Kitchen Tips and Tricks: Part 1

Every great cook and baker eventually discover (through trial and error) great tips and tricks to use in the kitchen. It’s worth your time to network with other cooks and bakers to mine these precious tips.

There is wisdom to be had in our mistakes as well as experiments in “resurrecting” food to its original taste long after it had been frozen or accidentally forgotten.

Enjoy this small treasure trove of tips and tricks harvested from the sage cook and baker advice-givers.

Rubber Bands Tips

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
  • Rubber bands make great labels for storage jars. Simply place the rubber band around the jar and label the contents with a Sharpie™.
  • Rubber bands around jars make great helpers in getting tough jar lids open.
  • Rubber bands can be used around glass cups for labeling ingredients or serve as a measuring line.
  • Use rubber bands to prevent a cutting board from slipping by placing a rubber band in each corner, or if you have large enough rubber bands they can be wrapped around the right and left sides of the cutting board to keep the board from slipping.
  • Help to keep a mixing spoon from falling into a bowl. Simply wrap a rubber band around the spoon at the desired height and rest against the side of the bowl.

Canning Bands

Image by CSU-Extension from Pixabay
  • If you wanting to make your friends eggs in a perfect circle or scrambled eggs English muffin ready. Grease an unused canning band with cooking spray or bacon grease. Place canning lid on a griddle or in a fry pan, pour in scrambled egg mixture or whole egg into the canning lid, cook an egg in the lid till they look set, remove the lid to finish cooking. * This will be very hard on your canning band so be sure and use it only for this purpose.
  • Running out of muffin/cupcake tins? Canning bands to the rescue. Inside of a rimmed baking sheet, set a canning lid down, and then the canning jar band over top, place paper muffin liner inside. The lid helps prevent the bottom of the muffin from over-browning and the band help give support to the muffin/cupcake during baking.

Straws

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
  • If you’ve had the disappointment of your wine bottle cork breaking into the bottle, simply put the straw over the bits of cork, put your finger over the top to create suction, and lift the cork bit right out.
  • Need a quick strawberry huller. Push the straw through the bottom of the strawberry and it will remove the hull as you push it through the top.

Next up we have some handy tips and tricks for reheating, toasting, and resurrecting.

Reheating

Most meat reheats end in a ruined piece of delicious protein. Trademark reheating of meat (several pieces) is done in the oven. In my opinion, as well as through experience, don’t ever put it in the microwave. Oven meat reheating needs three kitchen tools: a rimmed baking sheet, a wire baking rack that fits inside your rimmed baking sheet, and a digital thermometer.

Image by Solomon Rodgers from Pixabay

Steak

The thickness will determine how long it reheats in your oven. I could write a rather lengthy article on types of meat and different thickness that all play into temperature and time- but I won’t bore you.

SIDE NOTE: EFC makes a delicious prime rib to reheat in your home. I gave it a shot one Saturday night. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS.

  • Steak (general rule of thumb for 1 1/2 inch piece) 250° oven, place steak piece on a wire rack that rests in a rimmed cookie sheet, bake until 110°. You’ll want to check every 10 minutes, average time 20-30. You can spoon over meat juices that you have saved, or mix up a packet of Au Jus and spoon over.

Chicken

  • Chicken- you’ll want the previously cooked chicken to warm up to room temperature first. Give it 20 minutes to warm up. Use the same kitchen tools from above; the wire rack in a rimmed cookie sheet. Preheat your oven to 400°, placing your chicken on the rack in the cookie sheet, reheat till the internal temperature reaches 120°- usually about 12-18 minutes.

Fish

  • HA! HA! Seriously, fish meat is delicate! Don’t even bother with it in an oven or microwave. Try steaming it in a steamer. THAT would be worth it.

I’ve run out of space friends! Tune in next week as we continue our Kitchen Tips and Tricks. As always, here is to good food, good friends and a great and free life.

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