We are all in agreement that being in the kitchen is fun. This is the time we can be creative, share our creations with friends and family, and enjoy our passion. Even though we love the kitchen, there are times when saving a bit of time would be completely fine with us.
If you ever find yourself feeling like you wish there were a way to get things done just a little faster, then you are in the right place. We gathered our favorite kitchen hacks to help save time and make cooking easier. We tried to leave off the common sense options and kept this list for unique and out of the ordinary hacks.
30 Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
1. Apple Slicer to Cut Potatoes
To start off our list of kitchen hacks, we have this handy trick of using an apple slicer to cut potatoes. Apple slicers are great for getting the core out of the apple and making sure that the slices are all even.
You can use this same tool on a potato to make perfect steak fries. The apple slicer is usually strong enough and sharp enough to easily cut through the potato and let you put fries in the oven in a matter of minutes.
2. Freeze A Fresh Soup- Before Cooking
In the summertime and even the early fall, the vegetables are easy to access. All of these vegetables make some amazingly tasty soups, but summer is not the best time to be eating soups. Luckily vegetables (uncooked) can be frozen and last in the freezer for at least eight months.
We suggest cutting up the vegetables you need to start a soup, putting them in a plastic bag and labeling it. When the weather cools down, and you need a soup, you have everything you need ready to go.
3. Aluminum Foil Under Raw Meat
When you are grilling, put a piece of aluminum foil under your raw meat. When you carry the meat out to the grill and put it on, you can throw away the foil, and the tray is ready for the cooked meat.
How many times have you been through this process where you walked back into the house to clean the dish? With this simple kitchen hack, you can save time and make dealing with raw meat that much easier. Find cleaning hacks for your grill here.
4. Freeze Sauces In Ice Cube Trays
If you have leftover sauce (or even if you make a really big batch), you can freeze it in an ice cube tray. When you do this, you will have small amounts of sauce that you can easily add to a meal for one or two people.
We love this trick for a busy working couple that doesn’t need a large pot of sauce for a single serving of pasta. This method creates less mess and less waste as well.
5. Anti Slip Bowls with Towels
Many cooking bowls are sold with anti-slip bottoms. However, If you don’t have one of these bottoms, you can use a towel underneath a bowl.
Depending on the type of the towel and bowl you have, this may take a bit of experimentation, but usually, you can end up with a great solution.
6. Don’t Leave Rolls and Bread Plain
Frozen rolls and dough can make life much easier. When you are serving a large crowd grabbing some rolls from the freezer can be the only smart way to get bread incorporated into the meal.
The only question we have is, “why keep these plain.” You can easily use a little butter, garlic, or some fresh herbs to make these frozen store-bought rolls taste like your grandmother got up early to make them.
7. Turn Peanut Butter Upside Down
Natural peanut butter tastes so much better and is much better for you than processed peanut butter. The only issue is stirring. If you don’t stir the peanut butter just right, you may end up with some soupy sections and some gritty sections.
Not to mention, it is hard work! One of the best kitchens hacks to save time is to store a new jar of natural peanut butter upside down. When you do this, it will mostly stir itself.
8. Use Rubber bands As Labels
If you need a label on a jar, you can use a thick rubber band. Rubber bands are easier to write on with a permanent marker, and they are very cheap. You can get a large bag of rubber bands in all different colors and keep them in your kitchen drawer.
This is undoubtedly a more affordable and easier solution than a label maker or those stickers that keep falling off after they get too warm or too cold.
9. Hot Knife For Cutting Cheesecakes
We hate when we bake a perfect cheesecake, and when slicing it, it starts to fall apart. This is not just because the knife is not sharp enough (although it can be), but it has a lot to do with the temperature of the knife as well.
Run the knife under very hot water. Dry it with a paper towel, and then quickly cut your cheesecake. If you are cutting the entire thing, you may warm the knife up a little.
10. Melt Butter Using The Wrapper To Help
Butter is an ingredient that needs to be heated quite often for baking. Unfortunately, if you have ever melted butter in your microwave, you know that it can splatter and splash. A great trick is to take the wrapper on the butter and put it over the container that you are melting the butter in.
