Are you an expert in the kitchen? Or do you tend to feel like you don’t even know where to begin? Many people feel that their kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we eat, drink, and entertain guests. But there is so much to know about cooking, most people truly do need the help. These are 40 life hacks to help make using your kitchen so much easier, and more enjoyable.
50. Instant Veggie Choppers
Cooking with fresh vegetables is a lot tastier, and arguably more nutritious than relying on bags of frozen food. However, chopping vegetables is one of the more time-consuming parts of cooking. Not to mention the fact that a lot of people cry when they chop onions. Your life would be a lot easier if you bought an instant veggie chopper. They make a lot of different varieties, to suit the shapes and sizes of various vegetables, so make sure to do a bit of research first to find a product that will suit your needs.
Getting ready to create delicious fears of spaghetti and meatballs? You may have run into the issue of making all of the meatballs uniform. Other times, handmade meatballs may look large when they’re formed in your hands, quickly shrink or crumble once they’re cooked. It’s also pretty gross to get ground meat all over your hands. An easy way to resolve this issue is by using a small ice cream scoop. This helps to keep your hands clean, but it also ensures that every single meatball is the same size.
Opening jars is often the bane of everyone’s existence. There are plenty of hacks out there for opening new jars, but sometimes previously used ones get stuck, too. This happens a lot with products like honey or jam that will harden. An easy way to loosen the metal lid is to run the jar under piping hot water. This will loosen up jam and honey by liquifying it, as well as expanding the metal. If necessary, turn the jar upside down and let it sit in hot water for about a minute before attempting to open.
At the end of a long and stressful day, you might be tempted to reach for a glass of wine. However, when you first buy wine from the grocery store, they are usually kept on shelves where they have warmed up to room temperature. Normally, it takes at least an hour for a bottle of wine to cool in the fridge. A great life hack is too wet a piece of paper towel and wrap it around your bottle of beer or wine. Stick it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Just like magic, it will become ice cold in that very short amount of time. This works for both cans and bottles, so try it out on just about anything. However, don’t forget about it and accidentally keep the drinks in the freezer, because they could completely freeze over, or even burst.
Peeling kiwis is different from pretty many other fruits. It has a hairy skin that is completely inedible, and needs to be peeled off from the edge. This feels weird to say the least, and you want to get it done as quickly as possible. Usually, people cut the fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the inside. However, you might miss a lot of the fruit that was sticking to the sides of the peel. A great hack to utilize your kiwi to the fullest is to use the rim of a glass to separate the peel from the fruit. Now, it should be easy to create healthy smoothies and fruit salads.
Buying a dozen eggs is typically part of almost everyone’s grocery list. However, you might have some leftover eggs from a week or two before. How do you know if they’re still good to eat? Believe it or not, all you need is a cup of water to test the freshness of an egg. As eggs rot, they begin to form pockets of air. So if your egg floats or even slightly tilts upwards, it means the egg has gone bad. Fresh eggs should always sink to the bottom of the glass.
In 2020, more people than ever are watching how much money they spend on a daily basis. Millennials have always been scolded for their indulgence in Starbucks coffee, so there is a resurgence of people making their caffeinated beverages at home. However, it never tastes good to have water down iced coffee. A great life hack for coffee, iced tea, or even wine is to turn your liquid beverage into ice cubes. When the cubes melt, it’s creating more of the ice-cold beverage without watering it down.
This next hack might never actually come to fruition, but it’s still interesting to say the least. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a knife to cut butter or cheese, you could always use a piece of dental floss instead. To be honest, I don’t know who figured out this life hack. Maybe it was someone on vacation who bought wine and cheese for the hotel room, but all they had with them was a cosmetic bag. You never know if you’ll end up in a similar situation someday.
Cherries are delicious, but accidentally biting into a pit could break a tooth. If you want to take the time to pit a bowl of cherries ahead of time, use a paperclip! Bend it in half, and create a little hook. This can pull out the pit without sacrificing too much of the cherry. Other hacks have also suggested using straws and barbecue skewers.
