Old-Fashioned Cooking Tips That Work
With all of the modern-day conveniences and tools that are designed to make cooking “easier,” sometimes it’s nice to have a few tips, tricks, or “hacks” that come from years of experience to fall back on. So many of the following cooking tips come straight from grandma’s kitchen and were figured out through trial & error along the way.
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15 Tried & True Cooking Tips
For extra juicy hamburgers or turkey burgers, add 1/4 cup of evaporated milk per pound of meat before shaping.
Need to boil some vegetables? If your vegetable was grown underground (potatoes, beets, carrots, etc…), start it in cold water. On the other hand, for anything that’s grown above ground (peas, greens, corn, brussels sprouts, etc…) start off in boiling water.
It’s homemade soup season! If someone got a little heavy-handed with the salt, and your soup has suffered as a result, add a raw potato to the pot. The potato will absorb the excess saltiness.
Removing Stains & Odors
Are your aluminum pots and pans stained? To clean these when they are stained dark, just boil with a little cream of tartar, vinegar, or acidic foods.
A baking powder paste (made with baking powder and water) will remove coffee and tea stains from china teacups.
Working with fish? To remove that funky fish odor from your hands, utensils, and dishcloths, use one teaspoon of baking soda to a quart of water. Rinse. If still a little funky, a little lemon juice or vinegar will take the stink away.
Reheating Without A Microwave
The best way to properly reheat roast (beef, pork, turkey, chicken…) is to wrap it in aluminum foil and heat in a slow oven (300-325F) for about 15 minutes per pound.
Frosting a cake, cookies, or brownies? To keep your homemade icings moist and prevent cracking, add a pinch of baking soda to the icing while mixing it up.
When rolling cookie dough, sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar instead of flour. Too much flour makes dough heavy, and your cookies will be much denser than they’re meant to be.
When freezing frosted cookies, place them in the freezer unwrapped for about 2 hours, then you can wrap them without worrying about them all sticking together.
Put a marshmallow or one of these in a bag of brown sugar to keep it from getting hard or buy a little disk made just for this from a kitchen store.
When measuring or using honey, molasses, or corn syrup, dip your spoon in hot water, oil, or egg first. The sticky syrup will come out a whole lot easier.
Making whipped cream for that strawberry shortcake or pumpkin pie? Try putting your beaters and bowl in the freezer for a half-hour first. Cold utensils make the cream peak easier. If I’m in a hurry, I also like to use this handy tool.
Store your sour cream and yogurts upside down. It will last longer in the refrigerator that way.
To keep ice cream fresher longer, stick the container in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and get rid of as much excess air as possible before putting it back in the freezer.
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