Nowadays, people are always on the go and most of the time in a hurry. Through the years, the world has become more and more innovative that people discover so many ways to make their daily tasks easier and better. For many working professionals and students, this innovation has to involve cooking and preparing food for everyday survival. Enter the rise of mason jars.
If you aren’t in the loop yet – did you know that there are plenty of things you can do using mason jars in terms of food preparation? Nope, they’re not just for decorations or for beautifying your food before posting a photo of it on Instagram. It’s more than that.
Mason jars are great for food or meal storage. You can prepare much of your food ingredients before the work week starts and store them in a mason jar. Your food will likely stay fresh longer compared to when you store it in a plastic container.
Mason jars are also better for the environment, cheaper, and do not have harmful chemicals that may get into your food. Aside from that, they’re easier to transport because the lids fit or seals better, thus preventing unnecessary spills. If you plan to bring your salad jar, for example, in the office or school, you can easily place the jar in your bag since it holds up properly compared to a plastic container.
Are you ever wondering how to eat salad in a jar? You don’t have to! Because the whole point of the jar is for you to properly store your food and transport them easily when you’re on the go. When time comes you have to eat your food, just dump it in your plate or bowl. Easy!
But salads are not the only thing you can prepare in a mason jar. There are a whole lot of easy mason jar recipes waiting to be discovered and yes, in most cases, you can actually eat straight from the jar! It depends on what exactly you are preparing.
Mason jar recipes are great for events and gatherings too because you can prepare exact portions ahead of time depending on the number of guests you have.
To give you more ideas, here are 20 quick mason jar recipes you should definitely try making. Perfect for when you’re always on the go or even when you just want to prepare some no-bake recipes. You will love these for sure. Don’t say you weren’t warned! 😉
1. Strawberry Chocolate Yogurt Parfait
Image Credit: Happily Unprocessed
This isn’t just a delicious meal; it’s also super easy and fun to make. It doesn’t take much of your time. Just layer yogurt and granola then top with chocolate bits and strawberries. Perfect! You can make it the night before and bring it with you to your office the next day if you’re in a hurry. Sounds conveniently delicious to me! Get the recipe here.
2. Teeny Tiny Baby Cinnamon Rolls
Think cinnamon rolls in a jar. Isn’t that enough to keep you dreaming of a hearty meal? Pack some teeny tiny baby cinnamon rolls in mason jars through this super easy and quick recipe.
3. Wheat Berry Apple Salad
This recipe can easily be a favorite picnic food. It’s super easy to put the ingredients together, pack and store in a jar, and go. What more could you ask for?
4. Sweet and Spicy Chili with Cornbread Topping
This epic recipe is perfect for a cold and drizzly weekend while watching your favorite tv show and acting like a complete couch potato. Okay, that’s really just an example. But you can prepare and eat it at just about any time and any day you like.
5. Barbecue Sundae Supper
Image Credit: Dixie Delights Online
You will be delighted to find out about this recipe, which according to the author, is both darling and practical for feeding a crowd. Well, we couldn’t agree more. Ready to pull it off? Get the recipe here.
6. Creamy Chicken, Apple, and Cashew Salad
A meal with protein, all natural carbohydrates, and fat – this creamy chicken, apple, and cashew salad will help keep you focused and energized throughout your busy day. The good thing about this recipe is that you can always replace or substitute with other ingredients whichever are available for you at the moment.
7. No-Bake Key Lime Pie
This tropical summer pie in a jar is truly a treat. It’s very easy to make and makes about 4 servings, but of course you can always adjust. You can choose to eat it right away or chill it overnight and devour it the next morning. Either way is a great idea!
8. No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Trifles
Blueberry and lemon is a delicious flavor combination so this no-bake cheesecake recipe will definitely not disappoint. You can even directly consume it from the mason jar. Hmmm, yummy!
9. No-Bake Mini Grasshopper Pies
This deliciously awesome pies are not just another dessert in a jar because really, they look so yummy! Why are they even called “grasshopper” pies? Well, there’s the green color, which made it just more fun and all so beautiful. Okay, maybe you should just go check it out yourself.
10. Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
Image Credit: Pop Sugar
Sweet potato and quinoa? Sounds good! Try whipping up this salad for extra fiber that will make you stay full and satisfied for a longer time. Yup, that’s right so no need to grab unnecessary calories for the rest of the day.
11. Spinach and Avocado Salad
There’s really nothing much to do for this salad. Simply layer spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, goat cheese, avocado, dried cranberries for sweetness, and even more spinach. You’re done!
12. Bacon and Eggs in a Jar
Who says mason jars are only for salads and desserts? Apparently, you can use them for a million other things including the timeless bacon and eggs breakfast combo. Easy, quick, and delicious. If you ever need an idea, hop on over here to see how it’s done.
13. Apple Pie Pancake
“Soft, sweet cooked apples, plump and juicy raisins, crunchy walnuts, and a fluffy pancake laced with ribbons of apple butter” are the exact words of the author of this simple recipe. This apple pie pancake in a jar is pure happiness especially to apple pie and pancake lovers out there! With lots of cinnamon on top, this is a perfect breakfast meal or even a quick snack.
14. Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
The unexpected combo of macaroni and cheese is exactly what makes this recipe unique and intriguing. You’ll likely be surprised with how fun this is. And for sure, your family and friends will be delighted too. Mac and cheese lovers will even rejoice!
15. DIY Instant Noodle Cups
Image Credit: The Kitchn via Emma Christensen
Everybody wants and needs noodle cups at one point or another. But not all are healthy. These do-it-yourself noodle cups are genius! You just pack all the necessary (and healthy) ingredients in a jar then pour hot water once you’re ready to consume it. Read more about it here.
16. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Also known as Monkey Bread in a Jar, this sweet cinnamon pastry is an amazing treat. It’s not only delicious, it smells so good too. You can never resist it as soon as you see and smell it fresh from your oven. Here’s how.
17. Mason Jar Hummus and Veggies Snack
This homemade snack in a jar is packed with healthy and yummy ingredients. It’s definitely very easy and quick to prepare too. The next time you run out of ideas on how to include veggies in your diet, you should try this jar recipe.
18. Chilled Corn Peach and Basil Buttermilk Soup
Chilled corn and peach basil buttermilk soup makes a great picnic snack. This is best for family or friends get together. Rich in taste and low in fat – this buttermilk soup is one for the books.
19. Shepherd’s Pie in a Jar
This is a super fun recipe! It’s a great meal on the go – breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, it doesn’t matter anymore because once you see how good it is, you probably won’t stop. You’ll get hungry just by looking at it.
20. Chia Pudding
Image Credit: Say Yes
This recipe is extremely easy but full of healthy benefits. It’s also gluten and dairy-free. Chia seeds have earned the superfood title with its amazing benefits despite its size. They’re rich in fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
This is best prepared the night before and enjoyed the day after. Get the recipe here.
So what’s your plan for your next recipe? Which one are you making next?
If you love spending time in the kitchen, whether cooking or eating, chances are you’ve already mastered a lot of genius food prep hacks. Good to know that! Knowing your way in and out of the kitchen and mastering your kitchen tools will definitely save you more time and effort.
If you’re a busy homemaker who’s juggling your job, parenthood, and other responsibilities, you will be delighted to find out that there are quick and easy tricks in the kitchen you need to know to make your life even a little easier. Or fun!
For you, we outlined 40 of the best kitchen hacks when preparing food and other ingredients. Enjoy!
1. After cutting an onion, spread butter on the cut side to keep it fresh in the fridge for a couple of days.
2. For an improvised mixer lid, make two holes on a disposable plate and you’ll never have to worry about too much mess when baking.
3. To keep spinach and other leafy greens from getting slimy, place them in a container then add paper towels. This will absorb the moisture and will make the leaves last a little longer than usual.
4. To make cereals crisp again, spread them out in a pan and put in the oven for about 5-10 minutes at 375 degrees.
5. To retain the flavors of mushrooms, clean them with a moist paper towel or a soft brush. This would also depend on the variety and how dirty the mushrooms are. Some people actually tested washing them quickly under running water and they seem to be fine that way too.
6. To stop you from tearing up while cutting onions, try spraying your chopping board or knife with a little lime juice before chopping the onions.
