9 Cooking Tricks to Have up Your Sleeve ...

If you’re anything like me and love to spend time in the kitchen cooking, then these cooking tricks will definitely help you! If you always remember these hints then you’re sure to be a whiz in the kitchen and a few of them will help you if you’re expecting guests, which is always a bit of a stressful time. Pay attention to these cooking tricks and you’ll be well on your way to being a master chef!

1. Rinse Your Rice

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Before you cook rice, always make sure you rinse it thoroughly under running water. If you rinse your rice until the water runs clear then you will avoid getting clumpy, gluggy rice - instead it’ll be gorgeous and fluffy and ready to eat. Rinsing gets rid of any excess starch that has collected on your rice and is definitely one of those cooking tricks you should remember.

2. Food Too Spicy?

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If you’re cooking a curry that has plenty of gorgeous spices in it but you do a taste test and realise that there’s enough chilli in it to put four people in hospital, never fear! Adding an extra tin of tomatoes to your curry will help to extend your meal and therefore ease the heat from the chillies. This is a great way to save your food so you don’t have to have a jug of milk handy to ease the heat just so you can enjoy your beautiful meal!

3. Taste as You Go

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If there is ever a cooking trick to remember, it’s this one! As you cook, continue to taste and sample what you are cooking. This allows you to see when other things need to be added, such as salt or spices, and adjust the recipe accordingly. There is nothing worse than cooking a meal and then realising that it doesn’t taste all that great after all. Always taste as you go!

4. Microwave for More Juice

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If you’re making a recipe that calls for citrus juice, then a sure-fire way to get the most out of your fruit is to put them in the microwave! Just heat the fruit on high for about thirty seconds and voila! It’s now super juicy and you can use less of your lemons, limes or oranges. Another great way to get more juice is to rub the fruit between your hands quickly for about thirty seconds.

5. Cut Meat Easier

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If you’re making a stir-fry or something similar and you need your meat cut into small chunks, then freeze your meat first! It needn’t be completely frozen, but just half an hour to an hour in the freezer makes a real difference when slicing up meat. Because it’s a lot firmer, you can cut thinner slices without it moving around the chopping board!

6. Easy-Peel Garlic

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Looking for a super quick and easy way to peel a bunch of garlic cloves? Just place the garlic cloves in a large metal bowl, put another metal bowl face-down on top and hold the edges of them together. Next step? Shake the bowl as hard as you can for about thirty seconds. Once you take the bowls apart you’ll have perfectly peeled garlic!

7. Ripen Fruit Quicker

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If you need your fruit ripe for a certain occasion then there is a trick you can use to make the whole process a lot quicker! Just store your fruit with a few bananas! Bananas release a chemical which will ripen any fruit sitting near it, and the time differences can be pretty huge! Plus it just gives you an excuse to keep more yummy bananas around the house!

8. Capsicum Bumps

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Making a salad? Cooking stir fry? Pay attention! If you’re in the supermarket buying capsicums, make sure you flip them over to look at the bottoms. If a capsicum has three or less bumps on the bottom then it’s a male capsicum and is much better for cooking with. If it has four or more bumps then it’s a females capsicum and the flesh on it is sweeter and better for eating raw. Who knew!?

9. Room Temperature, Always

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When making a cake, this rule always applies. Always remove any ingredients you keep in the fridge the night before (unless the recipe calls for the ingredient to be chilled) to bring them up to room temperature. You will notice a huge change in the end result of your cakes, as cakes cooked with room temperature ingredients are fluffier and more moist than those cooked with chilled. It’s a simple trick that makes a huge difference!

These are my favourite cooking tricks to use in the kitchen, as not only do they help me to save time, they also make sure I avoid a cooking disaster like serving one of my friends up something that has waaay too much chilli in it - yikes! Do you have any cooking tricks you always rely on? What are they?

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