If you’re on a diet, you may be counting calories and tracking your macronutrients. Without a kitchen sale, it’s sometimes difficult to judge how much one serving should be. If you’re making spaghetti, a very easy hack is to use the center hole of a pasta spoon. The USDA recommends that you should only eat 2 ounces of pasta per serving. In the spoons that are shaped like the one in the photo above, that center hole typically fits exactly 2 ounce’s worth of spaghetti.
After a while, your cutting board will get a lot of scratches on it. Since they might be an expensive investment, you want to make sure you take care of it so that it lasts a long time. You can properly clean your cutting board by sprinkling some thick salt on the board, and rubbing a halved lemon over the wood.
Cast Iron pans are usually very expensive, but they are an investment that may last a lifetime. After you have used it for a while, though, it may have lost its non-sticking abilities. You need to periodically “season” your cast iron pans, to make cooking easier. First, wash the pan with soap and water. After it’s dried, rub a layer of vegetable oil over the pan’s surface. Then, bake it in the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit for an hour before letting it cool. Now, you’re ready to cook!
If you are growing fresh herbs in your garden you may not be able to use them quickly enough before they go bad. An amazing life hack is to wash your herbs, and then chop and stuff them into ice cube trays. After they freeze, you will be able to pop them out and use them in a dish the next time you cook something. Voila! Fresh herbs all year round.
Sometimes, a grocery store’s avocados will all be green, and therefore not ripe enough to eat. You can speed up the softening process by putting it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Then, it’s ready to eat.
When you are chopping onions, it’s almost impossible not to cry. But there are a few hacks to making it stop. You can chew a piece of gum, because your sense of smell and taste are closely linked to one another. Or, you can hold a piece of bread in your mouth, which will block your eyes from the smell. Last but not least, you can light a candle.
Eating cherries can get tedious when you have to constantly spit out the pit. A great solution is to use a straw to push through the cherry so that the pit comes out the other end. That way, you can take a bite into the fruit without worrying about breaking a tooth.
If you have ever cleaned out a pumpkin during Halloween, you already know how messy it is to scoop out the pumpkin seeds. Instead of using your hand, use an ice cream scoop, instead. Your hands will be clean, and you can also use the scraping feature to get all of the gook out quickly and easily.
Don’t have powdered sugar on-hand for a recipe? You can actually take normal granulated sugar, and pulverize it in an herb grinder to make powdered sugar. This is also great if you do not want to buy two full bags of sugar. You can make just enough for your recipe whenever you need it.
Everyone knows the frustration of pulling a carton of ice cream out of the freezer, but it has become so frozen solid, your spoons will bend if you try to dip it in. There are two ways to remedy this. The first trick is to place your ice cream scoop in a warm glass of water. The heat will transfer to the metal of the scoop, and you can get the ice cream out right away. The second is to seat the carton, and run it under warm water in the sink. Rotate it so that the entire carton is getting covered in the warm water. This causes a defrosting effect, and your ice cream should be ready to eat in no time.
If you are cooking something, and you see that it is beginning to burn, turning the temperature down or removing the pan from heat might not be enough to stop it from turning black. In a pinch, grab an ice cube, and toss it in the pan. It will cool it down, and evaporate into water. Just keep in mind that if you have oil in the pan, it might snap and crackle, so watch out.
There are special tools that you can buy to divide an egg yolk from an egg white, but not everyone has one at their disposal. There are a few ways you can separate egg white from the yolk. One way is to place a spatula over a glass, and then crack the egg on top. The white will spill through the slots of the spatula, and into the glass, and you can dump the yolk into a bowl. You can also use a slotted spoon, and it works just as well.
Are you always losing things in your fridge? Do you find that items get shoved to the back, and end up getting expired? If you want to save money and keep things easily accessibly, you might want to consider buying fridge organizers. This 9-piece set is $35 on Amazon.com.
