45 Kitchen Hacks To Help Make Even A Novice Chef Feel Like A Total FoodieBy Ragini A
Most people you speak to would confirm what we’re about to say next; nothing can ever beat the taste and comfort of home-cooked food. Sure, PandaExpress and UberEats exist, and they are convenient, but the nutrition, taste, and love with which home-cooked meals are made are unmatched. Cooking can be an incredibly overwhelming task for many beginners, regardless of age. Not knowing how to whip up that dish your parents made when you were younger feels upsetting. But cooking once you’re well-stocked and calm can be a therapeutic exercise! Need some more convincing? Scroll down and read on to know more hacks and tricks that you can use in your kitchen every day to make your cooking time more enjoyable and less of a mess.
Stop your bowl from slipping
Regardless of whether you’re a baker, a cook, or a professional chef, you know the frustration that comes with mixing and whisking anything in a bowl. If the bowl starts to slip around and on the countertop, it can be annoying.
Well, here is a hack for you, and trust us, this one works! Twist a damp towel in place and put it beneath your bowl when you start stirring. This holds the bowl in place, and you can mix as rigorously as you need.
Open a tight jar
If you’ve ever had oily hands while being alone in the kitchen with no one to help, or the lid on the jar you want is just too darn tight, we have something straightforward but really effective in store for you.
Get yourself a thick rubber band that is more than likely lying around your house as you read this. Wrap it around the lid where you would ideally place your hand to twist. This provides a much tougher grip on the lid and will pop open as soon as you twist it.
Freeze meat before slicing
If you and your loved ones are fans of meat and are frequent barbeque eaters, you more than likely have a grill in your backyard. But do you also struggle to have a perfect slice of meat that you have cut without making a mess?
We feel you. Next time, try this: store your meat in your deep freezer for at least 30 minutes before you need to slice it. Once it’s cold, the slices will be neater, cleaner, and firmer. You will more than likely get asked where you buy your perfect slices from!
Did your parents ever let you not order some pizza using the excuse that it will be too stiff and cold to eat the leftovers the next day? If you’re like us, you might suggest that you finish the slices during the one meal, but if you’re sane, you probably disagree.
We’ve got a solution for you, and you might just fall in love with us for it: when you’re heating your slices of pizza in the microwave, place a glass of water right next to the pizza. This helps with the moisture content inside the microwave, and the crust remains crunchy.
Human beings are considered the most intelligent species because of linguistics, technology, and our abilities to express our emotions. While the claim of being the brightest species is debatable, we just might be the only species that cries while peeling onions.
To avoid having your eyes feel like they’re burning enough to make you cry, take some time out to plan your meals. If you place the onion in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting and using, the enzymes freeze, preventing crying.
While most vegetables like carrots and potatoes are easy to peel with a peeler, the curves and intricacies of a ginger root make it ridiculously tough to peel the skin off efficiently and easily. But there is a way, and all you need is a spoon.
Because the skin of the ginger root is very delicate, rubbing the bottom of a spoon and gently scraping it works well to get clean ginger to use in your cooking. This option is easier to use on the hand muscles as well as safer than a sharp knife.
Bananas are considered one of the most convenient fruits to eat, protected by an outer layer that just needs to be peeled. Providing natural sugars to the human body, bananas are an athlete’s staple. But they ripen fast.
A quick little hack you may find yourself using regularly and telling all your friends about uses just a tiny piece of plastic wrap. Take a piece and close it around the stem of the banana. This extends their life and prevents them from going bad.
We get it, kitchen knives are scary looking and every scarier to use. But if you enjoy cooking and want to figure out a safer and cuter way to chop up your small ingredients, you might want to turn to a kitchen favorite.
Yup, we’re talking about the pizza cutter! Cut up your herbs and other small ingredients by slowly rolling the pizza roller back and forth with your fingers at a safe distance from the blade. With a whole lot of beautiful-smelling herbs, you’ll be proud of yourself.
Plating like a Champ
The one thing every foodie can distinguish between a restaurant dish and home-cooked food before even tasting the meal is its presentation and style—top-rated chefs claim to be proud of their ability to serve food as a piece of art.
This includes how you cut and serve cakes and cheesecakes. If your knife gets clouded and smeared with bits of what you’re cutting, your next cut will be untidy. Instead, put the knife in warm water for a few seconds and watch it glide smoothly.
Whether you’re preparing for a tea party or a small dinner get-together, if your lettuce leaves are not crispy and cold and you don’t want your guests to eat damp and soggy leaves instead, we think you need this hack. It is effortless.
