30 Cooking Hacks to Level Up Your Cooking

30 Cooking Hacks to Level Up Your Cooking

Are you a beginner just starting out in the kitchen? Or are you simply looking for new ways to cut time while you're cooking? Either way, this list of 30 cooking hacks is for everyone - because who doesn't love a good hack? Prepare to be amazed!

1. Pre-Chop Vegetables for the Week

Spend some time on Sunday chopping vegetables and storing them in the fridge. This cuts down on daily prep time and makes it easier to throw together a healthy meal.

Use Airtight Containers: Store your pre-chopped veggies in airtight containers to keep them fresh longer.

Sean-Bernstein-Mqf4-Boy4H8-UnsplashPhoto by Sean Bernstein on Unsplash

2. Freeze Herbs in Olive Oil

Chop fresh herbs and freeze them in an ice cube tray with olive oil. This preserves their flavor and makes it easy to add them to recipes.

Instant Flavor Boost: Use these herb-infused oil cubes to quickly add flavor to soups, stews, or sautéed dishes.

Joanna-Kosinska-I0Ivwahhgzm-UnsplashPhoto by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

3. Use a Grater for Butter

Grate cold butter for easy spreading on bread or dough. This prevents tearing and evenly distributes butter.

Perfect for Baking: Grated butter also blends more easily into flour for pastries and pie crusts.

Jaye-Haych-S-Hztgfqcu4-UnsplashPhoto by Jaye Haych on Unsplash

4. Microwave Lemons for More Juice

Microwave lemons for 20 seconds before juicing. This softens the lemon and helps extract more juice.

Effortless Squeezing: Microwaving makes lemons easier to squeeze, perfect for recipes requiring fresh lemon juice.

Eggbank-Ohnxxapid K-UnsplashPhoto by eggbank on Unsplash


5. Peel Ginger with a Spoon

Use the edge of a spoon to peel ginger. It removes the skin effortlessly without wasting any of the ginger.

Safer than a Knife: This method is safer and more precise than using a knife.

Faran-Raufi-Ktzwfubrixk-UnsplashPhoto by Faran Raufi on Unsplash

6. Cook Pasta in a Frying Pan

Use a large frying pan to cook pasta. The wider surface area allows water to boil faster and pasta cooks more evenly.

Better Flavor Absorption: This method helps pasta absorb sauce better, enhancing the flavor of your dish.

Olesya-Yemets-Fzxvmiusebm-Unsplash (1)Photo by Olesya Yemets on Unsplash

7. Use Dental Floss to Cut Soft Foods

Unflavored dental floss is perfect for slicing soft foods like cheese or cakes. It creates clean, even cuts without sticking.

Versatile Tool: It's especially useful for cutting delicate desserts like cheesecakes or layered cakes.

Brett-Jordan-Bskswjto7Rw-UnsplashPhoto by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

8. Freeze Meat to Slice Thinly

Partially freeze meat for about 30 minutes before slicing. This firms it up, making it easier to cut thin, even slices.

Perfect for Stir-fries: Ideal for recipes that require thinly sliced meat, such as stir-fries or sandwiches.

Victoria-Shes-Wxnclekq4-Y-UnsplashPhoto by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

9. Use a Potato Peeler for Thin Slices

Use a potato peeler to create thin, elegant slices of vegetables like cucumbers or carrots for salads or garnishing.

Uniform Slices: Ensures uniform thickness, enhancing the presentation and even cooking of dishes.

Sandie-Clarke-Co0Ae9-Dh8U-Unsplash (1)Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

10. Store Ice Cream in a Ziplock Bag

Keep ice cream soft and scoopable by storing the container in a Ziplock bag. This prevents freezer burn and keeps the texture smooth.

Easy Serving: Makes it easier to serve and enjoy your favorite ice cream anytime.

Leighann-Blackwood--Cq2Kqqpeb8-UnsplashPhoto by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash


11. Cook Fish on a Bed of Citrus Slices

Place fish on a bed of lemon or orange slices when baking. This infuses the fish with a subtle citrus flavor and prevents sticking.

Moist and Tender: Keeps the fish moist and tender during cooking.

Keesha-S-Kitchen-Krbf Wsztbe-UnsplashPhoto by Keesha's Kitchen on Unsplash

12. Roll Citrus Fruits Before Juicing

Roll lemons, limes, or oranges on the countertop before cutting and juicing. This breaks down some of the inner fibers.

Efficient Juicing: Makes the process of juicing more efficient, yielding more liquid.

Jessica-Lewis-Kn5Ep6Cq2Cg-UnsplashPhoto by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

13. Use a Pizza Cutter for Chopping Herbs

A pizza cutter can quickly chop fresh herbs. It's faster and more efficient than using a knife, especially for large quantities.

Uniform Chopping: Ensures evenly chopped herbs, which is great for garnishes and adding fresh flavors to dishes.

Wooden-3359344 1280Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

14. Peel Boiled Eggs with a Spoon

Crack the shell and then use a spoon to slide between the egg and the shell. This makes peeling boiled eggs much easier.

Perfectly Peeled Eggs: Results in a smooth, clean peel, ideal for making deviled eggs or egg salads.

