers can be used for slicing much more than hard boiled eggs. Use your slicer to cut boiled new potatoes into wedges, slice cherry tomatoes and olives with ease. Slice mushrooms for your healthy scrambled eggs with zero mess, thanks to the egg slicer.

Oh, and by the way, eggs peel easiest if you add some bicarb to the water and then pop it in cold water afterwards. You can even use ice cubes in your water, and you can change the water as it warms. Make sure the eggs are as cold as can be before you try to peel them because then the papery membrane is more likely to stick to the shell rather than your egg, so peeling is then much easier.

Grater Tips

It’s very important that you get a tight grip on your grater. A slippery handle is a sure recipe for disaster.

If you’re grating cheese, you’ll always need a firm hold of the cheese block, no matter what type of grater or method you follow. I recommend using large blocks of cheese when you’re using a Microplane or box grater. It’s just easier to avoid shaving your knuckles this way.

Consider Partially Freezing Your Block of Cheese. Freezing your cheese block helps, especially if you want to grate softer cheeses (such as mozzarella and cheddar). It will help them firm up and stay together when you start grating. This means you’ll have less of a mess to clean up afterward and that the shreds of cheese will look more even in size. Putting the block of cheese in the freezer for thirty minutes will do the trick.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to do this for hard cheeses such as parmesan cheese. Cured cheeses are hard enough as is.

Getting the Most from your Peeler

We are lucky enough to live in a world where there’s virtually no shortage of kitchen gadgets.

Originally called the Rex Potato Peeler, this common utensil has been around since 1947 and is now found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Although it was originally invented for peeling the skins of potatoes, it is now commonly referred to as a vegetable peeler due to its versatility.

You may have used a vegetable peeler on potatoes or carrots, but did you know that this tool can also be used to peel an array of fruits, cheeses, and even soaps?

To peel a potato with a vegetable peeler, make sure you hold the vegetable with your non-dominant hand and peel with your dominant hand. Also, like your mother always said, make sure that you’re peeling in a direction that is away from your body, not towards it

Potato skins are delicious! So, if you’ve peeled potatoes for these dishes before, you’ve probably tossed a pile of unused potato skins into the trash. Save the skins for a dish the whole family loves.

While you can’t make traditional potato chips without actual potatoes, you can still make crispy, delicious chips from potato skins! To make crunchy potato skin chips, toss the washed peels in oil, sprinkle them with salt, and bake them in a single layer at (220C) 425 F for around 20 minutes. This recipe is super simple and is perfect for all your favourite seasonings.

10 More Kitchen Tips and Tricks

  • Keep your butter in the freezer and then grate it for baking and pastries. It mixes into the flour easier and melts quicker.
  • Prevent bubbling over with a wooden spoon. If any of your pots are boiling over, quickly place a wooden spoon across the rim—that’ll settle the frothy bubbles and prevent more over-boiling.
  • Run your potatoes through the dishwasher. Seriously, it’s a foolproof way of cleaning your dirty vegetables when hand-washing won’t suffice. Make sure there’s no soap in the machine, of course, and a simple rinsing cycle will do the trick.
  • Peel ginger with a spoon. Ginger can be tricky to peel with all its bumps and irregularities. Rather than using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, reach for the spoon. Scrape it against the skin and it’ll come right off, following every contour and minimizing waste.
  • Keep a small strainer for citrus. I keep a small handled-strainer in my draw next to the stove so that I can quickly cut a lemon or lime in half and squeeze it directly through the strainer into the pot. Much easier than picking out seeds afterwards
  • Use a garbage bowl.  This is a great time saver. Not having to walk back and forth to the rubbish bin every few minutes can take a lot of hassle out of your prep.
  • Freeze liquids in useable portions. If you make a large batch of stock, freeze it in convenient portion sizes in the freezer—ice cube trays are great for this—then transfer them to a plastic freezer bag to be pulled out and used whenever you need fresh stock.
  • Slice avocados in their skins. To slice avocados for salads or guacamole, split them in half, remove the pit by whacking it with the heel of your knife and twisting it out, then slice it directly in the skin using the tip of a paring knife or chef’s knife. When you then scoop it out with a spoon, you’ll have slices ready to go, with less mess than trying to fiddle with slippery peeled avocado a cutting board.
  • Partially freeze meat before cutting. Slicing meat to grind or cook in a stir-fry can be tricky even with a sharp knife. To make it easier, place the meat in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen it up.
  • Soak popcorn kernels in water for 10 minutes, drain then pop, for super-quick popping, fluffy popcorn.

Kitchen utensils were invented to make our lives easier and make cooking more enjoyable, so pop in to any one of the five Household Plastic stores and take a look at the wide range of kitchen utensils, in all colours sizes and prices.

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