While some people see cooking as an art form or self-expression, others see it as a chore or something that they have to do. However you feel about cooking, these hacks will make cooking your next meal way easier. You'll also learn how to create less waste and how to get the most out of your grocery bill.
Keep reading to find out what you can do with leftover coffee, how you can easily peel an egg, and how to be a boss in the kitchen.
How To Chop An Onion Without Crying
Onions are delicious and essential for so many great dishes. The problem is when you chop an onion, the chemicals released from the onion cause your eyes to sting and water.
The next time you're chopping up an onion, try putting a metal spoon in your mouth. It will lift up your soft palate to prevent tears from forming. You can also try chopping the onion in a bowl of water.
How To Stop Avocados From Browning
Avocados are delicious, but if you leave them cut and exposed to the air for too long, all of that delicious green flesh starts to turn brown. To prevent this from happening, spray the cut side of your avocado with cooking oil to create a barrier between the avocado and the air.
You can also use this trick on guacamole. Spray the top of the guac with cooking oil so it doesn't turn brown.
Save Time By Cooking Pasta In A Frying Pan
Save time and water by making pasta in a frying pan, instead of a pot. Place the pasta to the pan first, then add cold water on top of the pasta-- about a quart or so. The cold water will prevent the pasta from sticking to itself.
Turn on the burner and bring the water to boil (and notice how much fast it is than cooking in a pot!) In no time, you'll have perfectly cooked pasta, ready to go, and a pan full of thickened water you can reuse to make a sauce.
How To Make Mess-Free Tacos
We all love tacos, but let's face it, it's impossible to eat a hard taco without making a mess. If you love the crunch of a hard taco shell but you don't like the mess, try putting all of your taco ingredients into a bag of Fritos.
You'll get all of that crunch in a neat, handheld package. These are great snacks to eat on the go or at a sporting event.
How To Put Old Coffee To Good Use
Don't throw away your extra coffee. If you made too much coffee in the morning, just pour the excess into an empty ice cube tray. Pop that tray in the freezer and the next time you want to make ice coffee, you won't have to water down your drink with plain old ice cubes.
You can also blend these coffee ice cubes into a homemade frappuccino. The possibilities are endless.
How To Use Up That Last Bit Of Nutella
Nutella is so good that you want to use up every last drop, but it can be annoying trying to get every last drop out of the jar with a spoon or a fork. Instead of scraping, throw some cake batter into the jar and pop the whole thing in the microwave.
You've just made an instant Nutella cake! If microwave cakes aren't your thing, you can always make a milkshake in your almost-empty Nutella jar.
How To Make Easy Yogurt Pops
It's not always easy to find a healthy snack that your whole family can enjoy, but frozen yogurt strikes the perfect balance between breakfast and dessert. Making these yogurt pops is super easy. Just stick a popsicle stick through the top of a yogurt container, put the whole thing in the freezer, and the next morning, you'll have the perfect summertime treat.
Kids absolutely love these things. If you want to be super fancy, you can pour the yogurt into a popsicle mold and add some fresh fruit.
How To Keep Potatoes From Spoiling
You know how they say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, an apple a day also keeps potatoes from rotting. If you put just one apple in your potato drawer (or wherever you keep your potatoes), your potatoes will last longer.
Then you can use that apple to make apple sauce which goes perfectly with potato latkes (fried potato pancakes or fritters). Trust me on this one. It's an excellent combination.
How To Easily Peel A Hard Boiled Egg
It's hard to perfectly peel a hard-boiled egg without removing bits of egg while you're scraping off the shell. Here's a hack you can use to get a perfectly smooth surface every time.
Place your hard-boiled egg in a glass with a bit of water in it. Put your hand over the top of the glass (or a lid if you have one) and shake it around. The shell will crack and become easy to remove.
Like eggs, many foods are great for your mental health. Learn how Your Diet Can Have A Major Impact On Your Mental Health on Modern Home Life.
How To Stop A Pot From Boiling Over
You know what they say, a watched pot never boils. But if you don't watch your pot, then it's definitely going to boil, and then it's going to boil over because you're not watching it.
How do we solve this paradox? Place a wooden spoon over your pot to prevent overflow. The bubbles will be attracted to the spoon and not the edges of the pot. This is only a temporary solution, though. Eventually, you're going to have to watch the pot.
How To Clean Your Cutting Board
Wood is porous, which means it has a natural ability to soak up liquids and hold onto stains and smells, especially if the wood is untreated. The best way to clean your cutting board is to sprinkle a little bit of salt on it, and the use half a lemon to rub that salt in.
All of the stains on your cutting board will disappear, the wood will smell fresh, and you avoid using a chemical cleaner.
