59 Food Hacks That Will Change Your Life

best cooking hacks

Food is awesome. I’m constantly trying to find new and inventive ways to take shortcuts in my approach to cooking so that I can cut out the work and bring in the eating.

Every new food trick that I learn is exciting as it enhances the cooking experience and allows me to be that little bit more, well, lazy.

So I got my favorite food bloggers to tell me the best food tips that they couldn’t do without.

Get ready to change the way you cook.

#1
Prevent mess when cutting open a pomegranate by doing it in a bowl of water!
by Yvette @ Muy Bueno Cookbook

#2
To slice meat easily, pop it in the freezer for 20 minutes before slicing it.
by Amanda @ The Chunky Chef




#3
My tip would definitely have to be around butternut squash and chopping it. I’ve only just mastered it! Firstly use a large, good quality knife. Cut both ends off, then slice vertically along the squash before scooping out any seeds, and peeling. So much easier than attempting to cut across the middle!
by Loriley @ GF Sesh

#4
The tip that comes to mind right off the bat is put a tortilla in your brown sugar. Keeps it moist and no crumbs!
by Heather @ Boston Girls Bakes

#5
If you want to get till the last drop of juice from lemon or any citrus fruits. Microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds, and then let it cool for a minute. Cut it open and squeeze. This way you will be able to get juice from the fruit without wasting a single drop
by Aarthi @ Yummy Tummy

Lemon Zest

#6
Want a natural deodorizer for your refrigerator? Take the zest and/or rind off your favorite citrus fruits and place in a bowl. The natural oil from the citrus will deodorize your refrigerator and help eliminate bad smells!
by Amanda @ Recipes Worth Repeating

#7
Keep a ziplock in the freezer and add scraps from meal prep (onion skins, red pepper ends, carrot tops, etc.). At the end of the month, put these reserved frozen veggies into a stockpot to make homemade vegetable stock with it.
by Christy @ Feasting not Fasting

#8
To clean your bbq in summer before cooking your meat (if you are in a hurry) run half a large white onion oven the grill – the old char from the previous bbq sticks to the flesh of the onion and the acids in the onion break down the oily grime.
by Nicolé & Steph @ Chicks and Cheese

the online grill citrus fruit tip

#9
Hard herbs like thyme and rosemary can be frozen whole. When you’re ready to use them, they’ll crumble naturally into pieces when squeezed. Just sprinkle them in and no chopping needed!
by Erren @ Erren’s Kitchen

#10
Use a grapefruit spoon instead of a knife or your fingers to seed quartered tomatoes.
by Meggan @ Culinary Hill

#11
Replace cooking oil with apple sauce for a healthier option when baking.
by Erica @ Fork Knife and Love

#12
When an avocado is at its peak of ripeness, stick it in the fridge. It will keep for a week at perfection.
by Kami @ No Biggie

kitchen advice

#13
Everybody likes wine, right? And sometimes you forget to put your bottle in the fridge and you curse yourself because now you don’t have time to let it cool. Take some kitchen paper, wet it, wrap your bottle with it and put it in the freezer. It will cool super fast! Also works for beer.
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#14
My top tip is a food waste avoidance one. Slice and freeze a loaf of bread as soon as you buy or bake it. It can be quickly defrosted slice by slice in the freezer with little to no effect on the taste. It will also completely eliminate the waste of bread, which is a massive problem in this country at the moment!
by Cate @ Cate in the Kitchen

#15
Use paper towels to properly store your lettuce to keep it fresher for longer.
by Yvette @ Muy Bueno Cookbook

#16
Rather than struggling to peel butternut squash with a knife, poke it a few times with a fork, and pop it in the microwave for three to four minutes. The microwave softens and loosens the skin, making it easier to peel using a potato peeler. Try this recipe!
by Yvette @ Muy Bueno Cookbook

#17
If you want your meatballs to come out all the same size, use a scoop for ice cream to measure the amount of meat for every ball.
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#18
For extra flavor in your pasta, undercook it for a minute or so then finish cooking it in your sauce with some of the reserved pasta water. This will mean that the pasta itself is infused with flavor, not just covered in it.
by Jen @ Carlsbad Cravings

best way to cook pasta

#19
I learned a little trick to run cold water over your avocado before storing it to help seal the flesh of the avocado from air, which is what causes it to turn brown. Just place the avocado under running cold tap water, dry the shelled portion, then put it in an airtight container.
by Julie @ Sweet and Spicy Monkey

