5 kitchen hacks for any cook

By Clement Pedro, 7 August 2015

The kitchen can be a scary, intimidating place for first-time cooks. Clement Pedro shares his top tips, tricks and guidelines for staying alive in the kitchen.

Scenario 1:

You’re preparing a mouthwatering roast when suddenly the oven emits a lovely glow, and within seconds that glow becomes a mini campfire.

DO NOT: Open the door in attempt to put the fire out or to roast a few s’mores. The added oxygen will just fuel the fire.

DO: Leave the door closed, after a few seconds the lack of oxygen will extinguish the fire.

Scenario 2:

You’ve successfully baked Ouma’s famous jam tart and it’s ready to come out of the oven.

DO NOT: Remove it from the oven using a wet cloth. Yes, the cloth might be cold now but after holding that hot dish for a few seconds it is guaranteed to reach 1000°C thanks to water (moisture) being such a great heat conductor.

DO: Use a dry cloth, oven mitt or my favourite, a braai glove.

Scenario 3:

You’re impressing Jane (or John) with your amazing kitchen skills and you decide to take it to another level…flambé!

DO NOT: Empty half a bottle of your finest brandy into the pan directly over the flame and not expect it to set yourself and half your kitchen on fire.

DO: Remove the pan from the flame, add a small amount of your selected tipple and gently tilt the pan. Success!

Scenario 4:

Because there’s never a wrong time for samoosas! You’ve got a batch frying happily when some oil catches fire. OH NO!

DO NOT: Attempt to extinguish the flames by throwing water at them. Unless you truly are striving to reenact Guy Fawkes Day – Kitchen Edition!

DO: Carefully place a lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Give the pot a minute before cautiously removing the lid.

Scenario 5:

You’re chopping and slicing with the skill of a veteran Japanese sushi chef when your knife slips and falls. GASP!

DO NOT: Leap in an attempt to catch it, clutching at the razor-sharp blade.

DO: As the song says and “let it go, let it go”. Always remember, “a falling knife has no handle".

Following these tips should keep you safe and sound in the kitchen. Remember, cooking is about using all your senses, never work in clutter and always keep an eye on what you’ve got cooking on the stove.

Now go forth, young grasshopper, and conquer your kitchen!

Clement Pedro

Article by Clement Pedro

Clement Pedro strikes a balance between rib-sticking fare you can really get stuck into and experimental recipes that take accessible ingredients to next-level status. Clem can do pretty much anything – and so can you with his recipes.
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