Whether you’ve always wanted to accomplish tear-free onion prepping or effortless seed pomegranates, here are 20+ time-saving cooking hacks and tips every kitchen chef should know. Try them out and see how they can simplify your kitchen routine!
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Cut an Onion Without Tears
While wearing goggles will help, another alternative is to freeze onions before cutting them. The cold neutralizes the fumes and won’t alter the taste of the onion.
Peel Garlic Effortless
To peel garlic with ease, separate into individual cloves and use the side of your knife and palm to slam down on the cloves. This will break the garlic from its skin so you can easily remove it.
Soften Butter Faster
Most baking recipes require butter softened to room temperature. But what if you’re desperately craving homemade chocolate chip cookies? An easy kitchen hack is to slice the butter into thin pieces. The increase in surface area will allow the air to warm the butter faster, which means you’ll be baking in no time at all! You can also choose to grate your butter for instantly softened butter.
Make Yogurt Popsicles
For a cooling summer treat, stick a spoon into your favorite yogurt container (keeping the lid intact) and freeze. After 1-2 hours, pull out the spoon and enjoy your healthy frozen popsicle. This hack will only work with yogurt containers with wide bottoms and tops because it won’t allow the popsicle to slide out.
Prevent Fruit from Browning
Apples turn brown from oxidation that occurs with exposure to air. A way to keep fruit from browning is to brush it with lemon juice. Dilute the lemon juice with water so that your fruits won’t have an overwhelming acidic taste.
Get the Most Juice Out of Citrus
Whether you’re juicing lemons or oranges, you can get more juice by applying gentle pressure and rolling them on a countertop. You can also pop your citrus into the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
Use a Pair of Tongs as a Juicer
Tongs are a perfect way to juice citrus. Just place a half citrus as high up to the hinges as it can go and use both hands to squeeze the tongs.
Remove Strawberry Stems with a Straw
The tricky part about removing strawberry stems is to try and remove as little flesh as possible. Instead of using a knife, push a straw through the bottom of the strawberry to remove the stem.
Remove Cherry Seeds with a Glass Bottle
For this kitchen hack, place a cherry on top of an open glass bottle (soda or beer) and use a chopstick to push the seed into the bottle.
Get Pomegranate Seeds Out with a Wooden Spoon
Pomegranates are amazing superfruits but are tedious to seed. To hack a pomegranate, make a quarter inch deep cut around the fruit. Break the two halves apart and hold one-half face down on a bowl. Then take a wooden spoon and with firm pressure, hit the backside of the fruit. Continuously turn the pomegranate as you hit until all the seeds have erupted.
Peel Eggs Easier
If you hate clingy eggshells, add vinegar or baking soda when boiling eggs. The shells will slide right off.
Retrieve Broken Eggshells… With the Egg
You’ve probably tried to remove eggshells from a bowl with a variety of utensils and even your fingers – to no avail. But the tried and true way to retrieve eggshells is with the other half of the shell.
Check Eggs’ Freshness
This may be something you’ve attempted as part of an elementary science project, but there’s some real-world truth to it. Place eggs in a bath of cold water and if they float, they’re probably not the freshest eggs. Unlike their counterparts, fresh eggs don’t contain air bubbles and will sink.
Open Jars with Rubber Bands
For hard to open jars, wrap a rubber band around the lid for a non-slip grip. Or get yourself a set of inexpensive and highly functional jar grips.
Prevent Pot Boil Spill-Overs
Spill-overs are a pain to clean up. To prevent this, just place a wooden spoon across the pot.
Microwave Food without Drying Them Out
Microwaves’ high heat quickly evaporates moisture from your favorite foods. To retain foods’ moisture, add a container of water when microwaving.
Cook Quick and Hassle-Free Fresh Corn in the Microwave
For fresh, moist corn on the cob, dampen a piece of paper, wrap it around the corn, and microwave for 5-6 minutes.
De-Kernel Corn in a Flash
A quick way to de-kernel corn is to insert a chopstick into the end to act as a handle. Hold the corn upright using the chopstick and use a knife to slice the kernels off.
Core Iceberg Lettuce with a Smash
Smash iceberg lettuce on a cutting board firmly to quickly core it.
Use Unflavored Floss to Cut Soft Cheeses (and Cakes)
For no-mush cheeses and cakes, use a piece of floss as a gentle slicer.
Prevent Ice-Cream Icycles with Wax Paper
Freezer burn can be prevented by placing a sheet of wax paper over your ice-cream before tucking it back in the freezer.
Make Clear Ice Cubes Instead of Cloudy Ones
Freeze boiled water to make clear ice cubes. Boiling the water will release gas that gives ice its foggy appearance.
Make Undiluted Iced Coffee
Fill an ice-tray with coffee and use the coffee cubes to ice your coffee.
Freeze Grapes to Ice Wine
Similar to the coffee method, you can freeze wine cubes to chill wine. You can also lay out grapes on wax paper and freeze as a wine cooler.
Sanitize Your Sponge
Sponges are full of dangerous bacteria. Sanitize your sponge by placing it in a microwavable container, filling it with water (enough to cover the sponge) and a bit of dish soap. Microwave for 2 minutes for a clean and fresh-smelling sponge.
Remove Smells from Hands
Onion, garlic, and even fish odor can be removed with a vinegar and baking soda mixture.
Cook a Meal with What’s in Your Fridge
If you don’t have time to run to the grocery store, you can use MyFridgeFood or SuperCook to help you create a meal from what you already have in your fridge. This is a total lifesaver especially when you have a lot of ingredients, but no inspiration.
I hope these cooking hacks and tips were helpful and you were able to incorporate a few into your daily routine! The ultimate goal of cooking is to spend time enjoying your favorite foods with your loved ones so hopefully, these hacks did just that. 😊
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