Think you know everything there is to know about your kitchen? Test your knowledge and read through this list of useful tips and crazy facts. You’ll even learn some kitchen history that you can impress your guests with next time you make them a meal.
Here are 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about kitchens.
1. Cooking Is Good for Your Brain
Experts think our ancestors started using fire to soften meat about 1.8 million years ago. Huddling around the fire waiting for the food to cook gave them a reason to spend more time together. Socializing is good for your brain. That’s partly how ours got so big!
So next time you have a big meal to make, gather some family and friends. Now you have a great reason to ask for helping hands in the kitchen.
2. The Splade Is a Real Utensil
You’ve probably heard of a spork, but a splade? It’s a mix between a spoon, knife, and fork -- so basically a spork with a blade.
Photo: Richard Giles
If you think that’s weird, check out these trongs (plastic finger protectors you can eat with).
3. No More Tears
Here’s a secret that might stop your eyes from watering next time you’re cooking with onions. Cut the onion under cold running water. Some people also swear by putting the onion in the freezer for a while before chopping.
Photo: Michael Derr
4. People Don’t Use Fancy Gadgets
Remember that banana slicer you bought? Or that s’more maker? Most people have fancy kitchen items they don’t use. In one survey, 87 percent of people bought a gadget and never used it.
Want to find something seriously helpful that you’ll actually use? Check out this list of awesome kitchen gadgets.
5. Coffees Freshen Up Your Freezer
Does your freezer have that musty freezer-burn smell? There’s a weird quick fix for that: coffee! If you have room for it, sprinkle dry coffee grounds on a baking sheet or into a small bowl. Leave it in the freezer for a few hours. Don’t have that much space? Put the coffee in a clean sock instead.
If you’re not a coffee person, try sticking a bowl of baking soda in there.
6. Ancient Kitchens
People cooked food over open fires until the 18th century, but kitchens existed way before then. In Ancient Greece, the wealthy had their kitchens close to the bathroom so the fire from the stove could heat both rooms. Here’s how a typical house was laid out.
And you know those beautifully decorated pots and dishes you see in museums? The Ancient Greeks saved those for entertaining and special occasions.
7. Double Dipping?
Does it gross you out when someone “double dips” (uses the same spoon or finger twice in a row) to test the food they’re making? 76 percent of Americans say yes. Strangely enough, 36 percent admit to double dipping themselves.
Double dipping is a fast way to spread bacteria and diseases. "Double-dipping is the bacterial equivalent of French kissing everyone in the room," according to food scientist Paul Dawson. Yuck!
8. Storing Your Groceries
Photo: David Masters
Did you know there’s a right way to store all your groceries to keep them from going bad too soon? You should keep onions in a dark pantry. And asparagus should be in the refrigerator with the stems in water. Check out the full infographic from Buzzfeed here.
9. The Chef’s Hat
Those crazy, tall white hats look like that for a reason. They were originally worn by French magistrates. Chefs started wearing them in the kitchen to make it easy to tell who was in charge. Traditionally, chef’s hats had 100 pleats, to represent all the different ways you can cook an egg.
Photo: Jeff Christiansen
10. Boiling Water Gives You Clear Cubes
Regular ice cubes from a tray tend to have that white, misty look. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that they don’t look as nice.
For crystal clear ice cubes, do this: Boil filtered water, let it cool, and boil it again. When it’s safe to pour, fill your ice cube tray, put it in the freezer, and wait!
Boiling the water gets rid of air bubbles and makes the water molecules stick together better. The result: no more cloudy cubes.
There you have it -- 10 fascinating (and slightly random) things about kitchens. The moral of this story is: socialize while you cook and don’t double dip. Your body will thank you. So what did I miss?
Got a favorite tip or kitchen fact that’s not on this list? Tell us in the comments!