For most kitchen accessories, it’s easy to see when the trash can is calling: cabinet doors wear chipped paint like an ugly dress, and fork prongs bend like a champion gymnast. But not every dish is so obvious. some items give off far more subtle signs of wear and tear. To class up your culinary domain, double-check these common tools and items to make sure they can still stand the heat of the kitchen.
Are all your non-stick pans getting that odd brown hue that whispers carcinogensssss up at you while you cook an egg? Ditch it. When you get the hang of cooking with cast iron, the benefits reveal themselves. If you have the budget and patience to clean properly, consider switching out your skillets.
It’s probably best that you didn’t drink the entire bottle of gin by yourself, especially considering how long ago you probably bought it. Generally, alcohol goes bad — and loses any of the enjoyable flavor — after a year of being opened. So toss out that handle you’ve had since college.
In general, leave the shredded parmesan on grocery store shelves. To stop the cheese from clumping, manufacturers coat the pieces in cellulose, which is made from tree bark and other plant fiber. Try rubbing fresh cheese on a grater instead.
We often have spices we never use. Not the worst thing, but it’s still a good idea to scan pantries for spices that are just taking up space because you heard ten years ago it’s supposed to be good for arthritis but you haven’t put it in any tea yet.
There comes a time when every mug has to move out of the house. You can usually tell it’s time when the cup grows a beard, starts reading Russian literature, and pontificating philosophies, or when it forms a huge crack down the side. They’re just hot spills waiting to happen!
Having a bath or kitchen mat is basically an apartment essential, but we often forget that they should be laundered like any other piece of cloth. Just…take care of it, will you?
Few kitchen items can be as useful as Tupperware. On the other end of the stick, missing or cracked tops are a nightmare that we keep having. Gather up all your Tupperware, toss it (or repurpose it), and buy some cheap replacements tomorrow. You’ll be stunned to remember all the canisters are supposed to have lids!
Are you genuinely surprised when a knife cuts through something “like butter”? That’s actually how knives are supposed to work, sliding through materials with total ease. If you find your knife struggling to pierce the skin of an orange, give her what she wants: a sharpening or a divorce.
We’re all guilty of it: buying the novelty kitchen tool we saw on late-night television because it’s going to help us eat healthy and we’re finally going to start doing that again. If you haven’t used the zoodler stuffed into the turning gears of the Lazy Susan in the past six months, consider shipping it off to Trash Island.
We know it’s good practice to reduce waste. But a drawer filled with off-brand ketchup, duck sauce, and plastic cutlery you’re never going to use just brings sadness to your kitchen. Today is the day you will start using the forks you saved — or toss them into the trash.
In this episode of “A Knife Also Does That,” meet the avocado pitter. It costs about $15 on Amazon, but do you really pit that many avocados? If you are making guacamole regularly, well, you’re doing just fine.
It can be so easy and fun to Swiffer the floor and feel like you’ve really done something. But over the years, all that you’ve ignored gets collected behind appliances and furniture. Go ahead, take a look. The space behind your oven could likely be mistaken for a ghost’s playroom.
Baking cookies with the family was a great time four Christmases ago, but it might be time to double check the 1-pound bag of flour you took just 3 cups from. After all this time, weevils — or little bugs — might have moved in. If the surface looks brownish, banish to the trash.
Pans don’t get replaced all that often, but they do start looking gross all that often. Especially around wetter areas, rust might accumulate to nasty levels, so grab some DW-40 and don’t stop scrubbing until metal looks like metal! Or throw them in the trash and restock.
This one might come as a shock to you — not all expired foods necessarily need to be thrown out! It’s crucial to toss the the rotting goods into a headlock and scream sayonara, but a week-old box of soy milk might be fresher than you think.
That said, leftovers tend to stay well past their welcome in the fridge. Experts say about one week, when properly sealed, is the longest last night’s dinner should stay in the fridge. So get to work on all that lo mein.
Has a single sheet of paper towel ever truly cleaned something? They say you need one, but a lot of times, it takes a forest, which then ends up in the trashcan right next to all those two-week old leftovers (right?). So ditch the PTs, and turn to more sustainable solutions, like rags on the go.
