Top Tips


Everyone wants to feel like a pro in the kitchen.  We’ve collected some of our favourite tips & tricks that can make life a little bit easier, healthier, greener, more delicious and fun.

Use beans to add protein

Add beans and lentils to mince dishes, casseroles, or curries to reduce meat or bulk out meals.

Three-for-one antipasto

Wrap a cube of Feta cheese in a fresh basil leaf with sundried tomato and pin with a toothpick for a three-for-one bite on an antipasto platter.

Store canned goods correctly

Tins are easy to stack and store. They’re best kept in a cool, dark place, away from any appliances that produce heat.

Reheating Pizza

Sprinkle a little water onto the plate before adding pizza slices for reheating in the microwave. It takes the stiffness out of the refrigerated crust.

Swap dry beans for canned beans

For recipes that call for dry beans, you can easily swap these out for canned beans. Since dried beans essentially double in weight when soaked, a good rule of thumb...

How to open a tight lid

The key to opening most stuck bottles or jars is to break the vacuum seal that holds them in place. This seal is important for the quality and food safety...

Pasta frittata anyone?

Did you know leftover pasta is great in a frittata? Simply mix the pasta with eggs and any other ingredients you want to add, cook and serve.

Pesto whenever you need it

Did you know you can freeze pesto? Spoon it into ice cube trays, freeze and then pop the frozen blocks into a plastic bag.

Sub out fresh garlic for crushed garlic

One clove of garlic is equal to one teaspoon of crushed garlic.

Avoid bitter Basil Pesto

Never heat Basil Pesto – the basil will turn black and taste bitter.

Subbing out fresh and dried herbs

You can sub out fresh for dried herbs and vice versa. Use the below ratios as a guide and never be caught short when recipes call for herbs that aren’t...

Alternative uses for your pasta sauce

Prepared pasta sauces are also great for using in soups, stews and other cooked dishes as well as being perfect as pizza toppings when thickened with tomato paste.

How much juice is in a lemon?

One lemon, juiced, is approximately equal to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Removing fat from a stew

An ice cube placed on a dessert spoon and run through a stew, will attract excess fat for removal. Stale bread or crackers can also be used to do this,...

How much juice is in a lime?

One lime, juiced, is approximately equal to 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons of lime juice.

Thicker sauces

Use one part cornflour to two parts water for a quick sauce or gravy thickener. Stir in small amounts at a time until satisfied with consistency.

Pasta water for plants

After boiling pasta, potatoes or other vegetables, allow the water to cool and use it to water your houseplants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love, plus you’re...

What is the Mother of Vinegar?

The odd looking white filmy material you sometimes see in vinegar is called Mother of Vinegar and is a result of unfermented sugars in the vinegar. It is harmless and...

Make the most of your non-stick spray

Spray a grater with non-stick cooking spray to stop foods from sticking and make cleaning easier. Plus, it’s also good for measuring cups to help weigh up sticky liquids.

Salted Pasta Water

Adding salt to pasta water will not make it boil faster, though it will add some flavour.

Make your sauce stick to your pasta

It’s notoriously difficult to get creamy sauces to stick to your pasta, but here’s how chefs do it. After you’ve drained your pasta from the water, grate and mix in...

When to add your pasta to the water

Pasta should be added to boiling water, not in the pan while the water heats up.

Reheating pasta successfully

Microwaving pasta often ends up with the pasta heating through unevenly. To stop this from happening, simply make a hole in the middle of pasta on the plate and it...

Don’t add oil to your pasta

Oil should not be added as it will cause any sauce to run off the cooked pasta.

Miracle Chickpea liquid!

The liquid in tinned Chickpeas is called aquafaba, and it’s a kitchen staple in itself! When you drain a tin of chickpeas, reserve the aquafaba and use it as a...

Should I rinse pasta?

Good pastas do not need to be rinsed. Rinsing will remove the starch making it harder for sauces to stick.

Stay sharp!

To protect your knife blade, use the back of your knife to scrape diced products like onions or peppers from your cutting board.

Wait to drain your pasta

Make sure everything else is ready before draining pasta as it will go cold faster than sauces will.

Stop tomatoes from staining your plastic

To keep your plastic containers from getting stained from coloured foods like tomato or turmeric, rub the inside with oil before placing the food in the container.

How to cook Gnocchi

When cooking gnocchi in a fry pan use a mix of oil and butter. The oil will stop them sticking and the butter will make them go golden brown.

If you don’t want an overcooked dinner…

You can cook food more, but you can’t cook food less. Test as you go and remove foods just before they are cooked; then allow them to finish in their...

Mixing sauce through pasta

If you want to mix your sauce through your pasta, rather than pouring on top, drain the pasta then return it to the pot and then add the sauce. Stir...

Smooth gravy

Use a tea strainer to sieve out lumpy gravy. It will be faster and more effective than trying to de-lump in the pan.

Stirring to avoid clumpy pasta

No matter what type of pasta you’re making, it’s important to occasionally stir the noodles as they cook so they don’t clump together.

