Quickly Pit Olives With the Flat of a Knife

…as a former olive hater (don’t worry, I’ve since seen the light!), I don’t own an olive pitter. And while it’s easy to hack a cherry-cum-olive pitter using a glass bottle and a straw, I don’t own either of those things, either.

Lucky for people like me, there are a whole lot of alternatives.

Source: The Best (& Worst) Ways to Pit an Olive Without an Olive Pitter

The bottom of a small glass works even better. Same principle (gently squish and remove the pit), and a glass is easier/safer to hold and push than the knife.

Test Your Cabbage Head’s Doneness with a Cake Tester

You can use cabbage for more than just coleslaw—like cooking half a head in a pan for a crispy, hearty side dish. You can actually test cabbage’s “doneness” with a cake tester.

Source: Test Your Cabbage Head’s Doneness with a Cake Tester

I hesitated posting this, because cabbage is rather high in vitamin K.  But that doesn’t mean we all stop eating it – it can be part of our diet.

You could use a toothpick or knife to test cake, depending on how big it is. However for this method, you’d need something longer than a toothpick and something that’s easier to push into the cabbage (so thinner than most knives).  And why not get more use out of what was previously a single application tool?

Two Ways to Turn Vegetables Into Noodles Without a Spiralizer

I often get asked if spiralizers—tools that transform vegetables into noodle shapes—are worth buying. While they’re a great way to make a low-carb, high-vegetable pasta alternative, you don’t need a spiralizer. Here are two vegetable noodle techniques that don’t need any special equipment.

…The good news is that it’s possible to enjoy tasty vegetable noodles without a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or any other special equipment. These two knife techniques do take more knife skills and effort than a spiralizer would, but they also allow you to test out the idea of eating vegetable noodles without having to invest money and space on another machine first.

Source: Two Ways to Turn Vegetables Into Noodles Without a Spiralizer

Turning veggies into noodles would be gluten free…

Must-Have Tools for Any Kitchen

It’s easy to get seriously excited about expanding your kitchen repertoire.  And in debt buying for that kitchen. Here are kitchen-related things you really need and how to use them efficiently.

Knives

You need two knives, minimum:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Pairing knife

The third option is a bread knife, if you see yourself cutting bread.  There are other types – here’s a run down.

Knives require maintenance, which means knowing the difference between sharpening and honing.  So a sharpener and a honing steel should be included.  And a cutting board – plastic or wood, the debate continues.

Pots and Pans

You want at least two pots, and a pan.  The choice is yours about whether the pan should be non-stick Teflon or cast iron.  It can be really nice to have both.  Cast iron will last a long time, if you maintain it.

Scale and Thermometer

Depending on what you’re doing, you can get away without these until actually needed.

HowTo: Use a Chinese Chef’s Knife

In this video [series], Chef Martin Yan shows you the right way to use a Chinese chef’s knife.

Source: The Right Way to Use a Chinese Chef’s Knife

You only need a chef’s knife and a pairing knife.  Bread knife if you need.

Do You Know Your Knives?

Direct link to the infographic.  Here’s a different infographic.

Earlier, there was a post about how to sharpen the knife.  But a butter knife isn’t good against steak…  This graphic explains the proper use of teach type of kitchen knife, along with a few useful tips.

I guess they include Santoku under “asian cleaver”?  No mention of bread knife either…

 

How To Sharpen Any Knife

Why do you need to sharpen knives? A sharp knife stands less chance of slipping on the material being cut and, because it requires less effort and force to use than a dull knife, you’re less likely to cut yourself. Working with a sharp knife is faster and easier, too. It also damages the material being cut less — ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? It doesn’t exactly produce clean results.

Source: How To Sharpen Any Knife

It’s a long and thorough article, with a couple of supplemental videos (which can be over 5 minutes).  It’s not dull…  They cover angle, and suggest various options for sharpeners.  What the article doesn’t cover is the difference between sharpening and honing:

Running your knife over a honing steel does NOT sharpen your knife. There, I said it.

Sharpening a knife can only be accomplished by actually grinding or shaving off tiny bits of the blade’s metal, giving the blade a completely new edge. You need professional sharpening equipment or a whetstone, literally a piece of stone with a grainy surface that you wet before running the blade across it to sharpen a knife’s blade.

What your honing steel does is help keep the blade straight.

Tomatoes Cut Easier With a Serrated Knife

While you can cut tomatoes with a chef’s knife (in fact, knife sharpeners sometimes use tomatoes as a test), your blade has to be ultra-sharp to do a good job. Because tomatoes have thin skins but soft, delicate flesh underneath, anything less than sharp won’t get through the skin easily. You probably also have to apply a lot of pressure, running the risk of crushing the tomato.

Source: Why a Serrated Knife is the Best Tool to Slice Tomatoes

Sharpen/hone your knife before cutting each tomato. Using a honing steel is a must for kitchen knife users.