Whether you are a seasoned cook or a novice, sometimes you need an extra hand in the kitchen. And if not the extra hand, then few cooking tips to speed up your way around the kitchen certainly won’t hurt.

cooking hacks to make your life easy

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To help you improve your learning curve in kitchen, we have consolidated a list of some clever cooking hacks that will reduce wastage in the kitchen, lessen your effort, and speed up your cooking, as well as save you when in a pinch.

Go ahead and check out the cool cooking hacks to make your life and cooking easy breezy.

Contents

STORAGE

Method 1: Keep Vegetables Fresh for Longer

It is a constant struggle to keep leafy vegetables fresh for long. You probably end up throwing away more than you consume. If so, wrap them up in paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. The paper towel will soak up the excess moisture while the container will prevent the delicate herbs from being crushed.

Things you’ll need:

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things you'll need

  • Fresh leafy vegetables
  • Airtight container
  • Paper towel

Step 1. Line the container with a paper towel

line the container with paper towel

  • Place a tissue paper inside the container. If needed, use more paper to line the container from all the sides.

Step 2. Chop off the thicker stems and place the vegetables in the container

chop off thick stems and place greens in container

  • Cut off the long and thick stems to fit the vegetables in the container.
  • Place the leafy vegetables in the container.

Step 3. Cover the vegetables with tissue paper and store

cover with tissue and store

  • Cover the vegetables with another tissue paper and close the container.
  • Pop it into the refrigerator and use as needed. This method will keep your vegetables fresh for up to 10 days.

Method 2: Airtight Seal Using an Old Water Bottle

If you have too many empty plastic bottles lying around, grab one to make an airtight seal to keep your perishable food items from spoiling.

Things you’ll need:

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things you'll need

  • Plastic bottle
  • Marker
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1. Cut out the bottleneck of the plastic bottle

cut off the bottleneck

  • Draw out a circle 1 inch below the rim of the bottle.
  • Using a scissor, cut along the marking to get the bottleneck.

Step 2. Push the opening of the plastic bag through the bottleneck

push top of plastic bag through bottleneck

  • Open the cap and push the open end of the plastic bag with the food through the bottleneck.
  • Fold out the bag over the edges of the bottleneck and screw the cap back on.

final fresh saver

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Method 3: Freeze Fresh Herb in Olive Oil

In order to enjoy your favorite herbs year-round, freeze the herbs in cooking oil. Freezing will preserve the essential oils of the herb, and the oil will protect the delicate herbs from browning and freezer burns. Added benefit—the oil will also get infused with the herb flavor that can be used to add punch to your favorite dishes.

If you love this hack, check out more genius ice tray hacks.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Cooking oil
  • Herbs of your choice (chopped)
  • Ice cube tray

Step 1. Put the chopped herbs and oil into the tray

put chopped herbs and oil in ice tray

  • Put chopped herbs of your choice into the blocks of an ice cube tray. Fill the ice blocks halfway or up to two-thirds with the chopped herbs.
  • Fill up the rest of the space with the cooking oil of your choice. We have used olive oil.

Step 2. Freeze the herbs in oil overnight

freeze herbs in oil

  • Pop the tray into the freezer for 8 to 10 hours or overnight to allow the oil to freeze completely.

Step 3. Use the herb-oil cubes for cooking

use herb oil cubes in cooking

  • Pop out the frozen herb-oil cubes and use them in cooking stews, roasts, soups, or for adding flavor to pesto.

While frozen virgin olive oil has an indefinite shelf life, the herb-oil cubes will keep well for up to 1 year.

Method 4: Store Onions in Mesh bag

It is a common household practice to buy onions in big lots to avoid running to the supermarket every now and then and it also saves on cost. But stocking up onions in the pantry often leads to spoilage. To avoid this, try storing your onions in mesh bags or pantyhose in a dry and dark place. This will ensure enough air circulation and cool temperature to keep the onions fresh for longer.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Onions
  • Mesh bag

Single-Step Method: Push the onions down the mesh bag one by one

place onions in mesh bag, one-by-one, knotting as you go

  • Tighten the closed end of the mesh bag with a twist tie.
  • Push 1 onion inside and seal it again with a twist tie or a knot. Continue adding more onions this way until you use up all the space in the bag.
  • Hang the bag in a cool, dry, and dark place.

final onions in mesh bags

FOOD PREP

Method 1: Coat Cups with Nonstick Spray

Coat your bowls or cups with a nonstick spray before measuring sticky ingredients such as honey or maple syrup. The oil will prevent the viscous liquids from sticking to the surface of the bowl and will pour out easily.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Cooking spray
  • Honey

Single-Step Method: Squirt cooking spray onto the bowl

squirt cooking spray on the bowl

  • Generously squirt cooking spray on the bowl to coat the inside of the bowl with it.
  • Pour the honey into the bowl to measure the quantity.
  • Transfer it to the other container for use.
  • There will be a little or no residue in the measuring bowl.