Mustafa-Bashari-Rkuk4Eb8F7S-UnsplashPhoto by Mustafa Bashari on Unsplash

15. Use a Wet Paper Towel for Easier Eggshell Removal

Place a wet paper towel under your egg cracking bowl. When small bits of shell fall in, they stick to the towel instead of your bowl.

Brandon-Cormier-Ozwr9Wlcv8W-UnsplashPhoto by Brandon Cormier on Unsplash

16. Use Rice to Sharpen Blender Blades

Fill the blender with a cup of rice and blend on high for a few minutes. The rice helps to sharpen the blades, keeping them efficient.

Regular Maintenance: Doing this once a month can prolong the life of your blender.

Pierre-Bamin--Ldilhdx3Sk-UnsplashPhoto by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash


17. Cook Eggs in Onion Rings for Perfect Shape

Use onion rings as molds on a skillet. Crack an egg into each ring for a perfectly round shape, ideal for sandwiches.

Flavorful Twist: Adds a subtle onion flavor to the eggs, enhancing their taste.

Gabriel-Gurrola-Cxsiqqrnrns-UnsplashPhoto by Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash

18. Store Avocados with Onion Chunks

Store cut avocados with large chunks of onion. The sulfur compounds in onions help keep the avocados green longer.

Airtight Container: Place both in an airtight container in the fridge for extended freshness.

Hitoshi-Namura-Epsikxisjnu-UnsplashPhoto by Hitoshi Namura on Unsplash

19. Soak Garlic Cloves in Warm Water for Easy Peeling

Soak garlic cloves in warm water for 15 minutes. This loosens the skin, making them much easier to peel.

Time Saver: Great for recipes that require a lot of garlic, saving time and effort.

Mike-Kenneally-Muv4Ypu4Og4-UnsplashPhoto by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

20. Use a Thermos to Keep Food Warm

Use a thermos to keep foods like soups, stews, or mashed potatoes warm until serving time.

Convenient for Potlucks: This is particularly useful for transporting hot dishes to potlucks or gatherings.

Bluewater-Sweden-Jpxnin5Ac4G-UnsplashPhoto by Bluewater Sweden on Unsplash

21. Reheat Pizza in a Skillet

Reheat pizza in a non-stick skillet on low heat. This keeps the crust crispy, unlike microwaving which can make it soggy.

Melty Cheese: Cover the skillet for a minute to melt the cheese without overcooking the base.

Veda-Kiran-Wqrzwvg-K3M-UnsplashPhoto by veda kiran on Unsplash

22. Soak Pasta in Water to Speed Up Cooking

Soak pasta in a bowl of water for a couple of hours before cooking. It significantly reduces the cooking time.

Energy Efficient: Ideal for saving time and energy, especially on busy days.

Spaghetti-569067 1920Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay


23. Use Vinegar to Test Egg Freshness

Place eggs in a bowl of water with a splash of vinegar. Fresh eggs will sink, while older ones will float.

Safety First: This hack ensures you're using fresh eggs, especially important in recipes where eggs are undercooked.

Oil-2738162 1920Image by Loyloy Thal from Pixabay

24. Use a Mason Jar for Instant Whipped Cream

Pour heavy cream into a mason jar, tighten the lid, and shake vigorously for a few minutes for instant whipped cream.

Convenience: Perfect when you need whipped cream quickly and don't have a mixer handy.

Kier-In-Sight-Archives-B29Z0Iltxk4-UnsplashPhoto by Kier in Sight Archives on Unsplash

25. Cook Bacon in the Oven

Lay bacon strips on a baking sheet and bake in the oven. This cooks the bacon evenly and reduces splattering.

Easy Cleanup: Line the baking sheet with foil for quick and easy cleanup.

Wright-Brand-Bacon-Vvtvblkkrik-UnsplashPhoto by Wright Brand Bacon on Unsplash

26. Freeze Bananas for Creamier Smoothies

Freeze overripe bananas to add a creamy texture to smoothies without the need for dairy.

Natural Sweetness: They also add natural sweetness, reducing the need for added sugars.

Amanda-Vick-Eraq9Asbiy4-UnsplashPhoto by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

27. Use Muffin Tins for Portion Control

Use muffin tins to cook and freeze individual portions of dishes like meatloaf, egg bites, or mini quiches.

Convenient Meal Prep: Great for meal prep and ensures consistent portion sizes.

Amanda-Vick-Eraq9Asbiy4-UnsplashPhoto by Diane Alkier on Unsplash

28. Stabilize a Cutting Board with a Damp Cloth

Place a damp cloth or paper towel under your cutting board. This prevents it from sliding around and ensures safer chopping.

Increased Safety: Essential for maintaining control while cutting, especially with sharp knives.

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-Omcqajetbgi-UnsplashPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

29. Regrow Green Onions in Water

Place the white roots of green onions in a jar of water. They will regrow, providing a continuous supply.

Sunlight Exposure: Keep the jar on a windowsill for adequate sunlight and change the water every few days.

Mutzii-0I-Grqdwyym-UnsplashPhoto by Mutzii on Unsplash

30. Use a Cookie Scoop for Evenly Sized Items

Use a cookie scoop to ensure uniform sizes for items like meatballs, cookies, or muffin batter.

Consistent Cooking: Helps in even cooking and presents a professional look to your dishes.

1024Px-Kitchen-Scooper-LargeEvan-Amos on Wikimedia Commons