#20
Here’s one I just recently picked up – when browning mushrooms in butter, do not add salt because it prevents them from browning. Add the salt later.
by Judy @ The Midnight Baker

#21
To easily soften cream cheese, submerge it in a bowl with warm water for ten minutes.
by Meggan @ Culinary Hill

#22
When your recipe calls for room temperature eggs and yours are still in the fridge, put them in a bowl of warm water. They’ll come up to room temperature quickly!
by Sue @ The View from the Great Island

best way to store eggs

#23
To ripen avocados faster keep them in a brown paper bag with either a banana or an apple – the chemicals given off by either of those two fruit ripen others faster.
by Nicolé & Steph @ Chicks and Cheese

#24
Freeze yogurt into cubes to use in smoothies.
by Christy @ Feasting not Fasting

#25
One of the kitchen tips I find really saves me money is wrapping unused vegetables in foil rather than just chucking them straight into the crisper uncovered. It keeps them fresh for way longer. I reckon I get an extra three to five days out of things like broccolini and asparagus this way, so it’s a good one if there’s only one or two people in the house as you don’t waste food.
by Chrissy @ Little Food Blog

#26
Keep a slice of bread in the cookie jar. It helps keep cookies soft for days!
by Stephanie @ Back for Seconds

cookie storage technique

#27
Forget peeling potatoes. Score the skin of potatoes around the middle before boiling and skip peeling altogether. The skin will melt off once they are cool enough.
by Erica @ Fork Knife and Love

#28
When baking bread, line your loaf pan with parchment paper with extra hanging over the sides for easy removal!
by Trevor & Jennifer @ Show me the Yummy

#29
You want a perfect stiff foam when beating egg whites? Just add a couple drops of lemon juice!
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#30
If your soup or stew is saltier than you’d like, drop a small potato in it. It will absorb the salt.
by Shadi @ Unicorns in the Kitchen

#31
Keep tomatoes out of the fridge always! When placed in a fridge, tomatoes lose all of their flavor and have their texture altered. The cold air in a refrigerator stops the ripening process, which is bad news as ripening is what gives tomatoes their delicious flavor.
by Kami @ No Biggie

#32
Not sure if your eggs are still fresh? Put them in a bowl full of water: If they float, you have to throw them away.
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#33
Add an ice cube to your finished soup or sauce if it has extra grease. The ice will attract the grease so you can easily scoop it out.
by Jen @ Carlsbad Cravings

use bananas ripen fruit

#34
The easiest way to get garlic out of that pesky paper wrapper is to place the back of your knife over it and give it a good whack with the heel of your hand.
by Amanda @ The Chunky Chef

#35
If you have extra dough when making scones, biscuits or cookies, place the shaped, uncooked dough on a parchment paper lined tray and freeze until solid. Remove from the freezer, place in a plastic bag, return to freezer; then bake as needed.
by Christina @ Christinascucina.com

#36
To get the most juice out of your citrus fruits roll them on the counter, while applying a little pressure, before squeezing them. Then use a reamer or citrus squeezer to really squeeze out every last drop!
by Megan @ Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

#37
My favorite tip is that a crust of bread not only softens your brown sugar and cookies, but also other baked items as well. Just put them together in a bag or container and you’ll have soft baked items again!
by Karlynn @ The Kitchen Magpie

baking bread tip

#38
To slice avocados, cut them in half and remove the pit with a knife then slice the avocado while still in the skin with the tip of a knife. Scoop it out with a spoon for easy, pretty, mess-free slices.
by Jen @ Carlsbad Cravings

#39
From a baking standpoint there a are a lot of tips I could use. However, one that comes to mind because I use it a lot is parchment paper. When baking cookies, whoopie pies, biscuits, and so much more I always line my baking sheets with parchment paper. You don’t have to use a non stick spray, it’s easy clean up and it also gives your baking sheets a longer life.
by Cara @ The Little Blonde Baker

using parchment paper

#40
I like to use a cheese grater to shred vegetables, like carrots, for salads. It’s a great manual alternative to a food processor.
by Beth @ Budget Bytes