7. To keep cookies soft and fresh for a longer time, store them in a container with an apple wedge.
8. Use Jell-O to color frosting if you don’t have any food coloring.
9. Put a large marshmallow on your cupcakes for the last five minutes of baking. It will make a great frosting.
10. No stand mixer? Make a whipped cream by shaking it in a mason jar or in a plastic water bottle.
11. Lightly mist your ice cream scoop with a non-stick spray then use it to evenly scoop your batter when making cupcakes or cookies.
12. Boil eggs in the oven instead of a pot. To have more hard-boiled eggs in one go, bake eggs in muffin tins for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
13. Make ready-to-blend smoothie packs. Assemble and freeze the ingredients ahead of time. Measure them early on so that you’ll have perfect portions every time.
14. Pre-assemble salads in a mason jar to keep your veggies from getting soggy. Put the dressing at the bottom, followed by sturdier veggies, then the leafy greens on top. Place a paper towel on top of them all to absorb moisture.
15. Chop raw vegetables in bulk ahead of time and seal them properly in containers to be kept in your fridge.
16. To keep brown sugar soft, try putting a piece of bread into the container. You can also use an orange peel or a slice of apple to keep sugar lumps from forming.
17. Still have leftover wine from your last party? Place that liquid in Ziploc bags and freeze. Next time you need wine for a recipe, you can easily grab one.
18. When in a small gathering – instead of scooping the ice cream, use a hot knife to slice it. You’ll more even portions to serve. Dip the close ice cream container into a large bowl of hot water, remove the lid, and then invert it to a large plate or cutting board.
19. To slice cake without a mess, use a hot knife. Re-heat it as needed to make sure you get perfect cake slices each time.
20. Keep peeled potatoes from turning brown by putting them in a bowl of cold water until they’re ready to be cooked.
21. To come up with crispy bacon, bake it in an oven. Pre-heat to 400 degrees then spread the bacon on a tin foil covered tray for 12 minutes. The evenly distributed heat will help cook the bacon properly.
22. To remove the stem from strawberries, insert a straw in the middle of the fruit until the core is removed.
23. Serve condiments quickly using a muffin tin. This is best for barbecue parties or any outdoor gatherings and events.
24. Use an empty ketchup bottle for your pancake mix and enjoy a no-mess cooking experience.
25. To measure sticky ingredients like honey, spray a little cooking oil onto the cup before measuring.
26. Blend leftover vegetables and fruits then pour the contents into ice cube molds. These smoothie ice cubes can be used at a later time instead of using ice.
27. To keep ice cream soft, place the gallon of ice cream in a Ziploc bag. Now, you don’t have to worry about breaking your spoon or eating just a small portion.
28. To easily mince garlic without mess, lightly coat your hands in olive oil before mincing.
29. To peel individual garlic clove, lay it on the cutting board and place the flat side of the knife on top of it, with the garlic being closer to the knife handle than the center of the blade. Then slap the heel of your hand down and smash the side of the blade against the clove.
30. To neatly drain spinach, poke holes in the bottom of the spinach bag then place it in a bowl to defrost. Next, squeeze it when it’s thawed. The water will just drain to the holes and into the bowl without sticking to your hands and your sink.
31. Always have pre-measured butter on hand by cutting tablespoon-size pieces ahead of time. This way, you can easily just get a piece from the fridge when you need one for a recipe.
32. To easily peel potatoes without using a peeler, boil the potatoes then place them in a bowl of cold water. The skin will just soften and separate from the potato so that it slides right off.
33. Try wrapping celery in tin foil before storing it in a refrigerator so that it won’t get floppy.
34. When poaching an egg, add a teaspoon of white vinegar to simmering water to help keep the yolk from breaking.
35. Pre-soak pasta for about a couple of hours or overnight. It will cook in about 1 minute.
36. Remove tough stems on leafy greens by pinching the stem and gently pulling off the leaves with your other hand.
37. 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.
38. Batch-roast your vegetables at the beginning of the week to keep a health batch of food. Roast off your usual veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, kale, or sweet potatoes.
