Cooking Tricks That Will Make Mealtimes So Much Easier

on In Uncategorized / by TheDelizze

Not everyone is a master chef, but we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you find your way around the kitchen in no time! We’ve got all sorts of fun tips and tricks for all levels, that not only make your life much easier in the kitchen, but also so much better!

From separating egg whites and yolks to making your own whipped cream, these tips will have you running to the kitchen to make them yourself.

Stick it Out for Strawberries

Even though most of us will just chop off the top part of the strawberry to remove the leaves, since they’re so small, throwing away even a little bit of it can seem like such a waste and disappointment.

But there’s actually a secret trick to removing the leaves without losing any delicious bit! If you insert a straw from the bottom tip of the strawberry, and stick it all the way through to the other end, then you’ll pop off the leaves without losing any vital part.

Fake It ‘Til You Bake It

If you want to snack on some potatoes at home, then one of the fastest ways to cook isn’t actually baking it in the oven.

If you heat it up in the microwave, then you’ll “bake” it faster. But for a more even “bake”, suspend the potato on three or four toothpick “legs” – this will allow the heat waves to surround the potato and give it an even cook.

Peeling Garlic Like an Expert Prepper

Not only is peeling every little clove of garlic time-consuming, but it also makes your hands smell like garlic for hours. Right? But what if we told you we’ve got a way to peel off a whole bundle of garlic in just 30 seconds?

Carefully lay a chef’s cutting knife above the bulb of garlic and break up the bulb into pieces.

Place each clove of garlic inside of a mason or glass jar.

Shake the jar up for 30 seconds, and just watch the skin fly off.

Pour the contents of the jar on a plate, and pick out your beautifully peeled pieces of garlic.

Getting That Yolk Like a Pro

Separating egg whites and egg yolks can come up quite frequently in cooking recipes, especially when baking. And we’ve got a super simple trick to help you out with this one.

Crack open the egg into a bowl.

Take an empty water bottle, and gently try to “suction” the yolk of the egg inside.

Once you’ve succeeded, transfer the yolk into a separate bowl.

Repeat as many times as needed.

Slicing Up Homemade French Fries

French fry wedges are such a fun side dish, but they’re not always easy to cook up. Getting your fries sliced up to be the same size and width can be the most difficult part, but not if you have an apple slicer!

All you need to do is chop off one end of the potato, place the flat end on your cutting surface and the apple slicer on the top of the potato, push down on the slicer carefully, and voila! The perfect French fry wedges.

Whippin’ Up Whipped Cream in Minutes

If you want to take your cooking skills up a level by hand-making your whipped cream, you’re in luck! Most recipes call for you to use a mixer to get that perfect texture, but if you don’t have one, try out this trick.

Pour in the desired amount of heavy cream into a mason jar, make sure it’s sealed tight, and then just shake it up like an old-timey, classic bartender. Within minutes you’ll have whipped yourself up some delicious cream!

Using Gravity for the Best Parts of the Peanut Butter

We all know how annoying it is when you open a peanut butter jar, and have to deep dive your spoon through a whole goop of oil. But if you store your PB jar upside down, then gravity actually works to your benefit here!

All of the oil will still be at the “top” of the jar, which is now the bottom of the jar. So, once you flip it around to open it, you can scoop up all of the good stuff without the oily mess and hassle.

Poaching Eggs with Plastic

Poaching an egg is one of the most elegant ways to cook it – and also one of the trickiest. But we’ve got just the hack for that!

Line a small cup or ramekin with some plastic wrap, and coat it with some non-stick cooking spray or oil.

Gently crack and egg into the ramekin.

Tie off the plastic wrap so that egg is sealed inside.

Carefully drop into your pot of boiling water and cook the egg for about 3 minutes.

Gently take your plastic-wrapped egg out of the water, and cut off the wrap to reveal your preciously poached egg.

Keepin’ It Ripe

Ordering fresh produce is great, but what do you do when they’re not fully ripe? One efficient way – especially if you don’t have a ripe fruit – is to throw them into a dark paper bag and fold it over to prevent any air from getting inside.

The fruits will give off a special gas that help speed up the ripened process. Keep in mind that if you leave it in there for too long, your fruit will go from ripe to rotten before you know it.

How to Tell if You’re Good to Avoca-go!

Do you know how to tell if an avocado is truly ready to be eaten or not? For most avocados, it’s all in the stem!

First of all, if you can pull the stem off easily and its brown underneath, it’s mostly likely going to have brown spots on the inside or even be rotten. If you can easily remove the stem, and beneath it is a healthy green color, then you should be good to avoca-go!

