When it comes to the kitchen, we can’t all cook like Wolfgang Puck. Sure, some folks can blanch, sweat, mince, and confit their way to a delicious dish, but what about the rest of us? There have to be some shortcuts that’ll add razzle-dazzle to our kitchen skills with ease, right?
Luckily, people all over the internet love sharing cool ideas and neat tricks to help make life behind the cutting board super simple. Give some, or even all, of these a try and you’ll feel like Julia Child in no time!
1. Cutting an onion: Onions are delicious but they are also a pain in the eye to chop! It’s hard to see what you’re doing through all those tears. Next time you’re working with an onion try putting a metal spoon in your mouth. It lifts the soft palate and prevents tears from forming.
2. Avoid water from boiling over: Have you ever left the kitchen for even just one minute only to come back to the water you left boiling spilling out everywhere? Next time place a wooden spoon over the top to prevent overflow.
3. Peeling a hard-boiled egg: Sometimes it can be tricky to peel off the shell of a newly hard-boiled egg without wrecking it. Instead, after cracking your egg, place it in a glass of water and shake it. The cracked shell should peel away easily afterward.
4. No-mess tacos: It doesn’t matter who you are, no one likes having to clean dishes after a meal. By putting your taco ingredients inside a bag of Fritos, you get the crunch and salt of a taco without any mess. Talk about inspired.
5. Quick and easy Nutella dessert: Most people agree Nutella is quite delicious, so why not savor every last bit in the jar? When you find yourself scraping the plastic bottom with a spoon, throw some cake batter in the container and put it in the microwave for a minute. Boom! Instant Nutella cake!
6. Make yogurt pops: Finding a healthy but enjoyable snack isn’t always easy. That’s why this simple idea is perfect: place Popsicle sticks into yogurt containers and freeze them overnight to make healthy yogurt pops!
7. Keep potatoes from spoiling: If you have some extra potatoes you don’t plan on using for a bit, prevent them from spoiling quickly by placing a fresh apple among the cluster. One bad apple ruins the whole bunch, but one good apple saves the whole bushel.
8. Save old coffee: Sometimes you buy a coffee and don’t finish it, but instead of dumping it out when it gets cold, freeze the rest in ice cube trays. Reach for them instead of plain ice the next time you have a cup of cold brew!
9. Clean cutting boards: Wood has a tendency to trap liquids and hold stains. Instead of letting your cutting board turn into a multi-colored mess, use a lemon and fresh salt to give it a thorough scrub and watch the stains disappear.
10. Soften butter quickly: Trying to spread a cold hard piece of butter onto toast is almost pointless. If you forgot to leave the butter out to soften, fill a glass with hot water, empty it, then hold it over the butter. The heat from the glass will act as a softening agent without melting it completely.
11. Save herbs: Many times herbs are sold in large bushels, and you may not be using the whole thing at one time. Don’t let them go waste; put them in ice cube trays with cooking oil or butter and freeze them for an instant herbal saute.
12. Take cinnamon buns to the next level: Who doesn’t love waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns wafting through the house? If you want to take your buns to the next level, put them in a waffle iron!
13. Up your pancake game: If you want to impress the heck out of people using pancakes, get yourself a rice cooker and make your flapjacks in it. They’ll be so much thicker and fluffier than if you were to use a stovetop skillet.
14. Prevent avocados from browning: As delicious as those green creamy fruits are, they brown really quickly. To prevent this from happening, spray the avocado or guacamole with cooking oil to create a barrier between the fruit and the air.
15. Properly segment a watermelon: Cut the entire watermelon into quarter chunks, then cut into each quarter vertically and horizontally. When you’re finished, run the blade along the rind and viola!
16. De-pit cherries: It’s difficult to remove the pits of cherries without destroying much of the fruit. However, placing a cherry on a bottle top and using a long thin instrument, such as a chopstick, you can push the pit through without a problem.
17. Peeling ginger: It can be nearly impossible to work an actual peeler around a piece of ginger — they’re so awkwardly shaped. But, using the edge of a spoon will help you dig into the deepest crevices without a problem.
18. Sanitize a sponge: After a lot of use, sponges get nasty. They can harbor all sorts of germs and bacteria, but instead of throwing them away, wet them and place them in a microwave for at least two minutes. Nearly all of the harmful germs will die.
19. Peel a kiwi: Cutting off either end of your kiwi, line it up with a glass and simply pull it down to remove the skin in a couple of easy swoops! Beats trying to dig it out with a spoon!
20. Shuck corn quickly: It might seem like there’s really only one way to shuck corn, but if you cut off one end of the cob, you can easily slide the whole thing out without peeling away anything!