Adequate Data: Food Tricks

Avoid messy hands with sticky foods by getting your hands cold and wet before handling them.

To clean measuring cups more easily, they should be wet with hot water.

Instead of cutting herbs, thin vegetables, pizzas, bread, and wraps with a knife, use scissors.

Cut or mince veggies, meat, and cheese with a pizza slicer.

Cut soft foods like cheeses and cakes with unflavored dental floss.

Instead of a piping bag, pour the ingredient into a freezer bag and cut off the corner.

Stab your electric whisk beaters through a paper plate before attaching them to prevent messes.

Heating

Rapidly boil water by running a coffee machine without coffee grounds.

Microwave two bowls at the same time by placing one of them on top of a coffee mug.

Place your stirring spoon inside the hole on a pot handle to avoid a mess.

If water starts boiling over, add some olive or salt oil to keep it from overflowing.

When frying, sprinkle a little salt in the pan to keep the oil from splattering.

Grains

Add oil to boiling water to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add a unique flavor to rice, couscous or lentils with cinnamon sticks.

Bake bread in a tin can to make it portable.

When cutting bread:

  • Stick the knife in hot water to get the blade hot, then wipe it quickly and slice.
  • Turn loaves upside down to not smash them.

Boil rice in chicken or beef stock instead of water.

Vegetables

Clean vegetables by sprinkling baking soda in water, soaking them, then rinsing.

Add vinegar when boiling vegetables to retain their colors.

If you’re making more vegetables than you can eat in one sitting, slightly undercook them so they don’t get soft when reheating

Peel potatoes easily:

  1. Boil until you can easily stick a fork in them.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Run the potatoes under cold water and slide the skin off.

Make potatoes dry and fluffy when cooling:

  1. Add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt when boiling.
  2. Drain and place the potatoes on a heat source again for a few minutes.

Slice mushrooms with an egg slicer.

Separate garlic easily:

  • Place the cloves together in a covered container and shake well for the skins to separate.
  • Microwave cloves for 15–20 seconds for them to slip out of their skins.

After chopping garlic, sprinkle in salt to bring out the flavor.

Onion tricks:
Cut onions without tears:
  • Cut off both ends of the onion and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  • Chew gum while cutting onions.
Slice an onion easily:
  1. Slice each end off
  2. Slice the onion vertically
  3. Pull off the skin
Dice an onion easily:
  1. Cut a half-onion into vertical strips, almost through to the top.
  2. Cut strips parallel to the cutting board, almost to the top (they should look like a grid).
  3. Chop the onion cross-wise.

Pepper tricks:
Prepare peppers easily:
  1. Slice off the ends.
  2. Cut toward the center.
  3. Unfold and remove the seed pod.
  4. Cut off the ribs.
  5. Chop as desired.

Wear a plastic bag over your hand when slicing jalapeños to avoid burning your hand with capsaicin.

Cook stuffed peppers upright in a muffin tray.


Fruit

Clean fruits more easily:
  • Sprinkle baking soda in water, soak the fruit in the water, then rinse them.
  • Clean large amounts of fruit all at once in the sink:
    1. Fill the sink with water
    2. Add 1 cup (1/4 l) of vinegar and stir.
    3. Add all your fruit (including berries) and let it soak for 10 minutes.
    4. The water will be dirty, the fruits will sparkle without any wax, and they will keep for longer.
  • Run a multitude of fruits in the dishwasher without soap.

Get more juice out of fruits:
  • Roll them on the counter before cutting them.
  • Microwave lemons and limes for 10–30 seconds before slicing.
  • Squeeze your fruits with tongs to save your hands.

Cut fruits easily:
  • Chop off the ends of citrus fruits, slice halfway through the middle, then unroll the fruit.
  • Slice a watermelon without a knife by making a small incision with a quarter, then karate chop it in half.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes by sandwiching them between lids or plates and then cutting through the middle with a serrated knife.
  • Slice mangos by cutting around where the seed runs, scoring the fruit without breaking the skin, and then spooning it out.

Evenly redistribute sugar in a pineapple by storing it in the fridge for half an hour before cutting it.

Peel fruits like tomatoes and peaches by microwaving them for half a minute, then letting them cool for a few minutes.

Dairy

Refrigerate butter so you can grate it.

Melt margarine or butter for a minute in the microwave instead of burning it on the stove or waiting for it to soften on the counter.

