Trying to impress your guests or your family with how mature and grown up you are? Maybe you just want to learn to be more capable in taking care of yourself. The kitchen is a great place to express the independence and capabilities of a person.
Kitchen life hacks are timeless and extremely useful! Having a couple of tricks up your sleeve can save you a lot of time and make you feel like a pro. It takes time to build credibility in the kitchen but with these hacks, you’ll accelerate your learning curve in no time!
1. Use an Ice Tray to Freeze Your Drinks
An ice cube tray is a fun little tool we all love to freeze our water into multi shaped ice. Why not take it a step further? Try freezing your gin or whiskey and pop them into soda as you mix them! You can even pour your leftover wine into the ice tray to freeze and make slushies with them later.
Any caffeine junkie reading this? You can fill your ice tray with your favorite espresso shots. Pop a couple of them into your cold milk the next day for a refreshing cup of iced latte! This saves your time in the morning as you start your day!
2. Prevent Apples From Browning
Don’t you hate it when your apple turns brown? The reason why it turns brown is because it undergoes a process where enzymes within the apple flesh react with oxygen in air around it.
To prevent it from browning, you can try:
- To reassemble it after cutting them into pieces. This reduces the contact between the exposed flesh to air.
- Soak the freshly cut apples in salt water for a little less than 10 minutes. Salt water will significantly prevent the browning effect in apples!
3. Quicken The Ripening Process
If the last bunch of bananas left in the market is a green unripe bunch, you can still buy it and ripen them at home. Waiting for them to ripen naturally may take some time. If you are impatient, place them in a paper bag and seal it up. The gas given out by the banana will help it to ripen faster than usual!
4. Plastic Egg Cartons For Sauces
Instead of chucking your egg cartons out, wash them and use it to serve sauces! Mind you, that you should only use plastic egg cartons for this. After washing you can pour your homemade sauces into them and freeze them to increase their lifetime. Pop as many as you want out of the carton when you’re ready to serve it with the meal you prepared! Cover them with cling wrap or a big zip lock bag as you freeze them to ensure good hygiene.
5. Squeeze More Lemon Juice
Most of us common folk will struggle with squeezing lemon juice. We tend to not maximize the amount of juice lemons have to give. We’ll feel bad for the wastage but if we didn’t have tools there’s nothing more we could do. The great news is, there is a way to get more out of your lemon! This trick works for any citrus fruits.
Put the lemon in a microwave to heat up for around 10 seconds. Before cutting it open, roll the lemon with your palm on a flat surface. As you cut it open to squeeze the lemon, you’ll see more juice gushing out of the lemon!
6. Cool Your Bottled Drink Quicker
Nobody likes lukewarm soda or wine. Take a big container then fill it up with ice and water. The hack is to add a tablespoon of salt to the ice water! Put your bottled drink into the container and you’re ready to party in about 15 minutes!
7. Melt Butter Faster
Most bakers know how frustrating it feels to have everything ready except the butter. Getting butter to melt on a skillet could work but you’ll usually end up with liquid butter. What if you need it at room temperature? To get butter to get to room temperature faster, you could cut them up into smaller pieces. This will help melt the solid butter to the room temperature consistency you need quicker!
8. Easy Butter Cutting Hack
Having trouble cutting solid butter? You can use a torch or lighter to heat up your knife before you cut. Beware of the knife as it may burn you and quickly cut your butter into the pieces you want. Watch how smooth it splits the butter up.
9. Slice Mushrooms With An Egg Slicer
We all know how troublesome it gets to slice tiny, soft and slippery mushrooms. They are relatively difficult to grip and place your knife on. The chances of your knife slipping off is also higher. Fortunately, because of their physical nature, you can try using an egg slicer to slice them into thin pieces. This could reduce your cooking preparation time and prevent injuring yourself!
10. Make Pizza Cutters Multipurpose
Any pizza cutter owner would usually whip it out proudly when they are presented with a pizza. Did you know that you can use it to cut other food too? Pizza cutters are sharp and easy to use. Instead of waiting for the next pizza, you can put it to use when cutting up beans, vegetables and even chicken. Now you only need one cutter for your pizza and salad!
11. Potato Wedges Cutting Hack
Potato wedges are an all time favorite. Now with new recipes coming up for sweet potatoes, you can even mix them up in the same side dish. Cutting them up into each piece will take time but it sure is worth it! To make life easier, you can use an apple slicer to cut them up.This hack can easily reduce your cutting time by half, so why not give it a try the next time you want to prepare some of these yummy wedges!
12. Garlic Peeling Hacks
This one is for all garlic lovers. Preparing garlic can be tedious and time consuming especially when you can’t resist having the whole head of garlic in your dishes for dinner. The two tedious tasks in preparing a garlic would be to peel it then to cut it up.
A hack to peel garlic with less effort is to put them in a glass jar and shake them up. The skin will slip off and you’ll have fresh peeled garlic in no time! If you are going to mince them, you can start off by smashing the garlic with the side of your knife and the skin will come off easily too.
13. Garlic Chopping Hacks
If you are planning to chop up garlic for some stir-fried vegetables or to serve with a meal, you can definitely try this hack. You can purchase a mini food processor to help you with this tedious task.
