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MomTips: In the Kitchen

Updated on December 30, 2010

Gadgets, Tips, and Tricks to Make Your Kitchen Time Easier!

You may love cooking or hate it, but the tips and gadgets on this page will make your kitchen time easier! In the kitchen and around the house, all my MomTips are actually used and tested by me and my family and found to be useful or can't-do-withoutable.

Bookmark and check back often because this lens will grow ... and grow ... as I discover new (or remember old) great gadgets, tips, and tricks!

Look for my special FRUGALICIOUS TIPS!

Thanks to stargazer00 for the lovely dividers.

I use tongs for everything! I use tongs nearly every day - not even counting my teabag tongs! Cool thing: high-tech isn't necessary. Grab the pair that fits your hand the best and forget about the bells and whistles. Have tongs in several lengths for your various needs. I have a very pretty small pair for table serving, and a medium and long pair for other chores. Here are just a few of the less-common uses I find for my tongs:

FLIP WHILE COOKING

Save your spatulas for pancakes!

* flip toaster waffles right in the toaster oven

* turn baked potatoes halfway through baking

* whatever you have in the oven that needs a turn halfway through ~

~~ french fries

~~ tater tots

~~ chicken nuggets

STOP SPLATTING YOURSELF WITH HOT GREASE

Grab, flip, release - everything goes where you want it to go!

* flip steaks on the grill

* flip chicken pieces in the oven

* flip pork chops on the stovetop

* flip bacon in the skillet

* place (don't drop) items into hot oil, like potstickers

HANDLE UNWIELDY FOOD

* serve salads - quit juggling two utensils

* serve nachos - grab chips and cheese, squeeze and lift!

* lift hot muffins out of their cups and into a serving basket

* grab hot baked potatoes and pile on a serving plate

* remove eggs (or other items) from hot water

* smaller tongs are perfect for serving hard-to-spoon items such as ~

~~ shredded meat for taco filling

~~ green beans

~~ spaghetti & lo mein noodles

~~ french fries

~~ even shredded cheese!

STIR IT UP

* stir a stir-fry - grab and flip and stir

* shred cooked meat single-handedly (chicken, pork, beef) right in the crockpot

* stir meatloaf - spoons don't work, using your hand is messy; use tongs to stab, grab, and mix to perfection without overhandling!

KEEP A PAIR FOR NONFOOD USE

* rotate cake and pie pans in the oven

* grab the oven rack to pull it out or push it back in

* grab ice cubes or packets of frozen veggies from the freezer without freezer burning your fingers

* extend your reach to the back of the cabinet, and grab a box or cup without a boost

* retrieve whatever fell between the stove and cabinet, or washer and dryer, or fridge and wall

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: Tongs are a serious multi-tasking tool! Get one or two pair - the cheapest out there, no need for expensive versions! - and save money and storage space on all those single-use items you might have purchased!

OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads
OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads

The locking mechanism on the Oxo locking tongs doesn't get in your way. Just pull or push on the tab at the end to lock and unlock. With or without nylon on the "teeth" end.

 
OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs
OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs

The locking mechanism on the Oxo locking tongs doesn't get in your way. Just pull or push on the tab at the end to lock and unlock. With or without nylon on the "teeth" end.

 
Rachael Ray Tools Lil Huggers 2-Piece Tong Set, Green
Rachael Ray Tools Lil Huggers 2-Piece Tong Set, Green

You can get very stylish if you want! Rachael Ray's tongs come in blue, orange, and green.

 
Oneida Stainless-Steel Tongs
Oneida Stainless-Steel Tongs

Keep a pretty pair for serving at table. Ice tongs are often very attractive.

 

Multiple Timers

A kitchen timer is a beautiful thing. I know, I know ... you think you'll remember to stir the sauce when the baby just needs you for a quick minute, but 15 minutes later you smell the burning ... and you're out one good pan plus your dinner. Get a good timer - no, get two! I really prefer digital since the dial kind are hard to set for really exact minutes, plus with the whole "turn it past this much, then back to where you want it" mine always end up broken by the kids.

Timers also come in very handy with kids and taking turns. When no one can agree on anything, the timer settles it all as an impartial judge. My kids learned early to set a timer for 15 minutes and take turns that way.

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: A good timer will pay for itself in food that doesn't burn up and pans that don't get toasted.

