Anything that makes life easier has to be pretty great, which is why everyone is always looking for the best life hacks. From faster cleaning solutions to making it simple to carry your shopping from your car to your house, small hacks can make some things so much better.
While every part of your day probably features something you do to make it more straight-forward, there’s one area that can always do with more tricks to simplify things. With so much going on in your kitchen on a daily basis, it definitely pays off to have a few extra hacks up your sleeve, whether you’re cooking, cleaning or storing food.
This is why we’ve hunted down some of the best ways to make life in your kitchen even better without you needing to spend a fortune or put extra time in. Here are some of the best kitchen and cooking hacks to save time, money, waste and effort:
Get rid of garlic and onion smells
Onion and garlic may taste delicious, but preparing them can leave you with the smell of them on your hands for hours – if not days. However, rubbing salt over your hands after chopping them will soon get rid of the smell!
Cook perfect pasta portions
Not only do spaghetti ladles make dishing up your pasta easier, the hole in the middle also serves as the perfect way to measure out a portion of spaghetti for one person. No more guessing how much you need or trying to work out what to do with all the extra pasta.
The perfect place for your spoons
When it comes to stirring sauces on the hob, you can either leave the spoon in them, which can make them too hot to touch, or put them on the side, either resulting in more washing up or a dirty counter. However, you can stop your spoons getting mixed up and keep your counters clean by resting the end of your spoon in the hole in your pan handle. Genius!
Keep your fridge smelling fresh
A smelly fridge is never nice, but sometimes even cleaning it out can’t get rid of the pong. Deal with this by putting a dry, used teabag in your fridge. The tea leaves become porous after you’ve made your cuppa, so will absorb all the nasty smells, leaving your fridge fresh.
Make your microwave faster
Avoid food that is hot on the outside but cold on the inside when using your microwave by arranging it in a circle around the middle of plate. Not only does it heat evenly, it also takes less time.
Avoid damp lettuce
When lettuce or bags of salad get wet, they go soggy and really don’t taste all that great. Stop this from happening by putting a paper towel in the salad drawer of your fridge, as it will absorb excess moisture keeping the leaves crisp and fresh.
Make cake in advance to keep it moist
Rather than making cake the day before or on the day of an event, make it the week before and pop it in the freezer. Not only will this avoid pre-party stress, it also means that your cake ends up being more moist and delicious.
Portion leftover liquids
If you’ve batch cooked or simply have too much sauce or soup leftover, portion it out and freeze it. Freezing big containers not only takes longer, it means you have to defrost it all to use it, which might still be too much. Portion liquids into single or two-person servings, store it in freezer bags and freeze each portion as flat as possible to save space.
Keep eggs for longer
Eggs can last a lot longer than you might think. Check the freshness of your eggs by placing them one by one in a large bowl or jug of water. If eggs sink to the bottom, they are still good to eat. If any float, they need to go in the bin.
Peel boiled eggs in a flash
Avoid the finicky task of peeling boiled eggs by placing one in a glass jar and giving it a good shake – it will get the shell off in no time!
Avoid mess when grating soft cheese
If your recipe calls for grated soft cheese, such as mozzarella, this can be fairly difficult to achieve without making a huge mess and/or wasting cheese. Making grating simpler by popping your soft cheese in the freezer for half an hour beforehand so it hardens up a bit.