Great Kitchen Hacks
One of the best things about the internet is discovering amazing ideas for your kitchen. From recipes to tips, there a million suggestions you can find at the tip of your fingers. Some of these ideas make cooking and prepping. Do you know that there’s a better way to freeze minced meat? There’s also a surprising way to cook bacon and eggs. Let’s discover these tricks!
MANAGEABLE COLD BUTTER
Although you have to use room-temperature butter for many recipes, some require cold butter like pie crusts. However, it’s so difficult to manage and still keep it cold. That’s why Redditor megmaid posted this hack. You can just use a grater to cut up all the butter without waiting for its temperature to rise. Simple and quick!
THE PERFECT GARLIC PORTION
Some people adore garlic, and it goes great with almost every recipe. However, sometimes, you might go just a bit overboard. It can also take a while to chop, and that’s just annoying to do every time. Therefore you can prep a lot of garlic beforehand and store it in the freeze in a Ziploc bag. Make sure to make these grooves so that you always use the same amount.
NO SIEVE, NO PROBLEM
A lot of people use sieves to wash rice, quinoa, and other grains. However, sometimes, it breaks, or it might be too big for the portion you want. But not to worry! You can just use your milk frother, and it might even be better this way. It’s also very easy to clean, and you will just wet the exact amount you need.
COOKING UNFLAT INGREDIENTS
Redditor PiercedGeek wrote, “When cooking something that doesn't sit flat like Acorn squash, crumple a large square of foil into a loose ball. When you press the item down into the foil ball the foil creates a custom cradle and prevents tipping.” It’s a great idea for other similar foods. This will ensure that your kitchen remains cleaner too.
Redditor stayathmdad wrote, “Have a bunch of breakfast sausage? Put it in a muffin tin and cook at 350° for 25 minutes. Vacuum seal and freeze. Microwave for easy morning breakfast!” It’s perfect for people who are always out-the-door in the mornings. You can also consider making biscuits and storing the same way. Take one of each every morning!
NO MORE BROKEN SHELLS
Making Mexican food at home is so easy because they sell all the ingredients at the market. Additionally, it doesn’t take a lot, and it’s so delicious. However, a big problem is that store-bought shells can break easily. To prevent this from happening again, place them upside down like the image shows, instead of the side.
NO ZESTER, NO PROBLEM
Although many people keep a zester at home, sometimes it disappears in your drawers or you might have lent it at some point. However, there’s no need to spend money on zesters thanks to this hack. You can just use the metallic part of a tin foil box. Yes, that’s the one used for breaking off a piece of the aluminum.
HOMEMADE MICROWAVE POPCORN
Of course, you can buy easy microwave popcorn almost everywhere. However, many people can attest that fresh popcorn is just better. The problem is that it’s a bit hard to make in a pot. Luckily, you can use a brown paper bag, a bit of oil, salt, and the kernels to make it in the microwave too. It’s still better than the store-bought kind.
MAKE MORE PIZZA
Unfortunately, our home ovens are not the best for making pizza. They might be tiny and don’t have the same potency as the one Domino’s has. However, you can use a rack like the image shows. Additionally, you can make more than one pizza in one go by cutting it differently. It helps it cook much faster, and therefore, retain its juiciness.
Every baker knows that it’s better to cool cookies using a rack. However, sometimes, you don’t have one at home. You don’t really have to spend a lot of money on it. Just get some barbecue skewers and place them over a plate. It’s the easy hack in the world, and the cookies will not dirty any of the skewers. Therefore, you can store them back once the cookies are cool!
MAKING CHICKEN WINGS
Everyone loves chicken wings, although people differ in the kind of sauce they like to accompany them. It’s also true that they can be very fattening. You can actually bake them instead of frying them, but it’s better to use a cupcake pan. This way, you prevent them from sticking to a flat pan, and it’s better than the Air-fryer too!
Everyone has bought minced meat at the supermarket, and you probably know that it doesn’t come completely frozen. Therefore, when you get home, it’s better to take some Ziploc bags and place the meat like the image shows. This way, it’ll save you a lot of space in the freezer, and it becomes easier to defrost when you need it.
NO BOILING OVER
You probably know that when cooking pasta, the water makes these bubbles. Sometimes, it even boils over. You might have also seen a hack where they place a wooden spoon on the pot to prevent spillage. However, Redditor curmudge_john swears that placing a grill rack is much better. Try it next time and let us know what you think!
UTILIZING BAKING TRAY SPACE
Feel like baking something, but the tray is too big for it? No need to spend money and space on a smaller tray! If you have some foils around, just fold them and create smaller sections within the tray. It might even be possible to bake two dishes at once if the cooking time is similar.
