The art of cooking is fraught with secret recipes and tips that many chefs are loathe to impart to others. While some secret recipes are guarded with more security and secrecy than the United States government uses, like the KFC, Coca Cola, or Bush’s Baked Beans recipes, there are still lots of tips that are less top secret, but little known to most people who cook. I’ve compiled a list of basic cooking tips that’ll hopefully make your time in the kitchen easier!
Salt has some cool uses in the kitchen besides flavoring your dishes. If you want to make your carton of milk last longer, throw a pinch of salt into the carton when you first open it. You won’t taste it and it’ll extend the expiration date. You can also put a little bit of salt into your tupperware, which will prevent the plastic from beginning to smell while it’s being stored.
After you boil potatoes (or pasta), save the water you’d otherwise drain and use it to water your plants. It’s full of nutrients that’ll help the plants grow. Just let it cool for a bit before using it! A freshly peeled potato can also be used to remove salt from a soup that’s too salty. Drop the potato into the pot and it’ll absorb some of the salt. A freshly peeled potato can also be used to get rid of fruit stains on your fingers!
To check the freshness of an egg, just fill up a glass of water and drop the egg in. If it sinks, it’s still fresh. If one end floats up, then you should make it soon. If the entire egg floats, it’s no longer fresh and you should get rid of it.
Sometimes it’s hard to use up an entire loaf of bread before it’s no longer edible. To avoid this problem, slip a stalk of celery into the bag when you notice the bread is beginning to get stale. Seal the bag back up and your bread will be good for a little while longer. Pieces of bread can also be used to help out other foods. When you bake, stick a piece of bread with the food to keep it moist. If you burn rice, you can place a piece of white bread on top of it for 5 minutes or so to get rid of the burned flavor.
Veggies, Fruits, and Herbs
To keep veggies fresh, line the vegetable drawers with papers towels, which will absorb the excess moisture that causes veggies to rot. Wrap lettuce in dry paper towels to keep it fresh. Avoid storing citrus fruits and tomatoes in the fridge, because it’ll make nutrients drain out. If you store them on a shelf or in a pantry, they’ll do better. If you want your herbs to last longer, store them in a bunch in a bag in the freezer. They’ll stay fresher longer and will defrost as soon as you put them in a hot pan or pot.