Equipment Tips

Read these 15 Equipment Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dessert tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I tell if my oven is the right temperature?

Oven Temperature

For perfect baking results, keep an oven thermometer in the oven and use it. Oven temperatures regularly vary between 25 – 75 degrees, so this can be a crucial step.

   
What can I use for a baking sheet?

Don't have enough baking sheets?

In a pinch, you can flip a baking (cake) pan over and use the bottom as a baking sheet.

   
Can I use steel cup measures for measuring liquids?

Use The Proper Tool

Make sure you use glass measuring cups made for liquids when measuring liquids. Don't use the steel cups that are made for measuring dry ingredients.

   
How can I clean my microwave oven?

Microwave Cleaning

To easily clean the inside of your microwave, place a glass bowl full of water mixed with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice inside. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. The microwave will easily wipe clean.

   
How do I measure flour?

Measuring Flour

When measuring flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife. Don't pack the flour, don't scoop directly from the bag, and don't tamp or shake the measuring cup to level.

   
I don´t have a double boiler, what else can I use?

Melting Equipment Substitute

A double boiler, necessary for melting chocolate and other dessert tasks, can be improvised by placing a metal, glass or heatproof ceramic bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water.

   
What are the best pans to cook in?

Copper Pans are the Best

Because copper is a good conductor of heat, copper pans are preferred by cooks. They are generally lined with either tin or steel. Make sure the inner lining never wears through to the copper, because it can be dangerous if combined with other foods and heat.

   
I used the food processor to grind nuts and they got mushy. Help!

Grinding nuts for recipes

Keep a close eye on the food processor when you grind nuts because they can easily turn into nut butter.

   
How many measuring spoons should I have?

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are quite inexpensive, especially if you purchase them at the grocery store. Buy several sets, and your baking sessions will be much easier - just drop the spoons in the dishwasher or sink as you go.

   
What is the easiest way to chop nuts?

Food Processor Chopping

The best tool to uniformly chop nuts is the food processor. Make sure to watch carefully, and stop before the pieces get too small.

   
How can I easily clean my blender?

Blender Cleaning

To easily clean a blender, fill it halfway with hot water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Make sure the top is firmly attached, and turn it on high for about 30 seconds. Then rinse the blender and dry.

   
Do I need a wire whisk?

Wire Whisks

Wire whisks are an essential utensil in any kitchen. They are perfect for smoothing sauces and quick blending. Make sure you have at least two in your kitchen.

   
Should I pack shortening tightly in a measuring cup?

Measuring Shortening

When measuring shortening in a cup or spoon, make sure to pack the shortening in well. Large air pockets can lurk within the cup, which will distort the measurement and your product may fail.

   
Can I cook in aluminum pans?

Cooking Acidic Foods

If you are cooking foods with a high acid content, such as citrus based desserts, do not use aluminum pans since the acid can erode the finish.

   
What kind of pan should I use to bake with?

What pan to use?

There are a variety of baking pans out there, including glass, tin, aluminum, and stainless steel. Stainless steel pans are usually the best choice. They are easy to keep clean and conduct heat well. They are easily distinguishable from aluminum by the heavier weight of the steel. The insulated aluminum pans come in a close second. Glass baking pans and dishes work best for casseroles and entrees.

   
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Barbara Gibson