Listen to 300+ podcasts by best-selling authors, published Wednesday, 4pm EST!

Cooking Tips

Read these 88 Cooking Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cooking tips and hundreds of other topics.

Cooking Tips has been rated 3.6 out of 5 based on 3336 ratings and 33 user reviews.

How to Boil Green Peanuts

A traditional snack in the south is boiled green peanuts. These peanuts are not actually green. It is a term used to refer to fresh peanuts. Rinse your peanuts off and add them to a pot of water. The water must be at least two inches higher than all of your peanuts. Add one cup of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for four hours. You may have to add some more water a few times to keep the water level above the peanuts. Drain the water, shell the peanuts, and enjoy.

   
How do I know if my baking powder is fresh?

Test for Baking Powder

If you're unsure about the freshness of your baking powder try this test. Put one teaspoon in 1/3 cup of water. If the water does not fizz toss the baking powder. It's too old.

   
What can I do when my brown sugar gets compacted and hard as a rock?

Softening Brown Sugar

There are many ways to soften brown sugar, but this one is a good one becuase you will probably have the items in your pantry. Put the hard brown sugar in a plastic container and line the top with plastic wrap. Put a wet, (not dripping) paper towel on top and cover. In a day you will be able to use the brown sugar. Another one is to purchase a small terra cotta heart or other item, soak it in water and keep it in the sugar.

   
how long does it that to poach an egg

How to Poach an Egg

There are a few different ways to poach an egg, and the time it takes to do so depends on your method and how runny or hard you'd like your yolk.

The first way to poach an egg is the "open pot" method. Add a generous splash of vinegar and a dash of salt to a medium-sized pot half-filled with water. (The proportions of this are not as important as your ability to reach in the pot.) Bring this to a good boil. Break an egg into a bowl and then slip the egg out of the bowl and into the water. This keeps the egg mostly in one place without too much spreading out. In two minutes, the whites are still a little runny around the yolk. After about three minutes, the whites will be completely done and the yolks will be mostly to moderately runny. After five minutes, the yolks are mostly hard.

The second way to poach an egg is with an open-steam egg poacher. This looks like a tray with round indentions that fits the top of a shallow pot. There are little holes in the tray that allow the steam to go over the top of the eggs. for these, you need to lubricate the indentions with butter or oil, break the eggs into the indentions, put a little bit of seasoning on top (salt, pepper, etc.), and then place the tray on top of the shallow pot in which water is already fully boiling. Cover the pot, wait exactly three minutes, and the yolks will be pink on top and mostly runny.

The third way is with a closed egg poacher. It looks like a ceramic jar with a lid. Prepare your eggs in the same way that you do with an open-steam poacher (one per jar), put the lid on, and place them in fully boiling water. Three minutes, again, brings about a mostly runny yolk. When you pull it out of the water, however, it's important to put the ceramic in a lukewarm water bath to cool the poacher and stop the egg from cooking.

A poached egg, incidentally, is the preferred method of preparation in making Eggs Benedict. Eggs Benedict starts with a toasted English muffin topped with a slice of grilled ham, then the poached egg is laid on top, and the whole thing is covered with hollandaise sauce. It is a very rich, delicious breakfast.

   
what does saute' mean

How to Saute

Sauteing is the process by which a vegetable is sliced and brought to a golden-brown by cooking it over a medium-low to medium heat with a small amount of butter or other fat. It is the first step in a great number of recipes.

The first rule of sauteing is to go slow. Make sure that your butter is melted or your oil is relatively hot before you add your vegetables. Gauging the temperature of the oil can be accomplished by holding your hand about three or four inches over the bottom of the pan - if you can feel the heat, it's probably hot enough. The smaller or thinner you slice or dice your vegetables, the more evenly they will cook.

On the average, it only takes between three and ten minutes to saute a normal portion for most recipes. The wide variation is based on the sugar content of the vegetable in question. Onions have a relatively high sugar content, so they saute quickly. Celery has almost no sugar, so it hardly sautes at all unless it's mixed with something else that will saute.