Does Preheating Actually Do Anything?

Whether you’re about to bake or cook up some stir-fry, the very first instruction in any recipe is to preheat your oven or stovetop. But is this step actually necessary?

The answer is absolutely yes! Once you put your food in the oven or on the pan before heating it up, it will start cooking. But if you start cooking while your pot/pan/over is simultaneously heating up, it will throw off the food’s cooking temperature and most likely won’t cook properly or evenly.

DIY Pancake Piping Bag

As fun as it is to whip up some pancakes at home, it’s surprisingly a whole lot messier than you would think. Right? Well, not anymore!

After making your batter, pour it all into a plastic Ziploc bag to make a DIY piping bag. Just cut one of the corners to make a hole, and voila! You’ll be making perfectly shaped and clean pancakes in no time.

How to Avoid Grilling a Flaky, Fragile Fish Fillet

If you’ve ever tried making a freshly grilled fish fillet, you know there’s one major problem – it always sticks to the grill and breaks apart.

But apparently, if you brush and glaze the fish with a bit of mayonnaise beforehand, it’ll prevent it from flaking and sticking to the grill. And if you’re nervous about the flavor, don’t worry, a thin coat won’t alter the flavor at all, but it will give it that appetizing smoky grilled browning look.

Peeling Potatoes with Water

Before you spend ages trying to stroke away with your peeler, try this cool trick for peeling potatoes.

Boil a pot filled with water.

While you’re waiting for the water to heat up, wash your batch of spuds, and cut a line around the center of each one.

Carefully place your potatoes in the pot, and make sure the water covers the whole batch.

Cover your pot with a lid, and let them simmer for about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove each potato out of the pot, and transfer them to a container filled with ice water to cool them down.

Once cooled down, the peel should just slide off with ease.

A Little More Juice to Your Squeeze

Trying to soak up every little drop of juice from a lemon or lime can be incredibly frustrating, but we’ve got a quick trick to help you get more juice out of that hand-squeeze technique.

Place a full lemon or lime in the microwave, and heat it up for 7-10 seconds.

Carefully remove from the microwave, and using your palm, roll the lemon back and forth on the kitchen surface, with some pressure.

Cut the fruit in half, and squeeze out the juice.

A Trick to Make Your Stuff Stick

One of the most annoying things is when you’re trying to slice up some veggies or mix a batch of pancake batter for breakfast, but your board and bowl are flailing all around the kitchen surface.

To make sure you’re practicing safe measures, and keeping things simpler, just place a damp dish towel or paper towel below your board or bowl. The friction from the damp towel and the bottom of your board/bowl should keep it all in place, making your prepping easy breezy!

Freezing Leftover Liquids for the Future

Did you know that you can freeze wine into cubes? And let’s be honest, there’s almost always some liquid leftover whether you’ve made some delicious wine-glazed roasted chicken, or some delicious winter-time soup.

So instead of just tossing the delicious broth or sauce down the drain, you can actually pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze for future use!

What Else Can You Chop Up with an Egg Slicer?

Chopping up smaller food items can be tricky—especially if they’re slippery like fruit. But there’s a hack to ease your fears and make things more convenient in the kitchen!

As long as your fruit or veggies you’re chopping up are soft like a hardboiled egg, then you can use an egg slicer to cut other foods up! Some foods that work well are avocados (without the skin), strawberries, mushrooms, or even mozzarella cheese balls. How cool is that?

Diving for Egg Shells

We all hate it when we’re crackin’ an egg and part of the shell falls in while prepping. Instead of struggling to get it out with a fork or spoon, try this little trick next time.

First run your finger under cold water, and before you dry your hands off, try scooping the shell out! The moist makes the dive and grab for the shell a lot easier. Who would’ve thought?

Rollin’ Out That Dough with Some Wine

If your recipe calls for a rolling pin, then we have the perfect DIY hack for that! Because using a wine bottle instead is actually much more efficient.

Unless you use a ton of extra flour to keep your dough from sticking, it’s hard to keep the wooden pin on the surface. But with the glass bottle, the dough should slide with ease! Just keep in mind that using a glass wine bottle probably isn’t the safest choice for kiddos.

The Secret Ingredient for Fluffier Eggs

Some people like to throw in a splash of milk to give their eggs the perfect texture, but did you know that mayonnaise is a great addition to help with the fluffiness?

