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What to do with extra coffee filters
Photo: Tasting Table
Coffee Filter

Finding multiple uses for random household items and foods is oh so satisfying. Vinegar isn't just for cooking, coffee grounds don't need to go into the trash and leftover lemons can do wonders on a cutting board.

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Coffee filters aren't one-trick ponies either. In fact, they might be some of the more underappreciated items in your kitchen. Here are 13 ways to use paper coffee filters that you may not have thought of.

① Skim the Fat
To remove excess fat or grease from a stock or sauce, lay a filter flat on top of the liquid and gently draw it across the surface. It's a great technique for removing as much grease as possible, and then you can simply toss the filter in the trash instead of dealing with a messy grease container.

② Roll Up a Bouquet Garni
If you don't have cheesecloth lying around the house, you can use a filter to make this classic French seasoning sachet, which typically consists of a bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley stems and maybe a crushed garlic clove.

③ Strain Away
Another replacement for cheesecloth, a coffee filter works well when you need to strain a sauce or stock through a very fine material.

④ Make a DIY Tea Bag
If you're a loose-leaf tea drinker, try wrapping the tea in a coffee filter and stapling it shut or simply tying it together with string.

⑤ Wipe Surfaces
If paper towels disappear as quickly in your house as they do in ours, try using a coffee filter to wipe down surfaces.

⑥ Clean Your Nonstick Pan
Nonstick pans are delicate. Instead of ruining them with a scrubby or rough sponge, wash them with a gentle coffee filter!

⑦ Protect That Nonstick Pan, Too
When you've finished cleaning the pan, sandwich it with two coffee filters before stacking it in your cupboard. This will help protect its surface from getting scratched.

⑧ Keep Bugs Away
Cover food with a filter to keep flies or other critters out. If it's a windy day, just make sure to find something to weigh the filter down.

⑨ Fashion a Makeshift Snack Bowl
Coffee filters are a great size for snack bowls, and they're also disposable, which makes them great for party cleanup or if you're on the go.

⑩ Soak Up Excess Grease
Instead of laying bacon down on a paper towel, put it on a highly absorbent coffee filter. Or use one to blot greasy pizza.

⑪ Prevent Microwave Splatter
The coffee filter's shape lends itself perfectly to covering a plate or bowl of food before sticking it into the microwave.

⑫ Use It As an Oversize Muffin or Cupcake Holder
Cupcake holders are some of those items we seem to always forget to pick up at the supermarket or simply forget to replenish. When faced with a last-minute urge to make muffins or cupcakes, make them extra fancy by using coffee filters to hold the batter.

⑬ Wrap Sandwiches
Coffee filters were practically made to wrap around a sandwich or, even better, a pita pocket. They're a perfect fit.

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