A neat little trick to help stave off rampaging hoards of hungry children is to saute a half an onion on a back burner. Even if you don't use them in any of the dishes, they are often a nice topping or condiment, and the smell of the onions cooking satisfies everyone's need to know that dinner is on its way.

   
How do I sift flour without a sifter?

Sifting Flour and Other Dry Ingredients

When we are asked to sift flour in a recipe, it's usually for two reasons: to break up the natural clumps in the flour and to mix and integrate the dry ingredients. A manual sifter usually looks like a coffee can and has either a back-and-forth agitator or a spinning-handle agitator. They are generally easy to find in most cooking and department stores.

The absence of a sifter in your kitchen, however, is no problem! You can use a standard mesh sieve (usually on a handle) or a whisk. A lot of times, using a whisk is preferrable because you have more control over how thoroughly the dry ingredients get mixed.

There are very few items in the kitchen that only serve one purpose, and there are no hard-and-fast rules about what utensil can be used for what purpose. Cooking should be a creative endeavor! Use your imagination, improvise, and overcome!

   
i added too mush salt to my soup. what can i add to counteract the saltiness?thanx in advance

How Can You Counteract Too Much Salt in Soup?

Don't despair. There are a couple of possibilities to reduce too much salt in your soup. Adding a couple of large slices of peeled white potatoes to the soup to simmer will often absorb some of the salt taste. Better yet, if the soup's entire volume can be increased, such as a vegetable soup or tomato-based chowder, just add more initial ingredients (no more salt) to double your recipe, reduce the salt and have a second great batch of soup to freeze for another meal.

Avoid this problem in the future by monitoring the sodium content on cans of ingredients used in any recipe. High sodium in canned ingredients is often a culprit when other canned soups and sauces as a base. Never add extra salt without tasting. A squirt or two of fresh lemon juice adds a good "salty" and fresh taste (without adding more unhealthy sodium) to soups and stews.

   
what is a substitute for shortening?

Substitutes for Shortening

Shortening is a semi-solid vegetable-based fat that is used in a variety of cooking capacities. The most commonly known shortening comes in a large can and is scooped out with a spatula or paddle. It is used in baking a lot, and can be used in its liquid state for frying and pan-based cooking. Shortening generally does not have a very strong flavor on its own (unless specifically modified, such as butter-flavored shortening), so it lets the other flavors in a recipe play together well.

Vegetable-based shortening is the common alternative to lard, an animal-based fat that is also semi-solid. Lard is used in much the same way as standard vegetable-based shortening, but most people report a slight difference in flavor. There's also a lot of concern about cholesterol content in lard because it is derived from animals, and cholesterol primarily comes from animal products. (The exception to this is avocados, but that is the topic of another article.)

Another alternative to vegetable shortening is butter - the tried-and-true kitchen staple! If you're baking, some slight variations may need to be taken into account since butter browns and burns much more easily than shortening. "Flash browning" (putting a pie or pastry in a very hot oven for a short period of time to brown it) followed by a slightly longer period of cooking at a lower temperature is one option, although you may want to put a shield around the outside edge of a pie to prevent further browning. A pie shield can be purchased in many specialty shops, but you're just as likely to have fabulous success with a ring of aluminum foil.

The main concern is why you want to substitute shortening and for what kind of recipe. For making a roux, for instance, you can use shortening, lard, butter, olive oil, or any type of fat, but the fat you use will affect the flavor of your dish. For pastry making, sometimes there is no substitute, and some recipes will ask for both shortening and butter.

A good rule of thumb to experiment with a recipe is to start well-ahead of "showtime" and scale your recipe down to a quarter (or less) of its original size. Make your substitutions and see how it turns out. Have fun in the kitchen, and don't be afraid to color outside of the lines a little!

   
I have a recipe that calls for buttermilk, but I know I’ll eventually wind up throwing the excess out. Is there a substitute?

A Stand-In for Buttermilk

There’s nothing more annoying than buying an entire quart of buttermilk for a recipe that only calls for a small amount. Instead, combine 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar, plus enough milk to equal one cup. Stir together and allow to stand for 5 minutes to create “faux buttermilk.” For another option, mix 1 ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar with a cup of milk and let sit for several minutes.