Take a ziplock bag or some plastic wrap and fill it with enough crushed ice to fill it. Place your salad leaves and bottles of soda on the bag of ice and watch as not a single guest complains of the salad being soggy.
Americans spend about $1.85 BILLION on different peanut butter varieties, which is not shocking once its impact on every household is taken into account. Peanut butter is full of oil, and if natural peanut butter is untouched, it will separate.
But there is a simple way to tackle this issue and not tire your hand. Instead of manually mixing the jar of butter and oil, flip the jar over and wait for the oil to emerge on top. Once you flip it back, the oil will float through the butter and do all the labor for you.
Long gone are the days where the only things you could freeze in ice cube trays were ice cubes or coffee shots! If you live alone and have a tough time calculating your ingredients to avoid wastage of food, we’ve got a trick for you.
While preparing, place anything from cookie dough to pasta sauces in ice cube trays and store in the freezer. This way, for the next few meals, you won’t have to go out of your way to cook, and the extra won’t go to waste.
If you have regularly boiled milk or water, you know that stove tops can cause excess heat, leading to overflows of bubbles and the liquid falling out. This is painfully annoying and a task to clean up. But there is an easy way to stop this.
Next time you leave a pot of something to boil unattended, place a wooden spoon across the open surface of the pot. This easy trick prevents the contents of the pan from rising above the level it is at and doesn’t cause spills.
There is and always will be a stark difference between the coffee you order at your local coffee shop and the cup you make for yourself every morning. 99% of the time, the differences lie within the frothing of the milk.
All you need is a jar with a lid; pour some milk into said jar and screw on the top tightly. Shake the jar in your hands as a bartender might. This helps mix air into the milk and create froth. Then, heat the jar in a microwave for 30 seconds and add to coffee!
Separate the Yolk
Many recipes require chefs to use only the whites or only the yolks of an egg, and separating the two can feel weird and be difficult if you don’t have experience. There are plenty of devices that can help you with this, but we’ve got something simple.
Do you have a plastic bottle at home with a narrow neck? Perfect! All you need to do is gently place the bottle’s mouth to the yolk and use suction power by squeezing the bottle to separate the two ingredients. Easy!
Honey is loved across the globe and for all the right reasons! It’s beautiful, yummy, and healthy. Unfortunately, using it and pouring heaps of it into a bowl as an ingredient is another headache altogether. But there is a way not to make as big a mess.
Spray a coat of vegetable oil on the spoon or bowl in which you’re pouring your honey. This helps the sweet golden liquid glide right off the spoon without leaving any residue or wasting any. And clean-up is much easier.
Avocados are a healthy fat and are nice to look at, so it is no surprise that guacamole is so delicious! When hosting a party, guac is almost essential. But many people struggle with making it because of the mess it leaves behind.
Using a potato masher instead of a spoon may sound like too easy a solution, and it really is, but it leads to a wildly different experience in making guacamole! Store it away for later use or eat it instantly; you have barely any mess to clean up.
If you have ever spent some time inside a home appliance store or online shopping, you know that most kitchen cutters and gadgets advertise heavily if their appliance is garlic friendly. This is because they know that garlic is the bane of many cooks.
To reduce the amount of precious time you spend on peeling bulbs of garlic, here is a neat hack: using a broader knife, gently, but with pressure, press down on each garlic bulb to squish it. The skin should fall right off the clove and will be ready to use.
Typically, tangerine or orange is stripped of its peel, and we then eat the insides. Still, in a more sophisticated environment and for the sake of decent presentation and plating, you may wish to be cleaner and more hygienic with the peels.
Cut off a thin layer of the top base of the tangerine, remove one slice of the fruit from within the folds of the sphere of deliciousness, and peel the skin gently to make it unravel in one piece. The tangerine should go from a sphere to a rolled-out carpet with slices jutting out, waiting to be eaten!
Waiting for fruits to ripen enough to use is a test of patience only a few cooks pass, and we get it. The drooling starts as soon as the fruit is bought. In a hurry? You might need to buy a paper bag too – this is important!
There is an easy way to quicken the ripening process. Place your avocados or other fruits inside a paper bag and close it well. This forces the ethylene gas of the space to act on the fruit and make it ripen quicker.
Making stock for any meat or vegetable stew is fairly easy once everything is chopped and ready to go. The tough part begins when the beef stock is done. Yup, then it’s time to skim the fat from the surface.
A straightforward yet powerful technique to make skimming this fat very easy for you is to use ice! Placing a few cubes of ice in a breathable cloth and slowly gliding it over the surface freezes the fat, making it easier to pick up.