39. Wrap your taco with lettuce to keep it from falling apart.
40. For a quick and easy snack, use pre-packaged pastry dough and fill it with Nutella, and then bake.
Go ahead and try everything when you can. Although there’s a possibility that not everything will work for you, there’s also a high chance that you will discover another incredible hack that will work for you!
Imagine a corner in your home where you can always get a happy boost – in the form of a coffee bar. You might no longer need to head outside and go to a coffee shop that often when you can have a little café in your own home. This will save you thousands of bucks from your coffee shop hopping budget. Plus, you can sit back and relax, have the exact kind of coffee you want, within the comforts that your home provides.
In this week’s Kitchables coffee guide, we tackle the ins and outs of coming up with your own coffee bar. We’ll give you ideas on how to design this particular station and what you need to set it up. You can work with what you have by repurposing materials, or you can start from scratch by customizing your dream coffee bar.
We’ll help you cover all the bases in designing a coffee bar such as the following:
- Getting Inspiration
- What You Need In a Coffee Bar
- Working with What You Have
- Starting From Scratch
I. GETTING INSPIRATION
You have to be greatly inspired about something to come up with the best result. Expand your mind by looking for ideas, or brainstorming your own, for a coffee bar that you would love for a very long time. Here are some tips and tricks that would help bring out your best coffee bar idea.
Tip #1: Inspiration Bank
You can find a lot of inspiration in print and online. We recommend that you check out Pinterest boards, or even come up with your own. Making a Pinterest board allows you to curate design inspiration and ideas found all over the web. It also gives you a nice overview of the style set that you want to achieve.
Tip #2: Key Questions
Ask yourself what do you want to achieve? Do you have a particular vision as to what your coffee bar would look like? What do you want your coffee bar to have? Let your imagination run wild as to how awesome your coffee bar would be.
Tip #3: Begin with the End in Mind
Remember that a coffee bar would be like having your own mini coffee shop at home. It should have everything you need (and a little bit more) in making and enjoying coffee. It should help you make great-tasting coffee while being a fun corner to serve your guests. It should be something that you will be really proud of while being functional for a long time.
Tip #4: Sketch Ideas
Sketch ideas on what you want for your coffee bar. It’s best that the coffee bar would fit nicely with the interior look and feel of your house. You can sketch your own or ask for the help of a more artistic friend or expert. Sketching your idea on paper will take you one step closer to building it into reality.
Tip #5: Share the Love
Share your ideas with the people that you live with. Let them into the game of having this happy corner in your living space. You might get them excited about this prospect of having a coffee bar, and they could help you along the way.
Keep in mind that you are creating a space to serve people. This coffee bar will serve your daily coffee needs. It can also be a spot where family and guests can convene to get a dose of your favorite coffee. A coffee bar is more than just a storage for coffee accessories. It can be the conversation starter at a party, a place where you can always be happy, or simply a showcase of your love for coffee.
II. WHAT YOU NEED IN A COFFEE BAR
We start off with the essentials and suggest other things you might need. Every individual will have different preferences on what to include in a coffee bar, but this list covers the common elements found in home coffee stations.
- Coffee Maker
Determine which type of coffee maker best suits your needs. Automatic coffee makers such as espresso machines or drip machines will take more space. Manual coffee makers such as a French press or pour-over coffee maker are classic and functional pieces to add. Whatever coffee maker you choose, make sure that it gives you the best cup of coffee that suits your taste.
- Coffee Beans
It’s still best to buy whole coffee beans to ensure freshness in every cup. Experiment on different coffee beans and brew them with your favorite coffee maker. You may also opt to get a coffee subscription to keep your coffee bar well-stocked. Showcase a collection of your best coffee beans on your coffee bar and be proud of it. Store your coffee beans in air-tight containers to maintain freshness.
A burr grinder brings out the best grind for your coffee. Get a ceramic burr grinder with adjustable settings.
- Weighing scale
This will help you accurately measure the right amount of coffee beans or grounds to make the perfect cup of coffee.
If you’re going to make coffee using a manual coffee maker, a kettle is a must in brewing. Purchase a high-quality gooseneck kettle to make brewing a breeze. We recommend a kettle with a built-in thermometer to get the right water temperature.
