Food & Nutrition

15 Easy Food Hacks to Improve Your Cooking Skills

Feel like weeknight dinners and grab-and-go lunches take forever to prepare? Help is here!

Looking to improve your cooking skills or make a meal that much quicker? Here are 15 tips and tricks to help you save time,  work smarter, and waste less in the kitchen. 

 

1. How to cook eggs faster


Break one or two in a mug, stir, cover with plastic wrap, microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again for 40 more seconds. Voila—breakfast!

 

 

2. How to resurrect wilting celery


Don’t just discard those droopy veggies. Fill a jar with cold water, trim the tops and bottoms of the stalks, and place them in the jar like flowers. Once your veggies have perked up, remove and crunch away. 

 

 

3. How to prepare a quick and easy salad to go


Need a fast, healthy lunch to bring to the office? Try making a salad in a mason jar. Put heavy, wet ingredients in the bottom and light, dry ingredients on top. When it’s time to eat, add a little dressing, shake it up, and enjoy.

 

 

4. How to cut cheese without a knife


No need for a fancy cheese cutter. Get some plain dental floss (plain–we   don’t want minty cheese!) at your local drug or grocery store and use it for perfect slices of soft cheese. 

 

 

5. How to keep brown sugar soft


Brown sugar bricks are the worst. Banish them for good by putting a marshmallow in your container of brown sugar, which adds a trace of moisture back into the mix. You’ll get a perfect, scoopable consistency every time. 

 

 

6. How to squeeze every drop of juice from a lemon


Wasted lemon juice is a thing of the past when you use your kitchen tongs. Put half of a lemon between the tongs and press down. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

 

 

7. How to tell when an eggs has gone bad


How can you tell when an egg is rotten? Put it in a pan of water and remember this saying: “if it sinks it’s safe, if it floats it’s foul.”

 

 

8. How to keep your cutting board in place


Put a gently wadded sheet or two of damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it steady while you chop.

 

 

9. How to quickly remove strawberry stems


Stick a straw through the bottom of each berry to pop off its pesky top. 

 

 

10. How to easily remove broken eggshells from the bowl


No more chasing bits of shell through your batter. Simply run your fingers under water and use your wet fingertips to gently touch the floating pieces. You’ll nab those suckers instantly. (You’re welcome.)

 

 

11. What to do with brown bananas


Instead of tossing old bananas or making them into a SmartPoints®-laden banana bread, stick them in the freezer in a plastic bag to use for smoothies down the road.

 

 

12. How to processionally mince garlic


You didn’t think that microplane was just for zesting lemons, did you? Use it on peeled garlic for a perfect mince every time. 

 

 

13. How to keep apple slices looking fresh


To prevent sliced apple from turning an unappetizing brown in the fridge, squeeze some lemon juice over the top. The slices will still look good as new even hours later. 

 

 

14. How to quickly soften butter


For spreadable butter on the fly, use a cheese grater to grate the stick of butter like you would a block of cheese. No more waiting for that huge solid square to melt. 

 

 

15. Find a new use for your extra citrus


The oranges and lemons you’re not going to eat can make gorgeous candles. 

 

 

More life hacks from WW