Use by vs best before

Use by dates mean exactly that. Be very cautious of food that has expired. Best before dates are flexible, but use your common sense when dealing with any older product.

Change the way you cook Ravioli

In some parts of the world ravioli is fried almost as often as it is boiled.

Freeze in the flavour

Freeze fresh herbs in oil to store them and then use as a starting point for cooking later. Make up blends of herbs and spices you use regularly to have...

Quick Layered Dip

Make a quick layered dip by half filling a bowl with sour cream, adding a thin layer of sweet Thai chilli sauce and topping up with hummus.

Freezing liquids

Freeze liquids like wine or stock for cooking in smaller portions to use when needed.

Retaining flavour while reducing spice

A lot of the heat in chillies and peppers comes from the seeds and pith. Remove these to reduce the heat and still retain the flavour.

Richer Tomato Sauce

To add richness and depth to tomato sauces add a tablespoon or two of butter or olive oil just before taking off the heat.

Keeping spices fresh for longer

Whole spices last longer than ground and can be used as needed. A coffee grinder will work on spices the same way it does on coffee beans.

Enhance your Macaroni

Mustard is a natural flavour enhancer for macaroni cheese. Use a light sprinkle of mustard powder or a teaspoon of jar mustard. Dijon is an excellent option

Sweeter Tomato Sauces

Carrots add a natural sweetness to tomato sauces. If grated they will cook into the sauce completely.

Substitutes for salt

Instead of adding more salt, try adding a splash of vinegar, lemon or lime juice.  They can make flavours more lively without over salting the dish.

Perfecting onion and garlic

Sauté onions first and then add any garlic. Garlic takes much less time to cook so cooking them at the same time will overcook the garlic making it taste bitter.

Level up your ice game

Use a muffin pan to make larger ice cubes. Add slices of lemons,strawberry halves or fresh herbs like mint to add colour and taste when served in drinks.

Separate stuck glasses

If two drinking glasses become stuck together after stacking, put ice water in the inner glass and wait a few minutes. The cold glass should contract, making the glasses separate...

The best way to chill wine?

Freeze a small bag of green grapes to have on hand for chilling white wine on a warm day. They will keep the wine cool without diluting the flavour.

Cutting cakes or soft cheeses

Dental floss or dental tape can be used to cut soft cheeses and cakes. Dividing a whole cake up is easier when cutting from both ends, just make sure it’s...

The perfect pancake, every time

Place pancake batter in an icing bag or a plastic bag to control the amount of batter you put in the pan for each pancake.

Bring out the flavour of chocolate

Add a tablespoon of cold coffee to chocolate cakes and brownies to bring out the cocoa flavour.

Keep biscuits the size you want

Biscuits and cookies will spread out on the pan if your dough is too soft or pliable. To stop spreading, refrigerate the dough for an hour before baking.

The safest way to open tins

When emptying a tin with a tear top lid; open the tin 90% of the way, empty the contents and then fold the lid back into the can to reduce...

Stop meatballs from splitting

Place meatballs in the fridge for twenty minutes before cooking to stop them splitting.

A secret ingredient for tasty burger patties

When making mince patties for burgers, add in some chopped bacon for extra flavour and a natural oil to fry in.

Faster burgers?

Poke a hole in the middle of the hamburger patties while shaping them. The burgers will cook faster and the holes will fill in during the cooking. If they don’t...

Dry style meat

Cook meat, especially steak, dry style. Water in the pan or on the meat will interfere with the process by which food browns from searing, the Maillard process.

The best way to BBQ

Use tongs or a turner when cooking meat on the BBQ. Puncturing meat with a fork allows the natural juices to escape, making it chewy and less flavourful.

Slice meat with ease

Freezing meat for 45 minutes to an hour before cooking makes it easier to cut into strips without affecting the cooking time.

Give it a rest

It's important to let roast meats and poultry sit a little while before carving to retain the juices. If you cut it too soon, it will allow the juice out;...

Where to thaw meat

Thaw frozen meat and poultry in the refrigerator and not on the kitchen counter where bacteria can grow.

When to use olive oils?

Make sure you use pure or lite olive oil for cooking and extra virgin olive oil only for salad dressings; using extra virgin in cooking can overpower the flavour of...

Your next salad addition

Unpeeled, sliced courgettes make an attractive and crunchy addition to salads, sandwiches and rolls.

Perfecting Vinaigrette

Always make vinaigrette dressing at least ½ hour prior to using to allow the flavours to combine.

Green or Black Olives

Green Olives are the unripe fruit of the olive tree and are firmer with a sharper flavour. Black olives are the ripe fruit and are more rounded in flavour and...

Try Roasted Olives

Roasting olives in the oven and eating them warm is a delicious and different way to enjoy them.

A new way to add Capers

Quick frying capers in oil or butter will change the taste and texture. Fried capers are delicious in salads or added to a fish dish.

Capsicum bowls for your dip

An attractive and natural bowl for hummus or dips can be made by halving and deseeding a capsicum.