Cut the grease

Every professional cook knows that distilled vinegar is one of the best grease cutters around. It even works on seriously greasy surfaces such as the fry vats used in many food outlets. But you don’t need to have a deep fryer to find plenty of ways to put vinegar to good use:

  • When you’re finished frying, clean up grease splatters from your stove top, walls, range hood, and surrounding counter top by washing them with a sponge dipped in undiluted white vinegar. Use another sponge soaked in cold tap water to rinse, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.
  • Pour 3-4 tablespoons white vinegar into your favorite brand (especially bargain brands) of liquid dish washing detergent and give it a few shakes. The added vinegar will not only increase the detergent’s grease-fighting capabilities, but also provide you with more dish washing liquid for the money, because you’ll need less soap to clean your dishes.
  • Boiling 2 cups vinegar in your frying pan for 10 minutes will help keep food from sticking to it for several months at a time.
  • Remove burned-on grease and food stains from your stainless steel cookware by mixing 1 cup distilled vinegar in enough water to cover the stains (if they’re near the top of a large pot, you may need to increase the vinegar). Let it boil for five minutes. The stains should come off with some mild scrubbing when you wash the utensil.
  • Get that blackened, cooked-on grease off your broiler pan by softening it up with a solution of 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar. Apply the mixture while the pan is still hot, and let it sit for an hour or so. Then watch in amazement as the grime slides off with a light scrubbing.
  • Got a hot plate that looks more like a grease pan? Whip it back into shape by washing it with a sponge dipped in full-strength white vinegar.
  • Fight grease buildups in your oven by wiping down the inside with a rag or sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar once a week. The same treatment gets grease off the grates on gas stoves.