50 Cooking Tips Everyone Needs to Know 

 Originally Written: December 30, 2017

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on January 4, 2018 by Hanna Trafford

Everybody can use a helping hand in the kitchen once in a while! I have been collecting tips and hints and I do hope you will enjoy finding out just how much simpler your cooking tasks can be!


  1. To peel thin skin fruits and vegetables easily, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water, let stand for one minute then peel with sharp paring knife.
  2. For an easy dressing for fruit salad, try a grated orange rind and orange juice added to sour cream.
  3. Cream won’t curdle when pour over fruits if you add a pinch of baking soda with the cream before serving.
  4. If you add a small pat of butter when cooking fruit for jams and jellies, you won’t have any foam to skim off the top.
  5. If you have a problem with fruit jellies not setting, place the jars in a shallow pan half filled with cold water, then bake in moderate oven for 30 minutes.
  6. For attractive individual butter servings, squeeze butter through a pastry bag or plastic beg onto a cookie sheet, set in refrigerator to harden.
  7. To keep your pizza crust crispy, try placing the cheese on before the sauce.
  8. To save leftover wines, freeze them in ice cube trays. They can be used for any dish you would season with wine or can be also used in coolers.
  9. Cottage cheese can be used in place of sour cream when making dips. Just place it in the blender until it is creamed.
  10. Cream cheese can be coloured with liquid food colouring as a filler for dainty rolled sandwiches. Try a different colour for each layer and slice as you would a jelly roll.
  11. Freeze red and green maraschino cherries in ice cubes. You can also do this with cocktail onions, mint leaves or green olives for martinis.
  12. French fries will be deliciously golden brown is sprinkled with flour before frying.
  13. To bake the perfect potato, rub butter over potatoes before baking to prevent skin from cracking and to improve the taste.
  14. For the best gourmet French fries, let cut potatoes stand in cold water an hour before frying. Dry well before cooking. The trick is to fry them twice. The first time, just fry them for a few minutes and drain off the grease. The second time, fry them until golden brown.
  15. To tell how old an egg is, place the egg in a pan of cold water. If it lies on its side, it is fresh – if it tilts on an angle,, its approximately 3-4 days old – if an egg stands upright, it is probably about 10 days old. It an egg floats to the top, it is old and should not be used.
  16. To easily separate an egg yolk from whites, poke a small hole in the end of an egg and drain the white through the hole. After you have drained the egg white, just crack the egg open for the yolk.
  17. To tell if the egg is hard boiled or raw, place the egg on it’s side and spin it evenly on a level surface. If it wobbles – it is raw.
  18. When you poach eggs, try adding a little vinegar and salt to the water. This will set the eggs and keep them in shape.
  19. When beating egg whites, add a teaspoon of cold water and you will almost double the quantity.
  20. Add food colouring to the water before boiling eggs, then you can tell the hard boiled ones from the fresh ones.
  21. To keep egg yolks centered while cooking hard boiled eggs – stir the water while cooking.
  22. When handling eggs or removing them from the carton, try wetting your hands first and the eggs won’t slip away.
  23. Hard boiled eggs will slice better if you wet the knife in water before cutting.
  24. To test whether hot oil is still usable, drop a piece of white bread into the pot. If the bread develops dark specks, the oil is deteriorating.
  25. Fat from soup and stews can be eliminated by dropping ice cubes into the pot. Then stir and the fat will cling to the ice cubes. Remove the ice cubes after a few seconds.
  26. When you are broiling meats, place a few pieces of dried bread in the broiler pan to soak up the dripping fat. This will eliminate the smoking fat and it also reduces the risk of the fat catching fire.
  27. Butter will go farther and have fewer calories per serving if you beat it well. This increases the volume by adding air.
  28. Cottage cheese will remain fresher for longer period of time if you store it upside down in the refrigerator.
  29. To keep cheese longer without it forming mould, place a piece of paper towel that has been dampened with white vinegar in the bottom of plastic container hat has a good seal before adding cheese.
  30. Another way to prevent mould form forming on cheese is to store it in a sealed container with two lumps of sugar.
  31. A dull knife works better to cut cheese. Warm the knife and the cheese will cut like butter.
  32. Tomatoes added to roasts will help tenderize them naturally. They contain an acid that works well to break down meats.
  33. To eliminate bacon curling, try soaking in it cold water for about 2 minutes before frying. Dry well with paper towel. If they still curl, sprinkle them with flour. And if they still insist on curling, poke some hole in them.
  34. If you scorch meats, soak it in a towel in hot water and wring out as best as possible. Cover the meat and let it stand for about 5 minutes before scraping off burned area with a knife.
  35. To prevent fat from splattering when frying sausage, try flouring them lightly.
  36. To avoid your meatloaf from cracking, try rubbing a small amount of cold water on the top and sides before placing it in the oven.
  37. If venison is soaked in a cola beverage overnight, it will not have a strong gamey flavour.
  38. Placing meats in white vinegar and water for about 5 minutes before cooking will make them more tender.
  39. To reduce shrinkage in sausages, they should be boiled for 3-5 minutes before frying.
  40. For a too-salty ham, partially bake it and drain all juices. Pour a small bottle of ginger ale all over it and bake til done.
  41. When re-heating meats, try placing the pieces in a casserole dish with lettuce leaves between the slices – they will then be tender and moist.
  42. To keep poultry from sticking to the bottom of pan, try placing few stalks of celery in the bottom to act as a rack. This will add flavour and moisture as well when cooking.
  43. To keep meatballs from falling apart when cooking, try placing them into the refrigerator for 20 minutes before cooking.
  44. To tenderize chicken and give it a unique flavour, try basting it with a small of amount of white wine while it cooks.
  45. When stuffing your holiday turkey, place a piece of cheesecloth inside the cavity before the stuffing. When you remove the cloth, the stuffing will come out at one time.
  46. Defrost a chicken by soaking in cold water, this will draw out any blood residues and will leave the breast very white.
  47. Have you ever wondered how restaurants serve very tender, moist chicken breasts all the time? They submerge the breast in buttermilk for 3-4 hours under refrigeration before cooking.
  48. When stuffing a turkey or chicken, try sealing the opening with a small raw potato.
  49. To double the freshness of fish, place it in cold water – if it floats it has recently been caught.
  50. You can thaw fish in milk. The milk will draw out the frozen taste and provides a fresh caught flavour.

Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences – your input is always welcomed and very much appreciated!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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