Adding about a teaspoon to your egg mixture will take your eggs fluffiness to the next level, since the mayo adds just the right amount of fat. And just like with the fish fillet hack from earlier, the flavor shouldn’t be affected either.

Using a Pizza Cutter from Your Herbs

Another big way to become an expert prepper is by cutting up your fresh herbs in an aesthetic manner, and doing it fast. And there’s a secret kitchen tool that’s actually perfect for this prep work. Using a pizza cutter to “slice up” and cut your herbs is fast, smooth, and simple!

If it can cut through hot melted, sticky cheese and crispy bread crust, then you can imagine just how smooth it will slice through some basil or parsley.

Mincing Garlic without Making Your Hands Smell

Since it’s such a small vegetable, it’s a bit tricky to chop up and mince garlic – even though almost every recipe that calls for garlic prefers it to be minced.

Well luckily, because it’s so small, you can treat it as an herb when you need to mince it. Just chop the cloves into smaller pieces, and use a mortar and pestle to grind it up. This will also keep your hands from smelling too garlicy.

Using Ice to Keep Your Patties Juicy

We’ve got another fun grillin’ tip that could kick your BBQ skills up a notch, and might even have you be the best on the block!

While you’re making your burger patties, place an ice cube in the center and form the patty around it. Then, with the ice is up on the topside, slap your meat on the grill and just let it cook normally. The ice will quickly melt, and add some extra moisture to your meat, keeping it nice and juicy come serving time!

Keeping Your Herbs Fresh & Clean

Did you know that there are a few ways you can store fresh herbs? One of the best ways is to wrap your herbs in a damp paper towel and keep them enclosed in a sealed container.

A much more atheistically pleasing way, is to actually keep them in a glass of water. You can also cover the top with a Ziploc bag or plastic, and store them either outside or inside your fridge. Just remember to replace the water every couple of days.

Adding Flavored Cubes to Your Beverage

We all know how problematic it can be to add too much ice or cold water to cool your coffee down, right? While your first few sips might be perfect, once your ice melts away, it takes all of the delicious tasty of your caffeinated beverage with it.

But instead of adding regular ice to your drink, you can follow this trick that’s trending on Instagram, and just freeze coffee into ice cubes in advance, and add that to your drink!

Shredding Up Chicken Sans Forks

We’ve got a nifty trick for shredding up your chicken that’s much easier, fast, and takes way less energy than the regular way.

If you break apart your cooked chicken into pieces and toss them into a stand-mixer on low, all you need to do is wait a few minutes for it to shred up your chicken to perfect and even bits. Using a hand-mixer works, as well!

A Method to Make Your Hash Browns Look and Taste Better

While hash browns are meant to look a little bit like a fried hot mess, we’ve got a cool hack to help you make them look better and taste better.

The secret is to cook your hash brown mix in your waffle maker! The shape will come out looking incredibly appetizing, and it will also give it a little extra crunchy crisp.

Scooping Sundaes as Easily as Sunday Morning

Part of the cooking process is the prepping process. And when trying to whip up some delicious ice cream sundaes, every second counts. But sometimes, worrying about the ice cream melting or not isn’t necessarily the problem – in fact it can be the opposite!

A little trick to help you with scooping out your ice cream if it’s a little “too cold”, is by storing the whole carton or pint inside a tightly-sealed Ziploc bag. This should keep your ice cream at perfect scooping temp.

What if Your Egg Floats in Water?

Eggs can have a fridge life of up to 5 weeks sometimes. But in order to make sure that you’re crackin’ open a good one, you can always try out this “safety-check” egg test.

All you need is a glass or bowl of cold water and your eggs. Carefully drop your eggs into the water-filled container, and wait to see if it sinks or floats. If it sinks, then you’re in the clear, but if it floats, then you know it’s rotten.

Clever Cheese Shredding Secret

The cheese grater is definitely one of the riskier utensils out there for clumsy people – especially when it comes to trying to scrape away the cheese once you’re done grating.

But not to worry! We’ve got a savvy secret to help prevent any mishaps. Just spray a little bit of cooking spray on the grater beforehand, to make sure that your cheese slides off the grater with ease, instead of sticking to it. How clever!

Crazy, Cool Pancake Shapes

You know what’s more fun than pancakes? Crazy-shaped pancakes! Even with our DIY pancake piping bag trick, in general, it can be hard to get that perfect round pancake shape. But the best way to beat the game is to use both the DIY pancake piping bag trick and cookie cutters!

The piping bag will ensure that you’re pouring the proper amount of batter, and the cookie cutter will ensure that it comes out looking super cool and fun.

