If you spend most of your waking life in the kitchen cooking up some delicious food or even when you simply want to hang-out, you most likely would want to make your life easier. The fact is there are so many amazing kitchen tricks out there that are just waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re a long-time cooking junkie or still a kitchen newbie, of course you want cooking to be fun and easy for you. Not to mention quick and convenient too. Knowing how to handle kitchen tools, ingredients, storage, and organization is a great skill to be added in your portfolio.
Lucky for you, we scoured the web for some of the best kitchen hacks you probably are not aware of yet. With patience and practice, no doubt you’re on your way to becoming a kitchen superstar!
Here are 40 kitchen hacks you better start learning now.
- To cut parchment paper for lining cake pans into a perfect circle, get a piece of parchment slightly bigger than your pan. Fold in half, turn the sheet lengthwise and fold again in the same way.
Fold the paper into overlapping triangles to create a flat funnel shape with pointed end. Place the point in the center of the pan then cut the edge to size using scissors.
- To pit a cherry without a pitter, find an icing tip – a star-shaped tip is better but any shape will do. Push the tip into the top of the cherry while twisting the icing tip back and forth. Wait until the pit comes out.
- Mince garlic by grating it through a microplane. It’s best when you want to get a very fine mince like when making guacamole, salsa, and salad dressings.
- Broken eggshell in your batter or bowl of cracked eggs? Scoop up these bits using half of an eggshell and just let it touch the piece. Works like a magnet!
- Scoop out seeds from vegetables like squash and pumpkin by using an ice cream scoop. The edge of the scoop is sharp and imagine how hard raw squash and pumpkin are. Using an ice cream scoop is easier than using your hand or a regular spoon.
- Gently press and roll citrus fruits on the table first to peel them easily and to avoid mess. This quick trick loosens the skin fibers. Make sure to not pound, squeeze, or squash.
- To improvise a lid for your mixer, simply get a disposable plate and make two holes on it. Say goodbye to kitchen mess when baking!
- Spray your knife or chopping board with a bit of lime juice before chopping onions. This should you from tearing up. They say it’s because of the interaction between the onion and the lime.
- Whack each clove of garlic with the side of a knife. The skin will fall right off.
- To prevent freezer burn, place a piece of wax paper over ice cream before putting it back in the freezer.
- To get thinly sliced chicken or beef, partially freeze the meat before cutting it.
- Soak sponges in water then separate them in Ziploc bags. Freeze, and then pack them in lunch boxes. These make cheap ice packs!
- Use a small amount of vinegar to remove grease from pots and pans.
- Peel hard boiled eggs without the mess and frustration by pricking the large end with a pushpin before boiling.
- Before measuring sticky ingredients, coat measuring cups with nonstick spray. This works best for ingredients like honey, syrups, and peanut butter.
- Use cookie cutters to create neat cake decorations, or shaped eggs and pancakes.
- Use a plastic bag sealer stick and never have to throw away opened bags of chips, cookies, and veggies. Just fold the top of the bag, insert the stick, pull it to the other end of the bag, and tada, it’s sealed.
- Invest in a baking scale. Aside from being an accurate way to measure your cooking ingredients, they also streamline the entire baking process.
- Pre-soak pasta for about a couple of hours or overnight. It will cook in about 1 minute.
- Never overcrowd your skillet with food. The heat will not distribute evenly.
- Keep your spices away from sources of heat like the stove or lights. Herbs and spices can lose their flavor when exposed to humidity and heat.
- Crack eggs on a paper towel on the counter —no shells and easy cleanup!
- Put a dish towel or damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from slipping and wobbling.
- Remove tough stems on leafy greens by pinching the stem and gently pulling off the leaves with your other hand.
- Hold a knife properly: pinch the blade instead of gripping the handle.
- Ovens can lie. Place a second thermometer in your oven to ensure proper preheating temperatures.
- Soften up hard brown sugar by placing a piece of dry bread in the bag overnight.
- Use an egg slicer to cut small fruits like kiwis.