- Mugs and Cups
Mugs and cups with saucers are not just functional pieces, but they can also add an aesthetic appeal to your coffee bar’s overall look. You can work with the color scheme of your current coffee mugs in store, or buy extra ones which have a design that you like. Choose pieces which add color or emphasize the style that you want for your coffee bar.
If you have an espresso machine or fancy making desserts in cups, we recommend getting stylish espresso cups to add to your home coffee bar.
- Teaspoons or Stirring Sticks
Store your teaspoons or stirring sticks in fun glass containers. Teaspoons can be used over and over again at home, while stirring sticks are perfect to use whenever you have guests.
These include sugar, sweeteners, syrups, cinnamon, chocolate powder, and any other additions you want in your coffee. You can also add tea leaves or tea bags if you want to have tea at times with your family or guests.
Other Things To Consider
- Portable Stovetop or Hot Plate
A small stovetop or hot plate will help you boil water on the spot. A hot plate is especially useful when you are brewing coffee manually.
- Small bowls
Small bowls will help you in setting aside coffee beans or grounds while you’re brewing coffee. And yes, it can also be used for other purposes.
Gourmet syrups will add a great twist to your usual cup of coffee. Experiment with different syrup flavors and display them as key elements of your coffee bar.
- Instant Coffee
You may add instant coffee packs to your coffee station whenever you need a quick cup of coffee for yourself or guests.
- Sugar and Creamer Packs
Purchasing sugar and creamer packs is a wise and economical move. They ensure that you don’t go overboard with using additions to coffee. These are also perfect condiments to use whenever you have guests at home.
- Cleaning Materials
Keep small towels, napkins, sanitizers and other cleaning agents in store to keep your coffee bar spick and span.
A stick thermometer will help you in the coffee brewing process. Choose a smart stick thermometer to help you efficiently check temperatures.
- Measuring Cups
Glass measuring cups will help you measure the right amount of ingredients to make the perfect cup of coffee, or perhaps mix ingredients for whatever dessert you want to make with coffee.
III. WORKING WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Recycling or repurposing materials will save you a ton of bucks in making a coffee bar. The great thing about repurposing is that you don’t have to add more furniture that can increase the clutter in your home. Start with what you have at home and go creative!
Do you have a cart?
A vintage tray or cart is the best way to have a coffee bar on wheels. It can also be a breakfast station where you can have your coffee and light meals. If it only has one tray on top, add more trays at the lower level to contain other coffee accessories. Paint it with whatever color or pattern you want.
Do you want to repurpose a table, cabinet or dresser?
We usually buy furniture and forget about it over time. Make the most out of the furniture you don’t need and turn it into the best thing you could ever have at home. Repurposing cabinets, tables, or dressers into a coffee bar will save you money while stretching your creative muscles.
Find a way to organize your coffee tools and accessories in your repurposed furniture. The top portion can hold your coffee makers, beans, and mugs. If it has drawers, you can put condiments and other accessories in it. If you want to add more compartments, simply cut some reclaimed wood and attach them to the coffee bar using nails or screws.
Do you have bookshelves at home?
The compartments of bookshelves are a perfect way to store and display coffee accessories. It’s like going to your bookshelf, not for books, but for coffee now. Organize your coffee makers and accessories within each shelf according to purpose or frequency of use. A bookshelf is also an excellent way to display your gourmet coffee and syrups.
Do you have wooden crates?
Stack wooden crates on top of each other and paint them with the perfect color that fits right into your interiors. They can be instant organizers and display cases to store your coffee essentials. You can also do this with wooden boxes, cases, or drawers that you can find at home.
IV. STARTING FROM SCRATCH
If you want to start from the very scratch of designing your ultimate coffee bar, here are some steps that can help you achieve that dream. This option in making a coffee bar might be more expensive, but it will always result in something stylish, elegant, and more custom-built for your interiors. It can also save you a lot of time and effort in building your dream coffee bar.
- Dimensions of Your Coffee Bar
Take into account all of the things you need and determine the space required for each part of your coffee bar. You might need bigger dimensions if you have an espresso machine or automatic drip coffee maker. Take note of all other essentials such as coffee beans and mugs. Everything has to fit perfectly in your coffee bar without looking too stuffy.
