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25 mind-blowing food preparation techniques to save you time & frustration

Never again will you have to tediously peel off every layer of each tiny pearl onion, or spend half of your prep time peeling hard-boiled eggs or removing corn husks, or panic that you won’t finish prepping before your produce browns. These simple, brilliant tips save you the trouble — without any fancy gadgets.

 

1. How to: Peel individual garlic cloves


Lay the clove on the cutting board and place the flat side of the knife on top of it. Use the heel of your hand to hit the knife, putting enough pressure on the clove for the skin to simply fall off.

 

2. How to: Peel many garlic cloves at once

 

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from SAVEUR.com on Vimeo.

Even with the previous trick to peeling individual cloves, it can be a pain to peel a whole bunch of cloves for garlic-heavy dishes. The trick: Hit the head of garlic with the heel of your hand to open up the cloves. Throw all the cloves into a big mixing bowl, and cover with a second mixing bowl. Then “shake the dickens out of it,” as Saveur executive food editor Todd Coleman demonstrates. Voila! It’s peeled — like a magic trick only with mixing bowls instead of a hat.

 

3. How to: Remove husks from ears of corn


Cleaning corn can be time-consuming — and it can seem impossible to eliminate those thin corn silks that get stuck in your teeth later. You won’t believe how easy the solution is: Place two ears of corn in the microwave (husks still on) for eight minutes. Use oven mitts to remove them from the microwave, place them on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cleanly chop off the entire bottom end of the ear of corn (the one that doesn’t have a bunch of green pieces coming out of it). Now squeeze the other end of the husk, and the corn should easily slide out — with none of that annoying corn silk!

 

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Comments

Submitted by Chris on

I love these tips, can't wait to try them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Another easy way to get the seeds out of a pomegranate is to cut it in half, place it seed-side facing downward in the palm of your hand (over a bowl) and hit gently but firmly with a wooden spoon. The seed will pop right out!

Submitted by Laura on

I have tried using a wooden spoon to help my pot from not boiling over...and it fails EVERY TIME.

Submitted by Mark SmokeyB on

I keep a can of Pam or somesuch near by and spray the water with it. That stops the boilover from potatoes, etc.

Submitted by Rita Rodriguez on

Place a metal spoon inside your pot,My husband taught me this,it works.

Submitted by Sharon on

i have heard of this before except you are supposed to put the spoon in the water.

Submitted by Ronalyn on

A wooden spoon goes across the top of the pot, not in it. I've used this trick with pasta and oatmeal (even in the microwave) and it works.

Submitted by Elizabeth on

With the replies in mind, it sounds to me that every one has their own method (across pot, in pot, metal spoon, etc). Why a wooden spoon (across pot) would work for some and not others doesn't make sense.. maybe it depends on something like the climate/elevation(location)?.. er.. well.. that's probably just for baking.. I just don't want to assume someone is lying. I do, however, LOVE ALOT OF THESE TECHNIQUES and have stored them in my mind, so that kitchen duty is not such a hassle to me. UGH! I want to enjoy it as much as possible since I have to do it anyway. With the more I learn, with info. such as this, I hope to one day LOVE THE KITCHEN again. THANKS SO MUCH, HELLAWELLA

Submitted by Matt on

I would guess that it has to do with the shape/size of the spoon.

Submitted by ardith on

I find it depends on how much water you have in the pot, if it is full nothing prevents it from boiling over,,,

Submitted by Pita on

I agree, fails every time. This one simply does not work.

Submitted by Anon on

Great tips! Thanks for sharing...

Submitted by Jessica Pierce on

Boil the water first, then add the eggs with a long spoon. Boil for the normal 20 mins. Pull from oven, add the cold water to pan to cool off. Egg peels come right off.

Submitted by Shelli on

This is the one I grew up with. Once the eggs have cooled, I crack them but rolling them across the counter with gentle but firm pressure from the palm of my hand. This cracks them evenly across the middle. I peel a small amount from the center and the parts at either end just pop off.

Submitted by Shary on

Cool the eggs completely by covering with cold water after cooking. Tap them all over on a hard surface to completely crack the shell. Peel under cold running water. The shell and membrane will usually come off in one or two sections instead of a lot of little pieces.

Submitted by roger on

last tip is totally worth it....

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ive found that squirting some lemon juice on an avocado half (or guac) keeps it from browning. I love making guac for parties and always use lemon and/or lime juice; keeps it looking fresh for hours.

Submitted by Mary B on

Great tip. Also if the egg super fresh it's harder to peel the "standard" way rather than an egg that is a couple of days old

Submitted by Ghermine on

I find the method of striking the pomegranite with a spoon is more effective. Video on YouTube by Martha Stewart shows how.

Also, a simple method for keeping apples from browning is to sprinkle them with cinnamon. And the added benefit is it tastes almost as good as apple pie!

Submitted by Nancy on

How do you cut up those mini carrots to put them in a salad?

Submitted by Marlys on

Use one of the egg shells to fish out a chip of shell..it works every time :)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Make sure you have the knife blade facing away from your fingers or use a Kevlar glove (also have a first aid kit where you can get to it)!

Submitted by sistagirl on

after boiling egg with salt in the water, rinse in cold water. then to peel tap the egg to break the shell and roll it along the counter top till all the sheel is cracked then it will peel off in one go. so easy and takes seconds. Carefull no to press to hard when rolling, that will crush the egg!

Submitted by Mommasue on

Steam them instead of boiling them. Seriously. Steam large eggs (covered) for about 15 minutes, them place into ice bath to cool/stop the cooking. You'll be amazed at how easily they will peel. I get fresh eggs from a local farmer--the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel--and this works great. You may need to adjust your timing a bit, depending on the size of your eggs, but this is a great, simple procedure.

Submitted by susan on

I found this trick out from my boyfriend whom refuses to admit, which idk why; because it works GREAT!!!!!
put about a teaspoon of baking powder into the water before putting the eggs in. It prepares the shells to come right off.
YOU'RE WELCOME! :)

Submitted by Elizabeth on

All you have to do is (1) BOIL THEM, (2) COOL THEM down with cold water, then make sure they are sitting in pan under cold water (drain-fill-drain-fill method using lid). (3) CRACK THEM all the way around (by tapping on counter and then gently pressing while turning egg) and sit them BACK IN WATER. (4) then PEEL THEM (starting with a 'loose' end where you can feel looseness and gently pinch and peel, starting there, peeling all the way around gently rubbing (or 'scooting') your thumb between the shell and the egg). There might be some 'picking', but it mostly will all rub right off. EASY PEASY!

Submitted by Tia on

I really liked the idea about not having to peel the hardboiled eggs until I realized my friends probably don't want me blowing on their eggs!! Guess I will save that tip for personal servings.

Submitted by muttonchop on

I hope this guy isn't preparing eggs like this for a restaurant.

Submitted by Happywifehappylife on

That gentleman in the corn husking video is awesome! Love his personality! I tried he's husking method and it worked like a charm! I wish I knew about it years ago! Lol

Submitted by Eileen on

I guess it's hard to teach people new ways to do things. Everyone knowshow you put boiled eggs in cold water and roll them and tap them and roll them and peel them and the shell sticks most of the time. Regardless, they are showing you an easier, faster method. If you don't want to do it then don't. But do we really need to listen to all of you spout about this old time method. Sheesh!

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