Method 2: Cauliflower Rice as an Alternative for Grains

If in a pinch, you can replace rice or couscous in a dish with cauliflower rice. It is light and fluffy in texture and takes not more than 5 minutes to cook up.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Head cauliflower – 1
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoon

Step 1. Separate the cauliflower florets

separate the cauliflower florets

  • Cut out the lower thick stem from the cauliflower head.
  • Break apart the cauliflower florets with your hands.

Step 2. Wash the florets well and grate them to finer granules

wash well and grate florets

  • Take a bowl filled with water and dunk in the florets.
  • Rub them gently with your hands to remove any dirt. Once done take them out on the chopping board.
  • Taking one floret at a time, grate it into rice-sized granules using the medium-sized holes of a box grater.

Step 3. Cook the cauliflower granules on medium heat

cook the florets on medium heat

  • Heat a skillet and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in it. You can also use butter instead of olive oil.
  • Transfer the grated cauliflower into the skillet and stir well.
  • Put the lid on the skillet and let it cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Your cauliflower rice is ready to be served. Garnish it with some salt and pepper and herbs of your choice.

final cauliflower rice

Method 3: Make Golden Egg

Bored of eating the same old boiled and scrambled eggs? It’s time to reinvent. Create a fusion of scrambled and boiled egg to get golden eggs. These in-shell scrambled golden eggs will surely be a treat to your eyes as well as your taste buds.

Eager for more egg-citing tips? Check out these amazing egg hacks.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Eggs
  • Stocking

Step 1. Scramble a raw egg in its shell using a stocking

scramble raw egg in its shell using a stocking

  • Slip a raw egg inside a stocking. Take only 1 egg at a time in the stocking.
  • Secure both the ends of the stocking firmly in your hands and give it a good spin.
  • When the stocking is all wound up, pull it tightly from both the ends.
  • The stalking will unwind and scramble the egg in the process. Continue to do so for about 10 minutes.
  • If the egg tends to slip to the sides, secure it in the middle with rubber bands.

Step 2. Check if the egg is scrambled using a flash light

use flashlight check if the egg is scrambled

  • Take the scrambled egg in a dark room and flash a flashlight under it. You can use the flashlight of your cell phone too. Gently set the egg at the top of the phone.
  • The beam of light will pass through the egg, changing its color. If the egg appears red, it is thoroughly scrambled. However, if it appears mostly yellow, it still needs some working.
  • Repeat Step 1 until the egg shows red in the flashlight.

Step 3. Hard-boil the eggs as usual

hard boil the eggs as usual

  • Once you’ve scrambled a batch of eggs, hard-boil them as you normally would.

Step 4. Peel the hard-boiled eggs to get the golden eggs

pell the boiled eggs

  • Peel the hard-boiled eggs to reveal gorgeous golden eggs.
  • Serve them with some garnishing or use them in any recipe of your choice.

final golden eggs

Method 4: DIY Buttermilk Substitute with Two Ingredients

Apart from being a tasty drink, buttermilk also keeps your pancakes and waffles fluffy. However, if in a pinch and your pancake craving cannot wait, you can easily make your own buttermilk substitute using just two common ingredients from your pantry.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Milk – 1 cup
  • White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Bowl

Step 1. Pour milk into a bowl

pour milk into a bowl

  • Pour 1 cup of milk into a bowl. You can also use any non-dairy milk for a vegan buttermilk substitute.

Step 2. Add in white vinegar

add white vinegar

  • Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the milk. Alternatively, you can use fresh lime juice in the same quantity.

Step 3. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes

let the mixture sit for 10 min

  • Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. The acid in the vinegar will curdle the milk and separate the whey.
  • Use this buttermilk substitute as you would regular buttermilk.

BAKING

Method 1: Keep Baked Treats Soft and Moist with Apple Slices

Baked items turn dry and hard pretty fast. To keep them moist and soft for longer, place a few apple slices along with them in a container while refrigerating. This will help retain the moisture in the treats for longer.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Apple slices
  • Container
  • Baked item you wish to store

Single-Step Method: Place apple slices along with the baked food item

place apple slices along with baked goods

  • Take a container and keep the baked item in it.
  • Place 2 to 3 apple slices next to it.
  • Close the container and refrigerate.

Method 2: Potato Peeler to Make Chocolate Peels for Garnish

Running short on sprinkles for your cupcakes? Give them a quick garnish by making chocolate peels with a potato peeler.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Chocolate bar
  • Potato peeler

Single-Step Method: Scrape chocolate peels with potato peeler

scrape chocolate peels with potato peeler

  • Hold the chocolate bar over the cup cake and start scrapping the bar with a potato peeler.
  • Continue scraping until there is enough chocolate for garnish.

Method 3: Homemade Oat Flour with a Blender

Whether suffering from gluten sensitivity or looking for a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour, the answer is oats. Oats are gluten free, rich in vitamins and minerals, and also help in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Get a quick supply of oat flour by grinding them in a blender.

