4 time-saving kitchen hacks you need to try

Save time and frustration

1. Is that avocado ripe?

Test an avocado’s ripeness by removing the stem, says NAIT’s registered dietitian, Nick Creelman. “If you see the green flesh of the avocado then it’s ready. If it is light yellow or light brown, then it’s still underripe.”

2. Slice meat thinly with ease

If you need to slice steak very thin, say for a stir fry, put it in the freezer. Professional Meatcutting and Merchandising chair Rob Povey (Retail Meatcutting ’07) says to wrap it in cellophane first. “Place it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes, just long enough to firm up the meat. Unwrap and slice against the grain.”

3. Shaken or stirred?

When you’re making a cocktail at home, do you know whether to shake or stir? Mitch McCaskill (Hospitality Management ’08) has a good rule of thumb. “If the cocktail contains opaque or cloudy ingredients, it should be shaken,” he says. Fruit juice, eggs or cream need to be mixed more aggressively due to their texture. Stirred cocktails contain transparent ingredients like spirits or bitters, and stirring the drink is intended to mix the drink without adding bubbles.

4. Cut the cheese

The next time you need to slice a soft cheese for a party platter, try using unflavoured dental floss. The slices will look much nicer, says Culinary Arts instructor chef Paul Campbell (Cook ’97). “The thinner your cutting material, the less pressure on the product you’re trying to cut, helping keep its original shape rather than squishing it.”

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