Accidentally dropping tiny eggshell pieces into a mixture is very annoying. Instead of trying to get it out with your fingers, use the remaining eggshell to scoop it out, instead. The egg shells will cling to one another, and it will come out straight away.
Sometimes, we can’t find a lid that matches our frying pan or pot perfectly. This is an issue, because if the lid is too big, it will build up condensation, and drip water onto the stove top, causing steam, burning, and major issues. You can remedy this problem by turning another frying pan upside-down on top of the pan you are using, temporarily turning it into a makeshift lid.
One of the reasons why people love going to a coffee shop instead of making their morning brew at home is the fact that they don’t know how to replicate the frothy foam cream that goes on top. You can make it at home by taking milk or coffee creamer, and pumping it through a clean french press. Or, you can whisk it vigorously by hand until it foams up.
Nearly everyone has a pizza cutter in their kitchen, but they can be used for so much more. They are also great for cutting quesadillas, and even lettuce. Next time you don’t feel like using a knife, grab your pizza cutter, instead.
There is nothing more frustrating than turning around for two seconds, only for your water to boil over. This can cause burning stains on your oven, and it will possibly ruin your meal. In order to prevent water from boiling over, place a wooden spoon over the pot. Remember that this shouldn’t replace keeping an eye on your cooking, but it can truly help if you need to run to the bathroom or wash a few dishes.
If you buy a cheap bottle of wine, you can make it taste much better by aerating it. This means adding oxygen to the wine. There are products out there that will help you do that, but in a pinch, you can do it by pouring your wine into a blender or Nutribullet. Blend for a few seconds, and taste. You will see an immediate difference.
21. In a Pinch, Sharpen a Knife With a Ceramic Bowl
If your knife is dull, and you don’t have a proper sharpener around, never fear! You can use the raw ceramic edge on the bottom of a bowl to sharpen your knife, like the image seen above. While this works, you should try not to do this on any bowl that you consider to be very valuable, because it might leave some scratch marks behind.
Anyone who has packed a lunch for work or school knows that after a while, apple slices will begin to turn brown, and they will never be as delicious as when they were freshley cut. There is actually a trick to fixing this. After you peel your apple slices, squirt some lemon juice over them. The acidity will help to prevent them from turning brown, and it will also give them a deliciously tart taste.
Everyone knows the frustration of taking a stick of butter out of the fridge, but it is so solid, you can hardly plunge your butter knife into it, let alone spread it on toast. If you have a cheese grater, you can actually use it to create thin slices of butter. Now, once you place these thin slices on toast, it will melt like a dream.
Sometimes, you might buy a bottle of wine, and there is just a bit left over in the bottle. Instead of drinking too much and waking up with a hangover, consider pouring that excess wine into an ice cube tray. Now, the next time you buy a bottle, you can cool down your glass with frozen wine, instead of watering down your drink.
Peeling potatoes can be very time-consuming. Instead of wasting all of that time, boil the potatoes whole, with the peels still on. Then, prepare a bowl of ice water. Toss the hot potatoes into the ice water after they are done boiling, and the peels will slide right off.
When you are cooking, oil can splatter all over your clothes. If you don’t act quickly, this can permanently stain your shirt, and it’s ruined forever. First, take the clothing off, and tab it with a paper towel. Next, get baking powder, and pour it over the oil spot. The powder will absorb the oil. For step-by-step instructions, check out WikiHow’s tutorial.
It is much more cost-effective to buy tomatoes in bulk, but you may be worried about using them all before the got bad. If you want your tomatoes to last longer, Store them at room temperature, instead of the fridge. Also place them stem-down, because it will stop the moisture from leaving the tomato, and it will also stop air from getting inside.
If you buy your groceries on the day that the produce truck arrives, you may find that your fruit is not ripe yet. You cannot eat a green banana. So, if you want it to ripen faster, toss a banana into a brown paper bag. This will speed up ripening, and make it ready to eat. On the flip side, if your banana is already ripe, but you want it to last an extra day or two, wrap it in plastic wrap, instead.
