10 Arthritis-Friendly Cooking Tips

Chef and cookbook author Melinda Winner offers 10 arthritis-friendly cooking tips that are easy on your joints. 

Chef and cookbook author Melinda Winner was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) more than 25 years ago. To help others with arthritis regain independence in the kitchen, she authored A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking With Arthritis (Tate Publishing, 2009). These tips are an excerpt from her book. 

  1. When filling or emptying large pots of water, use a plant stand for transport and a small plastic measuring cup to transfer the water. 
  2. Use a small kitchen funnel to separate egg yolks from the whites. Simply place the funnel over a glass. To separate the egg, crack the egg into the funnel. The white will slide into the glass while the yolk stays in the funnel. 
  3. Many times when you buy a bottle of sauce, it needs shaking before opening. Don’t shake it; roll it. If your hands are sore, use your forearm and the weight of your body. 
  4. Sometimes there can be trouble opening doors, especially doorknobs. One solution is to replace doorknobs with handles. This allows you to use your elbow and forearm to get the door open. However, there are a few doors that do not have that option, so try the following: tie a pretty ribbon or scarf on the closet bifold door or the refrigerator door. When you cannot pull it open with your hands, hook your arm through the ribbon and use the weight of your body to open the door. 
  5. To cut and peel apples and vegetables, use an apple corer. Simply place the corer over the item you are cutting, place your forearms on the fruit, and use the weight of your body to push it through. To peel, lay the slice on its side, hold the slice in place with a fork and cut the outer skin with a paring knife. 
  6. Freeze fresh herbs and spices in tablespoons, teaspoons and half-teaspoon measurements. Freeze these in water, milk, tea or cream. Also freeze tomato paste. Use an ice cube tray for the perfect measurement. Once frozen, place in marked bags in the freezer. The next time you need a teaspoon of basil, just grab a cube. This is a time saver and an energy saver. 
  7. To fill a water bath pan for cooking, put the pan in a cold oven and use a measuring cup to fill the pan. Then preheat the oven. This will bring the water up to temperature, and you won’t need to maneuver a full pan of water into the oven. 
  8. Having problems whisking? Substitute a whisk for a handheld electric drink mixer. They are lightweight and have thick handles. 
  9. Place your spices and canned goods on a lazy Susan. This allows you to easily spin to find those needed items instead of moving heavy canned goods around or having to move 10 items just to get the spice you need. 
  10. Store your pots and pans on wall hooks or a pot hanger from the ceiling. This will eliminate unnecessary bending. 

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