Here are some useful tips and a few hacks to help you in the removing, separating, pitting, cutting and peeling parts while you are doing food preparation.
1) Remove skin off potatoes
Potato peelers are great but there’s even an easier way to peel potatoes. Just boil the potatoes then place them in ice. The skin will separate from the rest of the potato-like magic!
2) Skimming fat
Skim some ice cubes wrapped in paper towel along the surface of the stock, stew or sauce. The ice solidifies the salt making it easy to scoop out with a spoon.
You can also use a piece of toast to scoop out the fat.
3) Remove corn kernels
Place the sharp end of the cob on the center hole of the Bundt pan and slice down gently. The pan also collects the kernels.
4) Separate yolks and whites
Gently squeeze a plastic water bottle over a cracked egg. The bottle scoops the yolk up as it re-inflates with air.
5) Eggshell pieces in the batter
Don’t you just hate it when those pieces of cracked egg shells fall into your batter or scrambled eggs mixture? Now you can easily scoop them out using an already cracked egg. The eggshell attracts the small shell pieces, allowing you to remove them faster.
6) Peel multiple hard boiled eggs at once
Shake the eggs in a covered container to peel them all at a go and much quicker.
7) Peeling a banana
Gently press the bottom of the banana together and peel it from bottom to top.
8) Peeling citrus fruit
To peel citrus fruits easily, just roll the fruits on a flat surface before trying to remove the skin
Put them in the microwave for about a minute.
9) Squeeze more juice out of a lemon
Just refrigerate your lemon then microwave it for say 20 seconds. Roll it, cut it vertically and then squeeze. Instead of your hands, use a pair of tongs to squeeze.
10) Want to enjoy seedless citrus juice?
Use a clean stocking or cheesecloth to wrap the fruit before squeezing the juice out.
11) Hulling strawberries
Guess what you use for this? You got it, a straw. Simply press one into a strawberry from the bottom. It will remove the hull as it breaks through the top.
12) Remove pomegranate seeds
Just cut a cone into the flower-end of the pomegranate, slice off the lower half and score each section of the fruit on its natural ridges till you can see the seeds.
13) Pitting and peeling an avocado
Cut it 4 ways lengthwise and pop the pit off once it’s on the last section. Pass a knife under the tip of the skin of each section and peel, just like you would with a banana.
14) Peeling garlic
Just remove all cloves from the bulb and use the side of a knife to hit the cloves and watch as the skin peels right off.
15) Dry herbs
Buy a bunch of different herbs in the market, blend them together and dry them out in the microwave. Turn them over every 20 seconds until they are completely dry, at which point you can crush them up
16) Squash or pumpkin seeds
You can remove squash and/or pumpkin seeds faster by scooping them out with an ice cream scoop. The sharp edge of the scoop cuts right through the fiber-ish substance inside the produce.
17) Open oysters with ease
Microwave oysters for about 20 seconds before opening them to loosen them up and allow you to open them with ease.
18) Stale bread
Got a loaf of stale bread that you don’t want to throw out? Just run it through some water and heat it in the oven for about 10 minutes or wrap it in a damp towel and then pop it in the oven. Your bread will be fresh and crunchy like freshly baked bread.
19) Make edible dessert bowls
Melt chocolate into a bowl and dip an inflated balloon into it so the chocolate covers half of the circular balloon. Once it cools, pop the balloon and remove it. and you got yourself some yummy edible dessert cups.
Here are some other tips to ease other food preparation tasks
20) Wash veggies and fruit easier
Just use essential oils to remove the waxy pesticide coating on your fruit and veggies.
21) Slice cherry tomatoes faster
Need to chop a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes in half for salad? Just trap them between 2 plates and slice through a lot of cherry tomatoes at once, with a knife.
22) Open a stuck jar
Wrap the lid using a rubber band before trying it again. The extra traction caused by the band will help you open it faster. Cover the rubber band with a dishcloth to open the jar even faster.
23) Cool soda or beer faster
To cool your sodas and beer faster, wet some paper towels and wrap them around the bottles before tossing them in the freezer. Your drinks will cool down way faster.
24) Measuring honey, mess-free
Just coat the measuring cup/spoon with some hot water before measuring your honey. The heat will help you transfer the honey from the spoon cleanly.
This works for all your sticky ingredients and you can use cooking oil or spray instead of hot water to measure without leaving a mess.
25) De-crystallize honey
Got a jar of crystallized honey that you don’t know what to do with? Just place the jar into a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes to restore the honey back to its proper form.
26) Make cheese/cake/batter cutting easier
Just use unflavored dental floss to cut cheese, cake or batter without turning it all to smoosh.
27) Grating cheese
This task can be messy because cheese is so soft. Freeze it beforehand for about 30 minutes to make it harder hence making it easier to grate
28) Fancy making home-made buttermilk?
Do it with ease by adding a tablespoon full of vinegar to a jug of regular milk. You can use lemons in place of the vinegar.
29) Soften butter
Cut the butter into pieces. This will provide more surface area for the butter to soften faster.
You can do this by grating it with a cheese grater or put it in a plastic bag and flatten it using a rolling pin.
30) Solidify melted butter
If you melted too much butter for your recipe, don’t fret. Just pour it into a small bowl and place the bowl in a bigger one filled with cold water and some ice cubes.
31) Onions making you teary?
Fix this by freezing onions before chopping. Remember not to freeze them for too long to avoid making onions soggy.
Bite on a slice of bread. The part that is sticking out absorbs the gas that causes you to tear up before it reaches your eyes.
32) Eggs still edible?
Get a bowl of cold water and gently place the eggs inside. If the eggs sink to the bottom they are good. If they float, well you gotta toss them. The liquid inside eggs evaporates with time leaving a gas bubble inside which causes them to float. You can tell how old the eggs are by how floaty they are.
33) Cut perfect meat slices for stir-fries
To do this, partially freeze your meat before cutting it. it gets hard, making slicing it a breeze.