Whether or not you like Halloween, the youngster in you wants to munch on a sweet Jell-O snake covered in sugar to suck off. If not, at least the children around you do! All you need is to know how the sweet gelatin is made and several plastic straws!
Once you’ve added the food coloring to your jello and followed the instructions, pack the straws into a sturdy jar and pour the Jell-O mixture into the straws to cool. When you peel or squeeze them out, you will have made gummy snakes!
Assumed to be one of the easiest American favorites to whip up, a classic grilled cheese sandwich is harder to perfect than one might think. The cheese has to be perfect, the bread toasted just right, and it all has to come together just right.
Luckily, your grilled cheese game can get better if you listen to one magic word from us: OVEN. Yup! Preheat your oven with greased cooking sheets and place your beautifully plain sandwiches in for a few minutes to golden them perfectly.
Keeping a count of all the numerous ingredients and the stages they need to be thrown into the cooking pot for the perfect recipe can be confusing and overwhelming. Constantly making a note of things is exhausting, but candy might be a solution.
Take a packet of M&Ms and divide them according to the portions you need to put while cooking, and conveniently snack on the treat after each portion has been completed and cooked. If 6 eggs are to be added slowly, eat candy after each egg has been added.
Look, we cannot sit here and pretend that every hack we suggest on this list will be healthy, but for some of you who love mayo, this list just got a whole lot better! Adding a dollop of mayo to your burgers elevates the experience.
When mincing and seasoning the beef for your burger patties, add a little bit of mayo. This prevents the burgers from drying out, keeping them nice and juicy even if you like them well-done. The satisfaction of eating a perfect burger is beyond gratifying.
If you’re below the age of 20, watermelon most likely reminds you of Harry Styles, but if you’re older, you are nostalgic of the gloriously refreshing summer fruit and snack first, and then Harry Styles. Who doesn’t love a bright red, sweet watermelon?
A classic addition to any summer, watermelons can be a little tricky to cut. To make life simpler, cut the fruit into 4 slices before dicing cubes out of each section. Cutting in a diagonal and horizontal pattern would make life very easy.
What is better than any fried egg known to humanity? Yup, it is a simply poached egg. Unfortunately, for beginners trying to master the art and routine of cooking regular breakfast items, a poached egg can seem more intimidating than imaginable.
We’ve got a way to solve your worries if you are someone scared of making a poached egg. Crack your eggs into high-grade and clean plastic bags, ensuring they can stand heat above 250F. Put the bags into boiling water for a few minutes and fish them out. Inside, you’ve got your perfect poached egg.
Recycling and reusing are some of the key ways to contribute to saving our planet, so when it comes to your empty egg cartons, use them. No, you don’t have to be a crafty person to use them. They are a lot more practical than people think.
Most egg cartons are made of some kind of paper maché mixture and can be used to get the fire under the grill going faster, stronger, and hotter in no time. Place a few pieces of wood or charcoal on top of the carton, and light it up!
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “A lemon juicer already exists. We don’t need anything else for squeezing lemons.” That’s where you’re wrong. An ordinary squeezer for lemon juice barely does it any justice. If you want every drop, take a look.
Sick of not getting all the juice out of your lemon and frustrated at all the twists you have to do? Grab your useful pair of tongs and place one-half of the lemon between them. More juice comes out this way because the force is distributed in a better way.
Removing clunky and gooey seeds from melons, papayas, pumpkins, and other fruits can be disgusting for many, but it is painfully annoying for almost all. The process is lengthy and messy, especially if you’re still using a boring old spoon.
Interested in making your life a lot easier? Grab an ice cream scooper from your kitchen and use that to pick up all the seeds and go with them. The sharper edges glide against the flesh of the fruit better and minimize waste.
If you don’t have a cake at a birthday party, we don’t consider it a birthday party. But sometimes, the cake can be too much, and it might need to be stored away for a midnight snack or the next day.
Instead of only using plastic containers to maintain the moisture in the cake and keep it fluffy, try placing two pieces of bread on either side of the cut edge as a covering of sorts. This increases the shelf life of the cake.
Smooth like Butter
Butter is a key ingredient in almost every cooking dish we can think of right now, which tells you what kind of food we have on our minds. Anyway, butter is a fun ingredient to use, but usually only when it’s at room temperature.
Started to cook but forgot to take your butter out? Don’t sweat it. Cover some cubes of butter with a glass while you prepare the rest of your meal. The heat trapped inside the glass instantly softens the butter, not enough to melt, but it will cut smoothly.
If you’re a fitness and health enthusiast, chances are you have at some point considered weekly food preparation to ensure that you stick to a healthy diet and eat enough. This hack will save you time even if you’re not a gym go-er.
