In my house I do most of the cooking. However, I am the type of person who has no creativity in the kitchen whatsoever. Without a recipe to follow, I am completely lost! Whereas my husband can open the cupboard and see 3 or 4 ingredients and be inspired to throw something amazing together. It’s really not fair. I often say he should be responsible for making dinner every night but he’s happy with our arrangement. With that being said, I am constantly on Pinterest to find new recipes I can make for my family throughout the week. Every Friday I find 7 recipes on Pinterest, write down whatever ingredients I don’t already have in my kitchen, which becomes my grocery list and I go shopping every Friday night. This system helps me to know exactly what I am going to do for dinner every day without having to rack my brain at the last-minute trying to decide what to feed everyone.
One thing I love almost as much as finding a new family favorite recipe, is when I run across amazing tips that make my life a little easier in the kitchen. I’m the type of person that wants to do things fast and efficient and if I can find something to help save me time I’m all for it! Here are 36 amazing kitchen tips and tricks that will make you feel like a genius in the kitchen! Some I have seen before, but others are new and definitely worth sharing. I’m sure if I had a “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” moment, I’m sure others will too.
1. Whenever measuring sticky or thick ingredients like honey, molasses or peanut butter you should spray your measuring cups with a non-stick spray! This will save you time having to try to scrape it out with a spatula!
2. I have heard of this before and although I’ve never tried it myself (the only time I had a pot boil over was when I was making rice and I couldn’t put a spoon over the pan because I had the lid on). I have seen reviews where people said it didn’t work…. so I don’t know. I suggest just using a bigger pot!
3. I hate when you go to sneak a bite of the leftover cake from yesterday’s party and it’s stale! Using bread to protect the cake from exposure to air so it doesn’t get hard and crusty!
4. Next time, this is the way to go… heating honey on the stove top in a pan of water will help honey that is crystalized or rock hard from improper storage!
5. I’m terrible at keeping fresh herbs because I just don’t use them fast enough. I’m always throwing out dried out or wilted herbs and it makes me sad! However, this is an amazing idea! Freezing them in olive oil will keep them from getting freezer burnt or going bad and it makes them so convenient!
6. In a pickle because you can’t get into the pickle jar and don’t want to undermine the strength of women everywhere by asking a man to open it for you? Use a rubber glove or rubber band on the lid to give you the grip you need to improve the torque and open the lid yourself.
7. Ever have a recipe that calls for several cups of cherry tomatoes or grapes that need to be cut in half and you dread the monotony of cutting one at a time? Place them between two lids and cut a bunch all at once to save yourself time! I tried this once with two plates and it didn’t work as well. Using something thin, like these lids, is definitely the way to go!
8. Personally I’m not that high maintenance that I require clear ice cubes in my every drink. This is good to know if you are showing a baby shower, where you freeze those tiny babies into the ice-cube so you can yell “my water broke!” when the ice melts and releases the baby. It would also be great for a bridal shower if you plan to freeze fruit into the ice because it is pretty!
9. In my home we only make banana bread on those rare occasions we don’t eat all the bananas before they turn black. It really doesn’t happen as often as I like because I really do like banana bread. Happily, this is a tip on how to ripen bananas in an hour! Just pop them in a 300′ oven for an hour then let them cool before using in your baking recipes! Now we can have banana bread any time I want!
10. Grilled fish is awesome, but it sticks to the grill, falls apart when you try to turn it and makes for a messy cleanup. Using lemons will help add a great flavor to the fish and will keep the flaky fish from falling apart or sticking to the grill! win-win-win!
11. Make large ice cubes with lemon and lime slices in a muffin tin for your pitcher! It is not only beautiful but functional too as it will take longer for the ice to melt, keeping whatever is inside cooler longer and as it melts you will get the flavor of the lemons and limes! You can do this with other fruit as well, or even some mint!
12. If you don’t wash your fruit and veggies before eating or cooking with them then you really need to start. You would be surprised how dirty the water is after cleaning them. If you don’t have time to soak everything before putting it away then this is a great and fast way to clean them!
13. Every time I cut into bell peppers I use a different technique because I haven’t found one that is as fast and efficient as I would like. My problem is that I’m not a fan of the ribs in the pepper, even though I know there’s no reason not to…
14. I used this the other day! It works great and the skin peals of easily even in the cracks and crevices of the ginger!
