Good To Know: 10 Most Essential Kitchen Tips. Ever.

This month’s Good To Know is coming to you just under the wire today because it’s been a hectic week.  I did have really great bibimbap and a burger in Boston though, does that count for something?  Oh!  The Send Sarah to Philadelphia fundraiser is nearly at goal!  It’s not too late to contribute $10.  Heck, I’ll even send your postcard from Philly.

“What is your most essential kitchen tip?”  That’s the one question that I always ask friends when I’m a guest in their cooking spaces.  Most times I nod in agreement but sometimes I’m totally surprised by the answer.  Here are ten tips that really added to my cooking know-how and will, undoubtedly, add to yours:

  1. Charcoal goes in your fridge and baking soda goes in a spray bottle with vinegar to keep sinks and stove tops tidy.
  2. Chew a wooden toothpick when chopping onions.  For extra added no-tears protection, cut out the root and peel off the first layer.
  3. Chop your lettuce and store it in an air-tight container with a damp paper towel until you’re ready to make your salads.  Better yet, break the leaves with your hands for no rust.
  4. Freeze leftover wine or fresh-chopped herbs with olive oil in ice cube trays for quick starts to busy weeknight meals.  This is my most favorite thing.
  5. Did you know that fresh eggs are heavier and stay at the bottom of a bowl when you soak them in water?  If they float, toss ‘em.  Need perfect hard-boiled eggs?  Add a little salt and the shells won’t crack.
  6. Got a stuck jar lid?  Keep a square of rubber shelf liner with your kitchen tools.  Top, twist and voilà!
  7. Pesky ants got you down?  Plant mint outside your doors or put cinnamon sticks on window sills and places where they are coming into the house.  It’s like magic and safe for furry friends.
  8. Rub a drop of olive oil into your hands before you chop chili peppers.  It’s also great for your hair.
  9. Some fruits and vegetables don’t play nice with others.  Making fruit salad?  Keep your bananas separate.  Making mixed greens salad?  Keep your onions out and mushrooms too.  Remember:  All fruits stay out of the fridge.  That means tomatoes, mister!
  10. Stainless steel absorbs the smell of onion, garlic and anything stinky on your hands and cooking utensils.  Also for hands, coffee beans are great and Julia recommends salt and warm water.

A party hearty bonus for you:  Boiled water makes for clearer ice cubes and they freeze faster.  Who knew?!  Got a great kitchen tip?  Share it below!