For some, this means throwing a TV dinner in the microwave. For others, this means gathering all sorts of special ingredients and chopping, dicing, and filleting until their heart’s content. These ten cooking hacks will save you time so you can get out and do other things on your to-do list—like fix that leaky toilet or mow your lawn, or just spend more time at the dinner table with your family.
10. An Eggstraordinary Tip
Did you ever boil eggs and wonder why some float and some sink to bottom? As it turns out there’s a reason! Give your eggs a dip in a bowl of cool water to determine their freshness before cooking. Eggs that sink to bottom of the bowl are the most fresh, while eggs that float are old and should be thrown away.
9. Grease Monkey
Everyone loves a great soup or stew, but no one likes the greasy scum that floats at the top of the liquid when it cooks. One of the best cooking hacks is to drop an ice cube into the cooking pot and quickly scoop away the clusters of solidified grease that collect around it. Do it a few times and you’ll get rid of that scum for a prettier, better tasting, and healthier soup or stew.
8. An Ice Cube Quandary
Watered down cold drinks can be a thing of the past! Instead of ice that’ll melt and add water to your beverage, try putting a piece of frozen fruit in your drink. When the fruit begins to thaw, nothing but juice and small remnants of fruit will mix in your drink. This will keep you drink cool and add flavor instead of taking it away.
7. Curly Bacon: Solved
Does your bacon curl when you cook it? Try laying your bacon flat on a lined cooking sheet and bake it at 375 degrees until it’s done as well as you like. Your bacon will come out perfectly flat and plenty crisp, and you won’t have to clean up all that stovetop grease. This is one of the best bacon cooking hacks we’ve ever discovered!
Shucking and peeling corn is a real pain. Simplify this tedious task by cutting the corn while it’s still in the husk just below the stem and about an inch above the top. The corn will slide out of the peel and be ready to go—no shucking required! If you’re cutting the kernels from the cob, do it over the center of a tube or bundt pan so the kernels collect neatly below instead of falling all over your cutting surface.
5. Look, Ma! No Tears!
Do you have trouble cutting onions at dinner time without getting burning, watery eyes? Try slicing your onions on a cutting board in the sink under a very gentle stream of running water. The water will keep the offending gases from getting to your eyes, so you won’t get all teary eyed.
4. Man, That’s Ripe!
Disappointed because the grocery store does not have ripe produce? Speed up the ripening of your favorite fruits and veggies by putting them in a brown paper bag for one or two days. Gases produced by the fruit—which cause ripening—will remain concentrated in the bag and will allow for quick ripening.
3. Herbs on Ice
Cooks love fresh herbs, but they don’t last long before they start to go bad. To preserve them and add a touch of convenience, mix chopped fresh herbs into olive oil and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You’ll have handy portions of herbs and olive oil that you can plop right into a skillet or pot—and they’ll last for up to a year in the freezer.
2. Halving Dilemmas
Making fruit or garden salads can be a simple task, but slicing small items such grapes or cherry tomatoes can be tedious. Try placing them between flat, circular lids or paper plates, then run a knife carefully through the middle. You’ll get perfectly halved salad fixings in no time flat.
1. A Dirty Situation
If you’ve ever run out of dishwasher detergent after a great meal, running to the store for more might seem like quite the task. Instead, mix 3 T of baking soda and ½ tsp. of liquid dish soap and scoop into your dishwasher’s powder dispenser. This combination works well to clean greasy dishes effectively and won’t leave behind a spotty residue, so it’s great in a pinch.