   

Perfectly Golden Pie

Brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg right before baking. This will make a wonderful golden brown crust that is picture perfect. This gives a different look to your pies. Many people who make homemade pies dust the top with sugar. This idea doesnt hurt the pie and its not that it is wrong. It's just not the best choice. To have top quality pies that look like they have been created by a professional baker you should brush them with beaten egg prior to baking. You took the time to make it homemade not jazz it up and show off your talent.

   

Use Cereal Instead of Bread Crumbs

The next time you want to coat your boneless pork chops or chicken breasts, try using cereal instead of bread crumbs. The cereal holds the moisture in the meat the same way that the bread crumbs do, but it adds a nice crunchy texture to the outside. Place two cups of any brand of corn flakes in a plastic freezer bag. Beat the outside of the bag until the corn flakes have turned in to tiny little pieces. Place those pieces in a bowl just like you would your bread crumbs. Dip your meat in some milk and then in to the cereal crumbs.

   

How to use fresh herbs

Delicate fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, dill, coriander, etc. are usually chopped or torn and added at the end of cooking while heartier herbs like thyme, oregano, and rosemary can be added earlier in the cooking process to allow their flavors to completely infuse your dish. These are often added whole and removed before serving.

   
How much produce do I need when canning?

Calculating Amounts for Canning

Here are some general guidelines for the amount of fresh produce you'll need for each quart jar when canning...

Apples: 2-1/2 to 3 Pounds
Apricots: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 Pounds
Asparagus: 2-1/2 to 4-1/2 Pounds
Beans: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 Pounds
Beets: 3 Pounds
Berries: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 Pounds
Carrots: 1 Pound
Cherries: 2 to 3 Pounds
Corn: 4 to 5 Pounds
Nectarines: 2 to 3 Pounds
Peaches: 2 to 3 Pounds
Pears: 2 to 3 Pounds
Plums: 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 Pounds
Rhubarb: 1 to 2 Pounds
Tomatoes: 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 Pounds

   

Microwave cleaning

Microwave a lemon for one minute and then whip the microwave clean. Depending on the microwave or toughness of the stuck on food, you may need to add an additional minute or two. Make sure you open the microwave between minutes and check to see if it has released.

   

Give Your Baked Ziti a Theme

Baked ziti is a simple dish that almost all individuals like. Normally, baked zit is just pasta, sauce, and some cheese sprinkled on top. You can jazz up pasta night by giving your baked ziti a theme. Next time try a meat lovers baked ziti where you add ground beef, sausage, and bacon. You could also do a veggie lovers baked ziti with zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes. Pick your three favorite cheeses and create a cheese lovers baked ziti. Be creative and consider your family's favorite foods. After you assemble your baked ziti, you will want to cook it at 350 degrees F. for forty five minutes to one hour.

   

Stale Dried Herbs?

Check to see if your dried herbs are still fresh by crushing a few and smelling them to see if they still have a good aroma. Also check to see if they still look green or if they have faded. Fresh herbs should always been green and have a strong aroma when opened.

   
How long does it take to hardboil extra-large eggs?

How to Hardboil Eggs

No matter what size eggs you use, the instructions are roughly the same. To hardboil eggs, put them in a pan in a single layer. Add enough cold water to just cover them. Using high heat, bring to a rapid boil. Immediately remove from heat. Cover and let stand only 15 to 20 minutes. Extra-large eggs will need about 20 minutes, no more. When time's up, pour out the hot water. Run cold water over them or cool them in ice water. Cool eggs quickly and don't overcook them. Then you won't have that ugly greenish ring.

   

Pie designs

Use miniture cooking cutters to vent pies such as apple,cherry or blueberry and place the cut outs in the middle. You can use leaf cookie cutters for thanksgiving pies, gingerbread men or candy canes for christmas etc. This will make your pies have that perfect homemade appeal. It will also show you put time and effort into your creation.

   
How do I bake an avocado? Do I leave the skin on? How long do I cook it for?

Baking an Avocado

Avocadoes are better eaten raw. Heating them too long turns them bitter and destroys its nutrients. Use fresh avocado peeled and chopped in salsa and guacamole, or make a salad with bitter leaves, toasted walnuts and goats cheese.