Elastic bowl covers have many uses, but here's one you may not know. If your pitcher doesn't have a lid, especially if it is a nice pitcher used only for special occasions, put one over the top to keep out dust, bugs, and the kitchen grease that seems to float everywhere. These come in several sizes and are easily rinsed and dried for reuse.


FRUGALICIOUS TIP: If you don't have elastic bowl covers, use a piece of plastic wrap and a rubber band.

Fox Run Bowlcover Set
Fox Run Bowlcover Set

Set of six elastic bowl covers, white with brightly colored fruits. Various sizes.

 

Whistling Kettle

Maybe you have never boiled away half your water for tea, or had to remeasure what you need for oatmeal and start it boiling again, but I have. Never again, with my whistling teakettle!

Cook for Two! - ... two meals, that is.

When you make spaghetti sauce or taco filling or even lasagna, double or triple your recipe and freeze the extra into family meal-size proportions. To freeze lasagna and casseroles, line your dish with aluminum freezer foil, top with aluminum freezer foil and seal the edges, then freeze. When it is frozen, pop it out of your dish, put the freezer-wrapped food back in the freezer, and your dish is free to use again. Then when it is time to cook, just place the foil-wrapped food back in the dish and heat! Bonus: easier clean up!

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: Cooking for two or three meals not only saves lots of time in the kitchen, it saves money too! Purchasing in bulk to cook more at once is always cheaper, plus if you have delicious homemade food in the freezer you are less likely to stop for expensive fast food on the way home.

The Ultimate Household Tips Guide - by Amy Dacyzyn

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: First there was a little newletter. The newsletter grew, and grew, and grew. Then a bunch of the old newsletters were gathered into a book; the book sold and sold and sold. Some other newsletters were gathered into a second book, which also sold and sold and sold. A third gathering did the same! Finally, all three books were bundled into the single volume that is available today. Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced "decision") is the queen of household tips, trick, and tightwaddery!

The Complete Tightwad  Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle
The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle

Though tightwad seems like a derogatory term, author Amy Dacyczyn wants to assure you that it's okay to be a penny-pincher. This self-styled "Frugal Zealot" wrote and published The Tightwad Gazette for over six years to spread the frugal gospel. Each issue contained tips from her personal experience and from her many readers. The wealth of information contained in all these issues has been compiled into one volume for the first time. You'll find literally thousands of ideas for saving money, from the simple or practical to the difficult or bizarre. On the simple, practical side, Dacyczyn advises would-be tightwads to keep track of price trends at several stores in a "price book" and to buy in bulk when prices are low. Other, stranger offerings include tips for turning margarine-tub lids into playing-card holders, old credit cards into guitar picks, and six-pack rings into a hammock or volleyball net. More helpful are inexpensive recipes for making homemade versions of pricey, well-known products and ingenious ways to fix broken or damaged items. The book's disorganization encourages browsing, but the detailed index will point you to the exact page for specific items. Dacyczyn's occasional "thriftier than thou" tone is balanced by the friendly support for frugality that infuses every page. She even reminds her readers that it's okay to "sweat the small stuff"--because this small stuff is the essence of frugality. --C.B. Delaney

 

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    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      What an informative article. Some great tips.Even learned some new ones. I have made note of most of them.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Nicely done, definitely need all of these gadgets, don't we. (I especially need timers, couldn't live without them.) Lensrolled to Distracted? Buy A Timer Now!

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Super tips! We use timers too, especially for timing grandchildren "computer time". I had totally forgotten about the plastic elastic lids. Thanks for the reminder!

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 8 years ago

      Great ideas. I'm thinking of getting a Kreug? coffee machine for my b-day, what do u think?

    • profile image

      Arcade-Games 8 years ago

      My wife laughs at how I fold clothes. And to be honest they come out pretty pathetic. I will definitely try the two finger fold. Thanks.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      Wowza - a lifetime of tips in one lens! I never used a sling, but I had a snugli carrier and we loved it.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Great suggestions, all. Very nice lens!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 8 years ago

      I love the tea pots, I collect those. But the impressive thing was the shirt folding. I can't do it, but I won't give up. Great lens.

    • koolmom lm profile image

      koolmom lm 8 years ago

      Thanks for all the great tips. Look forward to seeing more of your tips.

    • luvmyludwig lm profile image

      luvmyludwig lm 8 years ago

      Ok, the t shirt fold was amazing, I tried it, I can do it ---whooo hooo!!!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Great tips! I love my tongs too and use them for a lot of tasks. I would love for you to submit this lens to the Money Saving Tips Group.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love gadgets, love great tips like these. Love the lens!