kitchen tips...your top ten

sleevendogJune 26, 2014

Must be hundreds we forget to is one

Saran wrap, aka...pain-in-the-butt-wrap

I use these processing caps all over the home and in the workshop.
About 4cents and washable. My fridge glass bowls have lids but other casseroles and bowls do not...
They fit over buckets and paint trays...just a day or two or a break for lunch...not long term storage...

Lots of container tops available, but i do like the re-use and toss if they get funky...
Salon supple stores have them cheap.

Great for bread dough rising...

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Fantastic idea.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 4:37PM
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I like that idea Sleevendog!

I just learned that wiping some oil on my box grater makes shredding cheese a breeze!

I always grate frozen butter on my box grater for baking biscuits etc.

Using Better Than Pam (homemade mix) replaces greasing and flouring baking pans.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 6:44PM
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Great tip. I box grate frozen butter and get a goop stick and good tip for cheese as well...
A bit of any oil, even a light pass or wipe will help...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:15PM
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Nice tips so far.

How about an anti-tip?

Baking soda does not absorb refrigerator odor.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:22PM
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"How about an anti-tip?

Baking soda does not absorb refrigerator odor."

I'm surprised to hear this. The box of Baking Soda stinks when discarded - I assumed this was due to odors being absorbed....

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 9:34PM
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"----I'm surprised to hear this. The box of Baking Soda stinks when discarded - I assumed this was due to odors being absorbed...."

There is a lot involved on this topic. Everything absorbs odor. If you leave a bowl of soup in the refrigerator, it will too absorb odor. The question is how effective.

There are many theories on why baking soda works, PH neutralization, etc. but that has not been proven. There is talk of large surface area of baking soda, but that is nothing comparing with activated charcoal, which, if I remember correctly, one gram has surface area the size of 1/2 of a football field. Activated charcoal is an effective absorbent.

The vaporization of an odor is a function of temperature and relative humidity of the environment. Vapor pressure coming from the odor source is non-stoppable until all offending odor chemicals are exhausted. I do't think the baking soda is capable of absorbing all odor molecules.

The other fact to consider, if indeed baking soda has the ability to neutralize or absorb odor, you should not be able to smell anything from it.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:11PM
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I call those processing things.... shower caps..... use them all the time. The dollar stores here have them in sets from quite-small-not-big-enough-for-anything to large to fit over a mixing bowl. Some of them I wash and reuse.

In my kitchen I have 5....yes! 5 utensil containers on the counter. (Six if you count the copper mug that holds scissors, pens, and pencils.) Recently I added a long handled teaspoon and tablespoon measure to the smallest pottery utensil holder. Just grab it and measure! My old house has old cabinets and drawers that do not open easily, so with all these utensils in holders, I get what I need quicker. (Thank you again, Ann T, for that lovely sage green pot!)

I keep a 12-inch wooden ruler and a small measuring tape in the kitchen always for measuring whatever. (I also keep at least one small measuring tape in my purse.....I sew a lot.)

My new iPad is handy for making lists to keep in the Notes area or on my Pepperplate recipe file: things I like to pick up at TJ's or the Amish market, items I order from iHerb, recipes for Snack Day at the office, favorite ways to use chicken thighs, etc.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Baking Soda: Not so fast there dcarch. I admit that a quick google search doesn't bring up obvious proof in the first page search list, but it does bring up the point that bicarbonate will react with BOTH acids and bases. One would assume that many odors are acids or bases and could be neutralized / deactivated by contact with a fine powder of bicarbonate. The criticism was that baking soda can crust over in the refer. I'm actually not even sure that the crust over is all that significant, but in any case it might be better to pour some baking soda into a bowl instead of leaving it in the box, and give it a whack every once in a while. The second point was that activated charcoal was a Better odor remover. Great, but we are talking bang for the buck and activated charcoal is far more expensive.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Grated frozen butter for biscuits. Flaky as all get out!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:39PM
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chas045, yes I have read those theories. Again according to the law of vaporization and vapor pressure, until every single odor molecule has been depleted, the same number of odor molecules will still be in the air supplied from the source. There are lots of food in the refrigerator, all of them send out chemical molecules (odor). There will always be chemical molecules of acidic and basic nature to deplete the buffering ability of baking soda. Not all odors can be smelled by the human nose.