To bake, for example with cheese, cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Fill both halves with cheese, then pop under a medium grill until the cheese has melted. This should not take longer than 2-3 minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce and eat out of the shell.

   

Making homemade whipped cream

When making homemade whipped cream always make sure your beater and bowl are cold for best results. You can double your bowls putting ice in the bowl under the bowl you will be working with to ensure it stays cold. The coldness will improve the texture of the whipped cream and help it to light and fluffy.

   

what is London Broil?

London Broil is the name of a recipe or method of cooking; it is not the name of a cut of beef. The recipe first appeared in print in the U.S. in the early 1930's, and consisted of marinated flank steak, broiled or grilled and sliced thinly across the grain. Top round steak and chuck shoulder can also be used.

   
Do you have a recipe for seasoning salt?

Homemade Seasoning Salt

Interested in make homemade salt? Here's some quick cooking tips!

You will need: 2 Tbsp Salt, 2 tsp Sugar, 1/2 tsp Paprika, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, 1/4 tsp Onion powder, 1/4 tsp granulated garlic. Mix all ingredients well. Store in an airtight jar.

   
Is it important to preheat an oven when baking?

Preheating Your Oven

When your baking recipe calls for a specific temperature, say 350 degrees pre-heat your oven to 375 because when you open the door to put the cake in you will lose some heat. As soon as you put the cake in the oven reduce the temperature to 350. It's important to preheat the oven because rising can be compromised if the oven is not at the proper temperature.

   
How can I stop honey from sticking to my measuring spoon?

Sticky Situations

Before measuring ingredients such as honey and corn syrup, lightly coat the measuring spoon or cup with vegetable oil. This also works great if you have to measure peanut butter.

   
How can I repair scorched soup?

Scorched and Burned Soups

When you are cooking a soup that begins to burn and scorch, it is very hard to save the meal.

There is a way to attempt to save the soup, however. Take these steps immediately after you notice that scorching has begun.

(1) Put the bottom of your cooking pan into cold water. You need to stop further scorching from occurring.

(2) Transfer the soup into another container making sure that the part that is burned to the bottom of the first pan does not transfer with the "good" part of the soup.

(3) Taste the soup to make sure there isn't a burned flavor. If there is, you can either serve it as it is, add heavy spices to try to cover the scorched taste, or cut your losses and serve something else.

   
How do I deep fry foods?

Deep Frying Facts

Most foods should be fried at a temperature between 350-375 degrees F. If you don`t have a thermometer, drop a bread cube into the hot oil; if the fat bubbles around the crumb, the temperature is too low. If it browns, the temperature is just right. If the bread cube burns, your oil is too hot.

It is best to use canola oil for frying. Canola oil has a high burning point, and does not have a strong flavor to detract from the flavor of the food you are frying.

Don`t crowd food that is to be fried. The food must be completely surrounded by oil. Never fill the pot or deep fryer more than halfway with oil to prevent the oil from bubbling over when the food is added. Its important to use good cookware for this task!

   

What is a Dutch Oven?

A Dutch oven is an oven-safe, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid and two side handles. Its straight sides are vertical and the bottom is wide and flat. Dutch ovens can appear in stainless steel or other materials, but I prefer enamel-coated cast iron as it will absorb, distribute, and retain heat evenly and efficiently and is easy to wash to boot. The enamel coating offered by Le Creuset, for example, is dishwasher-safe and freezer-safe, and won't react with tomatoes or other acidic ingredients. The size can range from 2 quarts up to 10 quarts or more.

When selecting and purchasing a Dutch oven to use with Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes, be sure that you choose one that can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450 degrees and can provide enough for almost 1 quart of food per person served. For instance, many of the recipes presented here serve 2 people and call for a 2-quart Dutch oven. Some companies only offer Dutch ovens in half or three-quarter-quart sizes; in this case you would want to step down a bit and use a 3.5-quart Dutch oven to feed 4 people, a 5.5-quart one to feed 6 people, etc. You can of course prepare the recipes in a larger Dutch oven than you need, but be aware that cooking times may increase due to the empty air space.

