Useful Hacks

Storing canned beans upside down so you don't need to scrape the stuck ones out.

Chopping onions near a running tap so you don't cry.

Using empty, used k-cups as seed starters.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

Far too many recipes use more bowls, pans, etc., that needed to prepare. Look over recipes carefully, find ways to reduce the resulting dishes/utensils used. Worst of all, some recipes ask you to dirty a bowl or place for that seared meat to wait for its next act. Then, jot a note on your recipe to remind you next time.

Example: When making something where you sear/brown some meat, drain off the fat and set that meat aside while you bring other ingredients up to temperature in a deep, covered pan and, finally, combine all in a covered casserole to pleace in the oven, here is the "short version: Start with an oven proof pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Brown the meat in that pan; place meat on paper towel and drain off the fat frpm the pan. Place the other ingredients into the pan, bring them up to temp/stir/whatever on stove top. Add the browned meat back in, cover and place into the oven to finish cooking.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
When using a hand or electric can opener, stop when there is still about 1/4 inch unopened. You can still easily dispense the contents, then push the lid into the now-empty can. The lid stays affixed to the can so there are no sharp lid edges in the trash.
Cook once and eat for.. as long as your freezer will let you! You only need prep time and freezer space for your creations. The best thing about this method is knowing exactly what is in your food. The next best thing is avoiding multiple messes per day.

I love books. I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds and ideas. I love the sound of the pages flicking against my fingers. Print against fingerprints. Books make people quiet, yet they are so loud.- Nnedi Okorafor
_____
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
_____
The best cleanup for your glass top stove is Windex and a paint scraper with a retractable single edge razor blade. When the top is cold, spray heavily with Windex and give it a minute or two to work while you get two paper towels and your scraper. Work your way across the stove top with the scraper, lubricated by the Windex, as you move the 'sludge' of spills etc towards the back of the stove. Wipe the blade, retract it and set it aside. Use one of your paper towels to collect up the sludge and dump in the garbage. Lightly mist your stove top with Windex and use your other paper towel to polish to a 'like new' shine.
After cleaning the crock of my slow cooker, I make a paste of baking soda and water to polish the inside of it to get rid of all the weird dull spots where food used to be stuck.

Kim
I have heavy aluminum cookie sheets that I cover in foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup when baking, whether it is a roast or chicken pieces or sweet baked goods. Inevitably the trays get some baked on 'gunk' that doesn't come off in the dishwasher.

About once a year I run the self cleaning cycle on my oven. I make the most of it by putting my cookie sheets on the racks, stacking (not nesting) as needed. At the end of the cleaning cycle my cookie sheets are as stain and gunk free as when they were new.
Flash, best reason ever to use the self-cleaning cycle!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
These are great hacks everyone!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I'm going to try this! Do you know which pans can safely go through a cleaning cycle? Non-stick pans?

@Flash wrote:

At the end of the cleaning cycle my cookie sheets are as stain and gunk free as when they were new.
I would not put ANYTHING non-stick in that kind of heat. I have only done this with solid aluminum sheet pans. While one might be able to do this with pots and pans, they would need to be ones with no wood, composite or plastic handles and I would not try it on any pans that were made of various layers of metal on the bottom (often called 'clad'). I have an abused cast iron pan I picked up for $1 from Goodwill that I plan to cook with my next batch so that I am literally taking it back to clean cast iron to begin the seasoning process all over.
@HonnyBrown wrote:


Chopping onions near a running tap so you don't cry.

Save water and use a sharp knife.
Onions have a component that is attracted to water. The result is an acid, and that is why we cry when chopping onions. By chopping onions near a running tap, that component moves to that water and not the water in our eyes.

@1cent wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:


Chopping onions near a running tap so you don't cry.

Save water and use a sharp knife.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Onions have a component that is attracted to water. The result is an acid, and that is why we cry when chopping onions. By chopping onions near a running tap, that component moves to that water and not the water in our eyes.

Ok. I wasn’t really arguing the effectiveness of that approach. By using a sharp knife, you get clean cuts and avoid crushing the onion. This releases less of the irritant.

I know some people also chill onions ahead of time.

For me, an ideal hack simplifies the overall process.
While I love my old (ancient) wooden cutting boards they have been relegated to cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Raw meats, poultry and fish are now trimmed and cut only on nylon cutting boards that go directly into the dishwasher.
My daughter told us her HS Home and Careers teacher instructed them to wash the peeled onion in water and dry it before cutting to prevent crying. It works. Before that, I used to wear light tinted sunglasses while doing so.
Yep, by providing a source of water other than your eyeballs, the onion fumes go there.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Another aspect of cutting onions without tears is standing up straight and not over the onion and close. I wear glasses and cut/chop with my forearms and hands perpendicular to my body. My sons still stand over what they are cutting/chopping and lean in much too close, so they do get tears from onions.
I have a mini-food processor (Thank you, Ebay). No tears.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
My food processor is still in the box. I bought it in September.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I like my mini chop but would rather chop manually then have to get it out and clean it.
Exactly! My choppers are fun to use and make nice, uniform shapes, but cleaning them is time consuming.

And my garlic press! Geez, it took me forever to clean it! I finally read that you aren't supposed to peel the garlic before pressing. Maybe that's another hack, but I have to try it first.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I put newspaper on top of kitchen cupboards. The ones that don't go right to the ceiling. Twice a year throw out the newspaper. Never need to scrub that cupboard top.
I wish I had known this when I lived in a house with cabinets like that!
@prince wrote:

I put newspaper on top of kitchen cupboards. The ones that don't go right to the ceiling. Twice a year throw out the newspaper. Never need to scrub that cupboard top.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@KathyG I just told a friend this one the other day. She was saying she needs to do that job.
I have a cat that would live on top of the cabinets like it is her second home, but any papers or boxes left out alone, and she will chew them up like she is a shredder. Except when you need something shredded!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2021 05:40PM by 2stepps.
Had 25% of my paycheck deducted and placed into a 401K or taxable mutual funds which allowed me to retire 14 years early. I mystery shop for fun.
Cover the inside of a pot with aluminum foil. Add water, baking soda and vinegar. Heat the water to a boil. Add any tarnished silver jewelry, basically anything silver. Turn the heat off. Let them stay for a while. The tarnish sticks to the foil leaving sparkling silver. Exercise caution. Use gloves or tongs to take the items out.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login