Whether you call yourself a chef or a novice in the kitchen, there’s no denying that it’d be nice to have a few tricks up your sleeves to make cooking a little easier. After all, who doesn’t want a little extra time to themselves, whether it be to eat sooner or relax later? With that said, we’ve put a few cooking hacks together that you need to know to make cooking smooth sailing and prove to everyone that you’re a pro in the kitchen, even if you’re not.
Good vs. Bad Eggs
While the egg carton may have an expiration date on it, that doesn’t mean your eggs will go bad right away. Before you toss them in the trash due to their expiration date, you can actually test them out to see if they are still good before they’re thrown in the trash. Simply place the egg in a glass of water and it will either sink or float. Good eggs sink; bad eggs float. It’s as simple as that!
Keeping it Clean
One of the worst parts of cooking is the cleanup. (So many dishes!) If you happen to be cooking something in the oven, like raw meat or veggies with oil, line the pan with tin foil first. When you’re done cooking, simply roll up the foil and toss it in the trash. Your pan remains clean the whole time and you will be avoiding the dreaded dish washing.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are a go-to recipe for people to prepare, but the shells are so hard to peel! Fortunately there’s a hack for that too. Instead of boiling the eggs in water like normal, you can steam the eggs in a basket suspended over boiling water for about 15 minutes. The shells will then peel off with ease.
Cool Things Down
If you are sautéing veggies over the stove and they start to burn, you will instantly turn off the stove or take it off of the fire. But sometimes that won’t do the trick since the pan will still be too hot. To help with this burning problem, toss an ice cube into the pan to cool things down quickly. The ice cube will instantly melt and cool down the pan much faster, thus saving your burning veggies.
Don’t you just hate when your bananas go bad before you even get to think about eating them? Luckily with this little hack you can slow down that process of aging and have your bananas last longer. Now, this wouldn’t be the first time you’ve heard someone say to wrap their banana, but that is the trick. All you have to do is wrap some cling wrap around the stalk of the bananas to keep them from over-ripening.
Getting the Perfect Cut
When it comes to soft food, it can be difficult to cut with a knife. The food can either get stuck to the knife or even become smashed. Fortunately you can avoid that problem with the help of some dental floss. Slice some bread, cheese, or cake, with some unscented and unflavored stringed floss to avoid a mess and to easily get thin slices.
Ice Cream Scooping
There’s nothing worse than cracking open your ice cream container and it being rock solid. When you want ice cream, you want it now! To avoid this detrimental experience of having to wait a half hour for your ice cream to soften, this little hack will save all of your dessert problems. Simply keep your ice cream container in a Ziploc bag in the freezer and it will keep its softness, just like the first time you opened it.
Bring Bread Back to Life
Fresh baked bread is so delicious, especially when paired with butter or oil. It should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. But if you notice that your bread is just too stale to bite into, you can bring it back to life with an easy tip from the pros. Take your loaf of bread or baguette and run some fresh water over it and pop it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Your bread will amazingly feel and taste fresh once again.
Separating Egg Whites
Even if you’re a pro, separating egg whites can still be a hard task and you always chance getting bits of shell in it. This hack calls for the help of an empty plastic water bottle. All you need to do is start out by cracking all of your eggs into one bowl. Then, hold the bottle at a 45 degree angle at one egg yolk and squeeze it to suck the egg into the bottle. Squeeze the egg out of the bottle into another bowl to separate them. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
When it comes to cooking fish on the grill or pan, you’re bound to have it stick to it. To avoid this from happening, add some slices of lemon underneath the fish to avoid it from sticking and to add some fresh flavoring.
Keep Greens Green
Keeping greens fresh in the fridge seems like a lost cause; they tend to wilt and go bad within no time. But, you can actually make them last longer if you store them with folded paper towels underneath and on top of them. The paper towels will absorb the moisture, giving them a longer shelf life.
Peeling potatoes can be a gruesome task, especially if you have to peel a lot of them (like when you’re making Thanksgiving mashed potatoes). One little hack that we love for this task can make your life that much easier. First, score the skin around the center of each potato with a knife. Then, place the potatoes into boiling water, cover the pot, and let them cook (usually about 20 minutes). Once they are cooked, drain the water from the pot and place the potatoes into ice water. The skin will be a cinch to peel away!