How To Soften Butter Quickly
If you've left a stick of butter in your fridge for a while, but you want to soften it in a pinch, fill a glass with warm water, empty the glass, and then place the hot glass over the stick of butter. You can also try out this technique with a glass butter dish if you have one.
The heat from the glass will soften the butter without causing it to melt completely.
How To Save Fresh Herbs
Herbs are often sold in large bushels, and you can end up throwing a lot of those herbs away if you don't know how to save them properly. Freeze your extra herbs with some olive oil in an ice cube tray.
When you need some fresh herbs for a sauce, or for anything really, just pop out one of the cubes and let it melt in your sautée pan. It infuses your food with tons of flavor.
How To Take Cinnamon Buns To The Next Level
If you didn't think that cinnamon buns were the greatest food on earth already, wait until you try this hack. You can cook cinnamon buns (the Pillsbury variety, or homemade dough) in a waffle iron. Wake up your whole family with the smell of cinnamon bun waffle hybrids.
Drizzle on some of that delicious cinnamon bun glaze and you're good to go. You can even make your own cream cheese glaze if you're feeling fancy.
How To Make Easy Fluffy Pancakes
We've all tried regular flapjacks, but what about fluffy, Japanese style pancakes? These things are all over Instagram. There are a few ways to make fluffy pancakes, one of which involves beating egg whites in an electric mixer.
The other way utilizes a rice cooker for quick, easy results. These rice cooker pancakes come out much fluffier than your regular frying pan pancakes. Give it a try if you have a rice cooker on hand.
How To Cut A Watermelon
There are so many ways to cut a watermelon, but we think this hack is the quickest and the easiest. Cut the watermelon in half along the horizontal axis. Then put the watermelon cut side down on a cutting board.
Create a grid pattern by slicing the watermelon vertically and horizontally. Then you can just pull out the individual sticks of watermelon and enjoy. Cold watermelon is the perfect snack on a hot summer day.
How To Pit Cherries
De-pitting cherries can be difficult, especially if you don't own a specialized cherry pitter like the one in this photo. You can create your own makeshift cherry pitter with a bottle and a long, thin instrument such as a chopstick.
Place a cherry on the opening of the bottle (make sure that the opening isn't too big or else the cherry will fall right through). Then use a chopstick to poke the pit right out.
How To Peel Ginger
Fresh ginger always looks like a really thick branch or root with lots of awkward corners and edges. It can be hard to peel ginger using a potato peeler or a knife.
If you use a spoon, you can easily maneuver it into all the nooks and crannies, plus a spoon won't scrape away any of the actual ginger flesh. This easy hack will save you time and it will allow you to get the most out of this delicious spice.
How To Sanitize A Sponge
Sponges soak up all the nasty food residue that's on your plates and cutlery, so you either need to throw your sponges away pretty frequently, or figure out how to sanitize them. Throwing away sponges all the time is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet.
To sanitize a sponge, just wet it and put it in the microwave for two minutes. That will kill off a whole bunch of harmful germs.
Wash Your Potatoes In The Dishwasher
Most of us who have dishwashers aren't using them to their full potential. We often forget we have a powerful washing tool available to us.
If you want a quick and worry-free way to wash potatoes, simply put them in the dishwasher, sans soap and other dishes of course. If you set it to the rinse cycle which only lasts about 10 minutes, you'll have squeaky clean potatoes in no time.
How To Peel A Kiwi
The kiwi is one of the most delicious fruits you can bite into. It's tangy, sweet, and smooth. Cutting a kiwi can be difficult though. These fruits have really thin skin and it's hard to get that skin off without removing chunks of the actual fruit.
Here are a few kiwi peeling hacks that you can use. Cut the kiwi in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Alternatively, you can use the edge of a glass to remove kiwi skin in a few swoops.
How To Shuck Corn
Shucking corn can take a long time if you don't know how to do it properly. Plus all of those stringy bits can take forever to remove. Here's a quick and easy way to get all of that husk off in one swift motion.
Just chop off the wider end of the corn. Then you can easily slide out the whole cob without dealing with all of that stringy nonsense.
How To Cook Pasta
Cooking pasta is pretty easy, but it's annoying having to wait for a whole pot of water to boil. If you aren't making pasta for a crowd, you can boil water in a frying pan and cook your noodles right in there.
Then you can make your sauce in the same pan, add the noodles back in, and you've reduced the number of dishes you have to wash. That's two hacks for the price of one.
How To Make Cooking Easier
Onions are often the base of so many of our favorite dishes. Whether you're making a pasta sauce, an omelet, a stew, or a soup, you're going to need a few diced onions. Onions can be a pain to chop, and sometimes you're cooking under a time limit.
