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We use water everyday in the kitchen: in processes and as an ingredient. We take it for granted somewhat, but actually good old H2O can be the perfect cooking hack: a splash of water can make a world of difference and really bring a dish together.
These nine cooking hacks using only water are great examples of how water can make life in the kitchen so much easier – some you may know, some you may not. Put these kitchen tips into practice and you may find you never look back.
9 cooking hacks using water
1. Thin soup without compromising flavour
If you’ve pre-prepared your soup, by the time you come to serve it may not be the desired consistency. Add a little water rather than stock to loosen it up, so as not to mask the flavour too much, especially when using one simple main ingredient. Find a multitude of soup recipes here and, just in case you were wondering, here's a video showing you how to eat soup:
2. Keep the pasta water
Surely everyone knows this cooking hack by now? Reserve the starch-filled water after draining your pasta and add it to sauces to thicken and create emulsions. Find out why you shouldn't add olive oil to pasta water.
3. Keep sautéed greens alive
Sautéed greens can quickly become dry, crispy and lifeless, and burnt around the edges, or oil–drenched, as you attempt to keep them moist in the pan. Add a splash of water to lightly steam them at the same time and they won’t end up as dry as autumn leaves.
4. Refresh poached eggs
Dipping perfect poached eggs into ice water stops the cooking process – a great kitchen trick when cooking for a large group of people. Just remember to warm them in lightly simmering water for 30 seconds before serving. Discover how to poach eggs three ways in the video below, or there's a molecular recipe for eggs on toast here if you want to really want to push on.
5. Deglaze your pan
Wine or stock is often used to deglaze a plan, but water works well too for loosening up all those delicious crispy bits and can form the base of a simple sauce. Here's a very simple video showing how to deglaze a pan.
6. Fix a split
If your emulsion is starting to split, your first remedy should be a splash of water and some vigorous whisking.
7. Happy baking
A skillet or tray of water in the bottom of the oven will keep your baked goods nice and moist. Try making your own baking powder at home with this recipe.
8. Refresh tired vegetables
Those tired–looking leafy greens that have been biding their time in your fridge’s vegetable draw? A quick dip in ice water should bring them back to life. Here's how to store, prepare and cook six leafy greens.
9. Light dressings