Single-Step Method: Grind the oats in a blender

grind the oats in blender

  • Put 1 cup of oats in the blender and pulse on for 30 seconds or until the oats are reduced to the consistency of flour.
  • Transfer to a bowl and use as you would do with the regular flour.

final oat flour

Method 4: Lace as Stencil for Baking

If you don’t want t the overly sweet frosting and want to enjoy just the decadent cake, decorate it with icing sugar by using lace as a stencil.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Icing sugar
  • Cupcake
  • Square of lace

Single-Step Method: Place the lace over the cupcake and dust the icing sugar

place lace over cupcake and dust icing sugar

  • Place the square of lace over the cupcake.
  • Pour the powdered sugar into the strainer.
  • Now, generously sift the icing sugar over the lace.
  • Once done, carefully remove the lace.

Note: Use a new square for each cupcake to avoid smudging the sugar over it.

Dust the sugar right before serving the cupcakes.

Method 5: Baking Substitutes

If you decided to call it a baking day but ran out of supplies, you can substitute the ingredients and get the same results.

#Honey for Sugar

substitute sugar with honey

  • You can replace the sugar in your baked items with an equal quantity of honey.
  • You can also replace sugar with stevia.

#Oatmeal Flour for Flour

substitute all-purpose flour with oat flour

  • Replace your all-purpose flour with oatmeal flour in bread, cookies, and other treats. To make oatmeal flour, follow Method 3 of the baking section.
  • As oats do not contain gluten, you will have to add more yeast while baking to make your baked item light and fluffy.
  • Also, oats flour is slightly sweeter than all—purpose flour, so adjust the sugar accordingly.

#Coconut Oil for Vegetable Oil

substitute vegetable oil with coconut oil

  • You can substitute the vegetable oil with coconut oil in both baking and cooking.
  • Use virgin coconut oil if you want to give a strong flavor to your dish. For other purposes, use the expeller-pressed coconut oil.

Method 6: Retain Moisture when Re-heating Food

Planning to eat the left-over pizza from last night? Keep a glass filled with water along with the pizza when you microwave it. This trick will prevent the pizza or any other food item from drying out.

Single-Step Method: Keep a glass of water along with the food in the microwave

keep a glass of water along with food in microwave

  • Keep a glass of water along with the pizza slice inside the microwave. The glass of water will help retain the moisture of the pizza slice.

final

CUTTING AND PEELING

Method 1: Soften Butter

It can be really frustrating when you are midway your baking session and you forget to take out the butter from the fridge. Microwaving is your first thought, but it can melt the butter. There is a quick hack to fix this problem.

Step 1. Empty a glass of hot water

empty a glass of hot water

  • Let the hot water sit in the glass for 1 or 2 minutes to heat up the glass.
  • Empty the water in a bowl.

Step 2. Cover the hard butter with the warm glass

cover hard butter with warm glass

  • Cover the butter with the warm glass for 2 minutes. The steam and heat will soften the butter.
  • Remove the glass, and the knife should slide through the butter easily.

final soften butter

Method 2: Cut Softer Foods with a Dental Floss

Use a dental floss to cut softer foods precisely. This trick also comes in handy when you need to cut through a huge cake or a mushy Swizz roll.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Dental floss
  • Cake or any soft food you wish to cut

Step 1. Pull out a long piece of dental floss

take a long piece of dental floss

  • Pull out some dental floss from its bottle.
  • Loop the open end of the floss around your finger.

Step 2. Use the floss to slice through the cake

slice through the cake with floss

  • Hold the floss tightly between two fingers.
  • Press it down on the cake to make clean and precise cuts.
  • Do not pull the floss back upward; rather slide it out from one side to avoid smudging the icing.
  • Repeat the process to cut out even slices of the cake.

final

FREEZING

Method 1: Store Ice Cream in Zip-lock Bags for Easier Scooping

To keep your ice cream from getting rock solid in the freezer, store it in a freezer bag. The freezer bag will keep the air around the ice cream from getting too cold and prevent the ice cream from getting too hard.

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Ice cream brick
  • Zip-lock bag
  • Spoon

Single-Step Method: Store the ice cream in a zip-lock bag

store ice cream in zip lock bag

  • Put the ice-cream brick in the zip-lock bag.
  • Squeeze out all the air and pop it in the freezer.
  • When needed, take it out of the zip-lock bag and it should scoop out easily.

Method 2: Keep Drinks Cold without Watering

The quickest way to chill a drink is to add some ice to it or put it in the chiller. However, ice can turn the drink flat and sometimes you can’t wait for too long. These two hacks will chill your drink faster, keeping the taste intact.

#Using Tissue Paper

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Bottled beverage
  • Paper towel
  • Water in a spray bottle

Step 1. Wrap the bottle in paper towel

wrap the bottle in paper towel

  • Take a paper towel and wrap it around the bottle.

Step 2. Wet the tissue paper with water

wet the tissue with water

  • Spray the paper towel generously with water. The paper should be wet enough to stick to the bottle.
  • Refrigerate the bottle for 15 minutes to turn it ice cold.

#Using Ice Container

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need

  • Pitcher filled with beverage
  • Container with ice

Single-Step Method: Put the ice container in the pitcher

put ice container in the beverage filled pitcher

  • Freeze some ice in a clean container. The container should be small enough to fit in the pitcher. If in a pinch, pop out some ice cubes and put them in a container.
  • Dunk the ice container in the pitcher to keep your drink cool without watering it down.
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