By Chef Alli on May 20, 2020
I’m always on the look-out for different ways to use the things I already have on hand, especially when they are readily available and affordable. Below are a few reasons I found coffee filters to be the ultimate kitchen multi-tasker.
1. Garden Seed Sprouter
Dampen a coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold the sides in then place the packet into a plastic bag until the seeds sprout.
2. Save Your Microwave
Large coffee filters make great splatter covers for bowls and plates when cooking or reheating foods in the microwave. For easy access, keep a stack of coffee filters right on top of your microwave. (I also took a magic marker and wrote “Cover Your Food, Please” right inside my microwave door as a big reminder.)
3. China Storage
If you’ve just inherited Grandma’s good China, use coffee filters to protect it. Place coffee filters between the plates and bowls to prevent them from scratching each other, whether in the China hutch or in a storage box. If you’re packing up glassware, use large coffee filters for wrapping each piece or for tucking in-between. I discovered coffee filters are also very handy for wrapping fragile Christmas ornaments for storage.
4. Coffee Filters Aren’t Just for Coffee Grounds
Use coffee filters to strain the whey from yogurt, accidental cork pieces from wine, and to filter cooking oil so it can be recycled. Just line a strainer with a couple layers of large coffee filters and proceed.
5. Keep Messy Foods in Check
Coffee filters are super handy as wrappers for food items that can be challenging to eat on the go, such as chili dogs, soft tacos, sub sandwiches, etc. Coffee filters also make great little disposable and traveling “snack bowls” for chips, popcorn, pretzels, candies, etc. when the the kiddos are in the back seat.
6. Prevent Rust from Attacking Your Cast Iron Cookware
Coffee filters work great for rubbing a thin coating of oil over the surface of cast iron cookware which seals out moisture that can cause rust. Coffee filters also help prevent rust when they are placed within your stack of skillets. They work to absorb humidity and moisture.
7. Shield Non-Stick Cookware
As the coating on cookware ages with use, it becomes more fragile. Place coffee filters between skillets to prevent the damage that can be caused when they rub against each other.
8. Weighing Out Flour
Most any baker will tell you that for successful recipes, flour by weight is much more accurate than flour that is scooped with a measuring spoon. Use a large coffee filter on your kitchen scale to contain the flour you are measuring. The coffee filter also makes a perfect sling for transferring the flour to your mixing bowl.
9. Keep Chopped Ingredients Contained
Sometimes weighing chopped ingredients involves needing a good way for keeping them gathered together on the scale. Coffee filters, to the rescue!
10. Help Little Hands
All kids love popsicles, but they can get pretty messy when they begin to drip. Problem solved! After you unwrap the popsicle, immediately pop the sticks through the center of a coffee filter - no more drips.
11. Cut Calories by Cutting Fat
By placing a coffee filter on your dinner plate, you can wick away grease from fried foods such as bacon, potato wedges, chicken fingers, cheese sticks, etc.
12. Quicker Kitchen Clean Up
Coffee filters make perfect spoon rests for ladles and spatulas. Toss in the trash when you’re finished! Out of paper towels? Use coffee filters to absorb liquids and wipe up little countertop messes.
13. Extend the Life of Your Lettuce
Moisture isn’t our friend when it comes to lettuce and other greens, that’s for sure. Once you’ve cleaned and spun your lettuce leaves, add a couple of coffee filters to your plastic storage bag before adding the lettuce leaves. Coffee filters keep the moisture to themselves instead of sharing with the lettuce.
14. Create a Disposable Funnel
Cone-shaped coffee filters make great disposable funnels for narrow openings. Just snip off the point and place it where you need it most. And, yay, you get to toss it instead of finding a place to store it!
15. Out of Non-Stick Spray?
Because coffee filters are lint-free, they work great to rub butter or oil over your baking dishes and casserole pans any time. They are also thin and pliable enough (yet sturdy) to get into tight corners and crevices.
16. It’s Time to Sparkle and Shine
If you are one to use your tablet or phone for reading recipes while you’re cooking, odds are they are going to get splattered. Because coffee filters are lint-free and very absorbent, they are ideal for leaving a clean, streak-free shine behind. (And while you’re it, you may want to use coffee filters for cleaning those grimy kitchen windows, eh?)
17. Infuse Cooking Liquids with Flavor
If you find yourself without your usual cheesecloth, let coffee filters come to the rescue. Coffee filters can absolutely hold a variety of herbs to make bouquet garni. Place the fresh herbs onto a couple of large coffee filters, fold up the bottom covering the herbs, then fold in each side. Next, tie the top of the bundle closed with kitchen string, leaving the ends long. Tie the strings to the handles of your pot or sauce pan, then gently place the bouquet garni into the simmering liquid. When finished, use the strings to easily lift and remove the herb bundle to the trash.
18. Protect Kitchen Surfaces from Soil
If you’ve got a pot of fresh herbs growing in your kitchen, you are likely always dealing with escaping soil. Next time, place a coffee filter at the bottom of the pot before adding the putting soil and herbs. Moisture can still drain, but the soil can no longer escape.
19. DIY Tea Bags Save the Day
If you’ve got a can of loose leaf tea in the cupboard but no tea strainer, use a coffee filter. Place the tea leaves into the center of the coffee filter, fold in the sides and the top, then staple shut. Gently pop the tea packet into hot water to brew. Also, to prevent cloudy tea, make sure your steeping water is very hot, but not to the boiling point.