3 Useful Ways To Sharpen A Knife

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By Cooking Panda

Use a Whetstone

Pick an angle to sharpen your knife, or use the same angle you used last time to sharpen it. Make sure to remain consistent, since re-sharpening a knife at a different angle will take significantly more time. If you can’t remember, choose an angle or 10 to 30 degrees per side since shallower angles make a sharper edge that doesn’t last as long.

Then, lubricate the whetstone with a small amount of mineral oil. This makes it easier for the blade of the knife to pass over the stone. Finally, start sharpening the knife on the rough grit of the stone. The rough side is used to grind the steel down, while the fine grit is used to sharpen the knife. If you wish, polish the edge of the knife to your desired sharpness.

Use a Honing Rod

The honing rod isn’t usually used to restore a knife, but to keep it sharp between uses. To sharpen, hold the honing rod in your non-dominant hand at a comfortable angle. Hold the knife firmly in your dominant hand. Then, move the knife across the top half of the honing rod while keeping a 20 degree angle. Move the knife up and down the honing rod 6 to 8 times before each use of the knife.

Use a Coffee Mug

Although it may seem odd, a coffee mug can actually be used to sharpen a knife for a quick fix. Place the mug down so that bottom is exposed to the air. While maintaining a 20 degree angle, swipe the side of the blade across the grit of the mug several times. Repeat the process using the alternate side of the blade, then switch back and forth for the last several swipes. Finish the process with a few swipes across a honing rod. 

Tags: kitchen, knife, sharpen, utensils
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Clever Ways To Remove Grease

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By Cooking Panda

Flour

Although it’s famous for making a mess in the kitchen, flour is one of the best ways to clean grease off of a surface, especially baking pans. Throw a handful of flour on the grease and watch it absorb the mess. The trick works especially well for messes that haven’t yet dried.

Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is a great all-purpose cleaning solution, especially for grease. When mixed with water, baking sofa can remove coffee and juice stains, discoloration on stainless steel, tarnish from copper and grease.

Because baking soda is mild it can dissolve grease without harming your hands or counters. Just mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water; then, using the solution and a sponge, scrub any surface with a grease stain on it.

Vinegar

So you’ve tried everything and it still hasn’t work. Not so fast! Vinegar is famous for removing impossible grease stains that have hardened to stoves and ovens. Simply spray vinegar on the grease stain and let it soak for about five minutes. The acid in the vinegar will dissolve and soften the grease until it’s easier to scrub away with a sponge.

For best results, apply vinegar to the surface when it’s still hot, like just after you’ve taken a pot off the burner. Vinegar can also be used to prevent grease fires by boiling 2 cups of it in a pan for 10 minutes. This method will keep grease from sticking for several months at a time.

Salt

Remove grease from an iron pan by sprinkling salt in it before you wash it. The pan will then absorb most of the grease, and you can wipe it out and wash it as usual. 

Tags: cleaning, food, grease, kitchen
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10 Ways To Organize Your Kitchen With Dollar Store Finds

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By Cooking Panda

1. Organize your refrigerator with small bins.

Designate plastic boxes for groups of food like sandwich ingredients, vegetables, fruit, etc. This will help you use whatever space you have more efficiently. You can do the same thing in your pantry, too.

2. Put tension rods in your shelves.

Tension rods help store your cutting boards, baking sheets and serving plates for easy access, and allow for more efficient use of those big shelves that tend to fill up with clutter.

3. Or buy a wire rack and zip ties to keep cutting boards inside your cabinet door.

If you have extra space in the front of your cabinets, install cheap wire racks behind the doors, using zip ties across the bottom to keep the cutting boards secure. Make sure you install the racks low enough that your tallest cutting board easily fits with the door closed.

4. Shower caps double as lids for leftovers.

If you hate struggling with plastic wrap, throw a cheap shower cap on top of your dish and store as is. Genius.

5. Pile your canned food in small baskets.

Bonus points if you label them according to type.

6. Inexpensive gift wrap makes great drawer lining.

They may be temporary, but it’s easy enough to replace when it gets torn or dirty — much easier than cleaning the drawer.

7. Keep your favorite recipes in a binder.

Did your mom give you her old box of recipes that she doesn’t use anymore? Put them in a binder for easier access and organization. This is great if you have piles of loose recipes everywhere.

8. Store your pots and lids with binder clips and s-hooks.

Easy, functional, and saves a ton of space. Make sure you use large binder clips.

9. Buy some self-adhesive hooks to accessibly store your measuring spoons.

This saves time if you use a lot of spices or if you bake often.

10. Wax paper, plastic wrap, or cling film makes a great refrigerator liner.

It’s way easier than scrubbing out those sticky spills.

 

If you are still having trouble keeping your kitchen clean, the Kitchn recommends setting a timer for five minutes each day. If you clean for five minutes, great. If you space out, the ding! will keep you on track.

Sources: BuzzFeed, The Kitchn / Photo Credit: BuzzFeed

Tags: cheap, hacks, kitchen, organize
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10 Insanely Clever Kitchen Hacks

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By Cooking Panda

When it comes to the kitchen, you should work smarter, not harder. These kitchen hacks from Chowhound will save you time, money and effort.

1. Freeze Ground Meat In Portion-Sized Pieces

Stop defrosting the whole block and not using it. By storing meat in usable portions, you’re more likely to just take out what you need, and keep the rest frozen for another day.

2. Make Your Own Quick Pickles With Leftover Brine

When you finish your pickles, throw some cucumber slices in the jar and store them in the refrigerator for a few days. Green beans, garlic, carrots and radishes work great too — just make sure you par-boil them first.

3. Wet Fingers To Easily Remove Eggshell Pieces

Fishing out little eggshell pieces can be a pain, but if you wet your finger before dipping it in the egg, the shell pieces will stick to your finger and save you a ton of effort.

4. Your Vegetables Aren’t Dead! Resuscitate In Cold Water

When celery, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce or spinach gets limp and lifeless, trim the bottom of the stalk (and the top of your celery) and place it in a jar of ice cold water. This will help it crisp back up. If you even store your vegetables like this, they will last a little longer.

5. Egg Slicers Work On Mushrooms Too

Cut off the very bottom of the mushroom and throw the top into an egg slicer to save a ton of time. This also works for strawberries.

6. Burnt Cookies? There’s A Microplane For That

Use a Microplane (or other sharp utensil) to scrape off the burnt bottoms of your cookies or cupcakes, to make them look like you took them out of the oven just in time. We won’t say a word.

7. Cut Up Plastic Bottles To Store Bulk Foods

Follow this Instructables tutorial and never fool with big, awkward bags again.

8. Use Cooking Spray When Measuring Thick Ingredients

The next time your recipe calls for a half cup of peanut butter (or anything sticky), coat your measuring cup with a thin coat of nonstick cooking spray first. That peanut butter will slide right out.

9. Stop Freezer Burn By Trimming As You Go

If you aren’t like us and can’t polish off a whole carton of ice cream in a matter of minutes, avoid subjecting your ice cream to freezer burn by trimming down the carton as you go.

10. Use Kitchen Charts

Don’t do math. Seriously, just don’t. Somebody already did it for you:

There’s one for grain to water ratios too:

Sources: Chowhound, Instructables /Photo Credit: Chowhound, Huffington Post

Tags: hacks, kitchen, life hacks, time saving
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