- Ignore cooking times. Check your dishes by using your own senses (smell, taste, touch) to decide when they are done.
- Hold cherry tomatoes between two plastic lids to slice them all at once. Now you never have to spend so much time cutting them one by one.
- Quickly cut potatoes into wedges by using an apple slicer.
- Need whip cream? Whip it by shaking it in a mason jar. Not just that, you’ll get a homemade butter too when you shake it long enough.
- Moist cookies are definitely delicious especially if it’s fresh right from the oven. To keep the cookies moist, try storing them in a food container with an apple wedge. If you plan on storing them for a couple of days, remember to replace the apple wedge with a new one.
- Open tough lids off jars with a bottle opener or rubber band.
Sometimes, you can’t believe how some lids are so impossible to open. Using a bottle opener, lift the edge of the jar until you hear a pop. You can then easily unscrew the lid.
You can also try a rubber band. Just wrap it around the lid and open the lid with all your might. The rubber band serves as the friction.
- Use unscented and unused dental floss to cut cakes, cheeses, and other soft solids. This is a good alternative especially when you don’t have a knife around and you still want to come up with a nice cut. The unscented one is important to retain the cake’s flavor.
- Wrap celery in tin foil before storing in the refrigerator to avoid it from getting floppy.
- Slam the head of an iceberg lettuce on a cutting board to instantly remove its core.
- To rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water or stock for about 20 minutes.
- Crack eggs on a paper towel on the counter —no shells and easy cleanup!
- When poaching an egg, add a teaspoon of white vinegar to simmering water to help keep the yolk from breaking.
Aren’t you impressed yet? Some of these tricks sound really easy but sometimes you just can’t believe that it’s possible to do. Granted that these tricks are executed properly, you’re one step ahead into becoming a kitchen master!
There’s definitely perfection to strive for in the pour-over process of brewing coffee. It may require more effort compared to automatic drip machines, but you’ll find the process quite meditative.
It’s actually an art in itself.
You’ll get full control of every step of the coffee brewing process. Pour-over brewing might take three to five minutes, but the resulting coffee has a sophisticated taste made just the way you like it.
There is a growing movement around brewing using pour-over coffee makers, and it is revolutionizing the way we drink coffee at home and in coffee shops. You’ll enjoy this artistic form of making coffee just like the thousands of coffee enthusiasts who have purchased a set of their own. At the end of it all, you’ll be rewarded with great tasting coffee in minutes.
On this guide we will show you:
- The Pros and Cons of Brewing Using a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- Things to Look Out For in a Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- How To Choose the Right Pour-Over Coffee Maker
- The Step-by-Step Pour-Over Brewing Process
- How To Make the Most Out of a Pour-Over Brewing Method
Pour-over coffee brewing may not be for everyone, due to different brewing preferences and tastes. However, this brewing method has revolutionized the way people drink and enjoy coffee at their homes. So what makes a pour-over coffee maker tick? Read on.
Pros of Pour-Over Coffee Brewing
- Creates great-tasting coffee
The pour-over method allows you to extract the unique flavor of each kind of coffee beans. You’ll be able to bring out the best flavor out of the freshly grind beans, and appreciate it without any additional ingredient.
- Discover the unique differences in a variety of coffee beans
Bringing out the unique flavor of every coffee variety is possible through pour-over coffee brewing. You will not taste these subtleties with the usual drip machine. Since you’ll have complete control over every step of the brewing process, the natural flavors which are distinct in every type, roast, or brand of coffee will trickle down your cup.
- Purity in coffee, and nothing else
If you’re using a high-quality mesh filter or a well-bonded paper filter, it will catch any sediment or oil that might increase the bitterness of coffee.
- You can brew more than one cup at the same time
There are pour-over coffee makers designed to brew one, two, three, four, six or eight cups of coffee at a time. Choose the size of pour over coffee maker according to the amount of coffee you usually need.