Softening Up Butter with Water

Many baking recipes out there call for you to add softened butter – not to be confused with melted butter. And we’ve got a really cool hack for that!

Place a cup of water in the microwave (using a microwave safe cup), and heat it up for two minutes.

While the water is heating up, place your stick of butter on a plate.

Once the microwave timer ends, switch out the cup of water and the stick of butter in the microwave and close the door.

The heat and humidity from the water will create an atmosphere perfect for softening the butter, without the need to actually use the microwave.

Shakin’ Up Your Own Foam

Did you know that you can make your own frothy milk for your morning coffee without one of those fancy milk frothers or espresso machines with steamers? All you need is a small microwave safe jar and a microwave.

Pour the desired amount of milk into the jar.

Secure the jar and shake it so that it aerates, and creates a foamy texture.

Heat up the milk in the microwave for a maximum 30 seconds, depending on the amount of milk.

Freezing Fruit for Your Summer Drinks

Coffee isn’t the only beverage that we don’t like diluted from ice cubes – all sorts of soft drinks can become far too watered down too. So if you’re the type of person who finds half-soda/half-ice drinks frustrating, then grapes could be a great alternative.

Simply pop them in the freezer, ready for use when you fancy an ice-cold beverage. Other small fruits can work well too, including blueberries, raspberries, and more. However, we think grapes work the best for sure!

Making Pizza Dough with Two Ingredients in Less than 10 Minutes

Did you know that you can make your own pizza dough with just two ingredients in under 10 minutes? That’s right, all you need is 1 cup of Greek yogurt and 1 ½ cups of flour (all-purpose, self-rising, white or wheat).

Combine and mix together the flour and Greek yogurt.

Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit of flour to balance out the texture.

Talk about easy-peasy!

Meal Plan & Prep

It’s great to plan meals in advance, but it’s even better to prep them in advance, as well! If you plan on spending a couple of hours to prep or cook all of your meals for the week, then you’ll automatically prevent any bottle-necking or desire to order take-out if you don’t have energy to cook.

Especially if you freeze your meals – you can easily just pop it in the oven as soon as you get home for dinner!

Breaking Up Brown Sugar Bits

Let’s say you didn’t know about the marshmallow or slices of bread trick when it comes to brown sugar. Now what do you do to break up the rock-hard sugar crystals?

Don’t worry! All you need to do is toss the sugar with a damp paper towel into the microwave. Heating it up for a quick 20 seconds should do just the trick and break the bits of sugar right up.

Some Fruits and Veggies Last Longer Outside of the Fridge

Most of us automatically assume that fresh vegetables and fruits should go right in the fridge as soon as we get home from the grocery store. But actually, some fruits and veggies will last longer outside of the fridge.

Tomatoes are one of those fruits that do well outside of the fridge. But if you do want to keep them fresh and cool, try storing them upside, to avoid any extra oxygen getting inside them.

DIY Substitute for Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta can be a bit pricey, but there’s a secret DIY substitute that’s less expensive. Cottage cheese has been known to be a good substitute if you mix it in the mixer! This will give it that texture that you’re looking for.

If you’re not a big cottage cheese fan, then no worries! You can also use cream cheese, sour cream, or goat cheese. Just make sure to try the flavor of your substitute before using it all in the recipe.

Making Eggs Without a Skillet

Did you know that there’s an alternative way to making eggs if you don’t have a stove or want to just make some eggscellent eggs on the go?

Grab a microwave safe mug or ramekin and spray it with oil. Add your eggs into the mug with whatever seasoning you want, whisk it all together, and cover it with plastic wrap (leaving a bit of open ventilation). Microwave the mug in 20-30 second intervals for about 1:30 to 1:45 minutes, whisking in between intervals.

Poach Multiple Eggs at Once

Grab a muffin tin, and spray each cup with cooking oil. Then add 1 tablespoon of water into each. Following, add 1 egg into each cup

After preheating your oven to 350°F, bake your eggs for about 13 minutes until they look ready to eat.

Once they’re ready, you can keep your yolks a bit runny, or go the well-done route and give your eggs a couple extra minutes in the oven.

How Do You Make Curly Fries?

The secret to curly fries is a spiralizer, a magical kitchen tool that turns your veggies (like potatoes or zucchini) into beautiful thin spirals—just like curly fries!

Grab yourself one of these bad boys to curl up your potatoes and dab them dry, toss them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pour some olive oil and season with spices, and bake them in a preheated over (425°F) for 20 minutes—flipping them over half way through.