Over the years, we’ve discovered several tricks that have made our life easier in the kitchen. Here are 15 kitchen hacks that we like to use often.
1. Freeze Leftover Tomato Paste in Ice Cube Trays
It’s a rare day when we use an entire can of tomato paste in a recipe. Rather than waste most of the can, save it for later in the freezer. Simply spoon the leftover tomato paste into ice trays, freeze, and remove the tomato paste cubes to a ziplock bag after they’re frozen.
2. Pound Garlic With a Mortar and Pestle to Peel
The fastest way to separate the peel from a garlic clove is to pound it with a mortar and pestle. Once you’ve pounded them, most of the peels are loose in the mortar bowl.
3. Roast or Grill Meat to Freeze for Later
We like to roast or grill a lot of meat at once and then put them into freezer-proof ziplock bags for later. Then, when you want to make recipes for grilled chicken tacos, soups, or even hamburgers, you’ll have meat ready to go in the freezer.
4. Ripen Fruit Quicker in a Paper Bag
Fruits that contain the gaseous ripening hormone called ethylene ripen quicker in a paper bag. Fruits we recommend placing into a paper bag to ripen more quickly include:
5. Use Eggshells To Remove Broken Eggshells
It’s always frustrating when you accidentally get eggshells into our eggs. However, the easiest way to remove the eggshell is to use a larger piece of eggshell to fish it out.
6. Freeze Vegetable Waste To Make Vegetable Broth
When you peel your vegetables and trim the ends off, save them in a large freezer-safe bag in your freezer to make vegetable broth later. Onions and garlic are key to taste success. Once you’ve accumulated enough, place all the vegetable scraps into boiling water with salt and all your favorite herbs.
7. Reassemble Cut Apples To Prevent Browning
When packing apples into lunches, always cut them and then reassemble them. A rubber band keeps all the pieces in place. This method prevents the apples from browning with exposure to air.
8. Make and Freeze Waffles for Easy Breakfasts
We like to make a large batch of waffles so that there are always toaster-ready waffles in the freezer. Place the newly-made waffles on wax paper in a single layer on a cookie sheet in your freezer. Once they’ve frozen solid, transfer them to freezer-safe plastic bags.
9. Flip Pancakes When All the Bubbles Burst
It was a happy day when we learned that it was time to flip the pancake when all the surface bubbles burst. Flipping a pancake at this stage prevents both over-and under-cooking for perfect pancakes every time.
10. Add Acid To Prevent Avocados from Browning
If adding avocados to a salad or need to place an unused portion in the fridge, always add acid to prevent browning. Try using lemon, lime, or your favorite vinegar depending on how you’re planning to use the avocado. Citric acid is also an option.
11. Soften Cookies With a Slice of Bread
We always prefer my homemade cookies soft rather than hard, so by adding a slice of bread to the cookie jar, the bread helps to provide extra moisture to keep the cookies moist.
12. Use Warm Water To Get Room Temperature Eggs
We never remember to take our eggs out early before baking with them. However, we’ve discovered that you can place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to warm them to room temperature.
13. Store Natural Peanut Butter Upside Down
Start storing my natural peanut butter upside down! Now, all the oils remain at the bottom of the jar rather than floating at the top meaning you won’t need to stir the peanut butter before using it.
14. Add Warm Ingredients To Your Mashed Potatoes
We like hot foods piping hot, and so have learned that you need to add warm ingredients to your mashed potatoes to keep them hot. Heat any milk or butter you want to add to your potatoes in the microwave. Then, add the heated ingredients to your potatoes before mashing.
15. Empty Your Dishwasher First Thing in the Morning
We saved our favorite kitchen hack for last! It took ]years to realize that if you run the dishwasher right before bed and empty it in the morning when you first wake up, your kitchen stays clean all day. There are no more dirty dishes in the sink waiting their turn in the dishwasher, and dirty dishes can go straight into the dishwasher all day long.