Photo Credit: Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock
No matter how much you love to cook, everyone always appreciates a great cooking hack. It’s the simple little tips and tricks using common kitchen tools that really cut down your prep time and make cooking that much easier.
From slicing, dicing, and saving leftover sauces, here are 10 easy cooking hacks that every home cook should know.
Cut cleaner slices of cheesecake (or flan or even regular cake) by dipping the knife in hot water between slices. Heat your cake-slicing knife by dipping it into a tall container of hot water or holding it under hot running water for a few seconds. Wipe it dry, then cut the cake. Note: The knife will cool quickly and the cake will start sticking, so keep the hot water nearby to repeat as needed.
Use an egg slicer to quickly cut even portions of fruits and veggies. Egg slicers are great for more than hard-boiled eggs. Use this small kitchen gadget to slice a variety of things including mushrooms, strawberries, kiwis and more into even thickness in one quick motion.
Freeze sauces in ice trays for single-serve use. Got leftover sauces, broths, or stocks? Pour them into an ice cube tray and top with plastic wrap to keep ice crystals from forming, and freeze. Now you’ll have perfect one-ounce portions that are ready to use when you need them.
Speed up the banana-browning process if you’re in the rush to bake bread. No need to chase down brown bananas. Ripen a bunch in a flash by baking on a foil-lined baking sheet at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, depending on size, until the skins are dark brown and the fruit is soft.
Coat measuring spoons and cups with cooking spray. Sticky and sweet ingredients always add to a recipe, but things like peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup can be a nightmare to clean from a measuring cup. Grease spoons and cups with cooking spray before use to get them to slip right out of measuring cups.
Make burrito bowls with a muffin tin. Flip your muffin tin upside down and shape fluted cups with corn tortillas between four of the cavities. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until the edges just begin to lightly brown. Then create the taco salad of your dreams.
Use Tupperware lids to slice grapes and small tomatoes. Small round ingredients can be a hassle to slice since they tend to roll away. Instead of cutting each one at a time, stack as many as you can fit on top of a plastic lid. Top with a matching lid and take a sharp knife to slice parallel between the two. Boom, you now have plenty of halved pieces.
Use an apple cutter to easily slice potatoes to make french fries. An apple cutter makes making french fries at home a breeze. Slice the end of the potato to create a flat, stable base. Then set the potato on the cutting board and push the apple slicer down over the potato, cutting it into steak fry-size wedges. Yum.
Use the side of a knife to peel garlic faster. Take your knife and place the broad, flat side of the blade on the clove of garlic. Make sure you're using the part of the knife closest to the handle, since that's where the blade is the strongest. With the heel of your hand, press down until the clove is crushed. Voilà, you now have peeled garlic.
De-kernel corn on the cob in seconds. Use a bundt pan to effortlessly slice corn kernels off the cob. Place the pointy end of the cob on the center hole of the pan (with the open part of the pan facing up) and gently press downward. Watch as the pan magically collects the loose kernels of corn.