Do you ever watch other people cook and think, “How are they so good at that?” Unless they’re a professional chef, chances are they have a secret selection of shortcuts up their sleeve (and if they are a professional chef, they definitely have handy shortcuts and workarounds) to make their cooking odysseys easier. If you want to improve your cooking game or you’re just looking for some neat ideas, check out these amazing kitchen life hacks.
Preserve Your Guacamole
Guacamole is great, except when it goes brown. That’s a result of the avocado’s reaction with oxygen, and it’ll quickly cripple your favorite green dip. The next time you go to store your guac, add a thin layer of water before sealing the container; it serves as a protective barrier. Simply dump the water when ready to eat and enjoy!
Soften Your Butter
The next time you need to soften your butter in a hurry, pour hot water into a glass and let it sit for a minute. Then, dump the water and place the now empty cup upside down over your butter. You’ll have easy-to-cut and spread butter in no time!
Coat Measuring Cups with Cooking Oil
Instead of digging messy substances out of measuring cups and spoons, give them a spray of cooking oil before use. Those sticky liquids will slide right out!
Use an Egg Slicer on Veggies & Fruits
These handy devices can pump out evenly sliced chunks of mushrooms, onions, strawberries, and more. Just make sure you wash the egg off first.
Remove Egg Shells from Your Bowl
Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to scoop rogue egg shell bits out of your mixing bowl, try wetting your fingers first. The annoying little flakes should adhere to your finger with ease!
Keep Bananas Fresher Longer
By creating a vacuum seal with plastic wrap and a small twist tie, you’ll save your bananas from an early trip to the compost pile.
Ripen Your Bananas Quicker
On the flip side of banana science, you don’t need to wait for your bananas to go brown if you’re craving banana bread. Ripen several rapidly by throwing them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. You’ll have dark brown skins and soft bananas ready to toss into bread.
Make Coffee Ice Cubes for Easy Iced Coffee
Pour some fresh brew into a standard ice cube tray and freeze overnight. The next morning you’ll have coffee ice cubes to drop in your morning mug for easy iced coffee.
Peel Garlic in Seconds
Break the head of garlic with your palm, then toss the pieces into a bowl. Top it with another bowl of equal size, then shake it vigorously for up to a minute. Open it up and all your cloves should be freed from the shackles of their peels!
Keep Your Brown Sugar Soft
When brown sugar compacts – as it is wont to do – it can be hard as a brick. But if toss a slice of bread in the container with it, the sugar stays smooth and soft.
Get the Most Out of Your Spiralizer
Of course you can make veggie noodles with your spiralizer, but you can do even more cool tricks with it, too. Feed a russet or sweet potato through it, then season up with oil and toss in the oven for crispy curly fries.
Add Frozen Fruit to Your Drinks Instead of Ice
This is a great trick to add flavor to your water! Freeze some strawberries, blueberries, grapes, or whichever fruit you love and add it to your water instead of a regular ice cube. You can experiment with different fruits and even different drinks other than water to create your own delicious refreshment.
Peel Ginger with a Spoon
Ginger’s odd grooves and jutting curves can make peeling it a pain. Rather than use some special tool, a simple metal spoon can easily remove the root’s thin skin. Give it a shot!
Use Dental Floss for Perfect Slices
This one sounds weird, but it works. Dental floss makes clean cuts in cakes, cheese, and more soft foods. Just make sure you use the unscented/unflavored kind.
The Easiest Way to Skin a Potato
Keep your potato peelers in the drawer with this nifty trick. Cut shallow slits at the center of your spuds, then gently drop them in a pot of boiling water. After about 15 minutes, remove the potatoes and drop them in a bowl of ice water. Once they’ve sufficiently cooled, you’ll be able to slide the skin right off!