- Impress your guests
A pour-over coffee maker brings out the barista in you even if you’re just at home. Demonstrating your pour-over brewing skills is like being a chemist-cum-rockstar in the coffee category. If you’re new to the brewing process, you’ll eventually get the hang of it every time you brew coffee. See it as a way for you to fully understand what it takes to brew excellent coffee, and sharing your passion with other people.
Cons of Pour-Over Coffee Brewing
- Investing in several accessories
If you’re so getting into home brewing, you might get carried away in buying several accessories for it. This might take a huge cut in your budget
Solution: Invest in one or two accessories at a time. Consider different brands of accessories and take into account what fits your budget. We recommend these coffee accessories which give a bang for your buck.
- It takes patience
Imagine yourself every morning doing the entire brewing process for 3 – 5 minutes, and this does not include the 3 – 5 minutes you need to spend in measuring coffee, grinding beans, and boiling water. Are you willing to make the effort to get a good cup of coffee even if you feel like a zombie first thing in the morning? You might need a quicker way to get coffee for your coffee.
Solution: Practice the pour-over brewing process (in this case, while you’re fully awake) to the point that brewing coffee using this method will seem so natural you could do it with your eyes closed. The resulting coffee which has a depth of flavor is still worth the effort.
- Cleaning and Maintenance
You will need a long-handled brush to clean the vessel. At times, it would still be difficult to clean the insides of the vessel if the product is not designed well. If the glass is of low-quality, it might accidentally break while moving or cleaning it.
Solution: Check for pour-over coffee maker reviews to see if other users have found the glass vessel or carafe to be of good quality.
- Folding paper filters might be too much of a hassle for others
Others might think that folding paper filters is like crafting an origami. This is another factor in the effort you need to extend in making pour-over coffee.
Solution: Practice can indeed make things perfect, and before you know it, you can also do this with your eyes closed. For a more convenient type of filter, consider using a stainless steel coffee drip filter.
Things To Look Out For In a Pour Over Coffee Maker
Not all pour-over coffee makers are created equal, so you’ve got to check out these red flags:
– Low-quality carafes may crack while heating.
– Some expensive pour over coffee makers may have a delicate glass carafe that would easily break.
– Insulator band is not wide or thick enough to protect your hands against the water’s hot temperature.
– Shape or structure of the glass carafe makes it difficult to clean the insides, making it a pain to wash.
– Low-quality pour overs might have a dented filter which makes it awkward to use.
– Water would go through filter quickly, which is why the coffee grounds wouldn’t steep.
– The filter is not well-designed which will make the dripping process take a long time. The coffee might no longer be hot or warm enough after the long brewing period.
– Resulting coffee might be under-extracted or has a weak taste if the coffee maker doesn’t steep the coffee grounds properly.
– Coffee grounds might be added to your coffee with a substandard filter.
– The design of the top portion of the coffee maker makes it awkward to pour coffee, or that it would pour coffee all over the place.
How To Choose the Right Pour-Over Coffee Maker
Take note of the above warning signs when you buy a coffee maker in a brick-and-mortar shop. If you’re going to buy online, you need to check the reviews first to see if other people experienced the same scenarios.
There would be times that affordable ones create the same quality of coffee as expensive ones. We recommend a win-win situation in affordability and quality with this record-breaking pour-over coffee maker. Here are some extra tips to help you choose the right pour-over coffee maker:
Do you want to make coffee on-the-go? Whether you’re traveling, camping, or road tripping, life is indeed too short for bad coffee. If you’re always on the move, choose pour-over coffee makers with high-quality glass carafes so that you could carry it everywhere without worrying about breaking anything.
(2) Quality of Material
Borosilicate glass is one ideal material for the glass carafe. Hand-blown glass carafes are also ideal of coffee brewing. Mesh filters should be top quality stainless steel. And the insulator band should be thick and broad enough to protect your hands while brewing.
(3) Serving Size
How much coffee do you drink in a day? And how many people would need that coffee in your home? If you’re a family of coffee lovers, a three, six or eight-cup would do. If you’re just buying for yourself, a one or two-cup might suffice.
