Cooking is hard…but it doesn’t have to be! These pro tips will save you time, money, and frustration in the kitchen, so you can stop worrying about the small details and get back to cooking up your delicious creations. Take a look at some of these genius suggestions, you’ll find you probably already have most of the supplies in your home to accomplish most of these hacks.
It is virtually impossible (and a total mess) to try and read from a recipe book while cooking. It sits on the counter taking up your precious space, and getting dirtier and dirtier as you add ingredients to your meal. Why not try hanging it up with a pants hanger, keeping it at eye level and away from all the food.
Perfectly Peeled Eggs
You’ve probably been trying to find the secret to perfectly peeled boiled eggs without losing half the egg white in the peeling process. Well, we’ve got it right here for you: apple cider vinegar. That’s right, add just a capful of apple cider vinegar to your egg water, and then boil the eggs as normal to your desired consistency. After you take them of the heat and they’ve cooled, the shells will slip right off, almost too easily, revealing perfect, sleek boiled eggs.
Floss Your Food
Dental floss isn’t just for your teeth anymore. Unflavored floss serves many purposes in the kitchen; cut through soft foods like cakes, cheeses, and butter creating perfect slices. Slip some floss underneath baked goods to unstick them from the pan without crumbling them to pieces. You can even use it in place of kitchen twine, to wrap up a roast or a chicken to keep it all together as it’s cooking.
Bring Back Bubbles With Raisins
Unless you’re planning on finishing that entire bottle of champagne, you know it’s going to go flat before the next time you want to drink it. But never fear, we’ve got the solution: raisins! By plopping a raisin or two to your glass of use-to-be bubbly, you can bring it back to its fizzy prime. The bubbles in champagne come from Carbon Dioxide, so when a raisin is added, the remaining CO2 is drawn to the fruit, then released back into the drink. This work for any carbonated drink.
Is Your Avocado Ripe?
Avocados like to go from rock-hard to smushed and rotten within minutes, so we’re going to teach you the trick to know exactly when to eat them. It’s all about looking under the stem. Pull the stem off (it should come off fairly easily) and look at the color revealed underneath. If it is a medium-dark green, it’s ripe and ready to eat. If it’s brown that means it is overripe and you’ll find dark spots on the inside. If the stem doesn’t come off easily, the fruit isn’t ripe yet and needs more time.
Soften Frozen Butter Instantly
Trying to slice and spread frozen butter is a nightmare, but thawing it out takes a long time. Here’s a cool trick that will shorten thawing time to only a minute or two. Take a glass cup or bowl and run it under hot water until it warms up (a few seconds in the microwave can work too). Then stick the cup, face-down, on top of the butter completely covering it. The warmth from the glass will soften the butter to room temperature within minutes, and it will be ready to spread with no trouble.
Eating corn on the cob is usually fun…unless you happen to have braces, a toothache, or just don’t want to make a huge mess. But cutting the corn off of the cob is also a very messy business, the kernels get everywhere, and the cob is hard to hold and cut and the same time. You can take a bundt cake pan, insert the corn cob into the small hole in the center, and then cut the kernels off the cob, and neatly into the cake pan.
Iced Fruit Cubes
There’s nothing quite like a cold drink on a hot day, but ice cubes melt too quickly and dilute whatever your drinking. Instead, try using frozen fruits in their place. Take a handful of grapes or berries (whichever kind is your favorite) and rinse them. Then, rub them with a paper towel until they are completely dry; this is important, so they don’t stick together. Stick the dry berries into the freezer, and use them as ice cubes that will never melt.
No-Mess Cherry Pitting
Cherries are so delicious, but having to take out a pit each time is kind of a drag. Next you you’ve got a bowl of cherries, pit them first using an empty beer bottle. Take an empty and open beer or soda bottle (the personal size, sharing size would have too big of a hole). Simply put each cherry on top of the opening, and push the pit throw with a chopstick. The pits will be collected in the bottle, and you will be left with pitted cherries.
Hard Boiled Scrambled Eggs
This trick will definitely impress. Take a raw egg and slip it gently into the sleeve of a shirt or a stocking. Either hold both ends of the shirt (so the egg won’t go flying out of the shirt), and start singing it around with enough force that the insides will scramble but the egg won’t break. Or, you can twist the stocking tight around the egg, and let go so it spins rapidly the other way. Then, hard boil them as normal, and you will have yourself a completely yellow, scrambled and hard boiled egg.
Juice Lemons Efficiently
Juicing lemons isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, but if you really want to squeeze them out until the last drop without bursting a blood vessel, this trick is for you. Take a lemon and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Then stick it in the microwave for 15-25 seconds until it’s lukewarm. Take it out, cut it in half, and try juicing it now. The difference is unbelievable; you will never go back to the old way of juicing lemons again.
Peeling potatoes takes times, even with an excellent peeler at the ready. To peel a large amount of potatoes all at once, , you’ll need a big bowl full of ice cold water (the colder, the better). Just add the potatoes and let them sit for a few minutes. They will slip right out of their skins.
Caramelize Onions in Half the Time
Caramelizing onions is a slow process that requires you to constantly stir them on low heat so they don’t burn. To cut the time in half, as just a dash of baking soda to your onions before you start cooking. They will caramelize in half the time, allowing you more time to focus on the rest of your dish.
Multi-Use Apple Slicer
Although it’s called an “apple slicer”, it’s uses cover more than just slicing apples. You can use this slicer for almost any type of hard fruit or veggie, to make perfectly even cuts in one shot. Make nice thick potato wedges without chopping them one by one, or even slice onions into pieces without all the tears.
