The daunting process of making a meal available makes the kitchen experience one to detest, ultimately leading many to patronize more fast food options. Luckily, some cooking hacks can always come in handy to save the day.
Homemade diets are undoubtedly a healthy option. However, mustering the courage to make it into the kitchen to come up with a meal round the clock poses a challenge to culinary enthusiasts.
This invariably prompts a good percentage of people to turn to junks, takeouts, and other fast food options. Sadly, these may deposit a lot of free radicals in the body, and therefore, are considered unhealthy eating habits.
The good news is, there are some cooking hacks compiled through years of research and practice that makes the kitchen experience a lot easier. They also save time, making it possible to work your way around the otherwise daunting process of cooking. Read on to discover some mind-blowing tips no culinary lover should do without.
1. OPT FOR A SPOON WHEN PEELING GINGER
Removing the outer skin from a ginger root is not the most enjoyable task, especially when trying to work a cutting knife through the tricky rounded edges. Rather than spend so much time on the crookedly shaped roots and end up losing half of the fleshy insides as well as the nutrients it contains, to the knives, opt for a spoon instead.
Using a tablespoon, one can easily flake the skin away seamlessly, with minimal loss of nutrients.
2. MAKE ICE CUBES WITH COFFEE MIX
No doubt, ice cubes always come in handy when diluting household beverages or just yearning for a chilled drink. Sadly, they perform their life-saving functions at the expense of the drink’s overall concentration.
Rather than watering down that beverage to achieve the desired chill, it is a creative practice to fill up the ice tray with coffee instead of water. That way, each ice cube would add a rich coffee flavor to the beverage in question. Yummy!
3. SLOW DOWN RIPENING OF BANANAS WITH THIS EASY HACK
There’s no point hitting the grocery stores each time one craves a banana relish. At the same time, stocking the house with bananas is not a great idea either, lest they all ripen at once. Well, unless there was a way of slowing down the ripening process.
Luckily, there is a means of achieving that by pulling the bunch into single pieces and covering each stem in plastic wrap. This slows the process by containing the ethylene gas responsible for ripening, thereby preventing it from spreading to the whole banana.
4. KEEP THE DISHES WARM
Keep the dishes warm for longer by running the plates under hot water or stacking them in a microwave for a few seconds before serving a hot dish. This keeps meals warm for a more extended period.
5. SERVE COLD DRINKS IN FROZEN GLASSES
The alternate process of the above hack applies to cold servings. Freeze cups, plates, ice cream bowls, or saucers before topping up the cold drink, beverage, or other dishes best-served chilled.
6. REMOVE EGGSHELLS WITH EGGSHELLS
What could be more annoying than biting into a piece of eggshell when munching a perfectly baked muffin? Avoid the ordeal by scooping up the rogue eggshells that fall into the bowl after cracking an egg.
Using one half of the cracked shell does the trick. It works like a magnet and ensures the removal of even the tiniest shard. But remember, cracking the egg on a flat surface, to begin with, prevents the rogue shells altogether.
7. DO NOT OVERLOOK THE GARLIC
As much as garlic adds a unique flavor to dishes and offers several health benefits, slicing each glove before cooking can be a pain. Next time the temptation arises to skip the addition of garlic to a meal due to the tasking de-skinning process, grab a mason jar.
To speed up the peeling process, separate the garlic cloves and throw them into a mason jar. Replace the lid of the jar and shake thoroughly until the skin slides off.
8. KNOW WHEN TO TRASH THE EGGS
To avoid breaking a bunch of bad eggs and creating a mess in the kitchen before finding the fresh ones in the crate, water is a go-to. One can separate the spoiled eggs from the good ones by throwing each into a glass of water.
The good eggs would sink to the bottom, while the aged one would float.
9. BREAKFAST ON OVEN TOAST
The idea of toasting a loaf of bread two slices at a time for the whole family sucks, so does standing over the toaster for hours. Save yourself the trouble by stacking the pre-prepared pieces strategically in an oven.