Elizabeth Yarnell is a Certified Nutritional Consultant, MS patient, inventor and author of the award-winning cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals: A new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking. Her recipes are protected by US patent 6,846,504. Visit Elizabeth online and subscribe to her free newsletter at www.gloriousonepotmeals.com.

   
How do I use cheese in cooking?

Cooking with Cheese

Here are a couple of tips for preparing cheese...

1) If you need to grate cheese for a recipe, chill it first. Chill hard cheeses in the freezer for 30 minutes and soft cheeses for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. It will grate much easier for you.
2) 4 ounces of block cheese equals one cup shredded or grated.
3) Grate any cheese that you plan to add to a recipe, it will melt much more quickly with no clumping.

   
what is sift

Sift in Cooking

To Sift: To sift means someone who is baking shakes dry cooking or baking ingredients through a sifter in order to remove lumps or combine ingredients.

To sift is the act of using the sifter. The sifter is the actual cooking hardware required to sift.

Some examples of ingredients that would be sifted in a sifter are: flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Many bakers who make items from scratch utilize a sifter in order to combine ingredients and remove lumps for smooth baked good.

   
How do I soften brown sugar?

Brown Sugar

To soften a hardened box of brown sugar, a good cooking tip is to simply place the opened box in the microwave along with 1 cup of hot water. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes for each 1/2 lb. If you don't have a microwave, place a piece of white bread in with hardened brown sugar to help soften it.

   

Add Flavor to Your Drink

Pour some juice in to an ice cube tray and wait for it to harden. Add a few ice cubes to your drink for additional flavor. Some good combinations are cherry juice ice cubes and 7-Up, cranberry juice ice cubes and gingerale, or lemonade ice cubes in a glass of ice tea. Another option is to place a few pineapple juice ice cubes in a glass of fruit punch. Just think of which two flavors you enjoy and put them together.

   

Dutch Oven Vs. Crock Pot

Crock-pot/slow cooker method: This method produces stews or roasts of large cuts of meat. The roasting of large cuts of meat is not really a one-pot method, so I won't directly address it. For a crock-pot stew, you place all the cut ingredients in the pot and must allow at least 6-10 hours for cooking. What you get is a goulash-type stew where all of the vegetables and other ingredients disintegrate down into a thick liquid with unidentifiable chunks. Many crock-pot creations taste alike, a natural limitation when food is overcooked. Beyond this, many vegetables lose much of their nutritional value when overcooked, leaving you with just a mush.

The only thing Glorious One-Pot Meals have in common with slow-cooking methods is the use of a Dutch oven. Beyond that they are as different as soup is from salad. The unique method is completely explained in the Glorious One-Pot Meals cookbook.

Elizabeth Yarnell is a Certified Nutritional Consultant, MS patient, inventor and author of the award-winning cookbook, Glorious One-Pot Meals: A new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking. Her recipes are protected by US patent 6,846,504. Visit Elizabeth online and subscribe to her free newsletter at www.gloriousonepotmeals.com.

   
I can’t seem to get the hang of boiling corn on the cob. No matter what I do the kernels are tough. Can you help?

A Tough Lesson

Have you ever tried to boil corn on the cob only to wind up with hardened kernels, no matter how long it’s been on the stove? It may be that you’re adding salt, which toughens kernels, to the cooking water. Instead, fill a large pot or straight-sided skillet with cold, unsalted water ¾ of the way up and bring to a rolling boil. Then, carefully drop in several shucked cobs of corn, making sure they’re all immersed in the water. Return to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat, allowing corn to remain in the pot 4-6 minutes for perfect, crisp-tender corn every time.

   
Can I make my own seasoning salt?

Seasoning Salt

To make seasoning salt, mix 1 cup salt, 2-1/4 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.

   
How do I make clarified butter?

Clarified Butter

Melt butter slowly over medium heat or in a microwave oven. Skim off and discard the foam that forms. Pour the melted butter into a bowl and chill. When butter hardens, remove and discard the milky residue on the bottom. Its important to use good cookware for this task!

   
Whenever I make fried, breaded foods, the breading sticks to the pan..