The wrapper acts as a shield and makes your microwave cleanup much more manageable. If you do need to clean your microwave, you should take a look at our microwave cleaning hacks.
11. Use A Baking Rack For Perfect Meatballs
One issue with baking meatballs in the oven is that they end up sitting in the fat and grease. Although a little bit of fat and oil will add to the flavor when the meatballs soak in this, it can make them very heavy and difficult on the stomach as well.
If you put a baking rack on a sheet pan and let your meatballs cook on the rack, you will get much leaner and better-tasting meatballs.
12. Pizza Cutters Are Not Just For Pizza
A pizza cutter is a tool that should be used for much more than cutting pizza. You can use a pizza cutter to chop up lettuce and herbs, and it makes things so much easier.
We also love using a pizza cutter to cut up food for young children and babies. Standing there and getting everything into a tiny piece can be a bit time consuming, rolling over it with the slicer seems to help.
13. Keep Bananas Longer By Wrapping The Stems
Fresh bananas are a delicious treat to have in the house. The problem is they usually start to ripen long before you can use them all. Luckily there is a simple kitchen hack that can help you get a few extra days out of your bananas.
All you need to do is separate the bananas from the bunch. Once you have all the single bananas separated from each other, wrap the stems of each one with plastic wrap. Wrapping the stems like this makes them last a few extra days.
14. Serve Hot Food On Hot Plates
When you make a delicious hot meal and put it on a cold plate, it will cool off very quickly. This is unfortunate considering all the effort that you went through to prepare this hot meal.
Have you ever noticed when out a restaurant, they say, “The plate is very hot.” Why not do this at home? Simply put your plates in the microwave for a few seconds before placing the food on.
This will help you serve warmer and more delicious meals. A hot plate is especially helpful when you’re serving warm rice.
15. Muffin Tin Burrito Bowls
Try to start thinking outside the box when working in your kitchen. The muffin tins do not have to be just for baking treats. You can use muffin tins to make perfect size burrito bowls.
Place the tortilla inside the muffin tin and let it bake, then fill it with your favorite Mexican ingredients. This is an enjoyable and quick way to take Taco Night to another level.
16. Reheat Pizza In Skillet
If you think pizza heated in the microwave doesn’t taste right, you are correct. For some reason, when pizza is reheated in the microwave, it loses its texture and becomes quite chewy. Although this may work fine for some people, others will just choose to eat pizza cold to avoid this reheating disaster.
There is, however, another great option. You can put a drop of olive oil in a skillet and fry your pizza up until the bottom is crisp again. This way of reheating pizza gets it as close to the original as any other method we have tried. Every great chef needs some pizza hacks in their arsenal.
17. Heat Brown Sugar To Get Rid of Clumps
It doesn’t take very long for brown sugar to get clumpy. Although it only takes a few minutes to break the sugar apart and measure it accurately, another great way to do it is to heat the brown sugar.
When you heat brown sugar, it falls apart quickly and will no longer be clumpy. If you need a quick way to handle a lot of brown sugar clumps, simply place it in the microwave. You don’t need to heat the brown sugar for more than a few seconds.
18. Reassemble Apples To Prevent Browning
Packing an apple in lunch is a great treat, but trying to cut it up prior makes things a bit more complicated. One of the best ways to avoid the browning that happens with a presliced apple is to reassemble the apple once it is cut.
Take the apple slicer we mentioned in our first hack and slice your apple. Then grab a rubber band and wrap it around the outside of the apple. When you do this, the apple stays together and does not turn brown.
19. Using Waffle Iron For Other Foods
Your waffle iron does not need to be saved for Sunday morning breakfast. In fact, waffle irons are great ways to make things like sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and even hash browns. Take a look at all the different recipes that you can create using a waffle iron.
We highly recommend using tools in your kitchen for more than one purpose. When you do this, you end up with better use of your kitchen space and, more of the time, a higher level of efficiency.
20. Freezer Smoothie Packs
When you are not going to be able to use all of that fresh fruit you bought, don’t let it go to waste. Store a plastic bag with some fruit and take it out when you need a smoothie.