DIY OIL BOTTLE
While some people spend money on a proper oil bottle to avoid making a mess while pouring oil - there's no need for that! And the trick is simple - with your regular plastic bottled oil, just heat up and nail and punch a hole through the cap. Voila! There you go - a DIY oil bottle.
KEEPING THE RECIPE BOOK OPEN
If you are old fashioned like some of us, you would probably prefer a cooking book over online recipes - after all, the recipes are probably more reliable if they are published as a printed copy. However, it also comes with an issue - they wouldn't stop closing! Therefore, here's a trick to keep the page visible while cooking - just put a lid on it (and make sure it isn't wet).
KEEP FOOD FROM STICKING
Baking food in the oven is fun and all (and simple), but it does come with its nuisance - food sticking to the surface for one. Step one would be using a foil, as they will make cleaning easier as well - but while you are doing that, fold a few ridges in the process, leaving more gaps between the food and the surface, and they are less likely to stick to the surface.
REUSE SOY SAUCE CONTAINER
It's always a good idea to reuse things so that they don't just go to waste in the landfill. As for oil, apart from the trick we mentioned where you can punch a hole in the cap, you can also reuse an old soy sauce container. A lot of them were designed for such purpose to begin with - remember to wash it thoroughly before reusing it though.
Although this was seen as more of a meme - hey, if it works, it works. There are only a handful of things better than a slide of fried bacon...however, frying them can be a messy process with the splashing oil. A small trick? Cut up a large soda bottle, and use it as a splatter guard.
UTILIZING KITCHEN SPACE
This can be useful if you live in a small studio apartment. When you feel like making a decent dish, one of the biggest issues is often the lack of space for the ingredients, especially to cut them. Therefore, the trick here is to use the drawer as the support for the cutting board. Or alternatively, use the sink as the support - either way works.
CHICKEN KYIV HACK
Well, the instructions are clearly written in the picture itself. If you don't know what a Chicken Kiev is - you are missing out. Simply put, it's a fried dish made of chicken with butter rolled inside. High calories, but they are fantastic. And getting that butter goodness on your toast? Even better.
FROZEN PIZZA PREPARATION
We are not sure if preparing a frozen pizza is considered cooking...but it is still something we have for desperate times. And the trick here is simple - in order to have clean slices when you cut it, rearrange the ingredients before heating it, so that you can cut it up easily (and evenly).
SEPARATING EGG YOLKS
Separating the yolk from the egg can be a daunting task - although some people can crack an egg and separate the yolk singlehandedly, it is a trick that takes years to master. If you want to separate the yolk without breaking it, an easy trick would be to use a plastic bottle - squeeze them in, and squeeze them out.
Everybody loves grills. However, it is a seasonal thing, and sometimes the weather just wouldn't allow grilling outdoor. However, an oven works as well as a grill most of the time - and if you find yourself craving for grilled clams, a good alternative would be baking them. And to make things easier, you can even use a cupcake tray like this.
BOIL-IN-BAG RICE HACK
To those who have never heard of it, boil-in-bag rice is, well, rice you boil in bags - it saves you a lot of time and effort. However, as convenient as it might sound, it can still be a tricky task to grab them out from the boiling water. Trick? Put a spoon over the holes on those bags, so you can just fish them out once the time is up. Another small tip - after cutting the bag open, let the steam go off a little so that the rice won't be that humid and sticky.
Need to thaw some frozen meat and don't have enough time to do so? Good news - there are alternatives before resorting to microwaves. One thing you can do is to place them between two metal trays, and then add warm water to the top (remember, not hot, not you will risk cooking it instead). Replacing the water often can also help.
You gotta do what you gotta do - although this doesn't look all that pleasant, it does heat up all of the sausages in the microwave (or possibly other food). If you find yourself in need of cooking multiple sausages at once in the microwave, stack them up by using some toothpicks, and they will heat up evenly.
Pictured here is a green tomato - but it is a tomato, nonetheless. If you need to prepare the tomatoes for either cooking or canning, this will be a neat trick, especially if you are dealing with a large amount of them. Just get a scoop, and scoop out the top - and it is as easy as that.
STACK IT UP
While again, we are not entirely sure if this can be considered "cooking", but if you find yourself in need of heating up multiple things in the microwave, instead of heating them up one after another, you can simply stack the plates up by placing something in the middle as a support for the upper plate - also works if you are thawing frozen meats.
KEEPING FOOD WARM
Making a big meal can be frustrating - and one of the most frustrating parts of it all is to keep something warm while you are cooking other things. While it is possible to place them in the oven or on the stove itself, you might soon run out of space if you are making a lot of dishes. Solution? Place it on a tray with a few candles at the bottom.
