20 Simple But Useful ‘Hacks’ Shared Online By Home Cooks
If you’re a total novice to cooking, fear not for these life hacks WILL save you. It’s like cooking for Dummies 101 but the logical version. You’ll love this if you’re just getting into cooking and be glad this post has reached you at the right time.
Even if you are quite familiar with kitchens, some of these hacks might actually surprise you at how convenient they make life. So much so you’ll probably end up wondering, why you haven’t been doing them all along. Browse the lot and don’t forget if you have your own tips share them in the comments cause sharing is caring!
More info: Reddit
Things don’t stop cooking the second you take them off the heat. For example, you want to take scrambled eggs off the stove when they are still glistening and slightly wet looking. The internal heat will finish the cooking.
Similarly you want to take meat off just a little before the internal temp reaches what you’re shooting for, because the heat from the outside of the meat will continue to migrate inwards and cook the inside while the meat is resting.
Separate the yolk and whites when scrambling an egg. Whip the whites until they are super frothy (but not meringue) then combine with yolk and gently mix together. The most fluffy eggs ever.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish with just a few shakes of salt and pepper. Season everything.
Add oregano to your frozen pizza before heating it up. Also, you should probably add more cheese while you’re at it because they never put enough cheese on those things.
Leftover pizza is best reheated in a pan on a stove top. Throw in some water near the end to steam it to melt the cheese. Then the crust is crisp but the cheese and meat are still hot and gooey.
Smoke detector isn’t a timer.
Image source: swebster6
When cutting onions, don’t get too emotionally attached.
Save all bones and veggie scraps! Keep them in a Tupperware or bag in the freezer, and once it’s full, make broth. Seriously the best soup starter, plus it’s frugal and waste-free!
Sharper knives are safer.
When chopping, focus on safety and proper method, speed will come naturally.
Cast iron pans. I love my cast iron skillet, and try to cook as many meals in that as possible. A well seasoned pan is wonderful to cook it, it does give you extra iron in your diet, and it basically is nonstick as long as you take proper care of it and keep it seasoned.
You know that brown stuff that forms at the bottom of a pot/pan when you’re cooking? That stuff is the nectar of the gods. Deglaze that f*****g pan and soak up all that tasty goodness. Great for making stews/sauces.
Cook your tomato paste in the pan with the veggies before adding water. It adds so much depth and also gets rid of that acid flavor a lot faster. I let it cook too it turns a dark maroon color then add The liquid.
Great for tomato sauces and soup.
Learn to use a chefs knife and day old rice is best for fried rice.
Freeze excess fresh herbs left over after cooking (like when a dish calls for 1Tbsp but you can only buy it as a freaking bouquet at the store). Rinse and dry it well, then chop it up fine (magic bullet is great) and add just enough oil for it to come together (Ive used olive oil and coconut oil with good results). Spoon out into 1 teaspoon servings on parchment paper, then freeze and store in a container/plastic bag, dated and labeled. Some people use ice cube trays, but then you’ll only ever be able to use those trays for herbs, since the smell sticks to them, especially if they’re silicone.
I’ve done this before with basil, garlic, ginger, garlic scapes, and parsley and it’s always turned out great. Beats having your herbs wilt away in the fridge, and it cuts down on future cooking prep times.
Image source: PegLegPorpoise
1.) Pre-cut 2 large onions to use throughout the week.
2.) Freeze hot peppers, especially if you use them rarely.
3.) Acidity is a culinary cheat code. lemon and limes can be stored up to a month in the fridge; vinegar is cheap.
4.) Pan sauce is stupid simple:
* Sear any meat in a stainless steal pan.
* Take meat out of pan.
* Pour in enough wine to help scrape up the brown bits.
* Add any aromatic you want. (onions/ garlic/ ginger/ ECT)
* Stir in butter.
* Add enouph stock to loosen the mixture.
* Add a tiny bit of acid.
The cool thing about Pan sauce is versatility. You can use what ever wine, aromatics, fats, stock, etc you have available, and end up with a deliciously unique flavor profile every time.
Chopping garlic or other smelly items? Hands now smell? Rub them in a stainless sink or buy ‘stainless steel soap’. It’ll remove the smell from your hands so you don’t smell after you’re done.
Mix Worcestershire sauce into your raw burger meat before cooking it. Makes it juicier.
Image source: Chewy12
Adding acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc) to any dish can turn any dinner party into a real *trip*!
* A sharp knife is safer than a dull one. You want the knife the do exactly what your movements intend, not hesitate or slip.
* Dry your meat before searing and never set it in a pan that isn’t hot. You steam your meat and make it hard for the pan to come back up to temperature when you set it in wet. Dry your steak with a towel, salt and pepper the moment before you add it to the pan, and pop it in. Press down gently to create even surface contact. Wet beef (heh) will look gray and unevenly browned. Dry beef will get that nice sear all around.
* You can’t “seal in the juices” when you sear. The point of searing is texture and flavor. Color equals flavor, donkey.
* However, you CAN release the juices if you don’t rest your meat. REST. YOUR. MEAT. 5-6 minutes for a steak, 10-15 for a thick London Broil. 20-30 for a rib roast of any size. Cut it early and that flavorful juice runs all over the cutting board rather than soaking back into the meat as it relaxes. This is more important with beef than other meat, but I usually let all meat rest.
* When using an oven, treat every pan as if it were hot and grip the handle with a dry towel.
* Keep a stack of towels on hand. Keep some dry for holding and others for wiping.
* [Get your s**t together before you cook. Everything you need should be within arms reach.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mise_en_place)
* If you roast a duck, save the fat. Render it, jar it, refrigerate or freeze it. A good duck costs about $35 where I live. I rendered about $20 of pure duck fat off that b***h. Should you be new to the experience of cooking with duck fat, it will change your f*****g life one tablespoon at a time.
* Make your own stocks. Certain bones are hard to come by, but the experience of making stock and the final product, if done right, is amazing. A dish like risotto is going to taste noticeably better with a homemade lamb or veal stock than with the boxed stuff (or, God forbid, the powders). Good luck getting veal bones if you don’t live near a good butcher :(
* Brine your pork chops and chicken breasts. Soak them in big bowl of salt water, pepper and a few other things. Really makes them juicy and flavorful.
Date/marry someone who cooks