If you leave a loaf of bread open in the refrigerator, it will absorb refrigerator odor, that does not make it a good deodorant.


This post was edited by dcarch on Thu, Jun 26, 14 at 23:05

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 10:57PM
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ha ha. How did an annoyance of saran wrap turn into a baking soda discussion...
My fridge is kept tidy for reasons of cooking efficiently without odd absorbing odours...or odors that need absorbing...
Open box of baking soda under the small garbage can under the sink...and no stink with a few drops of oil of cedar or lemongrass. Most goes in the compost...

carry on...i don't mind a bit.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 12:31AM
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Keep your Saran Wrap in the refrigerator and it will behave better when you go to use it.

I have two mini size silicone scrapers hanging from a nail near the stove. They are handy for all kinds of scraping, and I don't have to root around in a drawer for them.

This post was edited by graywings on Fri, Jun 27, 14 at 7:57

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 7:53AM
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If you get irritated by plastic wrap this gizmo is better than anything I have in the kitchen for ease of use (zillions on times during the week). It only holds Stretch Tite plastic wrap, which IMO is the best plastic wrap out there. This dispenser lets you pull out what you need and then you push down the lid with its row of teeth to automatically cut it. No more tearing on an exposed row of teeth nor trying to find the beginning if wrap gets rewound. I found it at BJ's for $17 and after using it once went back and bought one for each of my favorite friends and family. They all love it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wrap'n Snap Dispenser for Stretch Tite

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 12:27PM
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That would be great if i used plastic wrap. But my big ceramic bread bowls need two long pieces as it is not wide enough. Then it is no longer clear enough to check the dough rise...and not re-useable when it balls up and sticks to itself...

I was just mentioning an alternative ...

We had a bit of a roll left that came along when we moved 8 yrs ago...just taking up space so i tossed it. (just did spring/summer drawer cleaning)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 12:50PM
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I bought one from QVC.... love it. It looks the same, and price was about the same too. I bought a cheap one, very similar and it is a total failure... I might use it for waxed paper, but so far it is still in the 'to be tested' bin.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:15AM
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This is pretty common knowledge now, but I loved learning to clean fish scent (or garlic) off my hands by rubbing them on the stainless steel sink.

I keep my freezer packed with water filled plastic bottles of all sizes, replacing food as it's removed with another bottle. It keeps the freezer working efficiently and I then use them in my ice chests and also to put in my refer when the power is out. They are also emergency water storage, should my other stored water run out.

When I take something out of the freezer that has been in a ziplock bag, instead of washing the bag, I just put the empty labeled bag back in the freezer to refill. I have to change the date when I replenish the food is all. I don't use this method for really messy things.

Although it looks like a great idea, I'd be worried about those processing caps not being food safe. Kind of like not storing food in garbage bags - just not designed for safe use with food.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:45AM
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Check out Freeze-tite freezer wrap. It is a heavier and wider (14 5/8 inches) form of StretchTite and costs about 10 cents a linear foot. Would that be wide enough for your bread bowls? Not sure if it is transparent, but I think it is.

In the reviews someone mentions using it to cover the countertop when working with breads and pastries, which supposedly do not stick to it. Other reviewers mention several other uses that are interesting.

New to me, but I think I'll try it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Freeze-tite Freezer Wrap

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 7:56AM
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On plastic wrap, or roil for that matter. Hate to admit that was only recently that I discovered those little push-in tabs on ends of rolls that keep entire roll from flying outta box when you pull on product!?!

Those $store "shower caps" are pretty handy.

