You’re a whizz with a whisk and a steaming superstar, but here are 10 cooking tips which are unbelievably simple and incredibly useful.

  1. Get the most out of your citrus fruits by rolling them across a flat surface to unlock the juice inside. If you’re having difficulty removing the peel, refrigerate the fruit and then microwave for 15 seconds.
  2. If you find cutting soft foods squashes them beyond all recognition, try using unflavoured dental floss. It works equally well for soft cheese like goats cheese and brie, as well as cakes and dough.
  3. For better butter in a hurry, speed up the softening process by grating what you need, or flattening with a rolling pin; spreadable, useable butter in no time at all! If your butter has gone too far, revive it with an ice bath – simply pop your plate or bowl of butter over a larger bowl containing ice and cold water.
  4. If you find removing seeds from pumpkins and squash a challenge, try using an ice-cream scoop. It’ll cut through the fibrous middle in no time at all.
  5. Make peeling boiled eggs even easier by adding a little baking soda or vinegar to the water – it’ll permeate the eggshells and help the shell and egg-white separate.
  6. If you’ve sticky stuff like honey or syrup to measure for a recipe, coat the measuring cup or spoon with hot water or a dab of cooking oil before dipping in. The heat or oil will help the ingredient slide right off the spoon and into your mixing bowl without protest.
  7. Placing a piece of greaseproof paper over your ice-cream before you replace the lid will help prevent freezer burn.
  8. It is possible to reheat baked foods, including pizza, without drying them out. Simply place a cup of water in the microwave while you’re reheating the food.
  9. Stop pots boiling over and making a mess of your hob, by placing a wooden spoon across the top of your saucepan. Wood is a poor conductor of heat, so hot water will stay away from it. However, it’s an excellent combustible material, so ensure your flame won’t catch the spoon alight.
  10. If you’re having difficulty opening a jar lid, try wrapping a rubber band around for extra traction. If your hands hurt, try adding a towel as well.

Cooking tips by Kelly Regan-Mears