Any kind of life-hack is welcome to know. Perhaps we’re all shy to admit it, but we humans can be quite the lazy creatures most of the time. If something lets me finish a task without much effort, then I’ll gladly take it.
And what other place would benefit from some life hacks more than the kitchen? With the amount of planning, preparing, measuring, cutting and whatnot, the kitchen is hands-down the busiest place in the house. With some cooking hacks to spare, maybe your next task in the kitchen might not be so painful to do anymore?
These hacks come from no other than Reddit, the Internet’s gathering hub for obscure, random topics and discussions that’ll get you lost reading them at 2 in the morning. R/cooking had a rather large thread discussing cooking hacks, and the internet is now all the richer thanks to it!
1. Crumple your problems away.
Parchment paper is a Godsend for baking, if only it cooperated most of the time. Ohanse has this really helpful trick that will save us all some trouble.
“If you’re working with parchment paper and are sick of it curling up on you, just crumple and uncrumple the shit out of it before you put it on your baking tray or whatever.”
2. A splash of orange juice will do wonders for pumpkin and banana bread, and blueberry muffins!
User JMSidhe knows what they’re doing, and our banana bread is going to taste so much better from now on.
“Adding a splash of orange juice to pumpkin or banana bread. The acidity really adds some brightness against the spices.”
3. Use canola or vegetable oil to save yourself from some unwanted pain.
We all hate handling hot peppers and having to not touch our faces and other body parts afterwards. It’s just not worth the pain. Lots of solutions have been thrown here and there for the pepper problem, but user CorneliusJenkins has what may be the best solution to share with us.
Cutting hot peppers and don’t want an unfortunate accident in the bathroom (peeing, changing contacts, etc) later? When done, rub a little neutral oil (canola, vegetable) on your hands, then wash with a little dish soap. The capsaicin (spicy chemical in the peppers) essentially binds with the oil, then the dish soap takes care of the oil on your hands.
4. Butter and soy sauce are the most unlikely duo.
I never tried mixing butter and soy sauce in the same dish until I was in my late twenties, but once I tried it, it quickly became one of my favorite flavor combinations. It’s excellent in just about any savory dish. It works especially well with mushrooms.
5. Microwave your potatoes before baking them.
Thanks to user calinet6, you could cut down your potato baking time by quite a bit with this trick.
“Pierce them with a fork, microwave them for five minutes, then throw them in the oven for 15. You’ll get perfect baked potatoes in 20 minutes instead of an hour. It speeds everything up and they come out just as delicious.”
6. Garlic butter could always benefit from some lemon zest!
“Lemon zest in garlic butter, specifically for garlic bread. It’s an absolute game-changer, even just a little bit.”
7. Cook your veggies in the pasta water.
8. Potato mashers aren’t just for potatoes.
“I’ve never used my potato masher for actual potatoes. I pretty much use it exclusively to break up ground meat and to crush whole tomatoes for sauce.”
9. Nothing’s more important than having room to work.
Much like choosing clothes based on how many pockets they have, picking chopping boards based on how many things you can chop at a time seems like
“Buy the biggest damn cutting board you can fit on your counter. Having actual room to work instead of trying to squeeze into a space smaller than your knife will save you time and headaches beyond belief.” – Reddit user BigSweetness
10. You can make your fries and roasted potatoes crispier with some icy water.
11. Ginger is easier to grate if you put it in the freezer first.
“Keep ginger in the freezer. Use a micro plane or grater to grate the frozen ginger into sauces, fried rice, etc.”
12. Are you cutting broccoli and cauliflower the right way?
Cutting broccoli and cauliflower without accidentally flattening and massacring the poor veggies is easier said than done. So we’re very thankful to user January1171 for sharing this useful piece of advice!
“When you’re cutting broccoli or cauliflower, turn it upside down. Then rotate it as you cut the stem part. SO MUCH CLEANER than cutting through the flowery part from the top, and you get really nice florets”
13. Who needs flour when you have granulated sugar?
“When I bake, I grease my pans, but instead of using flour to coat it, I use granulated sugar. It makes the edges sweet and crunchy, and saves me from needing to use icing or frosting.”
14. Olive or pickle brine can elevate your stews from good to great.
“I use olive brine/pickle brine to add flavour a lot of dishes like casseroles, stews, etc. It adds a nice depth of flavour.” – skakkuru on Reddit
15. A splash of vinegar, and your soup is saved!
We’ve all been there. You’re preparing a soup and give it a quick taste test, only to find out that it’s too salty. Not to worry, some vinegar can help a lot more than you think!
“If your soup/stew is too salty, a splash of vinegar usually balances it out” – misfireish on Reddit
16. One man’s trash is…. the same man’s cooking stock?
“I don’t think it’s weird but I save all the scraps of my vegetables — onions, garlic, bell peppers, carrots, celery, herb stems, tomatoes, mushrooms — and collect them in a freezer bag and when it’s full I turn it into stock and then use that stock to replace the water while cooking rice, quinoa, lentils, etc.”
Reddit user Grendels-mum is showing us how to not be wasteful, and we might just be thanking them when we find ourselves doing this in the future!
Oh, Reddit, please don’t ever stop being everyone’s unlikely source of useful information. With just 16 of these cooking hacks, r/cooking has already saved everyone a lot of trouble and frustration in their kitchens!
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