Kitchen Tips

We all like to give our pennies worth of advice with speaker positions, rack placement, network switches and lord knows what else with hifi tips. But thinking a few of us like as well to spend some time away from the music and in the kitchen.
So, just a thread if you please on tips in the kitchen.
Could be anything you have learnt - from how to save time washing the dishes, sharpening knives, storing jams, making the best roast potatoes, keeping white wine glasses chilled, what to do with vegetable peelings and other food waste, keeping your oven clean. The list is potentially endless.
Sorry to be all “mumsnet” but could be a source of shared knowledge.


I follow Jamie Oliver’s recipe; search for the 5 words and you’ll find it online.

Something I spotted on a cooking program was to line the bottom of your fry pan with baking parchment when cooking a crispy skinned fish dish. Definitely reduces the chance of the skin sticking to even the best quality pan and makes cleaning up a breeze.


When making roast potatoes, stir in a teaspoon of marmite into the hot fat before you add the parboiled potatoes - incredible



How can you possibly initiate a “Kitchen Tips” thread, and not mention your best ever tip, which I am still faithfully using.


From the title I thought this was going to be about the kitchen, rather than cooking, but perhaps it is both.

Kitchen design tips

  1. Make the hob lower than the surrounding worktop, especially if you use large pots/pans for anything. That way it is easier to see and stir the food cooking. It is great - we’ve done that in our past two kitchens as well as the present, dropping about 100mm, as having done once we never wanted to go back. I imagine relatively short people would find it even more beneficial. But the lowered section needs to be wider then the hob to allow room for pan handles (ours is about 120mm wider each side as finished).
  2. Use an induction hob - infinitely better than gas or other forms of electric (unless you flambé, for which have a blowtorch handy to set fire to alcohol vapour). Cleaner than gas as well as non smelly, no fumes, and quicker, too. They do need suitable pans (simple test - a magnet must attract to the base), but nowadays compatibility is common.

Hob usage tip:

  1. If using a cast-iron griddle plate on an induction hob, place a baking sheet between to avoid any risk of scratching the ceramic surface when you go to lift the griddle plate after.

I thought you were going to post a tip for crispy duck! (The usual problem in an oven is fat spatter, especially if doing the traditional way as Peking Duck (or should it be Beijing Duck these days?).)


Compost !


Try Hestons, wow

Best recipe for crispy duck is to go to a decent restaurant in Chinatown!


Even better in China or Hong Kong! But not living within meal-out reach of any Chinatown, and my wife not liking most restaurants because she can cook as well or better, we normally only go to Chinese restaurants for dim sum (and none here doing that). When we first met I used to do Peking Duck occasionally which wasn’t bad, however after a few occasions I was banned because of the clear up needed. Nowadays more often than not we cheat and buy ready cooked (sometimes Tesco or a local ethnic supermarket has it “crispy duck”), and crisp the skin in a tabletop halogen mini-oven thing. I guess an “air fryer” would be excellent.


My crispy duck tip is to butterfly marinate then slow low poach in the marinade juices until just cooked, Then deep fat fry. Picking off the skin to further deep fat fry to crisp up. Saves time, but still expensive and time consuming

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Learn a few basic sauces.
Buy good food.
Learn to sharpen your knives and keep them sharp. You do not need the most expensive knives.
Make food you like.
Do not be afraid to try new food.
Learn the basics in food with yeast.
Keep a first aid kit.
Learn heat management.
Get a seperate cutting board for fish.
Get a accurate thermometer.
Peel ginger with a spoon.
You do not need every tool out there.
Buy high quality products once instead of cheap stuff several times. Second hand can be a lot cheaper, but just as good. I got five copper pots for £250 second hand. The were unused.

Induction. It is made of glass that can break. Gas and old school top hobs are more delicate on the fine tuning of heat. Copper or aluminium pans do not work on induction. Induction hobs will only give heat from the bottom. With gas you can also get heat from the side of the sauté pan. It’s not one sided.


We all like to buy organic vegetables these days which can be dirty and filled with dirt.
Soak them in a large glass bowel.,take them out and you’ll have the water with some grit on the bottom.
Carefully tip this water into something that could need it - I’m making a beef chilli tonight and just soaked a big bunch of fresh coriander. Which would otherwise cost some £6 for an equivalent quantity in pre washed pre packaged fresh coriander from a supermarket.
Now using my coriander seasoned water to make my rice.
Same with any vegetables especially leeks or spring onions.

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It is made of glass that can break – A ceramic that is stronger than window glass, and I think you’d have to drop a cast iron pan or a pot containing several litres of liquid onto it to damage it, which is not something I’ve ever encountered anyone doing in a domestic kitchen I suppose professional kitchens with poor chefs might - but interestingly I understand more and more professional kitchens are turning to induction. (Though I doubt that induction will replace gas for decent a full scale wok burner.) Breakage might be a potential hazard, but so is gas, unburnt and burnt.

Gas and old school top hobs are more delicate on the fine tuning of heat. – I’ve no idea what “old school top hobs” are - if you meen solid or spiral electric they might be infinitely controllable within their limits, but slow in response against gas and induction’s instant. Yes induction settings are usually stepped (a bit like some amps’ volume controls), so potentially someone could want something in-between, but in 15+ years of use I’ve never been left wishing that.

Copper or aluminium pans do not work on induction. – True, with pure copper or aluminium (or combinations), nor do most plain stainless steel (including those with copper or aluminium bases). But for the past decade availability of induction-compatible pans has become the norm, unlike when we first got ours, and you can get copper, aluminium and stainless steel pans with induction sensitive bases.

Induction hobs will only give heat from the bottom. With gas you can also get heat from the side of the sauté pan. It’s not one sided – A copper pan with induction base will rapidly conduct heat to the sides (also to some extent aluminium though not as well/fast), though I agree probably not quite as fast as playing the flame around the edge. But I think an induction copper pan will get the heat to the inside of the sides quicker than playing the gas around the edges of a stainless steel pan. And I’m not sure how many domestic gas burners can get the flames playing on the side of the pan except with a small pan on a large diameter burner. (And then pan handle and fingers might be vulnerable!)

I don’t disagree with your list of tips, though I’ve not come across the ginger one.

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Hmm, glass or not, I’m not sure I want food soaked in a bowel!


Our induction hob has survived for about 16 years. I would never go back to gas, even if we were to move to a house that has a mains gas supply. I’m baffled by your comment about “fine tuning” as the precise and easy control our hob has is far better and faster than any other gas or electric hob I’ve used.


Never ever used a spoon on my ginger.
What am I missing out on ?


Will do next time I get a big fat juicy one. Could be a bit fiddly on the little wrinkly ones from the coop.

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