That’s where our cooking hacks come in – perfect for simplifying cooking tasks and helping you cut down on mess. Discover our 20 cooking hacks today, and start saving your time and energy for the good stuff.
1. Save scorched gravy with sugar
Stepped away from your gravy for a little bit too long? If your gravy is scorched on the bottom, pour it into a clean pot and continue cooking it over low heat.
Add a pinch of sugar to help counter the burnt taste, then stir and taste it again. Add another pinch or two of sugar if necessary until you’re happy with the flavor.
2. How to peel garlic – the easy way!
This cooking hack really is a game changer.
To peel garlic the easy way, microwave the whole bulb on high in your microwave for 20 seconds. When you take it out, the skin will slide straight off.
3. The best way to remove squash skin…
Squash is an affordable and versatile vegetable, great in stuff like soups and stew. The only problem? The skin is tough and it’s full of fiddly seeds.
We have a quick fix for that! Pop your whole squash in the microwave and zap for 3 minutes on high. The skin will be much easier to slice through.
4. A cooking hack for cheese lovers
Trying to cut down on the cheese? Mozarella is a low-calorie choice, and delicious on pizza and pasta dishes. Keep your portion size low by grating it.
The secret hack?
Freeze your mozzarella ball for 30 minutes to slightly harden it, and it will make cutting a breeze.
5. Restore crispness to veggies
If crisp veggies like cucumbers, radishes, celery, or carrots have gone a bit soft in your fridge, there’s a simple way to make them crisp again. Slice the veggies up and place them in a colander along with a dozen or so ice cubes and a pinch of salt.
6. The best way to peel fruit
Oranges are full of Vitamin C, making them a great, healthy snack choice for you and your family. Lightly roll your orange on a flat surface before attempting to remove the skin to make it easier.
7. Prevent bread from going stale
To help prevent a loaf of bread from going stale, put a piece of fresh celery in the bag and close it back up. Celery is mostly water, so it will help keep both the air in the bag and the bread itself more moist.
8. Revive old wooden spoons
If your wooden spoons don’t exactly look (or smell) like they used to, boil the spoons in a pot of water for one or two minutes. Allow your spoons to dry out in the sun completely, then treat them with a wood conditioner to restore moisture and keep the wood protected.
9. Scoop out broken eggshells easily
Ended up with a few pieces of eggshell in your eggs or batter? Use a larger piece of eggshell to scoop the fragments out. Eggshell pieces like to stick together, making it quick and easy to scoop up those errant pieces of shell.
10. How to reheat pizza
Let’s face it – reheated pizza is never going to be as good as the fresh stuff. However, if you do it right, it can be pretty close.
Placing a glass of water in the microwave whilst you reheat. This helps prevent the pizza from drying out, giving you the gooey, melty results you’re after.
11. Keep sour cream fresh
To keep sour cream and cottage cheese fresh, store the containers upside down in your fridge. Inverting the container creates a vacuum inside of it, making it harder for mold or bacteria to grow in the surface and keeping it fresh longer.
12. Deodorize your hands with stainless steel
Certain food odors like garlic, onions, and fish tend to linger on your hands and fingers long after you’re done handling them. But stainless steel can help neutralize those strong food odors, and all you have to do is run your hands over it!
13. Unstick stuck glass items
Stacked drinking glasses and glass bowls can wind up wedged together fairly easily. And while getting them unstuck can seem like a daunting task, there’s actually an easy fix to solve it! Fill one side with ice, and submerge the other side in a bowl of warm water. The temperature difference will cause the bottom item to expand as the top one contracts, allowing you to separate them safely and easily.
14. Keep greens fresh with paper towels
Keep your lettuces and greens fresh longer in your fridge by storing them in a ziplock bag with a dry paper towel. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture from the greens, keeping them fresh and crisp rather than wilted and soggy.
15. How to get thinly sliced meat for stir-fries
Stir fries are one of our favourite, go-to dinner options. For some reason, however, we can never seem to be able to get them to look as neat as they do in the restaurant.
Until we discovered this tip, that is…
…the key to getting super-thin, neatly cut meat is using frozen meat. Cut it into strips when it’s been thawing for about an hour, and you’ll be able to get incredibly clean lines.
It will also be more tender – delicious!
16. Make butter more spreadable
Tired of using solid, non-spreadable butter on your toast or corn-on-the-cob? Make your own soft and spreadable butter by whipping a room temperature stick of butter with a small amount of water. (Not only will the whipped butter be more spreadable, but it will likely go farther too!)
17. Use essential oils to wash fruit & veg
These days, most fruit and veg comes with a side of waxy, pesticide coating. The best way to clean your fresh produce? Lemon essential oils.
18. This cooking hack makes chopping much easier
Got a slippy-slidey countertop and a slippy-slidey chopping board?
There’s a cooking hack for that! Simply place a tea towel under your chopping board, and it will prevent it from sliding all over the place.
19. How to dry herbs at home (in the microwave!)
Have you ever bought a load of herbs for a recipe, and not managed to use them all before they’ve gone off? Us too.
We recently discovered you can actually dry herbs out in the microwave, thereby preserving them for use at a later date.
Sounds great, right?
To try it: pop your herbs onto a piece of paper towel and microwave on high for a minute, turn, then repeat at 30-second intervals until dry. Don’t forget to check out these other microwave hacks too – they’ll save you even more time in the kitchen.
20. Healthy meatballs
Meatballs are so delicious, but they’re not exactly diet-friendly.
Hack your way to healthy meatballs using an egg carton. Simply place your meatballs inside, and the cardboard will absorb extra fat whilst cooking, leaving you with a light, but extremely tasty dinner.
Looking to lose weight? Check out our list of diet-friendly foods that are surprisingly tasty for some inspiration!