40 Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
These quick and clever kitchen hacks will change how you cook for the better.
Keep Cookies Soft
To keep cookies and other baked goods soft after baking, add a slice of store-bought white bread to an airtight container. Your cakes, cookies and muffins will keep their day-one softness. Friends and family will think they’re fresh!
Craft DIY Mason Jar Shakers
Your bulk spices and baking supplies just got an adorable upgrade. Save the lids from parmesan shakers and gather your small mason jars. Screw the lid on and you’ll have a handy way to sprinkle and measure.
These clever uses for Mason jars are a great way to “green up” your act.
Slice Steak Fries
Craving those scratch-made potato wedges from your favourite restaurant? The answer is waiting in your kitchen drawer. Cut one end of the potato for stability then push an apple slicer through. Bonus: You can try it with sweet potatoes, too.
Freeze a Soup Starter
Want garden-fresh flavour year round? Freeze farmers market vegetables in resealable bags during peak season. A classic soup starter called a mirepoix is made by combining 2/3 onion with 1/3 carrot and celery. This aromatic blend will give you a sweet, hearty flavour to kickstart soups and broths. Vegetables will last eight to 12 months so you can enjoy the tastes of summer when gloomy, cold weather hits.
Freeze Single-Serving Sauces
Become an upcycling master! Egg cartons are ideal for freezing small portions of homemade sauce. (Especially when you need to use your ice trays for, well, ice—or one of these other genius uses.) Cover and freeze leftover basil and parsley pesto and transfer cubes to a resealable freezer bag. To use, thaw cubes in your fridge for two hours.
Prevent Bowls from Slipping
Need an extra hand? Professional chefs will tell you that a damp dish towel under your mixing bowl will keep it from slipping and sliding on your counter as you mix. This tip works well with a cutting board too.
Keep Ice Cream Cool
Bubble wrap is a powerful insulator. While on the road, keep your Chunky Monkey from melting by wrapping the pint in plastic bubble wrap. It’ll stay firm for hours.
Make Frozen Rolls Seem Homemade
Elevate your bread basket by adding a little extra sumthin’ to frozen rolls. Thaw, then brush tops with egg wash and dip into your choice of seasoning blends, seeds or cheeses. Be as gentle or generous as you’d like! Bake according to recipe or package directions.
We break down the difference between whole wheat and whole grain bread.
Label Jars the Thrifty Way
In a pinch for labels? Just reach for the rubber bands. Wrap ’em around your mason jars and you’ll never mistake salt for sugar again. As an added benefit, they help make jars easy to open.
Stop Stirring Peanut Butter
Getting tired of mixing the oil back into your natural peanut butter? There’s an easy solution: Store the jar upside-down. When you’re ready to make your favourite dessert, simply turn it right-side up. The oil will try to rise back to the top and the peanut butter will be much easier to stir. Nutty right?
Get the recipe for peanut butter swirl brownies.
Stop Cheese from Sticking
Grated cheese really makes a difference but it can be a pain to prep. For easy cleanup, use a quick spritz of cooking spray on your cheese grater to keep the cheese from sticking. You’ll never go back to pre-shredded again.
These low-calorie cheese options are still delicious!
Make a Big-Batch Cooling Rack
The ironing board is your new kitchen BFF. It can be used as extra counter space or even a makeshift cooling rack after you remove the cover. Mind blown. Note: Pans, paper liners, parchment or other barriers should be used between the rack and baked goods.
Use Canning Tongs For Hot Dishes
It can be tricky to remove ramekins from a hot water bath to cool. Our solution: Use canning tongs. The edges are round and non-slip which makes it easy to lift the ramekin out without risk of splashes.
Don’t miss these brain-boosting dessert recipes.
Keep Apps Cold
Want to serve shrimp or deviled eggs at your next get-together? This clever trick will keep your food cool and photo-worthy. Fill a large bowl with a resealable bag of crushed ice and cover with lettuce leaves. Butterhead works nicely! Place your app on top and you’ll serve food-safe bites all night.
Store Picnic Essentials
Grab a plastic bin and place it inside a cooler. Fill it with all your picnic needs, so you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Make Tiny Portions of Whipped Cream
Ever need just a dollop of whipped cream to make your strawberry shortcake shine? Reach for your immersion blender to make a single serving quick. The blender fits neatly into a tumbler or measuring cup, minimizing the mess of larger bowl.
Get the recipe for French toast with orange zest and maple whipped cream.
Keep Food from Mingling
Have picky eaters? Prevent Goldfish from touching peeled fruit by using cupcake liners to organize a lunchbox into separate sections. Jazz it up by using fun colours and patterns on special days.
Flavour Up a Crumb Crust
Have a recipe that calls for a graham cracker or cookie crust? Amp up the flavour by seeking out a specialty flavour cookie at the store.
