Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

Kitchen Tips Your Mom Should Have Told You

Anyone can flip a cookbook open, but no one gives tips like moms. They know what they’re talking about — especially if they’ve spent time in the kitchen. Women have spent centuries as leaders in their kitchens. These are some of the best kitchen tips your mom should have told you, but you can also learn them now to catch up to speed. 

1. Store Cheese in Aluminum Foil 

Hard cheese is a delicious addition to your refrigerator. You can cut it into bite-sized pieces for snacks or grate it for sauces. Either way, remember to wrap it in aluminum foil to preserve its freshness. Plastic bags and containers allow air to contact the cheese and dry it out. 

2. Keep a Grease Jar 

You might be one of the many people who pour grease down the kitchen sink with the help of piping hot water. Although it makes the fats and oils disappear, the sticky substance might not go where you think it will. 

Grease can attach to your pipes and cool, forming dangerous clogs that can back up your water or septic systems. It’s much safer to use an old tomato sauce jar. Pour your grease into the jar and screw the lid on tight. When it’s full, throw it in the garbage can for safe disposal. 

3. Keep Bananas Together 

It’s tempting to break your bananas away from their shared stem when you get home from the grocery store, but it’s better to leave them connected. As they sit, bananas produce ethylene gas that ripens the entire bunch because they’re close together. They’ll be ready to eat faster if they hang out together. 

4. Use a Dumbwaiter 

Spice cabinets are an essential part of any kitchen. They’re also impossible to organize. Use a dumbwaiter if you always forget about the spices in the back. Also known as a lazy Susan, dumbwaiters spin in place so you can access any herb in your collection without pulling other containers out of your pantry. They also look great on counters if you find one made of marble or carved with an interesting design. 

5. Reheat Your Fries on the Stove 

Leftover french fries are a great addition to any next-day meal. Unfortunately, microwaving them usually leaves them soft and greasy. If you prefer crispy fries, reheat them on your stove. Add some canola oil to your frying pan and heat it on a burner set to medium-high. The fries only need a few minutes to heat up to their crispy perfection. 

6. Bring Eggs to Room Temperature 

Before you bake your next batch of cookies, try bringing your eggs to room temperature. When you add cold eggs to batter, it changes the composition. The batter may become lumpier and require more baking time, affecting your recipe’s texture. Bring them to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before baking them into your preferred recipes. 

7. Save Pasta Water 

As pasta softens in boiling water, it releases excess starch. Starch normally keeps pasta stiff and fresh in the pantry. When you add cooked starch to recipes, it naturally thickens sauce. 

The next time you want to make mac and cheese, alfredo sauce or another recipe with a thick sauce, save a cup of your pasta water. Add a splash as you melt your cheese into milk or broth. It should thicken while the mixture simmers, but you can always add more pasta water as needed to reach your desired consistency. 

8. Store Lettuce With Paper Towels 

Lettuce is always a good staple food to have in your fridge. You can use it for salads, sandwiches and wraps, but not if it gets soggy. The good news is that a paper towel is critical to saving lettuce for longer than a few days. 

After washing, drying and chopping your lettuce, line the storage container with a paper towel. You can also cover the lettuce with a secondary paper towel after it’s all in the container. The sheets absorb excess moisture that normally makes lettuce rot faster. Replace them whenever you access your lettuce to make it last a week or longer. 

9. Salt Boiling Pasta Water 

Adding salt to your boiling pot of water can improve your pasta recipes. People often say it also makes water boil faster, which isn’t entirely true. You’d have to add enough salt to equal 3.5% of the water and recreate the composition of saltwater. Saltwater boils at a lower temperature than freshwater, but it would be too salty to make an enjoyable meal. 

Instead, a pinch or teaspoon of salt will dissolve in the water and absorb into your pasta. It makes recipes like mac and cheese tastier by enhancing the cheese’s flavor profile. You’ll ultimately need less cheese, resulting in a healthier dish. 

10. Clean Your Dishwasher Filter 

Most dishwashers have filters that fit into the bottom of the model. It traps tiny food particles left on dishes after you load each shelf. However, most people don’t realize it exists. 

Clean your dishwasher filter every three months if you scrape food off before loading the dishes. If you load dishes with food on them, cleaning the filter every two weeks is better. Without removing and scrubbing it clean, the caught food particles will grow mold that infiltrates every wash cycle. 

Try Using These Kitchen Tips 

These are just a few kitchen tips your mom should have told you, but you can begin using them anytime. They make it easier to eat healthy foods, maintain your kitchen and make it a clean environment. See how they can revolutionize your life — starting today.