If you are making homemade broth from leftover pieces of meat, you can remove the fat before consuming it pretty easily. Use an ice cube to skim the top of the liquid. The fat will begin to turn solid, and you can use a spoon to scoop it out and throw it away without sacrificing the flavor. Much better than letting it go in your arteries!
There are some cheeses that are softer than others. With a block of mozzarella, it may begin to melt from the heat of your hands if you attempt to grate it yourself. To remedy this, stick it in the freezer so that it will become more solid.
There are a lot of recipes out there that call for buttermilk. The only problem is that you might forget to buy it at the store, or you might not be able to find it at all. Even if you do find it, the rest of the carton may go to waste. Thankfully, you can make your own buttermilk at home. Pour the desired amount of milk into a measuring cup, and squeeze lemon inside. Mix it together, and the acid from the lemon will help turn it to buttermilk.
Unless you are the strongest person in the world, a stubborn jar lid has probably ruined your day once before. There are two ways to handle this issue- One is to get a rubber band, and wrap it around the edge of the lid. This will create a sort of grip to help you open the jar. You can also grab a spoon, and wedge it underneath the lip of the jar. Push up until you hear a “pop”, which is a release of the air pressure that was making it so difficult to open in the first place.
9. How To Create a Non-Stick Measuring Cups and Spoons
There are some recipes that will call for a cup of honey, molasses, or syrup. But once you pour it into a measuring cup or spoon, it becomes nearly impossible to get it out, and it’s a huge mess. Next time, grease the cups with oil or butter, and the syrup should slide right out.
If you scoop pancake batter with a ladle, it’s all too easy to accidentally spill some, or make a strangely misshapen pancake. If you want to make the perfect pancakes every time, pour the batter into a squeeze bottle. This could be a leftover ketchup bottle that you cleaned out and re-used, or you can order one online. This also comes in handy for making pancake art, or special shapes.
There is nothing more disheartening than having only half of your popcorn kernels pop, and the rest seem to go to waste. This can happen in both the microwave bags, and kernels from scratch. If you plan to cook popcorn kernels from scratch, wash them off with water, first, before you put them in the oil to pop. Not only will this make more of the kernels pop, but it will also make the popcorn light and fluffy.
A lot of people out there enjoy eating hard-boiled eggs, especially around Easter time. But sometimes, the shells are nearly impossible to get off. If you want the perfectly peel-able egg, steam the eggs, instead. You will have to buy a steam basket and place it over top of boiling water, and cover it with a lid. Steam baskets are also amazing for veggies, gyoza, and more.
If you have nowhere to keep the lids to your pots and pans, they can quickly cause a huge mess. Thankfully, there are all kinds of lids organizers you can but on Amazon. Some are stand-up, like the one pictured above. this could be hidden in a cabinet. Or, if you want to save even more room, look for organizers that hang over a cabinet door.
If you make a traditional meatloaf, it can take over an hour to bake in the oven. If you are in a hurry, and you want your meatloaf to get done sooner, try making mini meat loaves in a muffin tin, instead. This also doubles as build-in portion control, too.
If you have no option to sharpen your knives, use a serrated edge to cut your vegetables. These knives are usually reserved for cutting bread and steak, but they will do in a pinch, when you have nothing else to work with.
When you fry fish in a pan, it can sometimes stick to the bottom, get over-greased, or burned. If you want to make perfectly cooked fish every time, line a baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Place the fish in the dish, season it, and then bake it in the oven. This will help the fish maintain its moisture, and it can also help prevent you from using tons of oil or butter. It’s also much easier to clean up!
If you find yourself in a situation where you have a bottle of wine, but no opener, don’t worry. All you need is a lighter! That’s right. Remove the aluminum foil wrapping first, and then hold the flame near the neck of the bottle. This will create pressure that will push the cork out on its own. Just be sure not to aim it in anyone’s direction. You don’t want to put an eye out.