You can pre-cut onions and keep them in a plastic bag in your freezer. Then you'll be ready to go whenever you want to do some home cooking.
How To Save Scallions
Why not apply this hack to all kinds of veggies and fruit that need chopping? You'll cut your cooking time in half and your fresh produce won't sit around for so long that it goes bad.
You can put any leftover chopped scallions you have into an empty water bottle and store that in the freezer. Stored this way, scallions can last for up to three months. Then you'll always have scallions on hand when you need them.
How To Make Pasta In A Jiffy
If making pasta in a pan is still too much pasta for you, you can always make a single serving of pasta in the microwave. There are specialized containers for making pasta in the microwave, but you can also just do it in a ceramic bowl.
Cover the pasta with water, microwave on high, and stir it every minute until it's cooked. Then you can add whatever sauces and toppings you'd like.
How To Poach An Egg
Poached eggs are absolutely delicious, but they can be deceptively difficult to make. They look simple enough, but if the water isn't at just the right temperature, or if you don't stir the water exactly right, you can end up with bits of egg all over your pot and not much of a poached egg at all.
If you pour a little bit of white vinegar into your poaching water, your poached eggs will be way easier to handle and they should stay together better.
How To Keep Your Cutting Board From Slipping
This is a hack is great for anyone who chops up vegetables on a regular basis. When you do a lot of chopping, your cutting board can slip around on your counter, which can actually be quite dangerous if you're holding a sharp knife.
If you moisten a paper towel and put it under your cutting board, you can stop all of that slipping. Then you can use the paper towel to wipe up your work surface.
How To Store Chicken
If you want a homecooked meal on a busy weekday, all you need to do is a little bit of meal prep. Store pieces of chicken in marinades in plastic bags in your freezer. In the morning, you just need to put a few of those bags in the fridge, and then when you get home, you can throw the chicken into the oven or on the grill.
Check out the photo for a handful of delicious marinade ideas.
How To Microwave
Microwaving leftovers is easy, and it's a great way to reduce waste and reuse what you don't eat, but oftentimes microwave food has a distinctive reheated taste. To make sure that leftovers taste as good as the day you made them, place a moist paper towel over your plate in the microwave.
The steam will go to work to make sure your food is evenly heated and moist all the way through.
How To Measure Sticky Ingredients
When you're measuring out sticky ingredients, it can make a huge mess. Things like honey and molasses cling to your measuring cups and measuring spoons.
Here's a tip to make the cleanup way easier. Give your measuring cups and spoons a little coating of cooking oil before you use them to measure sticky ingredients. Then the sticky stuff will slide right out, and anything that doesn't slide out will come out easily with soap and water.
How To Crack An Egg
It's not that difficult to crack an egg, but some methods work slightly better than others. If you want to avoid getting little bits of eggshell inside your batter (or whatever you're cooking) crack your egg on a flat surface instead of on the edge of a counter or a bowl.
Edges push bits of the shell into the egg, which eventually end up in your frittata. Flat surfaces are definitely your friend.
How To Scoop Out Pieces Of Eggshell
If you accidentally get a little piece of eggshell in your bowl, you can use a larger piece of eggshell to scoop it out. The shells are attracted to each other, so you won't have to spend a long time trying to get it out with a fork.
You could also wet your finger and gently touch the little piece of shell. As you can see in the photo, eggshells are attracted to wet things, like a wet dog's nose.
How To Separate Eggs
In some recipes, you might need to separate your egg yolks from your egg whites. You can do this using the egg shell itself, but that can be kind of messy.
Here's a hack that can help you out. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl. Then use an empty water bottle to suck up the yolk and move it over to another empty dish. Voilla, your egg is now separated.
How To Peel Garlic
Peeling garlic can be a finicky task. The delicate outer skin sticks to everything. If you want to peel a large amount of garlic really quickly, put the garlic cloves into a bowl or container with a tight-fitting lid. Then shake the bowl very quickly and forcefully and the skin should come right off.
You can store your peeled garlic in the freezer for easy access whenever you need it.
How To Mince
If you are chopping up something like garlic into very small pieces, those little pieces can easily stick to your knife. If you wipe the blade of your knife with a little bit of olive oil, whatever you're mincing won't stick to the blade at all.
Just be careful not to get any olive oil on the handle of your knife, because you definitely don't want that to be slippery.
How To Test If Your Pan Is Hot Enough
You want to put meat and other fatty ingredients right into a hot pan so they can get a good sear on them. To test if your pan is hot enough, flick a few drops of water into the bottom of the pan.
If those drops sizzle and evaporate right away, then you know that your pan is hot enough. That's how you know it's time to cook your delicious steaks.