The kitchen is often considered to be the heart of the home. It’s where families gather to recount their days and swap stories, not just a place where bellies are filled.

But when you’re a busy working mom or just your average Joe with a hectic routine, spending too much time in the kitchen can take away all of the fun. What should be relaxing and enjoyable turns into a chore.

Behold these 13 brilliant hacks, which will transform the way you spend time in the kitchen. You’ll be so impressed by these simple hacks, in fact, that you’ll never go back to the “old” way again!

1. Stop cooking your bacon in a frying pan! You can cut back on grease and have evely cooked, crispy, mess-free bacon in a snap if you simply bake it in the oven. Plus, you can whip up a lot more bacon at once that way. That’s a win-win.


2. Buying organic food is a great way to try and live a healthier life, but fruits and vegetables are expensive and can go uneaten despite your best intentions. Instead of springing for all-organic produce, focus on the thin-skinned fruits and veggies that don’t already have a natural protective layer against pesticides, like tomatoes.


3. Olive oil is a cooking staple in most homes. It’s also one of the most notorious food fakes out there! It is amazing just how many brands of oil masquerade as “olive oil” when, in fact, olives never came near the bottle. Read the ingredients carefully.

4. Rice might seem nutritious and pretty easy to make. However, taking shortcuts—like not rinsing it—can result in exposure to pesticides. Using leftover rice is also a gamble. It’s a real breeding ground for bacteria.


5. When you’re trying a new recipe, always follow it to the letter the first time you make it. Once you’ve mastered it, you can go ahead and try some substitutions, but there’s a reason why they say baking is a science! Messing with one ingredient can change the whole recipe for the worse.


6. It’s tempting to overlook the simple step of washing your fruits and vegetables before you eat them, but you really should. E coli and other common bugs that cause tummy trouble could be lurking on your produce. Never assume anything is washed!


7. Don’t throw away your pickle jar just because you’ve eaten all of the pickles! The brine inside the jar itself makes for a great meat marinade. It can also help you polish copper pots and can make for a refreshing drink rich in the salt your body needs after a workout.


8. Stop holding your knives by the handle. Yes, this advice seems silly—they come with handles for a reason, for goodness sake! Still, if you want to use your knife in a safer way while prolonging its life, grip the top side of your knife at its hilt instead.


9. When you clean out your fridge, do you find yourself getting rid of too much spoiled food or uneaten leftovers? If this sounds familiar, you might need to start reorganizing the items in your fridge to prevent spoilage and make things easier to access.

10. Don’t just throw your food on the grill and keep your fingers crossed that it all works out. For delicious barbecued meals, make sure you let your meat marinate overnight—or at least an hour—to enhance its natural flavor.


11. Did you know that you’ve probably been cooking pasta incorrectly your entire life? Before you dump your noodles into the pot, make sure that the water is just as salty as the ocean. Also, make sure to save a cup of that pasta water to add to your sauce for more flavor.


12. Did you know that measuring cups and spoons have a big difference? The cups are actually designed for wet ingredients and the spoons for dry. If you need to measure out a large amount of dry ingredients, you’re actually better off using a scale.


13. If you’re not letting your cooked meat rest for five minutes after taking it out of the oven, you’re missing out on the juices being able to impart their full flavor. Let your meat take a break before slicing it! You won’t be disappointed.


These kitchen hacks are so simple and take such little time, but what a difference they truly make. You’ve definitely got to try at least one of these neat tricks!

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