View Full Version : Cooking tricks

03-27-2015, 06:54 AM
Let's all share some neat cooking tricks and tips with each other! :quina: I have a few to get started.

:quina: easy way to separate an egg.:quina:
all you need are 2 bowls/plates and an empty plastic water bottle.
Step 1. Crack the egg into one of the bowls
Step 2. Squeeze the water bottle and touch the yolk with the bottles top.
Step 3. Unsqueeze the bottle. The yolk will go into the bottle, leaving the white behind.
Step 4. Before the yolk slides out, transfer it into the second bowl. You have now separated an egg. Hooray!

:quina:How to make quick blueberry jelly. :quina:

Step 1: blend a container of blueberries in a blender. You will probably have to push any bits that go onto the sides back down with a spoon.
Step 2: Transfer the blended blueberries into a container.
That's it. Blueberries have a lot of pectin, so the blended berries will jell on their own.

The Summoner of Leviathan
03-27-2015, 04:23 PM
Quicker way to split eggs: your hand. Just crack the egg and let the albumen/ whites slip through your fingers into a bowl...or garbage. This is what I do when I don't have my muse ready and have to make a carbonara.

Setting up everything you need before you start, or have within easy reach. It sounds stupid and silly and obvious but will save you time.

Start the most complicated or time-consuming part of a complex of a meal or menu first, unless it is time sensitive. Like roast your beets first and do other stuff while that is roasting. Again, sounds silly but the shit I have seen people do...

Multiple timers with the ability to label timers is a godsend (yay default Nexus clock app!). Multitasking becomes a lot easier.

If you are cooking dry beans but didn't get the chance to soak them, double boil them. Bring them to a boil, empty water and bring fresh cold water and then finish cooking. Helps simulate the skipped soaking step.

Tapioca flour and cornstarch have double the thickening power than all purpose flour.

Don't over-crowd your pan.

Relax. Deep breathes. If you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world. You might be able to save it. Just keep calm.

Oven-mitts are awkward. Just to a folded cloth or the like. Just make sure it is dry.

Chill the bowl and beaters before you whip cream or eggs whites.

Use the right tool for the job. A chef knife to dice onions works a lot better than a pairing knife.

Olive oil has a lower smoking point than canola/veg oil. In other words, you can burn it with less heat.

Olive oil imparts flavour, veg doesn't. Keep that in mind when making vinaigrettes.

Get to know what kinds of flavour different things have (sweet, acidic, salty, etc...) this will help when trying to balance flavours and understand the interplay of each component.

Taste, taste, taste. Season appropriately. Unless for health reasons, when you don't salt something, it is obvious. And makes Angels weep. This is mostly for savoury things, but to the people who don't put that 1/4 tsp of salt in their cookie dough, trust me we know. If you can't have a 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt in your cookie dough that will make a dozen or two cookies, you probably shouldn't be eating them anyways. Again, health concerns are a different thing altogether.

And unless you know specifically that this person has an allergy or intolerance, there is a high chance they're bullshittng. Or I'm jaded from restaurant work. You know people "allergic" to garlic but is okay with onions. That is not how it usually works, they come from the same family and an allergy to one usually means an allergy to the other. Hey, I get it that you don't like something. Or have dietary needs. That's cool. Just don't say you're allergic or intolerant. I legit had a friend tell me she is gluten intolerant (after coming back from living in Japan for two years where the usual diet is pretty low in gluten). Needless to say, she isn't (most people aren't unless you have celiac disease). She just wanted to have a lower gluten diet because she noticed weight lost from consuming less gluten products. I could cut a bitch.

Okay, the last one was rant and I am sorry. Just stupid shit people do in restaurants.

03-27-2015, 07:22 PM
I usually don't change out the water entirely when I do the quick soak method for dry beans. I feel that doing that and rinsing them causes them to lose some of their flavour.

Second on the olive oil and veg/peanut oil. To add to that, sesame oil has an even lower smoking point than olive and shouldn't be used to cook with at all. Just use it as a flavour enhancer at the end of making a stir fry or something. And you don't need a ton.

This isn't much of a tip, but it is something that irks me: using the word "chili" when referring to peppers (jalepenos, Serrano, etc). The correct term is "chilEs". With an E. The term "chili" refers to the dish.

After chopping garlic, to get the smell off your hands, wipe them on the sides/bottom of your sink. The metal neneutralizes it.

When making hamburgers, use your thumb and make an indentation in the middle on one side. This will make the patty not be warped when it's cooked.

If you're baking something that isn't dessert, don't even bother with preheating the oven. Just throw your food in there and turn it on to whatever temp it's supposed to be cooked at. You'll have to pay a bit closer attention to it, but it cuts down on cook time and saves a bit on the electric/gas bill.

Heating up tortillas directly over a gas flame is pretty much the only way tortillas should ever be heated up. Yes ), I'm referring to corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are gross and should be outlawed entirely. Also good cooked directly over a gas flame? Corn on the cob. Char it a bit on all sides until it's warmer up, slather on some mayo, a squeeze of lime, and some Mexican fruit seasoning like Klass or Tajin and you've got elotes/Mexican street corn. Or you could just sling some butter on it. Whatever.

Buy meats in bulk and portion them out into 2/3 person serving sizes and freeze what you don't plan to use immediately. It might be expensive in the short term, but it actually does save a bit of moneym. Especially if you have a brony who's got a membership to Costco or Sam's Club that will take you shopping with them.

In fact, also buy snacks and things just all in one bag as opposed to those individual portions and portion them out yourself at home.

I wash and save and re-use my Ziploc bags. True story. Them shits are kind of expensive. I also try and re-use my aluminum foil if possible. XD

A good way to tell if an avocado is ripe is to dig out that little woody bit at the end.

Want perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs without that grey color around the yolk? Put the raw eggs in a pot of COLD water, being to a rolling boil then turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Let sit for 16 minutes then rinse under cold running water until they're cool enough to peel. You can also add a dash of vinegar to the pot to help with peeling them without fucking up the egg.

I can't stand wasted food. If I'm chopping veggies for something and some parts need to be thrown out, I'll try and save those discarded parts for a veggie / chicken stock. I also save the bones from rotisserie and bone-in chicken parts for stock. It's super yummy if you roast all the bones together in the oven before boiling. Also handy: once you've made a stock, reduce it down a lot a lot a lot and then ladle it into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use! You'll have to add water back in obviously, bbut yeah.

I'm sure there's a ton more I've got. Heh..