On EGGS... tips my grandmother taught me. Always crack eggs into a cup or small bowl before adding to bowl... "in case you get a bad one". Imagine having 7 of 8 eggs cracked into bowl and #8 being rotten!! Can't remember this actually EVER happening, but I still do this. I NEVER look at date on eggs, but always open carton to look for obvious cracks. THEN tough all 12 to make sure none are STUCK... crack could be on bottom. Was doing this one day in supermarket when a cute little boy (maybe 7-8) told me there are 12 in that box!! He wasn't being snotty, probably just showing off some math skills, when I explained what I was doing, Mom had that confused dog look on her face.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 8:11AM
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2" x 12" x 18" is absolutely the perfect size cutting board for the home kitchen.
A standard size plastic grocery bag fits perfectly over the board using the handles as straps. One bag at each end of the board and you can trim pork, chicken, any dirty food, on the board without having to clean and sanitize the board afterwards.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:47AM
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Klseiverd, I do the same thing: I open a carton of eggs and wiggle them, two by two, to make sure none are stuck on the bottom.

I have a question that might be appropriate for this thread:

As many contact lens wearers know, hard contact lenses shield your eyes from tearing when you're slicing onions. Unfortunately, I'm on a 2-month hiatus from wearing my contacts (eye dr's orders), so my eyes are "naked" and unprotected now. In the past, I've seen tips about ways to cut onions without experiencing the "fumes," but I never paid much attention. Any hints?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Oly, I do understand your concern, but since the shower cap hardly ever touches the food, I don't worry about it not being food safe. I always rinse any new item that is actually to be used as a shower cap because sometimes they are barely coated with some powder to keep them from sticking together. My friends have in the past brought me their not used hotel shower caps because they know I use them to cover my bread dough rising in the bowl.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 11:55AM
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"On plastic wrap, or roil for that matter. Hate to admit that was only recently that I discovered those little push-in tabs on ends of rolls that keep entire roll from flying outta box when you pull on product!?!"

I will honestly admit that when I read that, I actually got up out of my chair walked to the kitchen, opened the cabinet and pulled out a roll of saran wrap to check. And son of a gun there they are. I promptly checked the alum foil and sure enough they were there too.

Thank you! Can't wait to go show my mother in law I bet she didn't know they were there either.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 11:56AM
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I've seen that hint on the web, about the tabs. I just checked my box of tabs, just smooth cardboard ends. Between the roll of parchment jumping out and the lousy cutting edge I get more torn sheets, than cut. I get frustrated every time I use it.

The plastic, I buy the big rolls from Costco, etc. My aluminum foil, I have a larger box (500') and the smaller box is 18" and it doesn't have tabs either.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:03PM
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Recently I bought Stretch-Tite plastic wrap from Costco. It has a fantastic cutter on it. It's the type where you pull out the quantity you want across the top of the box and slide a built-in cutter across it. I don't even have to take the carton out of the drawer anymore, nor do I cut my hand on a serrated edge. As the saying goes, "it's the greatest thing since sliced bread."

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Sleevendog don't know if you are interested in beginning to use plastic wrap but restaurant suppliers have 24" wide wrap which should work for you. I've had mine for over 12 years now and still have a bunch left. Admittedly, I don't use it that often but the rolls contain so much product they last forever. I also find they grip better than the ones made for home use. I can't comment on the quality of this particular brand but here is an example of what I am talking about.

Here is a link that might be useful: plastic wrap

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 9:56PM
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I have a little tool drawer in my kitchen and keep pliers in there for the times that I cannot seem to get a good grasp on a pull tab.

Love Jasdip's Better Than Pam.

If your refrigerator stinks, then you need to wash it out and see if something in there has spoiled too. Then you can pour some fresh coffee grounds into a saucer and leave it in there. I don't know that it absorbs any odor, but it masks it. But first, find the cause of the odor and clean it away. Also check the gaskets and the drip pan and under the vegetable crisper.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 2:01AM
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Interesting science, DC! My folks always said that the baking soda thing didn't work and it was just a ploy to sell more baking soda. It came in handy last night however, when a spill in the oven at a party caught fire, and when I said, "Baking soda," my host found a box in the fridge. It worked. :) I agree with Sheilajoyce, however, that the best way to keep your fridge from stinking is to wrap things well and clean thoroughly if something does stink. The only time that failed for me was when it still stank after thorough cleaning! I finally traced it to a well wrapped, but very ripe, very French cheese. :)