Another frozen food on our list - but it is a trick that is useful to have should the time comes. If you are going to heat up frozen fried food such as chicken nuggets, the most efficient (and delicious) way would be to cook them for a bit in the microwave, and then toss them into a toaster (or toaster oven) to finish it off - they will be cooked properly, and still have a good crunchiness to it.
PEELING HARDBOILED EGGS
Peeling a hardboiled egg can be tricky. Though there are dozen other ways to peel one, the one we like the most is to use a spoon instead. The idea is simple - crack it open, and slide a spoon underneath the shell, and the egg will be separated in no time.
If the oven is full and you need to bake something still - you might be able to get by with the stovetop itself. While the texture might not be the same, it is still a good way to cook (with bacon especially). Put a piece of baking sheet underneath and turn on the stove - as easy as that.
Using a sandwich grill is convenient enough - it's the cleaning that's annoying. While some people spray a layer of oil before grilling, there are other ways to prevent a mess. One of them is to use parchment paper whenever you grill something - it still gives you the texture, but the food won't be everywhere.
Not so much as a hack per se, but this is a good way to finish the leftovers you have in the fridge. Some people make soups out of them - but we can all agree that pizzas are better. According to Redditor Scocam78, just get some pizza dough (or premade crust), and put the ingredients on top - and voila! That's it!
Pizza texture is a very personal preference - some people like it crispy, while some people like it soft. If you belong to the former group, this can be a useful trick. After the pizza is ready, take it out of the oven, and place it on a pan/ tray on the stovetop to heat it up a bit - the final touch here will make the crust crispier. Thank us later.
KEEP THE LID ON
One of the most important things while moving a pot around is to keep the lid on - or else you might have a catastrophic outcome that Kevin from The Office had experienced. The trick here is to use a rubber band or a small rope to tie the lid down to the handles. Problem solved.
Steaming food is healthier in general, and you get to keep the essence of the food itself compared to boiling. However, there's no need to buy a dedicated steaming pot - according to the instructions by Redditor paulrulez742, simply place a bowl in the pot, add some water in, and then place a piece of foil with holes in it, put your food on top, and then just cover it up and turn on the stove.
ANOTHER WAY TO STEAM FOOD
Apart from the foil method we mentioned above, there's another way to steam food without getting a steaming pot. As per the instructions from Redditor protopets - fill up the pot with water, place a rack over it, place the food there, get a deep tray to cover it. That's it, simple and straightforward.
THE BEST BREAKFAST
Eggs and bacon have been some of the staples of American breakfast for decades. However, you probably know that while making one, the other tends to go cold. So, Redditor add1_vn posted a hack where you keep your eggs warms in the oven and keep bacon on a rack on top. The fat from the bacon will drip onto the eggs and make them even more delicious.
COOKING SPOON PLACEMENT
This is an old trick, but not a lot of people know. On the pot or panhandle, normally you see a small hole, and it's not just there so that you can it on the wall - when you are cooking, you can leave your cooking spoon there so that you won't dirty the work surfaces. If you are boiling something, you can also just place it on the pot itself.
HARD TACO SHELLS
Here is another trick to heat up hard taco shells without breaking them. Instead of placing them upside down, if you are using a rack, simply hang them over the edges of the rack itself, and then put them into the oven. The shape of the taco shells should fit nicely on the side of the rack.
QUICKLY SOFTEN BUTTER
Real butter must be in the fridge to prevent it from going bad. However, it’s annoying to wait for it to get soft to eat it. You can avoid waiting time by filling a glass with hot water, emptying it, and later place it over the butter just like the image shows. This will soften it without ruining it, and it’s ready for your morning toast.
NO MORE SPOILED POTATOES
Buying potatoes can be tricky because they might spoil quickly. However, you can prevent any problems by storing an apple among them. Of course, it must be a fresh apple, and your potatoes will definitely last much longer this way. Now, you don’t have to worry about buying too many at the supermarket.
BACON FOR SANDWICHES
Bacon in sandwiches is fantastic, but it does come with a small nuisance - with crispy bacon, they do fall apart easily, and sometimes they stick out from the sandwiches. The trick is to weave them into a small square, and then cook it as you normally would. It will now fit nicely between the bread.
While there's an ongoing debate about whether it is a good idea to reuse cooking oil, there's just something different with bacon fat. However, it is a messy affair to get the grease out from the pan to the jar. An easy solution would be to place a funnel on the jar, and then two strainers on top - this will make the whole process much smoother.