Stop fried foods from sticking

To keep your breaded, fried foods from sticking to the pan, do NOT preheat the pan and oil before adding the meat. Start with a cool pan and your breading will stay on the meat. Also look for top quality non stick cookware!

   
How do I toast nuts?

Toasted Nuts

To toast nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a single layer in a jelly roll pan. Bake, shaking the pan occasionally to move the nuts, 5 to 12 minutes or until golden. Here are some examples of top quality bakeware for best results.

   
How do I fix something with too much salt?

Too salty?

User submitted cooking tip: If the food you are cooking comes out too salty, add a little lemon zest. It will help balance out the flavor.

   
How do I make creme fraiche?

Creme Fraiche

To make homemade creme fraiche, just combine in a glass bowl:

1 cup of heavy cream
2 Tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice

Cover and let stand at room temperature for up to 24 hours, until it has thickened. Refrigerate for up to a week in an airtight container.

   
How do I add an egg to hot liquid?

Adding Eggs to Hot Liquid

When adding an egg to a hot liquid, some good cooking tips would involve beating the egg in a little dish first, then add just a little of the hot liquid to the egg and stir in. Then add the egg mixture into the pan.

   
What can I use taco seasoning for?

Taco Seasoning is for more than just Tacos!

More cooking tips: Taco seasoning can be used for more than tacos. You can use taco seasoning to spice up meatloaf, burgers, tomato sauce, casseroles, and dips.

   
How many pounds of cauliflower does it take to make a frozen pint?

Fresh/Frozen Cauliflower

It takes about 1 1/3 pounds of fresh cauliflower to make a frozen pint.

   
When should I add parsley to my dish?

Parsley

Cooking Tips from delanda...

When adding parsley to a dish always add toward the last minutes of cooking; it will impart a bright, fresh flavor-it`s good for more than just color.

   
How do I stop my mixing bowl from sliding while I'm using it?

Mixing Magic

To keep a mixing bowl from sliding around when you're whisking something in it, set it on a damp kitchen towel.

   
How do I stop a pot from boiling over?

Don't boil over!

To help keep a pot from boiling over, I like to put a toothpick between the pot and lid. Just be careful to remove the toothpick before you lift the lid to check your food. Its important to use good cookware for this task!

   
How do I make Beau Monde seasoning?

Beau Monde Seasoning

Beau Monde seasoning cooking tips:

2 Tbsp ground cloves
2-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp ground bay leaf
2 Tbsp ground allspice
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground mace
2 tsp celery seed
1/4 cup ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid.

   
How many pounds of carrots do I need to make a quart?

Fresh/Canned Carrots

It takes about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of carrots to make one canned quart.

   
How many pounds of pumpkin do I need to make a quart?

Fresh/Canned Pumpkins

3 pounds of pumpkin will make approximately 1 quart canned.

   
How can I prevent my dish from overcooking?

Baking Times

A good cooking tip is to always set your timer 5 to 10 minutes earlier than what the recipe calls for. Oven temperatures vary so leaving your dish in for too long can cause overcooking.

   
How can I bring butter or margarine to room temperature quicker?

Butter at Room Temperature

To bring butter or margarine to room temperature quickly, good cooking tips involve using a grater to shred it into your mixing bowl.

   
How do you peel hard boiled eggs easily?

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs peel easier if you boil eggs that are at least a week old. Fresh eggs are more difficult to peel.

   
How can I how jars easier?

Opening Jars

Wearing latex, non-slip dishwashing gloves makes opening jars easier.

   
What can I do with flavored oils?

Flavored oils

Cooking Tips from delanda...

For a fancy dinner party - try making flavored oil to use as a plate decoration. Simply puree basil, chives, sage, curry or any interesting herb or spice you can think of with oil. Allow to sit so flavors can marry and strain through chessecloth. Put into a small squeeze bottle and drizzle accordingly. Note that the flavored oil you choose should be represented in your dish, or used for contrasting flavor.

   
How can I separate egg whites from the yolks?

Separating Eggs

To make it easier to separate egg whites from yolks, break the egg into a funnel. You'll find that the white goes through and the yolk stays behind.

   
How can I make greasing pans easier?