Or else, you can use a mortar and pestle to split the garlic into tiny pieces just like how you may chop them. Be mindful of the use of a mortar and pestle because too much crushing and you’ll end up with a paste instead!
14. Remove Potato Skin Hack
We all like a good potato dish. Mashed potatoes, French fries and stew are few of many dishes where a potato is served without its skin. A simple hack to remove potato skin is to boil it first. The skin of a potato will soften and get detached from the potato easily. Since you will cook the potato later anyway, this hack will help you save effort and time.
15. Strawberry Stem Removal Hack
When making strawberry shortcake or strawberry pies, you can take a plastic or stainless steel straw, point it on the stem of the strawberry and poke it all the way through. When you pull it out, the stem will come out with the straw!
16. Reuse Pickle Juice
Bummed out because you finished the whole jar of pickles that you love? You can extend the life of your pickle juice by reusing it! Pickling is a great way to add more flavor to your dishes. It can also be environmentally friendly as it helps you preserve the vegetables you pickle to reduce food wastage. Cut up cucumbers or radish and put them into the juice then seal it up! Give it a few days before you open it up to enjoy the pickled vegetables you just made! Don’t reuse the juice too many times as it may contain bacteria that will get you sick.
17. Use Pickle Juice In Your Meals
With that much flavor packed into pickle juice, it would be a waste to throw it out. There are many ways you can use pickle juice in your cooking. Pickle juice tastes salty, sweet and sour. So add it into any dish you want! Be it fish, chicken or even beef, you can use it as marinade or seasoning as you cook to add a tinge of zing to it.
18. Easy Better Butter Hack
Butter tastes great on its own but you know what’s better than butter? Butter with flavor. Flavored butter sounds luxurious but is actually really easy to make. All you’ll need is some store bought ingredients, a room temperature piece of butter and parchment paper! Recipes for flavored butter are all over the internet so you can definitely find one that suits your taste buds.
19. Bulk Toasting Hack
Toasting bread can be therapeutic for some, but if you have 6 mouths to feed, it could get stressful. Instead of getting more toasters, you could try this hack! Layer an aluminum sheet on your oven tray. Drizzle some oil or butter. Slice the loaf of bread and place the slices on the tray. Bake them until they turn golden and voila! It only takes one round of toasting to feed everyone!
20. Eggshell Hack
Nothing is more frustrating than almost cracking an egg perfectly. The tiny eggshell chips floating on the egg you’re frying is a pain to remove with your spatula or finger. A hack to pick it up easily is to use the eggshell on hand to scoop it up! This is borderline sorcery and should be shared with everyone. Check out the video here for full demonstration!
21. Egg Yolk Separating Hack
Another tip for this is to get fresh eggs. Older eggs have watery egg yolk which makes it harder for the yolk to stay intact when you want to separate them.
22. Air Frying Hack
Bless air fryers for being such a lifesaver to anyone who has one in the kitchen. It is easy to clean and also requires little to no oil to fry food. However, the results of frying something in an air fryer doesn’t always turn out ideal. To simulate oil fried food on the stove, you can spray some oil on the surface of your food to make it crispier!
23. Onion Peeling Hack
Tired of crying every time you peel onions? Put on swimming goggles! It will prevent the air near your eyes from getting spicy from the chemicals coming off the onions.
Another hack is to place a fan near the onion you peel and blow the air around the onion away from you.
24. Jar Opening Hack
For my people who have a hard time opening jar lids, you’re not alone. Some lids are secured with superhuman strength so it isn’t uncommon to struggle when you open jar lids. If you have someone to help you with that, lucky you. For the rest of us, this hack will definitely be a lifesaver. Pour hot water in a bowl then place the jar upside down. Make sure the hot water covers the lid fully. Let it stay put for a minute or two then put a towel between your hand and the lid to try opening it again.
25. Microwave Reheating Hack
If you have leftover food like noodles, pizza or rice from the fridge, you’ll want to reheat them before consuming. We’ll put them on a plate and put them in the microwave to reheat but if you notice, it dries up. To prevent that, you can add a cup of water as you reheat the food to maintain its moisture.
26. Cheese Grating Hack
Grating cheese is a fun preparation method and grated cheese is divine in any meal. The only downside to grated cheese is washing the grater. A hack to make the cleaning process easier is to spray some oil on it before you start grating. The thin layer of oil will help the cheese to slide off the grater instead of sticking to it.
27. Cooking Fish Hack
Cooking your fish can get messy and if you steam them, you’ll need to wash your steamer all over. This is the same if you bake them. Instead of having the fish exposed, place them with the ingredients in parchment paper and carefully seal it. Then bake or steam it in the parchment. This will prevent the mess and help the ingredients to fuse into the fish more.
28. Cleaning Wooden Utensils Hack
Wooden chopping boards or spoons are really pretty and long lasting. They are great for any temperature so you can use them for many purposes. The more you use them, the harder it is to clean.
To prevent anything from growing on them, try this! Use lemon and baking soda to scrub and pour hot water on them. Then, dry them under the sun. Do this once every couple of weeks and they’ll last for years!
Thanks to these kitchen life hacks, you can up your kitchen game and surprise everyone especially your hard-to-please in-laws! Serve that glass of wine with frozen wine cubes with flair. No more fuss when it comes to cleaning up after preparing a bowl of grated cheese for your lasagne. Ready to be confident in the kitchen?