Just set two oven racks adjacent to each other, and line the bottom one with a sheet pan. Afterward, the bread slices can be placed perpendicularly between the rack grates, then watch the entire loaf toast all at once.
10. FREEZE MEAT BEFORE SLICING
Chunks of fresh meat or other animal-based proteins are usually mushy when fresh. As a result, they can prove challenging to sear through. As a precaution, freeze the protein before slicing to achieve a more workable texture.
11. KNOW WHEN THE PANCAKES ARE READY TO FLIP
Achieving the desired golden brown in a pancake is hardly rocket science. The trick is knowing when to flip the savory batter mix.
For a pancake that is neither too brown, too white, nor too dry and crunchy, watching out for bitty bubbles does the trick. Bitty bubbles around the edges of the pancake-filled skillets give a pointer at the appropriate turn time.
12. REPURPOSE THE WOODEN SPOON
Keeping pots from boiling over is a major challenge in the kitchen and discourages many from attempting some savory dishes. Interestingly, the solution is a simple cooking hack involving the good old wooden spoon. Just stick it in the pot when cooking and see the magic play out.
13. SURPRISE EVERYONE WITH A GOLDEN EGG
Repeating certain dishes may become boring over time. However, serving these dishes in a new variant brings about the element of surprise, and voila, it becomes a favorite all over again.
That said, shake an egg vigorously for about two minutes before boiling next time. Peel off the shell and discover a new delicacy of golden egg made with little effort. The kids would love it!
14. HACKS FOR EVEN-COOKING
Freezing white meat like poultry before tossing in the oven helps every part, including the breasts and wings, cook evenly. For added flavor, throw in a potato or two and some lemon slices to infuse the juice.
15. DIY NON-STICK GRILL
This two-way hack cleans the grill and gives it a non-stick surface for the next grilling experience. And it is straightforward to work around. Simply cut a large onion in half and rub-down the grill grates.
16. STORING HERBS AND VEGGIES FOR LATER USE
Hitting the store to restock fresh veggies is inevitable because frozen herbs lose their flavor and texture. But there’s an easier way to work around it. By putting leftover herbs in vials of olive oil before refrigerating, one can ensure it stays fresh until the next use, and better still retains its original flavor.
17. PREVENT POTATOES FROM TURNING BROWN
Another useful hack in the kitchen is rinsing peeled potatoes in ice-cold water before storing it for later use. This helps prevent the tuber from turning brown, gray, or black due to released starch.
18. CARAMELIZE ONIONS USING A SLOW COOKER
Caramelizing onions consumes a lot of time and patience, often leaving burgers and steaks with bland onion slices.
Rather than eating unsatisfactory dishes due to impatience, use a slow cooker to caramelize the veggie. That way, the sugar would infuse adequately without having to lift a finger until the desired color and texture is achieved.
19. TURN A SIMPLE PANCAKE BREAKFAST INTO A TREAT
Tired of having pancakes for breakfast? Bet the kids are too. Sadly, the alternative for the morning meal would most likely be cereals or toast, another over-indulged relish on the kitchen counter.
Save everyone the trouble of reliving the same set of breakfast all over again by deviating from the simple round pancakes. Opt instead for an exciting breakfast of picturesque pancakes by using a turkey blaster. Just fill the blaster with batter and doodle away— the same recipe with a different result.
20. PEEL A POTATO WITHOUT MAKING A MESS
The easiest way to peel a bushel of potatoes is by boiling them beforehand. The process involves using a knife to knick the tubers at the midpoint and tossing them into a pot of boiling water.
After boiling for about 15 minutes, scoop them off with a tong, and throw into a bowl of ice-cold water. At this point, the peels would slide off with little effort.
Try out these cooking hacks and watch the kitchen experience go from being a daunting task to a funfair!