This gadget guarantees a clean, even row of sliced bananas, which it actually does well. But it’s just as easy using a knife, and we’re guessing this doesn’t fit in the dishwasher.
If you need more storage space for your cleaning sprays, hang a tension-release rod under your sink. Then, you can hang bottles by their handles. If some cleaners don’t have handles, you can also purchase a cheap pack of empty spray bottles.
For things you buy in bulk, like sugar, flour, or noodles, get proper storage containers. If they are removed from their original bulky packaging, they can be stored away more easily. Containers will also keep out any pests from your food.
Hang your measuring cups inside the cabinet door. Attach a few command strips, and you’ve got yourself a quick DIY measuring cup holder. This is convenient for bakers or any other cooks who need precision in their kitchens.
To keep a pile of cooking sheets and cutting boards in order, use a desk or file organizer. These three- or four-level shelves are perfect for holding everything in place, which is great, because there’s nothing like opening your cabinet door and these clanging out onto the ground.
Buy your own open storage shelves. Open shelving is currently a trending kitchen decorative practice. Embrace the trend, and give yourself more room for those few things that just won’t fit in your regular cabinetry.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, store your bottles in a deep drawer. Lay them inside in a zipper pattern, and you’ll maximize your space and easily see all of their labels. This also works for any other similarly sized liquor bottles.
Store your broom, mop, and duster wands on your walls. Similar to the hanging measuring cup tip, you can install a Command Hook or another hook hardware on your kitchen wall, so that you can hang your cleaning implements.
This spinning storage rack can help free up some space in your refrigerator and help organize some of the smaller items that can be stuffed behind the larger ones.
Also, get a lazy Susan to store your spices. When you have a wide variety, it’s easy to forget about the ones crammed in the back of a cabinet. Putting your spices on this device can help you use a wider range of what you may already have.
Cover the tops of your spices with chalkboard paint. Then, you can write the spice name on the lid with chalk, eliminating the need to see the label. If you aren’t keeping your spices in a lazy Susan, this is other way to rapidly find what you’re looking for.
Store your canned beverages in a drink holder. If your fridge is full of sparkling water or beer, these cans can take up some valuable space. When they’re contained in a specialized holder, you’ll have more room for even more beverages.
Keep your grocery bag hoard in a tissue box. This can make them easier to grab instead of jamming them inside of one of the other bags. With this system, you can get one at a time instead of a bag jumble.
Keep those non-perishables contained in a fruit and vegetable storage container. Because these are part of your public decorating scheme, make sure whatever’s in your fruit basket is stacked in an aesthetically appealing way.
If you’re spending extra money on fresh fruits and vegetables, but not using them, you’re contributing to the staggering food waste statistic. The average American wastes about one pound of food per day.
It’s much easier to quickly clean your hands or a dirty dish when you don’t have to fiddle with a slippery soap bottle. Also, if you’re trying to spice up your kitchen décor, you have plenty of room to play with soap dispenser designs.
If you’re allowed to paint on your walls, try making some empty wall space into a dry-erase board. You can use dry-erase paint and create the perfect amount of space for your personal needs.
A package of these is about $10 and will help you save even more food. If you have food in plastic bags, like chips, make sure you’re securely closing the bag with a chip clip. These can also work for larger items like pet food.
If you have laminate countertops and want to switch up your look, try painting them. Clean the area, prime it with some sanding, and then primer paint. Add your color of choice on the top. Then, seal the area with a countertop resin.
Need a backsplash? Try removable wallpaper. If you’re renting or not willing to invest in a title backsplash, the right kind of wallpaper can give the illusion of stone or whatever other look you’re going for.
If you regularly buy the same kinds of perishable items, like yogurt, when you’re putting your next purchase in the fridge, make sure you put them behind any remaining containers from your last shopping trip.
How should you peel eggs to avoid getting pieces of egg attached to the shell? Many recipes call for boiling and then dunking eggs in an ice bath. Instead, try suspending eggs in a steamer over the boiling water for 15 minutes. Boom, easy peeling.
You can add a rich new level of flavor to rice, quinoa, millet, or bulgur by cooking them in “fancy” water. H2O infused with tea, especially Earl Grey, chai, and Lapsang souchong teas, adds robust depth. For umami goodness, try using chicken stock.