Vegetable Shortening

Veggie cooking tips:
Keep a small plastic bag in your can of vegetable shortening. When it comes time to grease a pan, just slip your hand in the bag, scoop out what you need and spread it on the pan.

   
What are Herbes de Provence?

Herbes de Provence

A great cooking tip: To make Herbes de Provence, mix together 4 parts thyme, 4 parts savory, 2 parts lavender and 1 part rosemary.

   
Do I use room temperature or cold eggs usually?

Room Temperature is Best

Terrific Cooking Tips with eggs: In general, it's always best to use eggs at room temperature. A cold egg is more likely to crack when boiled, curdle when cooked, and not whip as well.

   
How can I make deviled eggs easier?

Deviled Eggs

To make filling deviled eggs easier, put filling in a plastic bag, snip off a corner, and squeeze into the eggs.

   
What's an easy way to remove pickles & olives from jars?

Removing Olives & Pickles from Jars

Keep a pair of large tweezers in the kitchen to remove olives or pickles from deep jars.

   
How many pounds of rhubarb does it take to make a frozen pint?

Fresh/Frozen Rhubarb

It takes about 2/3 to 1 pound of fresh rhubarb to make one frozen pint.

   
How do I make eggs come to room temperature quicker?

Room Temperature Quicker

To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, (they beat better that way), put them in a bowl of warm - not hot - water for 5 to 10 minutes

   
How do I make a garlic herb mix?

Garlic Herb Blend

Looking for garlic herb blend cooking tips?

4 Tbsp dried basil
4 Tbsp dried French tarragon
4 Tbsp dried chervil
4 Tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried garlic flakes

Combine all ingredients. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid.

   
How can I tell if an egg is hard-boiled?

Are they Hard-Boiled?

Place a teabag in the water with the eggs that you are boiling. This will add a light brown color to your eggs, and you'll know right away which eggs are hard boiled. Its important to use good cookware for this task!

   
How can I save money grocery shopping?

Grocery Shopping

Keep good kitchen organization! Shop with a list, that way you won't feel tempted to buy as many extras. Keep the list posted on the refrigerator so that everyone adds to it as items run low.

   
What sized eggs should I use in my recipes?

Egg Facts

Unless the recipe calls for a specific size, assume that all eggs used in recipes are Grade A large. Using medium or extra-large eggs will sometimes throw a recipe off.

   
How do you whip egg whites

Egg Beating

Great Egg Cooking Tips: Egg whites WILL NOT WHIP (they just won't) if they come into contact with even the slightest trace of fat, grease or egg yolk. This is why it's a good idea when separating eggs to have three bowls: one for the yolks, one for the whites and one bowl to separate over so that you won't have to throw out a whole batch if one yolk breaks while separating. It is also a good idea to wash your hands, beaters and bowl before beginning as well, to make sure they are grease free.

   
What's an easy seasoning tip?

Salt and Pepper mix

Because most recipes call for salt and pepper seasoning, keep a shaker filled with a mixture of both to save time. Use a ratio of 3/4 salt and 1/4 pepper.

   
How can I measure butter or shortening accurately?

Butter and Shortening

A good method for measuring butter and shortening is water displacement (this works for any fraction of a cup measurement). For instance, if you need 1/2 C shortening fill a 1 cup measure 1/2 full with water. Carefully add shortening to the cup until the water reaches the top of the cup. Drain the water and use the shortening.

   
What is the easiest way to peel hard-boiled eggs?

Peeling an egg

Start with eggs that are at least a week old. The fresher the egg, the tougher it is going to be to peel. Once you have finished cooking them, plunge them immediately into ice cold water. Roll gently on the counter, and then the shell should slip off easily. If it is still sticking, peel the eggs under cool running water.

   
How can I sift dry ingredients without a sifter?

Easy Sifting

If a recipe calls for sifting several dry ingredients, use this useful cooking tip. It's much simpler to put everything in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Sifters are great, but there are more versatile cooking utensils you can use!

   
What burners should I use on the stove?

Using Stovetop

For the best heating, put small pans on the small burners and the large pans on the large burners. Its important to use good cookware for this task!

