Whether you’re a novice cook or Anthony Bourdain’s long-lost cousin, having a couple of cool kitchen hacks up your sleeve can save you time and can earn you bonus points the next time you’re showing off your culinary skills. This holiday season, try these quick tips from Kenmore Executive Chef Kari Karch to make life a little easier in and around the kitchen…
1. Peel Garlic Like a Boss
Smashing garlic with a heavy mallet may look cool but the cleanup can be painful. Instead, grab two bowls of the same size and placing the head of garlic inside. Then hold the bowls tightly together and shake what your mama gave you. Vigorous shaking will release the skins and the naked garlic will be easy to pick out. Go ahead, check out your biceps in the mirror while you’re at it.
2. Have a Protein-Packed Day
Rocky might have had the right idea slurping down raw eggs to muscle up, but who really does that? Instead, make some hard-boiled eggs ahead of time and keep them as snacks by baking them in the oven. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, place the individual eggs onto the racks (Careful, gentlemen, it’ll be hot so use tongs) and let them bake for exactly 30 minutes. Then submerge them in ice water and peel. I like to peel them all at once so I can just store them and channel my inner eye of the tiger anytime I want.
“You can show off in your kitchen by pouring the wine into a blender and giving it a whirl for a couple of seconds. This technique opens up the bouquet and makes you look like a master sommelier without spending big bucks on all those toys.”
3. Rethink Your Waffle Iron
That oversized, dusty waffle iron you haven’t used in eons might have more use in your kitchen than you think. Impress some hungry hounds in your house by placing frozen tater tots in the waffle maker and you’ll have hash browns in a matter of minutes. Or take that can of cinnamon rolls and place them in it, close the lid, and wait for magic to occur. You’ll be amazed at all the cool foods you can cook in a waffle iron, including omelets, monkey bread and brownies. Now you’re thinking like MacGyver, boys!
4. Impress a Wine Snob
Sure, maybe your wine-pairing skills aren’t the greatest and you have no idea what the difference between a Shiraz and Syrah is, but fret no more, future vino connoisseur! When you open a bottle that is under eight years old, it needs to breathe or aerate to improve the taste. You can do this by pouring the wine into a fancy decanter and letting it sit for a while, or you can show off in your kitchen by pouring the wine into a blender and giving it a whirl for a couple of seconds. This technique opens up the bouquet and makes you look like a master sommelier without spending big bucks on all those toys.
5. Look Like a Kitchen Ninja
Do you have minimal room in your kitchen and need to figure out some space saving tips? A cool trick I learned from working in kitchens over the years is to attach a magnetic strip to the wall and slap on your knives. Not only does it display them for all to marvel at, but also the ease of function will make you look like a regular Gordon Ramsay. Just make sure to keep your temper in check when using sharp objects, folks.
6. Hide Your Sensitive Side
Cutting onions got you so choked up you like you’ve secretly been watching The Notebook on cable? When you chop those pesky alliums its hard to hide teary eyes, so pop them into the freezer for twenty minutes first to reduce the sting from the fumes. This trick also helps when slicing an onion to get the perfect dice or julienne.