My tip: If it's too hot to make pizza, but you have pizza dough begging to be made, try the waffle iron. :) Stretch a small portion to the approximate shape of the iron and cook normally. When done and crisp, spread toppings (sauteed or zapped) over the holes and use chevre or other melty soft cheese in dabs. My waffle iron, while it does throw some heat, of course, doesn't heat the room perceptibly or make one sweat standing near it, like the barbecue, and I put it under the hood, so the steam and smell go bye-bye too. :)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 1:49PM
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I've heard a million times how cracking a raw egg into a bowl first is to check if the egg is bad. When my mother taught me to cook eons ago she never said that was the reason. She said it was because getting out a tiny piece of shell from a batter would be a lot more difficult that getting it out of the one egg cracked in a bowl.

I did hear one professional cook say recently that in all his years of cooking, he never got a bad egg, but because I'm not a good egg-cracker, I'll continue to do it one by one, in a bowl first, so I can check for pieces of shell.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Maxmom, I'm with you. I'm better at cracking eggs (or have more cooperative eggs, probably) so do often crack them right into the mixing bowl, but I was taught to do them in the separate bowl. The easy fishing of shell is a given, but the reasoning behind it from my background is to make sure the egg isn't fertile, from back when actual chickens laid the eggs. Fertile eggs aren't kosher. Nowadays, the eggs come certified that no rooster has been near the hens, so if there's a spot it's that word I can never remember, and it's not fertile, and therefore kosher.

Oh! I remember a tip. One which also backfired on me. It works with regular, boxed lasagna noodles with the deeply wavy edges. You don't need to boil them and worry about sticking and pliability and draining them without them going mushy or whatever. Just soak them in a shallow pan in tap hot water for about 10-15 minutes. They'll be plyable but not any of the bad things, and because they're not cooked through you only need to drain rather than dry them.

I always keep boxed pasta because making it takes time and effort, and sometimes I'll whip together a lasagna because there's nothing much for dinner and I have people to feed. Plowman's lunch isn't always a treat. :) The time it backfired was with some Italian pasta, very fine quality, itty bitty ripple on the edge, on a day I was showing a little girl how to make lasagna. It never got plyable! It didn't even absorb much water at all. I went with it anyway, and just didn't lay it up the sides, and it was fine after the whole thing was baked, but I was the fool who proved that my trick isn't foolproof! Next time, I'll have her make the pasta and turn the crank. :) And she'll get to see the right way to layer with plyable pasta. :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 12:18AM
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I've always done that with eggs...funny what sticks that you are taught when young.

My butter is kept in the freezer anyway...I like the grater tip.
Could pop it back in the freezer if not ready for it right away.

Never thought to oil the grater and maybe the mandolin...

Love pepperplate and the notes section for minor personal changes. I do print out anything i would hate to loose...

I like baking soda and all its uses and bang for the buck cost. Just did a fridge cleaning and keep it pretty spotless anyway...wash with baking soda/vinegar mix.
(the downstairs back-up fridge is another story and a bit stuffed)...needs cleaning but does not stink.

I do have a restaurant supply plastic wrap in the workshop that the original owners left behind but it is in a state of deteriorating i think. Weird smell and a bit sticky...obviously old...and way too big for my main kitchen area/pantry...
The caps are thicker and washable but they don't really touch food anyway.

Onions...have a pair of clear swim goggles in my far end drawer for those times i cut a big batch of onions for caramelizing...that far end drawer of useful not so often junk. For just one, i cut into quarters and rinse under water for a few secs...that cuts a bit of the 'fumes'.
....i do suffer a minute or two but goes away so quickly...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Thanks for all the good tips. I also learned the one egg in a custard cup method but it was actually the one egg in two custard cups. My mom made a lot of cakes and desserts where the whites and yolks were beaten separately and that way, if a yolk broke as they were being separated, it would only mess up one egg instead of the whole mixing bowl containing the other egg whites.

My tip is baby spoons. I have a couple of long-handled stainless steel baby feeding spoons with somewhat pointed bowls that have become little workponies in my kitchen when a teaspoon is too large for the job.

