Cooking is something that a lot of people enjoy. Also, something that a lot of people do just because they have to eat.
These days, people are too busy to devote a lot of time to cooking during the work week. It seems there are more important things. So, those that enjoy cooking make use of the weekends to cook in advance. But this article will most benefit those who don’t actually enjoy it.
In this article, you will find 50 food hacks that are borderline genius. They will make your cooking so much easier. Just try them and see.
Strawberries are delicious. But hulling them can be a pain. An easy way to do it is with a drinking straw. First, lift the leaves a little. Then, gently but firmly insert a drinking straw into the bottom and push up to remove the hull and leaves.
If you love iced coffee, then this hack is for you. A good way to have iced coffee all year round is to freeze it. First, brew some fresh coffee. Pour it into an ice cube tray. And there you have it!
Don’t you hate it when you squash bread when you are cutting it? Then, here’s the solution. Instead of cutting the crusty top, turn the loaf of bread upside down and cut through its soft underbelly.
Fresh herbs usually dry out quite quickly. But don’t worry! There is a hack to make them last longer. Keep them upright in about five centimeters of water as you would with a bunch of flowers. Also, keep them out of direct sunlight.
Do you like poached eggs but can never get them right? Then follow these steps. Lay a piece of plastic wrap in a bowl, lightly oil the inside and crack in an egg. Gather up the sides of the film and tie tightly on top. Then, boil it.
There is no need to throw away leftover sauce just because you won’t use it anytime soon. You can just freeze it. All you need is an ice cube tray. Just pour the sauce and freeze it.
Are you cooking and need to add some lemon juice? There is a hack you can perform in order to get more juice out of a lemon. Microwaving lemons on high for around 20 seconds can get you up to 20% more juice from each one.
Peeling garlic is boring. But Gordon Ramsay has one of the best ways to do it. Separate the cloves, press each one down with a large knife then place in a bowl with a lip. Place another on top and shake them vigorously for 10 seconds to remove the skin.
Did you go overboard with the salt in a dish? Don’t worry, there is a way to fix it. Just add a raw, peeled potato during cooking. It’s said to absorb excess seasoning.
It is hard to get all the meatballs the same size when doing them by hand. A way to make sure you get identical meatballs is to use an ice cream scoop to portion the mix.
We’ve always learned that sugar is for sweet, and salt for savory. But it’s not always so. You can add sugar to savory dishes. It balances out the sharpness of acidic ingredients such as vinegar or tomatoes.
When cooking with tomatoes, you usually need to peel them. This is an easy way to do it: score an X at the stem of each, drop in boiling water for 15-20 seconds, remove and put into iced water until cool, then pull the skin away in strips.
Smoothies are great drinks, but they require some prep work. So you can make it in advance. Chop and divide fruit and vegetables into individual food bags and store in the freezer or fridge. Take out as and when needed.
Tupperware is a great way to store leftover food. But when storing sauces, the Tupperware will inevitably stain. Just wipe the inside with a smooth water-and-baking soda paste and then allow to sit for a few hours.
Cook with chopsticks. They aren’t just for eating. They are actually great cooking implements. You will surely find them far easier than tongs for turning or moving around stir-fried foods during cooking.
Mangoes are not an easy fruit to cut. Luckily, there is a hack. It’s called the hedgehog mango trick. Cut the mango in half slice grids into each half then invert the fruit. Mango cubes pop up as pictured, which can then be sliced off.
Popcorn can be eaten sweet or salty. If you are part of the salty popcorn bandwagon, then this one is for you. Instead of adding salt, use a blend of soy sauce with melted butter and pour onto plain popcorn.
The Syrup is great. But not so great, the way it sticks to the spoon. The trick? Just coat your spoon in oil and that will mean honey and golden syrup won’t stick. It will just slide off.
What do you do when the meat is round, but the bread is a square? Here is what you do. Take two pieces of meat and cut them in half. Lay the first two halves down on a piece of buttered bread with the curved edges touching.
Ketchup is useful for more than fries. It is often the answer over sugar. You can put it on stir-fries and meat sauces, used as a glaze for vegetables and is an ingredient in both BBQ sauce and Marie Rose sauce.
Invest in glass oven-proof containers. This way you can both cook and store leftovers in the same dish. Then you can reheat it without moving into another dish. Bonus: there is less to wash later.
If you are always running in the morning, but still enjoy a nice breakfast burrito, this hack is for you. During the weekend, make a batch of breakfast burritos, wrap them and pop in the freezer ready for the week.
Getting burned with bacon grease is painful. There is a way to avoid even the possibility of it. Just microwave the bacon! Lay a paper towel on a plate and put strips of bacon. Cover with another paper towel and cook on high for around three minutes.
Herb butter is a great way to add some more flavor to your meals. But no one wants to make it before every meal. It’s OK, you don’t have to. Prepare a batch in advance and freeze in ice cube trays. The cubes will just take about an hour to defrost.
