18 Incredibly Genius Kitchen Hacks That Will Make Cooking Way Easier
If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you’ve probably developed a few tips and tricks of your own over the years. However, we’re betting you wouldn’t turn down the chance to learn a few more! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just getting started, these kitchen hacks will making cooking, cleaning, and storing food that much easier.
1. Clean A Wooden Cutting Board
Because wooden cutting boards are porous, it’s easy for food bacteria to become trapped in the grain. To ensure that you are properly cleaning your cutting board, pour some rock salt on the board, then scrub at it with a half a lemon. Rinse with hot water and your cutting board will be nice and clean.
2. DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner
If your stainless steel sinks or countertops are looking dull and dirty, spray them with a mixture of distilled vinegar and water before scrubbing. The solution will disinfectant them and make them shine.
3. Conserve Wine
If you have half a bottle of wine that’s about to go bad, just make ice cubes with it instead! Once frozen, you can add the cubes to sauce recipes, sangria, and much more.
4. Save Your Herbs
Speaking of ice cubes, if you have any herbs that are about to go bad, chop them up and add them to an ice cube tray with some olive oil. They’ll be perfect for cooking future dishes!
5. Squash Tip
Raw squash (including spaghetti squash) can be very difficult to cut. To make your job easier, stick it in the microwave for 2-5 minutes and it will soften right up (without cooking it).
6. Light A Candle
To avoid weeping and tears while chopping up an onion, light a vanilla candle! The candle will draw the onion gases from reaching your nose, eyes, and face.
7. Soften Brown Sugar
If you don’t have one of those clay disks used to keep brown sugar from hardening, just plop an apple or orange peel into the bag before sealing it. This will also do the trick!
8. DIY Powdered Sugar
Speaking of sugar, if you only have granulated sugar and a recipe calls for powdered, just transfer the sugar to a spice grinder or small blender and use the “pulverize” or “pulse” setting.
9. Keep Your Saran Wrap In The Fridge
It can get really frustrating when saran wrap insists on sticking to itself. To prevent this from happening, keep your saran wrap in the fridge instead of in a drawer or cupboard.
10. Eliminate Veggie Waste
If you have a veggie tray that’s past its best, don’t throw away the veggies just because they’re a little old (unless they’re rotten, that is). Sprinkle them with some olive oil, then roast them in the oven. You can blend them with milk (or cream, or a milk substitute) and spices to make your own cream of vegetable soup.
11. Parchment Paper
If you don’t have a muffin tin, just use parchment paper to help contain your muffin batter! It honestly works just as well and will help you out in a pinch.
12. Open A Jar
If a jar lid just will not budge, fasten a rubber band around the edge of the lid. The extra grip and friction will allow the lid to pop off more easily.
13. Save A Crumbling Cake
If you’ve baked a cake and it somehow ended up in giant, crumbly pieces, don’t fret! Transfer the pieces of cake to a large bowl, add in some whipped cream, fruit, and voila! You’ve got yourself a trifle.
14. Safely Clean Your Blender
Instead of reaching around your blender’s blades with a sponge, put a few drops of dish soap into the blender, then fill it about a third way full with warm water. Pulse a few times, rinse, and your blender will be sparkling clean.
15. Grate Your Butter
Instead of trying to cream hard butter into flour when baking, use a cheese grater to grate the butter into tiny pieces. Give it a stir, and everything will blend together much more easily.
16. Store Natural Peanut Butter Upside Down
Natural peanut butter develops a thick, oily layer at the top of the jar that you have to thoroughly stir before eating. To avoid this, store your peanut butter upside down in the fridge. There will be no stirring required, and it will taste way creamier.
17. Slice Soft Foods With Floss
Trying to cut soft foods (like soft cheeses, etc.) with a knife can result in a squished mess. Instead of using a knife, use some dental floss to cut it neatly and easily.
18. DIY Dried Herbs
To make your own dried herbs out of fresh ones, put them in the microwave at 15-20 second intervals, flipping them until they are dry on both sides.