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7 things you should make a habit of in the kitchen

Be a kitchen whiz with these helpful hints.

by: Tessa Purdon | 24 Mar 2016

We all have our kitchen quirks. Be it the order in which we do things, or the way we do them. It could even be the specific tool that we use. I often peel ginger with a spoon and use a straw to destem strawberries. These just make life easier in the kitchen and save a ton of time. After a while they become habits and we just do them without even thinking. 

Here are 7 basic things that everyone should make a habit of in their cooking lives: 

1. Always have sharp knives

As much as you think sharp knives are dangerous, they are also necessary in the kitchen. You need them to cut through food cleanly without damaging/bruising the membranes of certain ingredients like onions and fresh herbs. Blunt knives are actually more dangerous because it takes more effort and struggle to cut through items and this leads to more injuries if the knife slips by accident. Having said that, always be extra careful when wielding sharp objects. 

2. Wear closed shoes
Avoid a foot injury by wearing protective shoes. Hot oil and other liquids can easily spill onto your feet and sharp knives can just as easily fall off a high counter and pierce the skin. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

3. Use a “thow away” bowl
The more time you spend in the kitchen, the more efficient and ergonomic you will become. Regular trips to the dustbin to throw away a piece of onion skin just wastes time and (depending on how low your bin is), requires you to bend over every 2 minutes. The solution to this is to have a special bowl next to your chopping board in which to place all your waste items like peels, pips, stalks, skins etc. Once you’ve finished all your chopping and prep, simply throw away the contents of the bowl in one go. 

4. Prepare all your ingredients before starting
Have your ingredients measured and chopped before you start the cooking process. This ensures you are in full control and don’t end up running around like a chicken without a head, at the last minute, trying to desperately search for the missing ingredient. It also helps to ensure that you don’t miss out an ingredient completely. How many times did your cake fail to rise because you’d left out the baking powder? It happens. 

5. Clean as you go
This just makes your kitchen a nicer place to work in and also means you have less to clean up at the end!

6. Make sure you have a non-slip cutting board
Cutting boards can wobble from time to time if the surface on which they’re sitting is not stable. The easiest way to correct this and to avoid potential dangers is to wet a thin cloth and place it down underneath the board. It will ensure the board stays still. One of the best and most useful kitchen tips out there! 

7. Wear an apron
Apart from bodily protection, aprons help to ensure that your clothing isn’t damaged while you cook. A splat of tomato or a hot oil can stain terribly and there’s nothing worse than having to say goodbye to that beautiful blouse you’ve just purchased. 

- Tessa Purdon

Read more on: cooking  |  kitchen

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