Some of the ways I use them are: scraping gills from portobello mushrooms, crabs or fish, aid in placing small garnishes like capers or dragees, stuffing mushrooms or berries, deseeding cherry tomatoes, putting dabs of jelly on cookies before or after baking, removing bone marrow, and drizzling small amounts of chocolate or frosting, and many more you'd think of if they were available.

This post was edited by ruthanna on Mon, Jun 30, 14 at 10:29

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:28AM
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For charcoal to absorb odors, you don't have to buy the expensive activated charcoal. Plain old charcoal for the grill works just as well. Just make sure it's the old fashioned kind that you have to add lighter fluid to. Also, breaking it up a little does help it work better. It also absorbs bacteria that causes odors. I had a milk jug leak in the back of my first Ford Expedition in February 11 years ago. I remember because it was the same year my DGS was born! I am on my second Expedition now. Anyway, I cleaned the carpet after the leak. I even bought the hand held carpet cleaner to do it. Well, three days later, it stunk like sour milk! I put 4 or 5 charcoal bricks in a cool whip bowl, and poked holes in the lid, then put it in the back of the Expedition where the milk had leaked. A week later the smell was gone. Even in July sitting outside for a month while I stayed with DD waiting for DGS to be born, the smell never came back. And I never cleaned the carpet in there again.

To slice grapes, wash them and put them on a plate. Place another plate on top. Hold the top place in place and use a long sharp knife to slice between the plates, as you would slice a hamburger bun.

Dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 9:34PM
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Another tip for grating soft cheese is to put that in the freezer for 20 minutes, but not too long, or it will freeze into a solid block.

I wear a full snorkel and swim mask when dealing with fumes, and the fumes from habanero chilies make onions seem like lilies. I say lilies because I know they are related. Be glad you do not live close the to Sriracha factory!

If you haven't tried it, the Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil works great.

To get rid of clutter, install a hanging rack:

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 1:56PM
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What is the "Better than Pam" please. Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:01PM
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'Better than pam' is a quickly whipped up simple recipe...usually veg oil, shortening, and flour. A good way to help baking recipes release from the cooking pans. Does need to be applied with a brush or similar. More like applying something that actually stays where you want it unlike a spray the will roll off a vertical surface and want to pool at the bottom.

Just a way to make your release oil thick. I've noticed many recipes but never needed it.
I don't use pam either. But i rarely bake. Does sound like a good idea.

-at least i think that is what it is. And why i reach for the coconut oil when i need a firm oil as it is thick when room temp or cooled in the fridge during warm summer months.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:21PM
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You've got some nice wooden spoons public.
I miss my old rack i had in the city loft. Cooks need things at hand. I do have a ceramic crock with most used wooden spoons and ladles handy. I seem to need a certain one for the task in front of me without searching in a drawer. I can look over and locate it quickly.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:35PM
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Pink Mama, this is the best goop for greasing your abaking pans. It greases and flours in one step and the very best feature of all; it doesn't blacken your pans with the sticky stuff that you can't get off, like Pam and other aerosols.

Better than Pam recipe

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 flour
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

Whip together until the consistency of marshmallow fluff. Stores at room temperature. In hot weather, it will separate slightly so just stir before using.

I don't make my bread and rolls without using it. Everything just falls out of the pans.

I just use my fingers to grease the pans, but you can use a pastry/silicone brush.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:37PM
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This might be a bit 'rustic' for some. (or ugly or dumb)
In Italy as a student years ago, we stayed with local families to help with our language skills. No english spoken. Nice memories on a farm in Umbria...grapes, etc.
A cooking fireplace in the kitchen. They corked their pot lids. I've done it ever since.
Back then all my belongings fit in a backpack.
The black lid is my mixed grain pot. The other is soup. Things that need checking constantly or adding ingredients along the way for cooking times....never need to grab a pot holder...even have them on my cast iron dutch oven and survives the oven heat....(cork ones, not the newer synthetic ones)
I left my braising pot with my mother last year hoping she would like it...Dad reported it was a hit so i picked up another for us. She removed the corks immediately thinking them unsightly, lol. (And i thought it would be helpful for her arthritis.) Oh well, haha.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:51PM
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New here, hi - interesting tips.