   
What is the best way to beat egg whites?

Beating Egg Whites

For the best results when beating egg whites use a copper bowl and a good cooking utensil. Whisk when the eggs have reached room temperature. Be careful not to get any egg yolks in the whites when separating the eggs...even the smallest amount can greatly reduce your volume.

   
How many cups of fresh cherries does it take to make a canned quart?

Fresh/Canned Cherries

It takes about 6 to 8 cups of cherries to make one quart of canned cherries.

   
How many pounds of peaches does it take for a quart?

Fresh/Canned Peaches

More cooking tips: It takes about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of peaches to make one canned quart.

   
What do I need to can foods at home?

Canning Supplies

Cooking tips for Canning:
Here's a list of the basic equipment you'll need to begin canning food at home...

Large Water Bath, Canner, Round Canning Rack, Tongs, Timer, Wire, Canning Basket, Screw bands, Self-Sealing Lids, Quart or Pint Canning jars, Hot pad holders and tea towels.

There are many other items that you can purchase to make things easier, but these are the basics that any home-canner needs to get started. Check out some great pans for canning.

   
What is an interesting garnish?

Garnishing

Cooking Tips from delanda...

For an interesting garnish, try slicing onion or shallots very thin, and coating with flour and seasoned salt. Shake off excess flour and fry in hot oil. Add as garnish for steak or chicken or even to top a salad for a texture contrast.

   
How many pounds of broccoli does it take to make a frozen pint?

Fresh/Frozen Broccoli

It takes about 1 pound of fresh broccoli to make a frozen pint.

   
How many pounds of cranberries to you need to make one frozen pint?

Fresh/Frozen Cranberries

It takes about 1/2 pound of cranberries to make one frozen pint.

   
How many apples do I need to make a quart of canned apples?

Fresh/Canned Apples

2 1/2 - 3 pounds of fresh apples will make about one quart canned. 1 bushel will make about 16-20 quarts.

   
What's a non-traditional way to make tea?

Sun Tea

Sun tea is an energy saver (yours and electrical power). It can be made with any type of tea. Put the appropriate number of tea bags into a container and fill with fresh cool water. Place the container on a sunny patio and leave it for a few hours. Then, pour over ice and add flavorings of choice.

   
What's the best way to hard-boil eggs?
How can I get an even tablespoon?

Tape as a scoop scrapper

Attach the sticky side of a shorter piece of masking tape tot he sticky side of a larger piece. Place the tape across the tops of containers so that the ends adhere to the sides of the can. Then, when you scoop, you can easily level off your spoon.

   
Can you freeze yeast?

Freezing Yeast

According to a leading manufacturer, freezing yest is not recommended. Yeast looses effectiveness over time, so it should be used before the expiration date.

   
What's the difference between green and dry onions?

Types of Onions

Green onions include: chives, scallions, leeks and shallots. The dry-onion group includes many types of round onions with brittle outter skins.

   
How can I get rid of the white-flour "dust" from cake?

Chocolate cake

When making chocolate cake, use cocoa instead of flour to coat your cake pan. This will keep the cake from having white-flour "dust" on it when you remove it from the pan. It also provides added flavor.

   
What is a quick and efficient way to cook a potato?

Time saving way to cook potatoes

This way to cook potatoes saves time and keeps the house cool in the summer. Clean and insert a new ten-penny nail through the middle of each potato before baking. The nail gets hot, and this causes the potato to bake from the inside as well as the outside. Allow about half the normal baking time.

   
How can I keep my hands clean while greasing a pan?

How to keep your hands clean

To keep your hands clean while greasing a baking pan, place your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag before dipping it into a can of shortening. The pliable bag greases the surface more easily than a piece of waxed paper.

   
What's the best way to hard-boil eggs?

Hard-boiling eggs

Older eggs are better for hard-boiling because there is more of an air pocket. If the eggs are fresh they will be harder to peel. Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan and cover with at least 1 inch of cold water. Place a lid on it and heat until water comes to a rolling boil. Then, turn off the heat and keep the pot covered. Let sit until eggs are cool.

   
Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Cooking Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!


Guru Spotlight
Alicia Bodine