Top 10 Cooking Hacks

Check out these tips and tricks to help simplify and speed up your cooking routine!  

10. Save an open bottle of wine with olive oil and cotton

I’ve never seen of or heard of this trick anywhere other than in a small Italian home I stayed in a few years ago. My “house dad” used to save our table wine by pouring in a little bit of olive oil on the top when we were done with it. Then, when it came time to “open” up the bottle again the next night(we had wine with every dinner), he would tie a piece of string around a cotton ball (just make a bunch at once) and lower it into the wine bottle. The cotton will catch the olive oil, separating it from the vino below.

9. Slice avocados in their skin

If you’re like me, you probably can’t go a week without eating an avocado (they’re nature’s butter… how can you go wrong?). Despite their deliciousness they can be very pesky to open and cut! Here’s the best way to do it:

1. Cut the avocado in half with a sharp knife
2. Firmly stick the knife into the pit and remove it
 3. Hold one half of the avocado (still in the skin) and cut into cubes making sure not to cut through the skin
4. Gently squeeze the avocado half – the cubes will fall out
5. Discard the skin and repeat with the other half

8. Partially Freeze Meat Before Cutting

Thinly slicing any type of meat, from chicken to beef, can be incredibly tricky, even with a solid cutting board and a sharp knife. The best way to get these thin cuts is to stiffen the meat by placing it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.This cooking hack also works on onions to lessen the chance that they’ll make you tear up (probably the worst thing when you’re quickly trying to get some dinner on the table).

7. Refrigerate Herbs and Greens with a damp paper towel

Nothing beats some nice, crisp vegetables. And nothing is worse than when, a couple days later, those fresh veggies have turned to mush in your fridge. The best way to extend the life of your herbs and greens is by rolling them up in a damp paper towel. The towel will collect dark spots of liquid, showing you when its time to cook them up.

6. Taste your food as you go

Ever create something that looks delicious, smells delicious, and, heck, probably is delicious? Then you take that first wonderful bite and… something’s off. Salt? Pepper? Oh no! Probably the best way to make sure your food doesn’t just look good but taste’s good (which, at the end of the day, is the point, right?) is to taste as you cook. Sneak little bites as you go along to make sure that everything is balanced and tastes just right (plus, you’re the one cooking – you deserve it)!

5. Prevent food from sticking

I absolutely hate it when my food sticks on traditional cookware. In this situation, oil is your best friend! Use a metal spatula to loosen what you’re cooking and push it to one side of the skillet. Then tilt the pan so the empty area is over the heat. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil to the empty area and let it get hot before moving the food back. The oil will naturally slicken the pan, making sure your food easily comes off.

4. Add a splash of milk to raw eggs

This is so simple and straightforward that it just makes immediate sense. Just a splash of milk added to eggs will leave you with the butteriest, fluffiest eggs you’ve ever had. If you have any nutmeg lying around, add a pinch of it to deepen the flavor and turn even the quickest breakfast into a treat!

3. How to chop an onion

Since onions are in just about everything I cook (they add tons of flavor), this might be the most essential cooking skill of all time. I’ve never been a pro at chopping up vegetables “the right way” but {this video} helped me get a little better. I hope it helps you too!

2. Removing Salmon Bones

Whenever you make Salmon, please follow this cooking hack. Seriously, I’ve choked on a piece of Salmon before that had a large bone in it once. Not a good time. Follow these simple instructions:

1. Run a finger along the middle seam on the top of the salmon filler going against the grain. You’ll feel bones slightly protruding.

2. Take a pair of tweezers (make sure they’re clean!) and pull out each bone along this seam. There should be a bone about every half-inch or so. Repeat  until all the large pin bones are gone.

1. Always have homemade croutons and breadcrumbs on hand

I love this hack because not only is it super easy and convenient, it also saves me money. Never throw out your bread ends or scraps – keep a large bag in the freezer full of these leftovers. Then, use the bits that you save to either create homemade breadcrumbs or homemade croutons. It’s sustainable and a great way to save money!

What’s your favorite way to save time or money in the kitchen?

Try out these tips and tricks in your kitchen.