#41
The first thing that comes to mind is cooking bacon in the oven on sheetpans — it cooks more evenly, and it’s less messy than stovetop. I do it on parchment-lined sheetpans at 400ºF for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp. And to clean it, I let the fat completely solidify on the pan, then scrape it into a storage jar (which I keep at room temperature on my counter), then I wash the pan.
by Alexandra @ Alexandra’s Kitchen

#42
Tap the cake pan on the counter three times before baking the cake to have a level cake.
by Shadi @ Unicorns in the Kitchen

#43
I have an easy way to remove tomato skins. To easily scald tomatoes, cut a small X on the top and on the bottom of each fruit. Drop them into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then quickly cool them in a bowl of iced water. The skins will be now easy to peel.
by Karolina @ Dine & Dash

skinned tomatoes

#44
My number one tip in the kitchen is that a wine bottle makes a perfectly acceptable substitute for a rolling pin – and a full bottle is even better
by Sarah @ The Sugar Hit

#45
Cleaning a grater is difficult, we all know that. But, what you don’t know is that if you put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, take it out and put it under water, in few seconds it will be perfectly clean again!
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#46
You can make your own cake flour by substituting two tablespoons of corn/potato starch in place of two tablespoons of flour, for each cup of flour.
by Ashlae @ Oh Lady Cakes

#47
If you want the flavor of garlic but not the intense hit in your food, slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the inside of the pan or pot that you are using, forming a kind of lining. You get the great smells and a hint of garlic but won’t need to eat parsley after your meal!
by Nicolé & Steph @ Chicks and Cheese

way to use garlic

#48
When using citrus zest in a recipe, use your fingers to blend it with the sugar before adding it in — this will release more of the flavor, and ensure you don’t have any zest clumps!
by Mary @ The Kitchen Paper

#49
First thing I thought of is getting avocados to ripen quickly by putting them in a dark spot (like a drawer) at room temperature – they go from hard to perfect almost overnight.
by Stacey @ Bake Eat Repeat

#50
Fishy smells are not always the cause of spoiled fish. Fish develops a smell once dead and out of the water due to chemicals within the fish. Soaking fish in buttermilk for 20 minutes helps to decrease the smell by binding to the chemicals within the fish that cause it, and pulling away.
by Sharee @ Savory Spice Rack

#51
Make biscuits and pie dough easier by pulsing the dough in your food processor.
by Amanda @ The Chunky Chef

preparing dough tip

#52
Is the fruit you bought not mature enough? Put them near a couple of apples, they will mature super fast!
by Tina @ TinaBanzai.com

#53
To clean a garbage disposal, freeze distilled vinegar in ice cube trays. Add the vinegar cubes to the garbage disposal and, with cold water running, grind up.
by Meggan @ Culinary Hill

#54
When slicing avocados, I find it easier to cut them in half, take out the seed and peel them like how you would peel an apple. Place them face down on a chopping mat or board and slice! It’s much easier to slice them this way rather than cradling them in your hand and trying to scoop out slices. I find it’s neater and looks better on a plate.
by Karina @ Cafe Delites

#55
Looking for a way to re-use your citrus peels? Take your favorite peels and tear them into long chunks. Lay them in a single layer on a plate or drying rack for a few days. If you don’t feel like waiting, toast them in the oven at 200 degrees until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.
by Amanda @ Recipes Worth Repeating

Citrus Zest Tea

#56
When you’re using raw onions in a dish, it’s best to soak them in water for about 10 minutes beforehand. This mellows the harshness of the raw onion.
by Dorie @ Brooklyn Salt

#57
Keep a box of latex gloves in the kitchen for everything from chopping jalapeños, mixing ground meats by hand, to cleaning your oven.
by Meggan @ Culinary Hill

#58
Mash a banana without making a mess by squishing it inside the peel before you open it.
by Tina @ Carrots ‘n’ Cake

#59
Put cut potatoes in water to prevent them from turning brown
by Ritu @ Scrumptious Indian Recipes

Over to you…
What cooking or kitchen tip could you never live without? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 Comments
  1. When purchasing and using tahini, store the jar upside down. This makes the tahini much easier to mix each time you want to use it.

  2. Thanks, Dave! Great tip. I’ve heard something very similar for peanut butter before, so it’s great to know that it can be used for tahini too!

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