From defrosting food products to cooking pasta, there are certain things we do without a second thought. It’s either learned behaviour that we’ve picked up from families and friends, or shortcuts we’ve picked up over the years.
But, chances are, you’re actually doing everything wrong. Prepare for your mind to be blown and your life to be turned completely upside down.
1. You Shouldn’t Defrost Food in the Fridge
How many times have you moved a cheeky bit of salmon or veg up from the freezer to the fridge in order to defrost? It seems to be something that everybody does – and even the Food Standards Agency recommends it, so it can’t be that bad, can it?
Well, not if you listen to Susanne Ekstedt, a researcher at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. According to her, defrosting food in the fridge completely ruins food. The best way to do it, in fact, is to thaw the food as quickly as possible to maintain a fresh taste by placing frozen goods in cold water. Since water conducts heat better than air, this helps to speed up the thawing process.
2. There’s a Knack to Microwaving Leftovers
There’s no better feeling than tucking into the leftovers from the night before. We do it regularly (probably far too regularly in my case), but have we been doing it wrong all these years? Apparently, the best way to do it is to actually dig a hole in your leftovers before you place it in the microwave. That way the heat will spread evenly and you won’t get left with freezing cold noodles on the inside and a burnt offering on the outside. So simple, yet so right.
3. Approach Cupcakes Like You Would a Sandwich
As much as we all love cupcakes, there’s nothing worse than having the world’s thickest sponge with only a tiny topping of frosting. How do you go about eating it? Are you supposed to eat the frosting first, or do as Drake says and start from the bottom?
If you’re doing it the right way, you won’t ever need to ask yourself such questions again. Simply half the cake sponge and put the bottom half on top. Then, you just eat the cupcake like a sandwich, receiving a spot of filling in every bite you take.
4. Attack Cakes From the Inside Out
If there’s anything we need more of in our lives, it’s cake – so here’s a second little cake tip for you.
Next time you’re cutting some birthday cake, start from the middle (hello massive slice) and work your way outwards. Once you’ve taken out a slice, push the halves back together to keep the sponge moist. The result? More fresh cake for you. Boom.
5. Wooden Spoons Have a Second Magical Function
Fed up with boiling pans of pasta and potatoes overflowing? There’s a simple way to get around that. Well, two ways, if you count ‘putting less water in the saucepan in the first place’. Simply rest your wooden spoon on the top of the pan, and watch as it works its magic to keep water levels low.
6. Give Pizza the Second Chance it Deserves
We’ve been reheating pizza in the microwave since the dawn of electromagnetic waves, but there’s always been something that’s irked us – the soggy bottom. One way to get around this is to use a frying pan to reheat individual slices. That way, the base will remain crispy while the cheese will melt, ready for Pizza Time Part 2.
7. You’ve Probably Been Using Your Fridge Wrong, Too
It can be tempting to throw all our vegetables into the fridge in a bid to keep them fresher for longer than just half an hour. But there’s certain fruit and veg that should never grace the inside of a fridge – this includes everything from onions to leaks, tomatoes, melon, potatoes and apples. If that wasn’t enough, a further curveball reveals we should store bread outside the fridge, since refrigeration makes bread go bad faster.
8. Turn Your Pasta Knowledge on its Head
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, we’re now here to tell you that we’ve all apparently been cooking pasta wrong. Instead of using a saucepan we should all be cooking pasta in a frying pan…with cold water. The cold water stops pasta sticking together, and also speeds things up ridiculous amounts. The only downside we see with this is that it effectively means we can’t cook as much pasta in one go. Shame. We’d got used to accidentally cooking (and eating) 2 tonnes of penne at a time.