Summer's Best Potluck Dish: Three Bean Salad

Holding a glass bowl with cherries covered with plastic wrap
Plastic Wrap Hacks

Like most success stories that later go on to be written, plastic wrap was born out of failure – or in this case, as reported by National Geographic, a chemistry mistake from the 1930’s where it was discovered as a “residue [that clung] stubbornly to the bottom of a beaker.” Before plastic wrap became popularized as a culinary tool, “the military originally used it to line boots and planes.” Nowadays, it can be found in the top drawer of most kitchens.

Hack #1 – Keep it in Place

It’s no secret why we use plastic wrap – covering leftovers can help them last longer, keep fresher and taste better. Plastic wrap is an inexpensive option and can do a good job of covering bowls and other containers. However, have you found that it doesn’t always stay in place? Without a seal, it won’t do its job. Here’s my trick to keeping it right where it belongs.

Before you cut to size, prepare your bowl. Rub a wet finger around and just below the rim, which will help the plastic wrap adhere and stick better. Then, stretch and extend the wrap down the sides, to create a tight seal.

Hack #2 – Learn to Love Hotel Wrapping

In the professional kitchen world, this method is called, “hotel wrapping” or “banquet wrapping,” and is the technique that food pros swear by, especially when transporting food where spills can easily occur. Instead of wrapping the rim, the entire vessel is encased in plastic wrap, and layered with multiple sheets until the contents are fully secured.

Remove and cut the plastic wrap with enough length to extend around the bottom, both sides and top, with a little extra room to spare. Lay the wrap on the countertop and place your bowl on top. Wrap the plastic up the sides and over the top. Repeat with another layer of plastic wrap until the bowl is encased to your liking.

Hack #3 – Keep it Cool

Full disclosure, this is not something that I do, but do know chefs who think this is the best idea since sliced bread. Plastic wrap relaxes when cool, so in many commercial kitchens, plastic wrap is stored in the refrigerator. No one likes wrestling plastic wrap, and those that use this hack say that it is a great way to tame that ClingWrap beast.

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