Do you love cooking as much as we do? We’ve collected some of our favorite kitchen hacks that will make your life easier and your food taste better! With these tricks, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting an ingredient or not being able to find an important tool again. So without further ado, here are 30 kitchen hacks for the home cook in all of us.
- Prevent Potatoes from Turning Grayish/Brown
Place diced potatoes in cold water before cooking them to prevent the oxidation and release of starch that makes them turn that gross grayish-brown color.
- Keep Cookies Soft
To prevent cookies and other baked goods from going stale after baking, place an airtight container in the fridge with a piece of store-bought white bread. Your cakes, cookies, and muffins will stay soft for days.
- For Fresh Tomatoes
This trick will keep tomatoes fresher for longer and prevent them from spoiling as quickly. Store the vegetables stem end down to prevent air from entering and moisture from exiting the scar where the tomato may have once been attached to a vine.
One piece of advice that turns out to be a myth? That storing tomatoes in the fridge will diminish their flavor or make them less juicy. This is false, according to recent research.
- DIY Mason Jar Shakers
Your bulk spices and baking supplies just got a cute makeover. Use the lids from parmesan shakers for fun, saving jars with handles, then sprinkle your contents and measure them out.
- Extend the Life of Bananas
Two simple kitchen hacks can extend the life of a bunch of bananas. Bananas remain fresh when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, which blocks ethylene gas from being released from the stem too quickly. Separating each banana also helps slow down over ripeness because it prevents ethylene gasses from other bananas in close proximity.
- How to Get Dough or Bread to Rise
Sometimes the kitchen is very cold, and that’s not conducive for bread dough to rise. So we’ve found success by placing our proofing bowl in a baking dish of hot water so that it gets enough warmth and humidity needed to rise properly.
- Prevent Cut Fruit from Browning
Have you ever found apple slices begin to darken after they have spent some time in the fruit bowl? A little lemon juice will stop them from turning brown. One part honey and two parts water can be mixed together to keep fruit from browning, just like a mixture of vinegar and water.
Lemon juice and honey work as natural antioxidants to slow down the oxidation process that causes discoloration.
- Soften Butter in a Minute
If you forget to take Butter out of the fridge and it’s too hard, you’ll need to quickly soften it until it’s pliable. One way is by cutting Butter into smaller pieces and letting them sit on the counter for 20 minutes- these pieces will soften faster than a whole stick.
- Prevent Brown Sugar from Getting Hard
Brown sugar tends to harden quickly, especially if it is in a humid environment. Sparing your brown sugar from turning into a sticky or rock-hard mess can be as simple as throwing it in with chopped-up fruits like apples and oranges.
For a quick fix, microwave sugar next to a glass of water. The moisture the water releases into the microwave will help break up the block of sugar.
- How to Chill Wine Quickly
Fact: Warm wine is no one’s favorite. Luckily there are hacks to make it a tasty treat for all. Choose a tall pitcher that is as tall or taller than your wine bottle and fill with ice water. Add in three tablespoons of salt and stir vigorously every few minutes until the desired temperature has been achieved. Afterward, you can serve your chilled
- Avoids Plastic Wrap Dilemmas
When it comes to using plastic wrap, maintain fridge organization by storing the roll in your freezer. With less of a thrill as you slide the wrap off of its spool, finding a place for leftovers will be easy enough.
- Keep Ice Cream from Melting
Are you traveling on a hot day? Keep your ice cream cool by wrapping the pint in bubble wrap or placing it in the fridge.
- Check If Eggs are Still Safe to Eat
You can determine whether or not eggs have gone bad by examining them in a bowl of cold water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is still good. However, if they float at the top of the water, they need to be discarded.
Over time, the liquid inside eggs evaporates through the porous shell. As this happens, a gas bubble forms underneath and causes the egg to rise in water. The more buoyant it is, the older it is.
- Stop Stirring the Jar of Peanut Butter
Tired of mixing the oil back into your natural peanut butter? Store the jar upside-down. You’ll find it easier to stir when you are ready to make one of our favorite desserts!
- Easily Remove Squash Seeds
To remove seeds from vegetables like pumpkin and squash, use an ice cream scoop. The sharp edge of the scoop cuts through the fibrous insides better than your hand or a regular spoon.
- Keep Cheese from Sticking
Grated cheese really makes a difference, but it can be a pain to prep. This quick kitchen hack will make prepping and cleanup easier than ever before!
Spray cooking spray on the surface of your cheese grater and then grate away! You’ll never go back to premade shredded cheese again.
- Separate the egg whites and yolks
Crack a raw egg into a bowl, place the neck of an empty plastic water or soda bottle over the top of it and then release the sides.
A quick shake of the bottle with a yolk inside will suck the yolk back into the bottle, leaving only an empty eggshell.
- Peel Garlic Without a Fuss
If you want to remove the skin of garlic cloves, first chop off the end with the “root” and slice it in half. Then run each clove from end to end along a side of a chef’s blade.
- Use this simple trick to peel citrus fruits without the mess
The worst part of eating an orange is the difficulty in peeling it. To avoid making a mess and getting frustrated, microwave or roll your citrus fruits for an easy-peel.
- Keep Citrus Fruits Juicy
To get the most juice out of a lemon, refrigerate it first for 10 minutes. Microwave it for 15 to 20 seconds after taking it out of the refrigerator.
- Struggling with Opening Jars? You’re Not Alone!
If you’re having trouble opening a stuck jar lid, try wrapping it with a rubber band. This should provide enough grip to get the job done. If that doesn’t work or your hands are too sore, cover the top with a dishtowel and give it another tug.
- How to De-crystallize Honey
If your honey has crystallized, heat the container of honey in a bowl of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Prevent a Pot from Boiling Over
If your pot is boiling over, a simple solution is to place a wooden spoon across the top of it so that hot water stays away from the handle.
- Baking a Whole Bird Evenly
When cooking a whole bird, ice the breasts. Breasts usually have a shorter cook time than thighs, and since they are closer to the heat, chilling them will help ensure an even cook.
- How to Make Coffee without a Coffee Maker
For coffee lovers who have a problem with waiting for the coffee to brew, there is a hack that can dramatically reduce the time: Put your grounds in a pot of boiling water. As they settle to the bottom and then boil some more, pour off the top layers of made coffee into cups or glasses.
- Transform Leftovers into New Dishes
To avoid dining out for dinner, get resourceful about the leftovers in your fridge and pantry rather than throwing them away. From stir-frys to pizza toppings, boomerang cooking is all the rage on social media these days.
- Keep Cake Fresh for Days
If you find a cake is too big to finish and keep it fresh, place the uncovered slice on top of a piece of bread with toothpicks around the edges. This will keep moisture from getting to the cake and decaying it.
- Preserve Your Fresh Herbs
You probably don’t need to buy more basil or mint, but what do you do when you have leftovers? You can use frozen herb ice cubes to add flavor to your meals.
- Get the Crumbs Out of Your Microwave
Soak a wet sponge in water and microwave for 60 seconds. Alternatively, place it on the oven’s rotating tray and leave it to slow-cook for at least an hour.
- Remember to Dry Your Sponges
Save time by drying your kitchen sponge upside down with an upside down binder clip. This eliminates moisture and creates a healthier environment in the sponge making it ready for its next use.
The Bottom Line
Do you feel eager to start cooking? (And baking? And storing too?) Make sure you don’t forget these practical tips and tricks to spare yourself the trouble.