- Sketch studies for your coffee bar
Sketch by hand or with a computer program. One of the easiest ways to 3D-design anything is through Google SketchUp. It might take an hour or less to learn the tool, but designing will be so easy using it. The good thing about SketchUp is that you can design anything according to the right dimensions, and print the design out that includes the measurements using the Layout tool.
If all else fails, you may also opt to hire a designer to help you custom-design a coffee bar. You can tell the designer your wishlist for your coffee bar, and he/she can cook something up for you.
- A custom-built coffee bar
Check online or the local directory for carpenters or custom-designing shops. Send them the design that you want and negotiate prices. The cost will depend on your requirements and the rates of the shop. It pays to canvass prices from different services to see which gives you more value for your money.
IN A NUTSHELL
A coffee bar is a great addition to any home. Take note of the things you need and want for a coffee station. Make sure that your coffee accessories are of excellent quality so that you will enjoy all the perks of your coffee bar. Let your creativity run wild in designing and building this happy corner. Whether you’re repurposing furniture or building from scratch, the result must be something that serves you well.
Much of your food preparation happens in the kitchen that’s why it is very important to maintain its cleanliness. But there are times when the kitchen gets uncontrollably messy and impossible to clean. The good thing is there are several easy kitchen cleaning tips and tricks that can make cleaning easier and more efficient for you!
For many people, the kitchen is a happy and comforting place and not just where food is cooked or prepared. Cleaning and sanitizing are both very important not just for your kitchen to look spotless and sparkling but most importantly, to avoid diseases and bad odor brought about by an untidy environment.
Here we compiled amazingly easy kitchen cleaning tips and tricks you can follow to make sure you keep your kitchen clean at all times.
1. To sanitize food preparation surfaces like counters, sinks, and cutting boards – wash them with hot, soapy water. You can then rinse with clear water and sanitize the cleaned surfaces with a solution of 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to 1 liter of water.
2. To clean sink surfaces and fixtures, use a disinfecting all-purpose cleaner in a spray bottle. You can use a cleaning toothbrush to remove dirt from the base of the faucet or around the rim. Wipe dry with a cleaning cloth.
3. For stainless steel sinks, apply a paste of baking soda and water to a cleaning cloth. If you opt to use commercial cleaning products, make sure you use the ones that are formulated for cleaning sinks. Some powdered cleansers are harsh and may damage the surface of your sink.
4. To remove water spots on the sink, use full-strength white vinegar. Pour it to the sink and wait for a few minutes before rubbing the spots with a scrubbing pad.
5. Clean your stove burner’s grate with ammonia. Place the burner inside a large Ziploc bag then pour about ¼ cup of ammonia in it. No need to soak it up; just seal it up with ammonia fumes. Leave it overnight and once it should be easy-peasy to wipe it clean with a sponge.
6. For an eco-friendly and cheaper alternative of cleaning the sink and sink’s drainage, use lemon, baking soda, and some vinegar. Although there are several commercial products that are designed to clean your sink, they can be an added expense. So why not use whatever is ready in your kitchen? You’ll be amazed at how well lemon, baking soda, and vinegar do the job!
7. Using lemon and vinegar is not only limited to your sink. These two are really a must-have in the kitchen. There are certain types of food that give off a foul odor but then you have no choice but to keep them inside the refrigerator. Worse, the stubborn odor doesn’t just go away as simply as you want. To keep your fridge and kitchen smelling fresh and nice, make use of lemon and vinegar.
8. To clean your microwave quickly, place a handful of wet paper towels inside and run the oven on High for about 3-5 minutes. The steam from the towels will naturally soften the grime. Wait until the towels cool down then use them to wipe the oven’s interiors.
9. Sometimes when you use your blender, you let the pitcher sit on the sink until after your meal or who-knows-when. This makes it even harder to clean it. So to make it easy for you – right after emptying the pitcher, bring it to the sink and pour water in it with a drop of dishwashing soap. Then put it back to the blender, and turn on for about 20 seconds. It’s easier to rinse it out after.