15. Shredding chicken for dinner? Put the cooked chicken breasts in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment. A friend of mine has also told me her secret which is similar, but has an easier cleanup. Instead of having to dig out the heavy stand mixer she just mixes in a regular bowl by using a paddle from the hand mixer attached to her electric drill.
16. If you don’t have muffin tin liners then use parchment paper in a pinch! Press it in nice and neat with the use of a cup!
17. Parchment paper is great for lining pans because it is safe in the oven and makes cleanup a breeze! I’ve always known this but I only have wax paper in my kitchen and wax paper is not a good substitute!
18. I’m not a wine drinker, but this sounds like it’s a smart idea! And it looks pretty in your glass too!
19. I watch food network all the time and I actually knew this because one of the hosts does this but it really works! You get a ton more juice after rolling it, and it’s fun to do too!
20. If you don’t have a steady hand to get even cake layers or don’t want to smoosh soft cheeses with a knife, use unscented dental floss instead! Or you could buy cheese wire to do the same thing, but floss is probably cheaper and dual functioning (you don’t want to floss your teeth with cheese wire).
21. I love cherries but I haven’t bought them recently because I know my 1-year-old will want to share and I don’t want to tear the cherries a part to get the pit out, which takes forever and is messy. But with this trick I can de-pit cherries easily and quickly! I’m not only going to do this for my daughter but for me too!
22. I like making a green salad with just about every dinner I plan, but when it comes to clean up my husband asks every time if I want to save the leftover salad, and my answer is the same every time: No, it won’t be good by tomorrow. But with this trick I can finally say yes! and stop wasting food!
23. Make healthy popsicles by freezing yogurt with Popsicle sticks and pop them in the freezer! This would be great for kids too! They can eat yogurt without needing a spoon.
24. This is pretty smart, especially when you have kids. I always get syrup everywhere when trying to cut pancakes into bite sized pieces for my one year old! This would be so much faster too!
25. To tell the truth I really don’t like watermelon but occasionally you still need to know the easiest way to cut it, even if you don’t plan on eating it yourself. This technique seems to be the cleanest most efficient way of cutting watermelon! I’ll have to try it next time!
26. Press ‘n seal would be a great thing to keep in your diaper bag so you can prevent spills when at restaurants!
27. Keep your cutting board from sliding by putting a damp paper towel between it and the counter!
28. A ziplock bag is an amazing thing! I hate going for ice cream and having it be so hard that you get a workout trying to get just a sliver of a scoop. I wonder if this will have the added bonus of keeping your ice cream from getting ice crystals… I’ll have to try it and see!
29. When heating leftovers int he microwave putting a hole in the middle will help it heat evenly instead of having lava hot food on the outside and a block of ice in the middle!
30. I have tried this and it really works! I recommend using a bowl with a lid because when I tried it I just used two bowls placed on top of each other and I wasn’t very good at keeping the peels from escaping the bowls. But it is the fastest way I have found to peel an entire bulb of garlic!
31. When I first saw that it said left over sauces, at first I wasn’t sure I would ever really use this because most sauces I make go straight into the pasta, or whatever I’m making so I rarely have leftover sauce by itself. But then I realized this can be used anytime you have to open a can for a recipe but don’t need all of it. If the recipe calls for half a cup of chicken broth and the can is 14 ounces then you can freeze the left overs instead of dumping it down the drain!
32. This is one that I’ve seen before and I tried it too… but it really wasn’t worth the effort to do, no matter how smart it might make you look.
33. When I first saw this my first reaction was “What a great idea!” and then I realized it’s not really that big of a deal if they happen to be horizontal. I remember as a kid using our teeth to open these things anyway- having some of the pop-cycle in the part you bite off wasn’t too bad!
34. I knew that if eggs float they aren’t good but I didn’t know you could tell how old they are based on how they float!
35. Have you ever cracked an egg just to watch a piece of the shell fall in to the bowl, and no matter how hard you try the shell is just a step ahead of your finger, always just evading capture. Next time, use the rest of the shell to fish it out and it won’t take half so much effort!
36. When making biscuits, scones or muffins use grated butter (straight from the freezer) to incorporate into the flour. This is also great if the butter is too cold to spread on toast. Just grate it up so that it melts into the toast or onto your baked potato.
I love these types of tips that make you feel like a genius in your own home. It’s even better when you nonchalantly use one of these tips in front of a friend and impress them with your knowledge. See one, do one then teach one like it’s something you came up with yourself! That way you can pass on the knowledge so it benefits everyone! There are several that inspired me to find recipes simply for the fact that I will get to try a new trick that I learned today!