My fave gadget below probably leads me to over-use olive oil (if that's possible) but it's great when I want just a light coating on chicken or fish and I don't have to lose any in a dish.

Onions - they don't have to be that far away to keep the fumes from reaching your eyes so keep them as far away from your eyes as your body will allow. Also - keep the root end down if you can. I've heard of a quick freeze to solidify the juices a bit but I've never done that.

I'm not that tall - and getting shorter all the time - and I haven't had an onion fume problem in as long as I can remember.

Here is a link that might be useful: my almost all-time favorite kitchen gadget

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:53PM
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Charcoal. Yup, the lump charcoal works. Our truck gets 'doggy' in this summer heat.

If you are a kitchen gardener and small compost bin is just behind where i prep/chop and needs to be emptied every other gets so messy and stuff sticks to the bottom. Mine is stainless. I empty it into a larger bucket on the deck outside the kitchen door and one of use does the haul to the compost once a week...more often in the heat.
I push in a piece of newspaper down into the bottom to absorb the 'wets' and funk...all slides out easily without having to wash and rinse it so often. Any scrap paper works, junk mail, etc.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Welcome to the forum, dirt_cred, and thanks for your tip! Hope to hear more from you as well.

I used to have Mista oil sprayer, but I found it impossible to clean, and after a couple of years, it smelled of rancid oil. Maybe the new ones are better, but I would want to read a review from someone who has had one for at least two years and has been able to clean it effectively. I really want a refillable olive oil sprayer, but I want one that it easy to clean. For now, I tend to use brushes instead, and they are a pain to clean as well.


This post was edited by publickman on Thu, Jul 3, 14 at 14:14

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:12PM
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My misto is years and years old, it's one of the old steel ones. Later I bought the newer (cheaper, flimsier, aluminum) ones at Sears for all my kids at Christmas.

It's not easy to clean, I'll grant that but I think if you keep the oil flowing through it there isn't time for it to sour - meaning it keeps being changed and you don't have to do it that often maybe 2x a year and I just mix it in with kitchen cleaning.

To clean it I fill it with the hottest water I can - and I have about 160 deg tap water. A tiny bit of dish soap. It can sit for awhile. Then spray and spray. (Actually pump and spray and pump and spray and it gets pretty sudsy which is annoying.) Then hot water and vinegar. (Plain water rinsing between steps to kill suds - the steps are aimed at the sprayer rather than the bottle.) Then just hot water. Then a good 24 hours for it to dry. I keep smelling for the dish soap to be gone because it's the worst!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Thanks for those cleaning instructions. I think I waited too long for my first cleaning, and by then the oil had solidified too much. Maybe I could submerge it in my slow cooker with hot water. I wonder if Vodka would dissolve the oil - it did a good job of cleaning my kitchen floor when I spilled some of it.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 3:32PM
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Vodka! There's an idea, Lars! It works on ballarina sweat. :) As a deodorizer, I mean. I have the exact same problem with my Misto. I've clean the heck out of it and there isn't any clinging oil or anything. It's that the plastic parts have absorbed the rancid molecules.

Hey! Maybe bury it in charcoal for awhile!

I gave up and bought TJ's aerosol, which seems to have less other stuff in it.

TIP: I got Shirl36's pie rings via FOAS's source. They do what they're supposed to, which saves me the step of compare dish to pastry and adjust, but it's Grainlady's version of the instructions that led me to pie nirvana! I had tried rolling in plastic wrap before, but didn't like it. The silicone baking mat was still out on the drying rack (the bars over the sink one is the best for drying silpats!), and I had moved it to the island to use the sink before putting stuff away. I figured I'd just leave it while trying the ring. MAGIC!! Rolling pie between layers of plastic wrap on a silicone mat is the best trick EVER!!!!

