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The Absolute Easiest Trick for Cleaning Your Grill

Why is it important to clean a grill? And how come leaving charred bits and leftover cooking oil doesn’t season the grates similar to a cast iron skillet? Well, first and foremost, grilling meats at high temperatures can actually produce carcinogens, w…

Why is it important to clean a grill? And how come leaving charred bits and leftover cooking oil doesn’t season the grates similar to a cast iron skillet? Well, first and foremost, grilling meats at high temperatures can actually produce carcinogens, which are then left behind on the grill, so it’s important to keep the grates maintained. Beyond that, regularly cleaning your grill will lengthen its life, prevent dangerous flare-ups, and simply make your food taste better.

We know that summer is officially in full swing, but here's a tip that will carry you well beyond the Fourth of July: how to clean your grill, using things you already have lying around. All you'll need for this quick hack is a piece of aluminum foil and a pair of tongs. Oh, plus your dirty grill grate and a little bit of elbow grease.

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The 7 Best Buttermilk Substitutes

Buttermilk has a huge range of uses in your kitchen. If you bought a bottle to make pancakes, you could end up using the extra for everything from fried chicken to peach sherbet. But what if you don’t have any—and don’t want to go to the store? Or you …

Buttermilk has a huge range of uses in your kitchen. If you bought a bottle to make pancakes, you could end up using the extra for everything from fried chicken to peach sherbet. But what if you don’t have any—and don’t want to go to the store? Or you did go to the store and they’re all out? Today, we’ll break down how to make your own buttermilk substitutes, and share some highly recommended recipes to put them to good use.


What is buttermilk, anyway?

Traditionally speaking, buttermilk is a liquid by-product of butter-churning. Here’s the gist: You start with cream, churn (or food-process) until it separates, and end up with butter and buttermilk. If you’re making American-style butter—with fresh cream as the starting point—the buttermilk will be equally fresh. If you’re making cultured butter, like Banner Butter—with crème fraîche as the starting point—the buttermilk will be as tangy as expected, but not quite as thick as what you’d find at the supermarket (more on that in a bit). Because the butter claims most of the fat and little of the protein, old-school buttermilk is also naturally low-fat and rich in protein.

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Are Bread Machines the Secret to Eating Good Bread on a Budget?

As a child, I was always amazed when my grandma would talk about making homemade bread with such ease. Eventually, I learned that a bread machine played a key role in the baking (and mixing, and kneading) of these loaves—a fact that only heightened my …

As a child, I was always amazed when my grandma would talk about making homemade bread with such ease. Eventually, I learned that a bread machine played a key role in the baking (and mixing, and kneading) of these loaves—a fact that only heightened my amazement. To me, the idea that one could just throw ingredients into a box, press a button or two, and eat still-warm fresh bread a few hours later felt like magic.

In the following years, encounters with bread machines outside of my grandma’s house remained rare. Though I’m sure they’re a staple appliance in many homes, I rarely heard of people using them, buying them, or talking about them, especially since 2020's sourdough boom. I certainly had never used a bread machine, and it wasn’t something I was planning on purchasing anytime soon.

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19 All-Natural Spring Cleaning Tricks For the Kitchen

Tips and tricks for easy, effective cleaning are like good books—you simply can’t ever have too many. It follows suit that despite how much we love to test and share our favorite methods for stain-busting, pest-control, and grime-scouring, we can alway…

Tips and tricks for easy, effective cleaning are like good books—you simply can't ever have too many. It follows suit that despite how much we love to test and share our favorite methods for stain-busting, pest-control, and grime-scouring, we can always learn a thing or two from our community (that's you!).

We revisited past cleaning posts and Hotline threads that got you riled up the most and culled the best ideas from the comments section. As it turns out, the vast majority of your suggestions were for all natural, eco-friendly, or otherwise non-chemically-laden solutions. We're all about finding more natural ways to do the work of classic cleaners, and in the spirit of sharing, here are the 18 best tips from our archives and your tidying expertise:

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Does Pancake Batter Belong in Your Ice Cube Tray?

My childhood smelled of maple syrup. After discovering the TikTok-induced reemergence of freezing pancake batter in ice cube trays, my days may once again become maple-scented.

Back in a time when there was a clear distinction between good (eating pan…

My childhood smelled of maple syrup. After discovering the TikTok-induced reemergence of freezing pancake batter in ice cube trays, my days may once again become maple-scented.

Back in a time when there was a clear distinction between good (eating pancakes) and evil (learning math), the classrooms, school buses, and friends I knew almost always smelled like an iHop. Also, everything—and everyone—was always sticky. For whatever reason, as I got older, the pancakes, maple syrup, and stickiness in my life vanished. I’m hoping this TikTok pancake hack will change that.

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Pickles in a Blanket—Meet TikTok’s New Snack Obsession

Last week, a pickle wrapped in fried provolone took over cooking Tik Tok. Days later, I still can’t get that pickle and its immaculate provolone blanket out of my head.

