Our favourite kitchen hacks from the Food St Cooks

Some people adore spending all day in the kitchen, creating a labour of love for the whole family to share (just ask our Food St cooks). But the rest of us are only human! Whether you want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen or simply want to maximise your time and efficiency, we all love learning about tips and tricks to save time.


We asked our Food St cooks for their best kitchen hacks. Many of them are professional chefs, caterers or just all round geniuses, and we loved learning how they make their cooking time faster, more efficient and most importantly, more enjoyable.


If you’ve got any good tips, we’d love it if you commented below or on our social media pages to share your knowledge with the Food St Community!



Peel boiled eggs like a pro

 

There are a many different recommendations for the best way to boil an egg. While Heston Blumenthal swears by freshly laid eggs only, the rest of us can take some morehelpfultips from Jamie Oliver who suggests adding salt to stop them cracking. Gordon Ramsay likes the ice bath method, where you add the eggs straight into a bowl of cold (ideally with ice) water to cool them quickly. However, the most ingenious tip we’ve heard is tosteam the eggs - the shells slip right off!


Jump start your roast veges


Preheat the tray in the oven, to jump start the .browning process when you roast vegetables.


No brush? No worries

Photo: Oliver Kugler

 

If you don’t have a pastry brush, improvise one by folding up a square of parchment paper and cutting a fringe in the bottom.


Stop your pot from boiling over


Balance a wooden spoon across the top of the pot to slow the water from boiling over, as the spoon destabilises the bubbles. Don’t take our word for it, it’s science. Beware though, if you leave it on too long, this can warp your wooden spoon and it will eventually boil over. It’s a neat trick though!


Save that cooking wine


If you’ve got leftover wine, freeze it in an ice cube tray to preserve it for longer.


Not sure if your eggs are still good?

Photo: Jennifer Causey

 

Put them in a glass of water - good eggs will sink and bad eggs will float!


Easy-peel pumpkin


Craving pumpkin soup, but dreading the peeling? Zap it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and it will be much easier to peel. A large pumpkin might need to be cut into smaller chunks to fit, though.


Too much spring onion?

 

Your recipe calls for half a stalk, but the supermarket only sells it in a ginormous bunch. We don’t know what recipe has ever called for a whole bunch but we do know that you can quite safely buy the whole thing, cut it all into small pieces and put the rest in a snaplock bag in the freezer for the next 15 meals that call for spring onion!


Outsource your meal planning


If you want to stop your kids (or anyone else in the house) from asking ‘what’s for dinner’ you can outsource the meal plan to them too! Reign them in by giving them a list of meals to choose from or making some rules - pasta once a week only, vegetables with every meal etc. Everyone gets some input, and you can get them to make the grocery list too.


Grocery Shop Online


Not only is it much faster to choose items online, but you’re much less likely to impulse buy too.


Give lemons and limes more life


If you’ve got lemons or limes that are going to go off, squeeze the juice into an ice tray and freeze. Drop them into a drink or sauce any time you need a burst of zest.


Baking Prep


Pre-prepare baking mixes like pancakes, muffins, and cookie dough for easy, but fresh baking. It’s also a great way to control portions - only bake as many cookies as you need! You can even freeze muffin mix in the muffin cups, then pop them in the oven straight from the freezer. 



Flour saver


Avoid the mess of flour or other dry ingredients getting all over the bench, by measuring it out on top of a sheet of baking paper. Any that you don’t use (or scrape off for a level measure) can be poured straight back into the container.


DIY piping bags

Photo: Educator 101

 

If you’re not a regular cake baker, simply cut a small hole in the corner of a snap-lock bag for a DIY piping bag.


Home-made icing sugar


Out of powdered sugar? Not to worry! If you have a spice grinder (orvery clean coffee grinder) you can blitz regular sugar into a fine powder. This is a great tip if you’re cooking with stevia, as it will work better in most recipes when powdered, but is often only available granulated.


Put the breaks on your browning


If you’re browning onions and they are cooking too fast, add a few ice cubes to quickly cool down the pan


Pour safely


If you want to save a liquid in a plastic bag, pop it in a jug or high sided bowl and roll down the sides to keep it open and reduce any splashes or mess.



Save that ginger


Peel fresh ginger and freeze it - you can grate it frozen and it will be just as good as fresh.


Cook with a food scrap bowl (or bag)


Instead of going back and forth to the bin all through the meal, put all your food scraps in a bowl. This also makes the bench clean up much faster. Meat trays or plastic bags from the deli also work well.


Double up your meals


If you’re cooking one lasagna, why not cook two? You can freeze the pre-made lasagna for a backup meal later in the week. Doubling almost any recipe is also a great way to plan and prepare your lunches throughout the week.


Serve dinners next to containers


Serve out your dinner plates AND your lunch boxes to avoid going in for seconds and not having enough left over for lunch, even when you doubled the recipe!


Don’t just meal prep, snack prep

 

We often focus on pre-planning dinner, but forget about other food throughout the day. Pre-planning and portioning out snacks means you’ve always got something on hand, and can save time searching for snacks in the kitchen or deciding what to go get from the store. It also helps you stay healthier as you’re less likely to reach for an unhealthy treat in the throes of three-thirty-itis.


Level up: Prep your breakfast too! Making a frittata or breakfast muffins can give you a great filling breakfast that you can grab and go in the morning, saving precious time.


Organise the dishwasher as you fill it


Designate sections to try to fill the dishwasher with things that are stored together. Putting all the plates together, and each type of cutlery in the same section of the basket will make emptying the dishwasher a 2 second job, as you can grab them all together and put them straight in their home.


Build shopping list habits


Make it a habit among the whole family to always add to the shopping list if you finish something. You can have a whiteboard in the kitchen, a notepad or a shared list in your phone so everyone can quickly and easily add items on the go and you’ve got your list pre-prepared before you go to the supermarket.


Outsource your meals

 

Cooking is arguably one of the biggest things we spend our time on each night, and it can make even your favourite meals feel like a drag. With Food St, you don’t need to make any compromises on health, flavour or convenience. Let our talented home cooks prepare their favourite healthy, wholesome meals, ready for you to heat and serve. With a whole community of cooks, there’s a huge variety of ever-changing meals to choose from, so you’re never bored.


Some of our customers prep their whole week with Food St, but most love to just pre-order a few extra meals for the freezer, so they’ve always got something ready for the busy nights, or can give themselves a few nights off each week. Check out the latest meals on the menuhere.



If you’ve got any great kitchen hacks to make cooking faster, easier or more enjoyable, let us know in the comments below!

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