To test if butter is real or artificial, spread it on a piece of paper and light it on fire. While real butter will smell pleasant, artificial butter will smell horrible.

Meat

Slow cookers can cook anything to tenderness, even tough cuts of meat.

When scalding a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water for the feathers to come off more easily.

When cooking wild game, add baking soda to the water to remove the “gamey” taste from the meat.

Slide cinnamon sticks into meat before roasting for a unique flavor.

Tenderize meat before cooking it:
  • Soak it in vinegar overnight.
  • Rub vinegar on both sides and let it sit for 2 hours.

Cook fish fillets in the microwave:
  1. Dry the fish, then overlap the tails when plating.
  2. Remove the fish while it’s still opaque.
  3. Though it appears clear, it’s still cooking, so let it cool.

Hold kabobs in an upside-down colander to cook or serve.

Beans/nuts

Soak lentils and beans quickly:
  1. Add a pinch of baking soda to enough water.
  2. Microwave for 10 minutes.
  3. Let sit for 30–40 minutes.

Toast nuts in the microwave for 4–5 minutes by stirring them every minute.

Seasoning

Freeze red and white wine in ice cube trays for casseroles or sauces later.

Easy herb add-ins:
  1. Fill an ice cube tray with chopped herbs, minced garlic, and olive oil
    • Alternately, use two or three chopped herbs covered with olive oil or melted butter
  2. Store in the freezer until frozen, then transfer to zip-type bags


Restoring food

Thoroughly reheat the food to prevent further decomposing:
  • Reheat all leftovers to at least 165°F
  • Make a circle in the center of the food when reheating it in the microwave to heat it evenly.
  • Cover foods while reheating to ensure they retain their moisture and stay consistently hot.

Frozen foods weighing 5 pounds (2 1/4 kg) or less will typically thaw within 24 hours in the fridge.

Warm plates with a toaster oven instead of a conventional oven:
  • Standard ovens have a typical minimum heat setting of 200° F.
  • Toaster ovens heat at lower temperatures than most standard ovens.

Breads/Starches

Frozen sandwiches and baked goods: wrap in a dry paper towel when microwaving to ensure they won’t get soggy.

Muffins: reheat in the oven covered at 350 °F (176 °C) for 15 minutes and then uncovered for 3 minutes.

Pasta: reheat on a hot plate with a little oil and water added.

Pizza: reheat in a nonstick frying pan for 3–4 minutes at mid-low heat.

Reuse stale bread as croutons:
  1. Cube stale bread and mix it with olive oil, herbs, and spices.
  2. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at a low temperature until golden brown.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month.

Remove staleness from bread by adding moisture:
  • Wrap the slices with a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 10 seconds at a time.
  • Put a small amount of water in a glass and microwave with the bread to keep it from getting chewy.
  • Put it into a damp paper bag and bake at 300 °F (149 °C) for 3 minutes.
  • Heat crackers, cereals and chips in the microwave for about thirty seconds.
  • Make potato chips crispy again by microwaving them on paper towels for a few seconds.
  • Make tortilla chips fresh again by baking them in the oven at 375 °F (191 °C) for 10 minutes.

Meat & Nuts

Casseroles: reheat by cutting vents into wax paper and covering the dish in a microwave.

Seafood: reheat over a long time at a low temperature in an oven.

Lobster: test its freshness by pulling back the tail.

  • It’s fresh if it snaps back, but it was kept for a few days if it goes back slowly.

Steak and chicken: reheat by slicing the meat into small pieces and placing them in a skillet.

Stir-fry: reheat in a microwave, stir regularly and let it stand afterward.

Nuts and seeds: Restore flavor by microwaving them for 15 seconds.

Vegetables

Boiled vegetables: reheat in a microwave, spread out and covered with a damp paper towel.

Roasted vegetables: reheat in an oven, drizzled with a little oil for flavor.

Soups: reheat on the stove with 1/4 cup of water added to prevent scorching.

Make lettuce crispy again:
  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl of cold water.
  2. Put the lettuce in and let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

Perk up limp greens:
  1. Place them in a large bowl
  2. Fill them with ice water to cover it.
    • Optionally, add a tablespoon of vinegar.
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then drain and spin in a salad spinner.

Dairy

Even though it tastes disgusting, sour milk is perfectly safe to drink.

If milk turns sour but hasn’t curdled, you can still use it for a few recipes or in a milk bath.