If you want to make a good risotto, you have to take the time to make it right. Don’t add cold water or stock while making soups, stews, risottos and the like. It slows the cooking process and can affect the result. Use warm or hot liquid.
There is no need to throw away used sauce bottles. You can reuse them for pancakes. Use an empty plastic sauce bottle and use it to squeeze out the batter into circular pancakes.
Waffle irons are not just for making waffles. And let’s be honest, you don’t cook waffles all that often. So, just use it to make omelets, quesadillas and hash browns. Just grease the iron first.
Do you like eating omelets, but don’t have the time to make them? Make them in a mug. Whisk an egg, two egg whites, seasoning, and grated cheese or chopped ham, into a greased mug and microwave on high for one minute. Stir. Cook for another minute.
Use a bigger pan than you think you need. Whether you’re cooking meat, fish or vegetables, overcrowding a pan lowers the heat and generates moisture. Browning doesn’t occur and the food cooks unevenly.
This one is an oldie but a goodie. If you want to avoid spills and slips, then use a dishcloth. Place a dishcloth under a chopping board or put one under a mixing bowl to stop slippage.
When you cook, the ingredients usually have to be at a specific temperature. Unless the recipe calls for a cold ingredient, take any ingredients that are being stored in the fridge and let them come up to room temperature before using. This way the food will cook evenly.
Cooked green vegetables wilt easily. However, there is a way to keep then green It’s called blanching. Cook vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes, then plunge them into an ice bath. This stops the vegetables overcooking.
Do you have some leftover orange juice and you don’t want it to go bad? Easy. Just use it as part of a marinade. Chicken and citrus can be a marriage made in heaven, particularly if you add ginger, honey, spring onions and a touch of chili to the marinade.
Never throw out pasta water. Just lift the pasta from the pot and mix it into the sauce on a low heat. While the flavors are mingling, add a ladle or so of the pasta water.
Beetroots are very healthy. But it’s not always the best vegetable to cook with. One way to do it is to sneak them into brownies. They are great in chocolate cakes and brownies because they add flavor and moisture.
Tomatoes go great with sandwiches, but they are also its enemy. But use this hack and you will never again have a soggy sandwich. Put sliced tomato between two pieces of kitchen paper for five minutes to soak up excess moisture before adding to sandwiches.
Do you want to save some time in your cooking? Then, here is an easy answer. Keep a scrap bowl on your work surface. Throw everything in there, then take it to the bin just once at the end.
One of the great things about buying coffee in a coffee shop is the frothed milk. You don’t need to spend money. You can make it yourself. Fill a jar halfway with milk, screw on the lid and shake. Remove the lid and microwave on full power for 30 seconds.
ONIONS AND POTATOES
Yes, onions and potatoes are both tubers. But that doesn’t mean they are the same thing. Separate onions and potatoes. Both potatoes and onions release moisture and gases that will cause the other to spoil faster, so it’s best to keep them apart.
Do you like making egg muffins? All you need is a cupcake tin. Chop up the ingredients, lightly fry then place a spoonful into a greased muffin tin. Mix eggs with a little milk, pour over the mix and bake for around twenty minutes in a hot oven until golden.
Making baked potatoes takes time we don’t usually have. There is, however, a hack to make them quicker: the microwave. Prick the potatoes with a fork and microwave them on high for ten minutes. Then carefully transfer to a preheated hot oven to crisp up the skin for 10-20 minutes
Who hasn’t had a cake gone wrong? Not all is lost. There are ways to fix them. Just turn your failed cake into something else like a trifle or some cake pops.
Did you know that coffee must not be made with boiling water? Boiling water scorches the grounds and will result in a worse cup of coffee. Try it and see.
MAC AND CHEESE
Mac and cheese is a great and simple dish to make. It appeals to both young and old. One way to make it even better is to add mustard to it. It will bring out the flavor of the cheese.
Do you want your meat to be juicier? And for the skin to not shrink? Then score the meat before cooking it. This allows marinades to be better absorbed and speeds up the cooking process.
Everyone knows that storage jars are a must in every kitchen. But there are ways to make them even more functional. Some come with measuring cups on top to make sure that as well as storing food safely, you don’t need to use any extra kitchenware for measuring.
Who doesn’t like to have a yummy piece of cake with a cup of coffee? Yet, most of us don’t have the time to bake a whole cake. The answer: mug cakes. They are individual cakes baked in the microwave.
Did you know you can make French toast on the slow cooker? Sure, it will take longer. But it will taste so good. Cook on high for around two hours or for around four hours on low
Some sauces require a lot of attention and they can still go bad. If you curdle your hollandaise sauce, you can repair it. Whisk a fresh egg yolk in a separate bowl with a knob of butter and a dash of warm water. Gradually whisk it into the split sauce.
There is a hack to know whether that raw egg is good. It’s the float test. In a bowl of cold water place a raw egg. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s good. If it floats, then it’s bad.