The silpat holds it in place and nothing moves except the dough. The rings are fun and useful, and because it's held down with the pressure of the rolling pin, it helps keep things from sliding too, and keeps dough from mooshing into air pockets. The silicone mat + wrap is the star, however. Angels wept.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 5:48PM
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Late to this thread and haven't read it in detail, but...

plllog - I'm glad the rings are working for you. I haven't tried mine yet. I don't bake, I just buy stuff to pretend. At least this was cheaper than my twice-used Zoji! Kind of surprised the kids aren't using them as frisbees yet!

Saw comments about plastic wrap - I bought a 18" wrapmaster from Western Plastics in 2009 and love it. At the time I had a slight concern because it requires using their specific rolls, but all these years later I'm still on the second roll that came with it. It's the only plastic wrap I use and I'm not shy about using it. Attached is the link where I discussed it back then.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wrapmaster thread

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Another alternative to plastic wrap...I just saw these on Grommet (I love Grommet) and ordered them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Food Covers

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:44AM
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I love the shower cap covers. I ordered some and a few have a permanent spot in my prep drawer. I am careful about avoiding touching foods if they will be on for long periods of time, although I doubt that would be much of a problem. The price is certainly right and the convenience is super. Thanks.

The covers do look interesting. Amazon also carries them at maybe a better price if you have Prime. A set of 4 for $25 plus free shipping. You might want to read reviews before ordering.

Here is a link that might be useful: Food Covers

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 12:03

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:00PM
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I read your post on the wrap dispenser and, after reading around, bought the one I linked below. I absolutely LOVE it. So easy to pull the film out and over a bowl or plate, then press the lid and the cut is done, the film wrapping around the item below it.

It sits in my cabinet taking very little more space than the old boxed roll did.

You do need to use the Stretch-tite rolls. They can be bought at Costco as well as at Amazon.

Thank you so much for leading me to this.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Stretch-tite rolls & cutter website

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:12PM
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Edited to delete duplicate post. Sorry!

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 13:08

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Rings for pie crust? What rings?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Thanks for the heads up on Amazon. Better price, yes I have Prime, much to the HG's displeasure. Just got home and there are 6 boxes waiting at the front door.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Kitchendetective, the pie rings are in this thread by Shirl36, including the way Grainlady uses them. Do it on a Silpat, and you don't even need the extra wide plastic wrap to make it pie crust heaven. :)

Which is a good thing. I too use Stretch-Tite, and always hate that the box wears out before the wrap is done and ends up living on the counter so it won't be a mess in the drawer. Thanks to Nancedar, I too got the plastic cutter box. I'm still using up my fairly new box, so it might be a year before I get there, but with the silpat trick, I'm thinking other uses, like pounding meat for roulades, might be in my future...

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:36PM
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I always save the liners in boxes of cereal. They're invaluable for freezing fruit on a cookie sheet before putting in a freezer bag, for freezing and wrapping dollops of tomato paste and for pounding chicken.

I've used them for rolling pastry in as well.

When I have a surplus I even use them to put kitty litter in, to dispose in the garbage. They're so heavy plastic, good for many uses.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:27PM
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If a company such as Reynolds was smart, they would sell a roll of that plastic like the cereal bags are made of! Wouldn't you buy it? I would!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:22PM
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I also use Silpat for rolling pie dough, but I do not put plastic wrap on top of it.

For drying or storing Silpat, I use a pants' hanger (the kind with clips) and hang it on my above counter rack. This makes it easy for me to find the Silpat, which is otherwise difficult for me to store.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Here are more tips from years past...

Cooking Tips - Part One

Cooking Tips -Part Deux


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:18PM
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1. Old computer storage DVDs, CDs with personal and financial information, before throwing them out, just put a whole stack of them and zap in microwave for 15 seconds. Total wipe out.

  1. Kitchen towels, before they get totally filthy, just a little wetting, and zap for 1 minute, they will be completely sanitized.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:24AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I soak my sponge with lots of water and zap it for 1 sanitizes the sponge and fills the MW with lots of steam for cleaning the interior easily as well. Just be careful as the sponge is boiling hot...I usually use tongs to take it out.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 4:48PM
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