Take some time out on the weekend or whenever you get the time, and prepare a meal plan. Set aside ingredients and half-prepared ingredients so that you barely have to do any cooking when you come back after a long day of work.
Most kids — and even some adults — are fussy eaters and need something beautiful-looking or appetizing on their plate to finish the meal. But when you wake up and need to make breakfast, stylistic choices are far from your concern.
Once you get your pancake batter ready, take out your cookie cutters and shapers and place them on your pan. Pour your mixture into them and cook them like normal. You will have something festive on your plate and in your belly!
You probably love a good barbeque but don’t have space or money to have a grill in your backyard. Or maybe you don’t have time for the whole grill situation. Don’t worry; we’ve got a fun, easy way for you to enjoy your own barbeque indoors!
Use the grill setting on your microwave and set up the meat pieces on top of a tiny checkered plate or grill (remember not to use metal unless you have a microwave convection oven!) and in a few minutes of cooking, you can enjoy a lovely piece of grilled meat.
If you’re short on party supplies but are having a bunch of people over at your place later tonight, impress your friends and guests by plating up your snacks and dips uniquely and conveniently. This is a hack we’re annoyed we didn’t know about.
Use a muffin baking tray to serve condiments and chips or other snacks like cheese and olives. This minimizes cleaning up after the party and is a great new way of presentation and avoiding having your guests wait for the ketchup to be passed.
For those who love tacos but don’t like the soft version as much as the crunchy version, this hack might be for you. Get some tortillas in place and put them in the oven hanging over the grill instead of on top.
Once the tortilla is a golden brown, it is ready for filling with your favorite sauces, salsas, veggies, and meat. We recommend spreading some sour cream and fried onion on the sides of the taco to give it that extra punch.
Most hand mixers can whip up a nice serving of perfectly whipped cream in a matter of seconds, but if you don’t own a hand mixer, it doesn’t mean you should have to give up trying to make whipped cream altogether.
Grab a mason jar from your kitchen and place the cream inside. Close it and then shake it like you’re dancing with no one watching for a few minutes, and by the time you stop, the jar will be full of fluffy whipped cream.
Does your fish get stuck to the grill when you want to flip it over? Isn’t that so annoying? Lemons might be the solution to your problem! Placing a few slices of lemon beneath the fish pieces makes it easier to flip them over.
The lemon slices prevent the fish from not just sticking to the grill or pan but also add a hint of a zesty flavor that most fish fans love and adore. This isn’t just a hack; it’s a new recipe. You’re welcome.
If you’re grilling meat, you probably don’t keep ice cubes around or even on the grill, considering they would just melt with ease. You shouldn’t even try keeping them around, right? Wrong! Here is why you should have a few cubes handy.
With the ice cube, you can keep your meat moist. Place the cube on top of the patty while it grills away. This stops it from getting dry to taste. You can use cubes of butter and animal fat, too, but those add extra calories.
If you’re clumsy like most of us or work with eggs just far too often to be considered normal, you’ve most likely experienced the dropping of an eggshell into the white of the egg once you’ve put it in the bowl.
The feeling of putting a finger into the egg white to get the shell out is disgusting and also useless. Run your finger through some cold water before dunking your finger in to ensure that the shells get out in no time.
Have you traveled but forgot to throw out your eggs before leaving, and now you’re worried about returning home to the smell of rotten eggs? We’ve got you covered, regardless of whether you traveled recently or not. This hack is for any time!
Pop the eggs you wish to check into a bowl full of cold water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is edible and safe to consume, but if it floats, throw it without even trying unless you want a stomachache.
Coffee is the start of more than half of America’s entire population’s day and necessary for almost all these people. But if you’re running late for a meeting or work but need that coffee, we have a neat trick for you.
Pour some brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze it for a day when you are either in a major hurry or just want to cool down your scalding coffee without watering it down and losing the precious caffeine.
Apart from butter, and you might be as surprised to hear this as we were. Apple juice is commonly used to take dishes up a level of deliciousness. All you need is a clean and sterile spray bottle and apple juice, obviously.
Spray some apple juice onto your meat while cooking or grilling, and it will maintain and enhance the flavors of the piece while keeping it moist and adding a hint of sweetness. You may also cook your meat with pineapple chunks to add sweetness.
Hotdogs are a staple in American street vendor carts and at baseball games, but if you’re bored of the regular sausage presentation and want to impress either yourself or someone else with a twist on the traditional hotdog, keep reading.
Put a skewer through a sausage and run your knife along the length such that it makes slits along the width, not cutting through entirely. When stretched out, you can see a sausage spiral being formed! Kids will probably love this one.