Do Everything Better With These Kitchen-Tested Life Hacks
Be you chef, or ambitious home cook (who forgot to wear deodorant today).
February 13, 2017 ● 4 min read
Chefs are the MacGyver's of the every day: when little problems have the power to burn your whole night to the ground, you better believe you get good at slapping all kinds of duct tape on those suckers. Everything and anything is a lifesaver in a kitchen — you just have to know where to look. Ariete's pastry boss Dallas Wynne made us a list of her favorites.
The Coat Saver
"I always throw a dish soap pod in when washing my work clothes. The formula is designed to release food stains, and it always gets out my oil, chocolate, god-knows-what stains in my laundry. I don't know how many chef coats, aprons, and shirts I have saved with this."
"It's a struggle to keep yourself looking decent when running around a kitchen for 12+ hours a day, but at least we can keep our shoes shined right? Pan spray is a great shoe polish and is always readily available in the kitchen."
Bowl Scraper? EVERYTHING Scraper
"These handy little tools have so many [uses], but one of my favorites is using the flat side as a squeegee to remove moisture from fish skin before searing."
Chapstick, In a Pinch
"Chapped lips are my pet peeve, and I always have them. When I leave my Burt's Bees behind (a sad day), I go for grapeseed oil which is, dare I say, even better than my go-to."
Aaaand...Deodorant in a Pinch
"As much as I don't want to admit this, I have definitely left my house and had the "oh shit" moment of realizing I forgot to put deodorant on. No worries: mixing baking soda with a small amount of water acts as a great deodorizer — although, don't let anyone catch you rubbing this under your arms because it's kind of strange to explain."
A Better Burn Cream
"Burns are an everyday thing in a kitchen, but most chefs don't reach for the first-aid kit: egg whites or vinegar will do just fine. I prefer an egg white because it's typically cold and gives some immediate relief, but either one will help prevent blistering and ease the pain."
For Pants OR Piping Bags
"Piping bags are wonderful, what's not so great is the mess they can make after cutting the tip open. In order to avoid any [leaks], I like to use the clip from a pant hanger to keep the tip nice and clean. It's great for in-service use because it's quick and easy to remove and replace."
A Low-Key Pitter
"Processing cherries and olives isn't fun, any way you look at it. When you don't have a pitter it sucks even more, but a beer bottle and a straw works just as well. Just place the cherry, or whatever you are pitting, on the mouth of the bottle and use a sturdy straw to push the pit through and into the bottle."
"Those little annoying packs you can find in shoes and all other sorts of things are actually amazing for deodorizing your shoes, lowboy, and aprons. And they work great for keeping your candy and confections stable."
When a Knife Won't Do
"Unscented dental floss is great for cutting soft butter, cheeses or anything else semi-soft that would normally stick to your knife."
To Clean Your Coffee Grinder
"I use my coffee grinder for countless things, and sometimes it can get a funky odor or is hard to clean. The best way that I have found is to grind uncooked long grain rice which helps get rid of both."
Dallas Wynne | Illustrations by Derek Salvatore; original image of MacGyver via CBS