(4) Brewing Process
The design and quality of the pour-over coffee maker will determine how efficient it is in brewing coffee. If the mesh filter is poorly designed, it would either under-extract coffee or make the brewing process take too long. Pour-over coffee brewing should only take about 3 – 5 minutes.
(5) Buy From Reputable Sellers
Buying low-quality pour-over coffee makers will be a pain to use, so you might as well invest in excellent coffee tools.
The Step-by-Step Pour-Over Coffee Brewing Process
Here’s a simplified version of the pour-over brewing process which will help you remember every step quickly:
Heat fresh filtered water to 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90 – 96 degrees Celsius). Use a gooseneck kettle which has a thermometer to help you check the right temperature.
Grind 24 grams of coffee (for 400 ml of water or 2 cups of coffee) to a medium-fine coarseness. The coarseness would resemble sea salt. You can adjust the amount of coffee according to strength or flavor.
If you’re using paper filters, fold the filter into fourths by separating one outer layer from the other three layers to create your cone. Place the filter into the carafe and rinse it with hot water. When all of the water has dripped into the carafe, pour it out. This eliminates the papery taste of the filter.
Pour the coffee grounds on the center of the filter. In a slow and controlled manner, pour about a fifth of the water into the coffee grounds. Wait for 30 seconds as you allow the grounds to settle.
Slowly pour in the rest of the water. The coffee should take no longer than 3 – 4 minutes to brew. After that, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your cup of happiness!
How To Make the Most Out of a Pour-Over Brewing Method
- Buy fresh coffee beans every week
Check the roast date and expiry date of the coffee beans before buying them. Coffee tastes better when you grind whole coffee beans minutes before brewing, instead of using coffee which has been ground before being sold in packs.
- Consider buying from specialty stores, roasters, or coffee subscription services.
If you buy from the local supermarket, you can’t be sure as to how long the coffee beans have been kept on the shelves. Go to specialty stores or roasters instead because they can tell you more about the roast date, age, and shelf life of the coffee beans. Coffee subscription services are also a fun way to get fresh coffee beans to your doorstep. You can choose how often coffee beans will be delivered to you and how much you’ll be getting.
- Invest in a good quality coffee grinder
Baristas will tell you that a good coffee grinder will make a whole lot of difference. Many experts say that a ceramic burr grinder is still the most ideal for brewing a great cup of coffee.
- Medium-fine grind is ideal
Set your burr grinder into a medium-fine grind to get that right coarseness for pour-over coffee. If the grind is too fine, it will take a longer time for the coffee to percolate, leading to a more intense brewed coffee. The grind should be fine enough like powder, but coarse enough that it slightly feels gritty between your fingers.
- Invest in a superb gooseneck kettle
A gooseneck kettle will help you control the flow of hot water in brewing. It pays to have a gooseneck kettle which has a thermometer so that you can check the temperature. Water, which is just off boiling point, is ideal for pour-over brewing. Wait for half a minute before pouring it over the coffee grounds.
- Try brewing coffee using different factors
You’ll be surprised at the resulting flavors of coffee you can come up with just by adjusting various factors such as coarseness of coffee grounds, the amount of water to use, and brewing period. Be an artist in your own right and experiment with the different ways you can brew coffee.
- Other items to consider
You will need a good weighing scale to measure the amount of coffee beans accurately. You will also need specialized filters (paper, mesh, etc.) according to your pour-over brewer.
- Clean all of your equipment
Clean tools will ensure a pure and fresh coffee that starts your day just right. Get proper cleaning tools according to the design of your pour-over coffee maker. A long-handled brush will help you clean the insides of the carafe. A repurposed toothbrush can clean a pour-over brewer’s mesh filter. Use a dishwashing liquid in cleaning. Let your tools air-dry in a dust-free area, and keep them away from direct sunlight.
IN A NUTSHELL
Pour-over coffee brewing has revolutionized the way people brew and drink great-tasting coffee. Mornings will be awesome like the bright and fruity notes produced using a pour-over coffee maker. Get your coffee tools and accessories now to experience the pour-over revolution.