You can add the frozen fruit, some almond milk, oats, yogurt, etc., to a blender and create a quick and healthy breakfast while decreasing kitchen waste.
21. Condiment Bottle Pancakes
The next time you get one of those great condiment bottles with the squeeze tops, save it. Do a great job cleaning this bottle, in fact, rinse it several times. When you think you have all of the potential smell and taste out, you can use this bottle for making pancakes.
Pour your batter in the bottle and then squeeze out just the amount you need to make a perfect pancake. If you like to get creative with your pancake shapes and sizes, you can do so with this method.
22. Stop Following The Directions
If the cookies say they need to cook for 14 minutes, but they burn every time, stop cooking them for fourteen minutes. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in their kitchens is following directions too closely.
This is your kitchen; you should play by your rules. Keep an eye on your cookies; chances are they come out much better when they are slightly undercooked. Try and learn what a perfectly cooked cookie looks like through trial and error as opposed to following precisely what a recipe says.
23. Roll Citrus
Juicing citrus fruit is a great way to add flavor to a variety of meals. To release all the juices within a piece of fruit, it is best to roll it.
When you roll the fruit, it will make it much easier for you when it comes time to juice it. The rolling method is so easy and effective that you may not even need to use a juicer to get the amount of juice you need for your recipe.
24. Cut Butter To Soften Faster
Sometimes the urge to bake comes on suddenly. When you look at your recipe and see that you need room softened butter, it can be a little discouraging. The good news is that all you need to do is cut the butter into small pieces.
When you cut the butter up, it will soften much faster. If you make this the first step of your baking process by the time you are ready for the butter, it should be ready for you.
25. Ice Cream Scoop For Muffins
When trying to pour batter into a muffin pan, try using an ice cream scoop. The ice cream scoop usually ends up being the perfect amount of muffin mix, and this process will be a lot less messy than trying to use a spoon or pour it in without any help or guidance.
26. Mix Pancake Batter In A Bag
Why are you mixing pancake batter in a bowl? It is so much easier to mix it in a bag, and then when you are finished, you can simply throw the bag away.
Another great trick is to cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and use it to squeeze out the batter into perfectly round pancakes. Cooking breakfast on the weekends should be enjoyable and not leave you with the extra cleanup.
27. Dental Floss For Cutting Soft Dough
If you are making a meal that requires you to cut a soft dough before it goes into the oven, it can be hard to find the proper knife. Knives will tend to pull the dough together and pinch it. This can ruin the look of the meal you are making.
Try using dental floss to complete this process. Simply cut a piece of floss (not a mint-flavored floss) and use two hands to slice. The process is simple and makes a perfect cut without pulling on your dough.
28. Grill Fish On Top Of Lemon Slices
Fish can be challenging to cook at times. If you oil a pan and place the fish on it, you will deal with a greasy fish. If you don’t grease the pan, then your fish will stick to it.
A great way to avoid all of this is to cook your fish on top of lemon slices. The fish will cook evenly and thoroughly and pick up that lovely flavor and aroma from the lemon.
29. Herbs and Olive Oil Frozen In Ice Cube Trays
We mentioned before that storing sauce in an ice cube tray is an excellent idea for single-serve meals. Another superb kitchen hack is to store herbs and a bit of olive oil in an ice cube tray.
You can freeze this tray, and when it comes time for a meal that you need to add some flavor, you can simply add one of your pre-prepared her blocks. You can use this for pasta dishes, chicken dishes, and more, the possibilities are endless.
30. Scissors To Cut Pizza
Last on our list of kitchen hacks is using scissors to cut pizza. This is a hack that more people should start using today. Kitchen scissors are a beneficial tool, and they should be used more often.
If you are tired of your cheese pulling away from your pizza because your slice is just not sharp enough, then you must try the scissors. Scissors are easy to use, you can grab the crust to keep the pizza stable, and the cheese will stay perfectly proportioned on every piece.
Hopefully, our thirty kitchen hacks to save time and make cooking easier will help you in your kitchen. Always remember to think outside the box and purchase kitchen gadgets that will serve multiple purposes, and help you stay organized.