@clurmurr where the pickle people at 🙋‍♀️ #guiltypleasuresnack #picklesnac…

Last week, a pickle wrapped in fried provolone took over cooking Tik Tok. Days later, I still can’t get that pickle and its immaculate provolone blanket out of my head.

@clurmurr where the pickle people at 🙋‍♀️ #guiltypleasuresnack #picklesnack ♬ original sound - Claire

There’s a lot to love with this snack hack. To start, it’s simple. This pickle-in-a-blanket requires just two ingredients: a pickle spear and a slice of provolone. As a person with little fridge space, less money, and no patience, two is my ideal number of ingredients. But moving beyond my own refrigerator and into Flavor Town, the pickle and fried provolone combo just makes sense. The crunch and acid of the pickle perfectly balance out the salty, crispy fried cheese.

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How to Keep Your Cats Off the Kitchen Counter, Once & For All

After several years of model behavior, one of my cats recently discovered that very tasty food like shredded chicken is often left on the kitchen counter at dinnertime. Now, it seems like I can’t turn my back without Henry sneakily jumping on the count…

After several years of model behavior, one of my cats recently discovered that very tasty food like shredded chicken is often left on the kitchen counter at dinnertime. Now, it seems like I can’t turn my back without Henry sneakily jumping on the counter to grab a bite. 

Henry isn’t the first feline who prefers the kitchen counter over the best cat trees. Over time, I’ve found several tactics to keep my kitties with four paws on the floor. If you’re looking for ways to keep cats off the counter, here are the strategies that have worked for me (and thus, my dearest Henry).

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Don’t Forget to Sterilize Your Canning Jars—Here’s How

We’ve officially reached the point in summer when my garden is producing way more vegetables than we could possibly eat. I’m talking 3 or 4 pounds of cucumbers per day! Because I hate to see anything go to waste, I started learning how to preserve prod…

We’ve officially reached the point in summer when my garden is producing way more vegetables than we could possibly eat. I’m talking 3 or 4 pounds of cucumbers per day! Because I hate to see anything go to waste, I started learning how to preserve produce a few years ago, and now, canning is one of my favorite summertime activities. On any given weekend, you can find me pickling cucumbers, zucchini, and beets or making jam from homegrown rhubarb and peaches.

I’ll be the first to admit that canning can be a bit intimidating, as you have to follow recipes precisely and properly sterilize your equipment to ensure the food is safe to eat down the road. There’s a lot of different information online about how to sterilize canning jars, so we turned to the experts at Ball for definitive answers on how it should be done and when it’s necessary. Here’s what they told us.

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How to Prevent Freezer Burn Once and For All

Freezers are magical appliances: They allow us to save homemade soups and sauces for months on end, keep ice cream frozen for our daily after-dinner sundaes, and store ice for cocktail parties (a must). As essential as it is to freeze leftovers and fro…

Freezers are magical appliances: They allow us to save homemade soups and sauces for months on end, keep ice cream frozen for our daily after-dinner sundaes, and store ice for cocktail parties (a must). As essential as it is to freeze leftovers and frozen pizzas for zippy suppers, freezers aren’t always our friends. In fact, they can sometimes be the foe—namely, when so-called “freezer burn” infiltrates our supply of frozen foods.

Let’s get one thing clear: Freezer-burned food is completely safe to eat. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “freezer burn is a food-quality issue, not a food safety issue.” The FDA notes that freezer burn often presents itself as “as grayish-brown leathery spots” on the food in question. So even though freezer burn doesn’t always look or taste quite right, it doesn’t mean your food is spoiled or otherwise harmful if consumed.

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How to Make the Most of Your Kitchen Cabinets

My current rental’s kitchen has builder’s grade maple veneer cabinets. When I first saw them, I knew I wanted to cover them up with black contact paper (I am a renter, after all). But once my partner and I moved in, I realized they weren’t so bad at al…

My current rental's kitchen has builder’s grade maple veneer cabinets. When I first saw them, I knew I wanted to cover them up with black contact paper (I am a renter, after all). But once my partner and I moved in, I realized they weren’t so bad at all and surprisingly, were in decent condition compared to other apartments I’ve rented. I no longer had grand plans to change how the cabinets looked, but I still wanted to change up everything around them: swapping out hardware, painting the walls, adding a rug, changing lighting. Even the ugliest kitchens (and yes, that is in the eye of the beholder) can be saved with a little thoughtful accessorizing.

With that in mind, I went ahead and swapped out the nickel hardware for brass, painted the walls a complementary color, and what do you know? I actually like the cabinets now. So, the best advice I have is to lean into the material and don’t try to force-fit a design style that simply won’t work. For instance, if you have traditional-style cabinets, adding lots of modern accents can make them feel even more dated, and vice versa. Plus, if your cabinets aren’t all that bad, why not spend your time and money elsewhere in your home?

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