Whether cooking is your hobby or an obligation you dread daily, everyone could use a few shortcuts to make life in the kitchen (and on the grill) easier.
From keeping food fresh to prepping food with ease, we have 35 of the best kitchen hacks to save you time and improve your cuisine.
So click ahead – we’re sure you’ll find something new and unexpected along the way.
1. Nuke your fruit to make peeling a breeze
Nuking the fruit for at least 20 seconds is enough to loosen the peel, making it slide right off.
So whether you’re making a crumble or candied orange peels, this is an easy way to get started.
However, there’s a better way!
Sitting out by the pool and don’t have a way to keep your chardonnay cold? Add some frozen grapes! They’ll release very little extra water into your wine and keep it chilled.
Just don’t choke (and drink responsibly – especially in summer when it’s easy to get dehydrated!).
No doubt you see your ideal cookie here. It’s different for everyone.
Just keep in mind what the magic ingredient is that makes it look that way and adjust accordingly!
4. Get the jar open
If you need more help, you can use a dishtowel over the rubberband top.
Of course, if all else fails, we just take the can opener and pop it open from the side to let in air (but then you can’t seal it back up tightly).
5. Let the potatoes peel themselves
Frankly, we’d rather save ourselves the time altogether, which is why we boil our potatoes first, then toss them in an ice bath before finally just sliding the skins right off.
6. Grate your cheese with ease
But if you need it all, try sticking it (or any soft cheese that needs grating) in the freezer for 30 minutes first.
It’ll be much easier to get a grip.
7. Make your own buttermilk
You can make your own by putting a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into regular milk.
It won’t have the same thickness and creaminess as buttermilk put it does the trick as a makeshift substitute.
This will hold the cob in place and allow you to get a good cutting angle.
Then use a knife to slice downward and let the pan collect the kernels.
9. Care for your cast iron
The best way to do that is with salt. Just scrub your cast iron pans with salt instead of dish soap, to keep them ready for use.
10. Use a wine bottle for perfect ravioli
It’s brilliant! And, better yet, it doesn’t matter if the bottle is empty or full!
11. Shine your stainless steel
But if you take some time every few months to mix vinegar and water together and spray the solution on your pots and pans, you can keep them gleaming with minimal time investment.
12. Grill your fish without fuss
If you’re tired of scraping and you want your fish to be more presentable, this lemon trick is clutch!
Since plenty of fish gets a spritz of lemon to go with it, you’re also able to skip that step! Not to mention that the grilled lemons can be a great way to decorate your plate!
13. Miniaturize your meatloaf
Meatloaf takes forever to bake and you really do have to cook the center.
Who has time for that?
Instead, make your meatloafs into minis (and keep track of portion size) by placing the meat into muffin tins.
Bake your meatloaf at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
14. Peel eggs with ease
But here’s a new one to add to your arsenal.
Try putting your eggs in a steamer basket suspended over boiling water for 15 to 16 minutes. The egg will cook and often the shell will slip off easily.
15. Make a makeshift brush
Need a pastry brush but don’t have one in your kitchen arsenal? No problem!
Just fold a piece of parchment paper at least four times. Then, use scissors to cut some fringe into the paper and use it as a brush!
16. Banish corn cob hair
But this woman has managed to eliminate the problem by simply cutting the corn (either in half or at the top) and squeezing it out of the open side.
And if you squeeze from the bottom, you won’t smash any kernels. Brilliant!
17. Don’t let your brown sugar turn into a rock
Try throwing an orange peel inside the bag and putting the bag in an airtight container to prevent this from happening.
Just check on that peel so it doesn’t get moldy!
18. Perfect your basted egg
Give it a try! Crack your egg in the pan, add a few tablespoons of water, and watch it cook more evenly. Then, if you’re still waiting for the top to stiffen and don’t want to flip it over, just take a spoon and pour the boiling water from the pan over the egg!
It’ll cook from the top!
19. Flavor your grains with tea
We recommend something with a strong personality, like lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, or even chai, but it’s up to you!
How about jasmine tea for your jasmine rice? Yum!
20. Don’t dump your wine
But many of us have had a moment when we didn’t polish off the bottle and just knew we weren’t going to get around to the rest (either for lack of time or wine we just didn’t love).
Wine can be used for plenty of other things though – even the stuff you don’t love. And if it’ll be more than a few days until you need it again, try pouring it in ice cube trays and freezing it.
Then later you can use the cubes in a cooking recipe or pitcher of sangria.
For a fun party treat, why not track down some funky ice-cube shapes. Rosé roses anyone?
Fear not, you can still make your muffins! Just use parchment paper instead, for a thrifty, economical solution.
Simply place a wooden spoon across the top of your pot.
23. Buy tomatoes that last longer
And when you store them, place them stem side down (or cover the stem with some plastic wrap) so air can’t get in and dry it all out.
Did you know tomatoes tend to retain their taste and last longer if you store them at room temperature too?
24. Froth milk without a foamer
If buying a frother/foamer is just too much, just use a jar instead and shake it ’til you make it!
Fill a jar with your warm milk (no more than halfway), close it up, and shake it well.
Want a ton of detail on the science of frothing? Click here.
25. Keep your cut fruit fresh
You can also mix one part honey with two parts water and drizzle it on for the same effect.
This method will slow down the oxidation process.
26. De-shell your batter
But there are a whole bunch of reasons never to stick your fingers in your food to get rid of eggshells.
Instead, just use a larger piece of eggshell to get rid of the rogue pieces. The eggshell really does draw them in (and up and out) really well.
27. Scoop out your seeds
But it’s less annoying if you use an ice cream scooper. It’ll also look a bit better than if you had stabbed a spoon or your hand in a bunch of times to pull out what you didn’t need.
So spray the inside with some cooking oil before you measure, and the oil will make it slide off, making your measuring spoon easy to clean.
29. Pre-prep your squash
If you need to prepare a butternut squash to cook, putting it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes will make it all much easier.
Not only will the skin be a lot easier to take off, but seed removal will be simple as well. And it’ll even be easier to cube so you don’t need to break out the big knives.
30. Juice is real good
But a soft squeeze is all you’ll need if you take your fruit from the fridge to the microwave and nuke it for 15 seconds first.
After that, roll the lemon or lime around on the cutting board, cut it, and watch the juices flow.
If you really need every last drop, cut again and press some tongs in there to finish the job.
31. Keep your pizza moist in the microwave
But we can at least keep it from drying out and getting super gummy crust and a gross blanket of cheese by setting a cup of water in the microwave with it.
Seriously, try it out – it’s an improvement!
So keep your plastic wrap in the refrigerator!
This helps make it stretch evenly.
33. Don’t let onions make you cry
If you sense you got a weeper, then put it in the freezer before chopping it.
But if you do this, you’ll need to cook them right away so they don’t get soggy as they thaw.
34. Keep bacteria off your cutting boards
To banish bacteria from your cutting boards (where it’s easy for them to hide in cut marks) cut a lemon in half and dip the cut side in coarse salt.
Use it to scrub your cutting board clean, then rinse with hot water.
35. Elevate your bacon game
Make your life easier by baking it in the oven on a rack.
By putting it on a cookie sheet covered in foil, all you need to do for cleanup is toss the foil and wipe down the rack.
Now your bacon is even better!
Well there you have it, 35 tips to make your time in the kitchen, oh so much easier!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family