Plate Like a Pro
Dip the blade of your sharp knife in hot water to heat it up. Then wipe with a dry towel and cut your cake or cheesecake into nice, tidy slices. Repeat each time for pretty slices with a clean edge. Looking for simple cheesecakes that are super easy to make? Look no further.
Make Extra Storage Space
A well-organized kitchen is a joy to use. Install inexpensive hooks on the inside of your kitchen cabinets to maximize your storage space. Soon potholders, measuring spoons and extra gadgets will find a home! Tidy up the rest of your kitchen with these sanity-saving organizational tips.
Get More Juice
Next time you need fresh lemon juice, try this restaurant tip. Microwave a lemon for seven to 10 seconds. Then, roll the lemon back and forth under your palm on the counter. When you squeeze, you’ll get more juice from the lemon with way less effort. Try it with limes, too!
Quickly Hull a Strawberry
Insert a drinking straw (or stainless steel reusable) into the tip of the berry and push it through to the other end to quickly remove the stem.
Give Butter an Upgrade
What’s the best thing since sliced bread? Flavoured butter. Making it at home is as easy as adding lemon juice and herbs to softened a softened stick. Want to get really nifty? Mold the flavoured butter into a log shape by laying the softened butter on a square of parchment and shaping is using a ruler as a guiding tool. Twist ends to seal and freeze to use when needed.
Check out these nearly-forgotten ingredients grandma always cooked with.
Add a Carrot
Carrots take away the acidity in tomato sauce by adding subtle sweetness. If you find your sauce has gotten too acidic, peel a whole carrot, simmer it with the sauce and remove before serving.
Try Mess-Free Melting
Ever make a complete mess of your microwave when melting butter? We have. Those days are will melt away after you try this simple hack. Repurpose your butter wrapper as a cover for your microwavable dish. So long, splatter!
Discover the truth about refrigerating butter.
Taste of Home
Cook Tender, Juicy Meatloaf
We love a hearty meatloaf, but sometimes an all-beef mix can leave you with a coarse, gritty texture. Instead, try a beef-pork mix. Since pork is a fattier meat, the combo has a much softer texture.
Shred Chicken Quick
Shredding chicken can be a fiddly task for even the most dexterous cooks. It might even deter you from cooking meals that require it. But did you know you can make fast work of shredding chicken with your stand mixer’s paddle attachment? Simply add your leftover chicken and give it a spin.
Wrap Up No-Fuss Fish
Cooking fish in parchment is a healthy, mess-free technique that seals in flavour. As you bake the packet, the fish is delicately infused with whatever ingredients you add in.
Planning on making fish for dinner? Avoid these mistakes when cooking fish.
Freeze Your Roots
When you are finished grating fresh ginger, freeze the leftover root in a plastic container or resealable bag. No more shrivelled ginger in the produce drawer!
Make Herbs Last Longer
Nothing is worse than buying fresh herbs and seeing them wilt the next day. Keep herbs like parsley and cilantro bright with this simple storage tip! Trim the stems and place them in a small glass of water. Then place a plastic bag (like the one you got at the grocer) over top and secure by tying the plastic in a knot or wrapping it with butchers string. Store in the fridge or on the counter for up to two weeks!
These are the foods you’re spoiling by putting in the refrigerator.
Get Old-Fashioned Flavour with Less Fat
Meatballs are a mainstay in the kitchen, but Nonna’s recipe isn’t always the best for your health. Drain away any excess fat while baking by placing meatballs on a baking rack. The extra fat drips away, you’ll retain that browned, caramelized exterior you know and love.
Get the recipe for Moroccan meatball with lemon chive quinoa.
Taste of Home
Repurpose Your Pizza Cutter
The wheel of a pizza cutter is perfect for cutting herbs in all directions. Bunch them up and wheel back and forth until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
You won’t be able to resist these crazy new pizza toppings.
Skip the Store-Bought Broth
Making vegetable broth is as easy as cook, strain and serve. Broth can be covered and refrigerated up to three days or frozen up to six months. Use it in soups or casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes that require broth.
This is the difference between stock and broth.
Taste of Home
Decorate Cookies Before Baking
For bakery-style decorations, place cutouts on the baking sheet. Then fashion the cutter over each cookie as a frame and carefully top with sprinkles or coloured sugar. Bake as you normally would and your cookies are presentable straight from the oven.
Taste of Home
Save Dishwashing Time
Ever find yourself using every single measuring cup and spoon in your arsenal? Give your dishwasher a break by measuring ingredients directly into your mixing bowl using a digital scale.
Rescue a Salty Soup
Next time you oversalt a soup, toss in a few wedges of raw apple or potato. Simmer for 10 minutes and discard the wedges to get the flavour back to normal.