Get The Last Sticky Drop
When using sticky ingredients like honey, molasses, or syrups, you are guaranteed to miss out of the last few drops from the measuring cup. Instead, before measuring out your sticky ingredients, grease the inside of the cup with a light oil, and all of your ingredients will pour effortlessly out. Not to mention, cleanup will be easier too.
Ripen Bananas Fast
It’s a well known fact that you can use overripe bananas for cooking delicious cakes, breads, and muffins. But what if you have the opposite problem, and they aren’t ripe enough yet to cook? Simple stick them in the oven for 30 minutes and they will come out perfectly “overripe” enough for cooking.
Safely Heat Up Your Pan
Waiting for your pan to heat up takes time, but putting an oiled pan to heat while you prep your ingredients can start a dangerous oil fire. Instead, while doing your prep work, stick the pan on a low heat in the oven (make sure the pan is oven-safe!). When you’re ready, take it out and start stir-frying immediately.
Butter Your Corn All At Once
Buttering each individual corncob can quickly become tedious. Instead, while boiling your corn, add a few scoops of butter to the pot of water. The butter will rise to the top and spread evenly along the surface. Each cob you pull out will pass through the surface and come out with a light coat of butter.
Ice Cupcakes In Seconds
Don’t have the time to ice a dozen cupcakes? Or maybe you’re just too lazy. Either way, there’s a trick for that! When they cupcakes are almost finished baking (with about 5 minutes remaining), simply stick a medium sized marshmallow on top of each one. They will melt to form an “icing” for each cupcake with zero spreading required.
Keep Potatoes And Apples Together
If you tend to buy a lot of potatoes at once, you’ve probably had to throw a couple away because they’ve sprouted faster than you can eat them. Store them along with your apples, and the sprouting will be delayed. P.S., storing them with onions will make them sprout even quicker.
Scoopable Ice Cream
Nothing’s worse than grabbing your pint of ice cream out of the freezer and finding it frozen to a point where you can’t even get a scoop out. Save yourself a lot of frustration and a broken spoon by stick the container in a Ziplock plastic bag. It will remain frozen, but will be softer and easily scoopable.
Granulated To Powdered Sugar
Does your recipe call for powdered sugar but you only have granulated on hand? Don’t throw in the towel just yet. A clean salt or pepper grinder can also be used for sugar. It can grind up your sugar granules into a fine enough powder to be considered powder, and you didn’t even have to run out to the store.
Cutting Butternut Squash
If you’ve ever tried to chop up the monster that is butternut squash, you’re familiar with the struggle of its super tough skin, awkward shape, and all around heaviness. Instead, stick it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. It won’t be enough to totally cook it, but it will soften up and become much easier to chop and cube.
Removing Egg Shells
Even if you’re super careful, a tiny piece of shell sometimes finds its way into your eggs. Don’t even try to get it out with your finger, you will end up chasing it around the bowl. Instead, wet your finger before fishing out the shell, and it will stick to your skin and come right out. You can also use another piece of eggshell to scoop it out.
No Mess Squash Seeding
Whether you’re carving a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween, or just chunking up a butternut squash for a stew, you can pretty much predict that getting the slimy seeds out of the middle is going to make a mess. Using your hands to pull the stringed up seeds is both difficult, and not very effective, as a lot of the stringy part gets left on the squash. Next time, just use an ice cream scoop! It will easily remove all the parts you don’t want, leaving your squash and your hands clean.
Keep The Seeds Out Of Your Juice
There’s nothing tastier than a fresh squeezed cup of orange juice in the morning. But with fresh fruit comes many little seeds that sometimes fall into your juice, which you then have to fish out (if you even noticed them fall in, and you haven’t drank them already). To stop the seeds and only get the juice, wrap your fruit in a cheese cloth and squeeze it like that; you’ll get all of the juice out and absolutely no seeds or hard chunks.
We’ve all heard that honey never spoils, so you could keep the same jar in your home for years and it will never go bad. While this is technically true, it doesn’t mean that your honey will keep its lovely smooth texture. Because it is over-saturated with sugar, when honey sits for a while it will start to form sugar crystals. Simply put your crystalized honey jar into a bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes, and it will become smooth again. Store in a cool, dry place (not the fridge) to prevent repeat crystallization.
Froth Milk Without A Frother
We all love our cappuccinos with frothed milk, but buying coffee every day from a coffee shop can get very expensive, quickly. Instead, try making your own frothed milk with this simple trick. Get a small jar that can close tightly enough to avoid leaking. Fill it only halfway with milk, seal tightly, and shake hard for a minute or two. You will see that the milk has almost filled the jar because it is light, frothy, and full of air bubbles. Pour into your coffee and enjoy a homemade cappuccino.
Evenly Reheat Pasta
When reheating a big plate of pasta, you’ll usually get a scalding hot perimeter and a cold mound on the inside. So you’ll have to take it out, mix it, and stick it back in. To avoid this hassle, lay out your pasta on the plate in a donut shape. That’s to say, make a ring with your leftover pasta on the plate, leaving a hole in the middle. This will give you a nice even heating, with nothing frozen in the middle. No mixing required.
Slicing Small Items
If you’ve got a small child in the house, or your recipe calls for a lot of something to be sliced, this trick is for you. In the case of grapes or cherry tomatoes, take two equal sized plastic lids, and sandwich the food in between them. Apply light pressure to the top lid and slice across in between them.