Whether you are a student cooking for the first time, a cooking amateur or an adult who never got the hang of cooking, everyone wants to save time in the kitchen. Especially if you are a working mom or a working dad, every tip and trick you can find to help you prepare dinner faster and have it on the table with less trouble is worth trying. Even if you know your way around the kitchen and enjoy concocting special dishes, weekdays can get hectic and we don’t always have the energy or the time to turn into serious chefs.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the most of how little time you want or can spend cooking up meals for yourself or your family. Reduce your time chopping, peeling, dicing and cooking with these 13 cooking hacks everyone should absolutely know!
1. Remove excess grease
Cooking a burger patty or breaded chicken cutlet but you noticed you added too much butter or oil to your pan and the meat is very greasy? Remove the excess grease by wrapping ice cubes in a paper towel and dabbing the cold paper towel on your food. The grease will cling to the fat so your food is less greasy.
2. Peel an orange
If you’re battling to remove your orange peel, don’t give up! Just microwave your citrus for 15-20 seconds. This will help soften the peel and make it easier to remove. But be careful not to leave it in too long. You want to be able to peel it easily, not to make microwave marmelade!
3. Remove an egg’s shell
If you have trouble removing the shell from your hard boiled eggs, all you have to do is place the eggs in a bowl filled with water and a small amount of baking soda (you can also use vinegar). This will help make it easier to remove the shell. You can then tap it gently on a hard surface and remove the cracked shell.
4. Remove cucumber seeds
Use a melon spoon or even a regular spoon to remove cucumber seeds. In one quick motion, your cucumber will be seed-free. You can then cut it up and put it in salads or full them and serve them as cucumber boats for a fresh appetizer in summer.
5. How to roast a chicken
If you want to make the best roast chicken, make sure you place the chicken on its chest when you put it in the cooking dish. We know that it goes against what we have always heard and seen. But just give it a try and you will not regret it. In fact, your auntie might even come and ask you what’s your secret.
6. How to reheat your pizza in the microwave
We always thought that pizza could not be reheated in the microwave. But you can! Keep your pizza or pasta from getting soggy in the microwave with this simple trick: Add a small container of water next to the food you are reheating. The water will ensure your meal stays crispy and doesn’t go soggy.
7. Cook perfect eggs
Use water instead of oil when you cook your eggs! Crack your eggs in the heated pan and then add the water. Not only will you get perfect eggs, but it will also be a lot healthier for you as it will not be as fatty.
8. Make your own paper moulds for your cupcake
An easy hack to remember if you bake a lot is to use parchment paper if you don’t have any muffin moulds at home. Cut them in squares and stuff them in the moulds. They work just as well and parchment paper is much less expensive than individual paper moulds. Just make sure not to use waxed paper as it will catch on fire.
9. Get more juice from your citrus
If you want to extract the most juice out of your citrus, microwave them for 15-20 seconds before juicing them with a juicer or by hand. This will allow it to get soft and it will be a lot easier to press out all the goodness until there’s no more juice left in your oranges or lemons!
10. How to grate your cheese without making a mess
Soft cheese is very difficult and annoying to grate. If you know you need a lot of cheese for your dinner recipe, place your block of cheese in the freezer a few hours before you grate it. The harder it is, the easier it is to grate and you will be less likely to make an undesired mess.
11. Master how to use plastic wrap
Do you always become frustrated when you use plastic wrap because instead of covering your food it ends up in a ball? Place the roll in the fridge so it stays cold and is easier to manipulate. Even professional cooks do this!
12. Cut onions without shedding a tear
Forget about wearing goggles or oiling your knife. Just like grating cheese, cutting onions is easier to do if you’ve placed them in the freezer 30 minutes before cutting them. You won’t be crying with these cold onions as they will not irritate your eyes.
13. Prevent boiling water from overflowing
It is quite annoying when water boils over all over your stovetop. First, this probably means you put too much water in your pot. But, if you notice the water boils over every single time, place a wooden spoon over the top of the cooking pot to automatically stop the water from bubbling over.