10. To keep copper pots and pans clean and shiny, use salt and vinegar. As you know, pots and pans usually become greasy and the grease also hardens if not cleaned or scrubbed for quite a while. Since vinegar is acidic, you can use it to easily clean pots and pans. To clean, simply put salt at the bottom of your pot or pan, then add vinegar to it. Use a scour pad to scrub until the grease is gone. Then rinse.
11. To easily clean glass wares without scratching them, aluminum foil is the best option. You wouldn’t want to scratch your precious glass wares by using metal or wired brushes so for the shinier alternative. Just crumple the foil, add a little dishwashing soap, and use it to scrub your glass ware. Rinse and you’re done.
12. If you’re using a plastic cutting board and it started to become yellow because of food stains, you can use some bleach to whiten it up easily. No need to scrub anymore. However, this would work only for plastic boards and not the wooden ones as they do not absorb bleach.
13. Sometimes, your favorite coffee cup or mug gets stained with coffee. As it is your favorite, you never want to stop using it. So to remove the stains and keep it clean and new (and still your favorite), use the ever-universal cleaning agent – baking soda.
14. Sometimes you will notice that your sink fixtures get stained and you know they’re not food or grease stains. Actually, those are hard water stains and they can be very difficult to remove. Remember vinegar? One of the best cleaning agents? Yes, vinegar to the rescue! Just put some in a cup or glass, dip your silverwares in, and let it sit for a few seconds, wipe, and rinse.
15. To clean your cookie sheets and keep them shiny, use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean them or scrub them. So if you’re thinking of disposing them because they look ugly, then think again. The best cleaning agents may just be within your reach.
16. To clean discolored grout, a gentle solution would be vinegar and baking soda. Make a paste by adding a little water to baking soda, apply it on the grout, put or spray some vinegar, and scrub with a cleaning brush.
17. Starting cleaning extra-greasy plates, pots, and pans that accumulated in your sink by filling the sink with hot water, 4-5 tablespoons of vinegar, and a drop of dishwashing liquid. It will then be easier to wash and rinse once the vinegar cuts through them.
18. Love pasta with tomato sauce? Yes you do! But you won’t love it when your precious plastic containers get stained with red sauce after use. You’ve got this trick to do – rub the inside of the container with vegetable oil or apply a thin coating of vegetable oil cooking spray. This will act as a protective barrier against the red stains.
19. To clean splatters and spots from a ceramic tile backsplash, you can wipe down the tile using a dampened clean sponge with alcohol. This will help get rid of the gunk and disinfect the tiles too.
20. To get rid of lingering kitchen smells, simmer white vinegar on the stove, turn it off, and just let it sit. Yes, you might have loved the smell of your favorite food when you cooked it but it doesn’t have to circulate the entire kitchen for the whole day. Everybody loves a nice-smelling kitchen right?
21. To keep wooden surfaces clean and free of bacteria, mix ½ cup of baking soda with a quart of warm water and rub the surface using a clean sponge. You can then rinse with plain towel, blot with clean towel, and air-dry completely.
22. Sometimes, calcium deposits get stuck on your coffee pot or tea pot. To remove them, scrub with the flesh of a lemon. You can put a little baking soda or salt to help scrub stubborn stains.
23. To sanitize sponges, put them in a microwave for a couple of minutes. Sponges may harbor germs and even when you can’t see them, you just can’t imagine using them to scrub your plates and other utensils every day without thoroughly sanitizing or replacing them every so often.
24. Remove rust spots from knives and other rusty silverwares using lemon juice. Just soak them in lemon juice for about 10-15 minutes or until the rust spots go away.
25. Food spills from the oven are inevitable when cooking or baking. It’s all fun and games until it’s time to clean up! Make it easy and stress-free by coating spills and splashes with salt as soon as possible after they occur. Wait for a while until the oven cools down then use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away the spills.
Most of the cleaning tips and tricks use household materials primarily baking soda, white vinegar, lemon, and salt. Well, that’s awesome! You don’t have to buy those commercial products with harmful chemicals to make cleaning your kitchen easier and more efficient. Just look around your house. More often than not, you have all those four powerful cleaning agents.
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.