Creative Cooking: 35+ Uncommon Food Hacks We Haven’t Heard Of
As much as we’d like to channel our inner Ina Garten or Matha Stewart, only a few have talents in the kitchen. Sometimes, even the preparation of a simple dish is a challenging task, even with a YouTube tutorial to guide us along.
Fortunately, there are practical solutions that help everyday folks like us navigate the world of cooking with greater ease. They make it possible to create magic without a culinary arts degree.
The only thing we regret is not knowing these unusual food tips earlier. They would have helped us achieve delicious results quickly without compromising quality.
Here are a few innovative hacks that will help improve efficiency in the kitchen while maintaining the dish’s quality, from using a lemon peel for your meals or air frying frozen pizza whenever you are hungry and need a snack.
1. Burger Hack
As much as we love burgers, it’s frustrating when the patty or vegetables fall out, and this has happened to us more than once. We know many folks can relate to this, but thanks to this food hack, we never have to deal with this problem again.
Wrap the lettuce around one side of your burger to keep everything in place. This way, you enjoy your sandwich or burger with zero stress. Why did we only hear of this now? We would have enjoyed our burgers more.
2. Eat Your Cupcake Like A Sandwich
Who can resist cupcakes? We admit it takes a lot of willpower to say no to these moist and tasty baked goods. Even if we say we’re on a diet, we still sneak in a cupcake or two, but sometimes eating them can get messy.
After knowing this hack, you wouldn’t eat your cupcake any other way. Make your cupcake a ‘sandwich’ by cutting it in half and placing the bottom on the frosting. This will reduce the messiness. However, a few crumbs may still end up on your shirt.
3. Never Throw Your Potato Peels
Need help with potato peels? They are not as useless as most of us think, and can be eaten. Clean the potato peels with vinegar and salt to remove dirt and sand. After drying, put them on parchment paper for a bit.
Get a pan, add some olive oil, and fry the peels on low heat until medium brown. They make for a lovely afternoon snack if you need to munch on something before dinner or while you do some work around the house.
4. Chili Crisp Egg
Eggs are inexpensive and make any meal tastier and better; hence they are staples. Even a bowl of ramen can benefit from a chili crisp egg. You only need one large egg, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper, and it’s easy to prepare.
Once the oil is hot, carefully pour your eggs into the skillet and cook them sunny side up until the whites are set and the yolk runny. Season them carefully, then transfer them to your ramen and garnish with scallions or cilantro.
5. Onion Flower
Here is something you should try for this year’s Thanksgiving, an edible onion flower. It is flavorful, easy to prepare, aesthetically appealing, and doesn’t need a lot of ingredients. All you need are red onions cut eight times, but only partially through.
Place them well apart, and add some olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and your other preferred seasoning. Bake in the oven for half an hour until they look like the photo above. Serve with a bun, some potatoes, or whatever pastry you fancy.
6. Avocado With Valentina Sauce
When it comes to food, you should be willing and ready to try different procedures and combinations. We know avocados go well with eggs, bread, and veggies, but have you tried putting Valentina hot sauce with salt and pepper on your avocado before?
It’s simple and delicious. You need an avocado cut into two with the seed taken out. Add some Valentina hot sauce with salt and pepper in the hole. You can never go wrong with something that’s straightforward, versatile, and delicious.
7. Egg, Bacon, And Cheese
We’re confident everyone has come across bacon, eggs, and cheese in a sandwich. However, only a few are familiar with this interesting egg food hack that doesn’t require a chef’s expertise. Boil your eggs for 10 minutes and slice them in half.
Add a piece of crispy, well-cooked bacon and a neatly cut slice of cheese. Arrange the bacon and cheese in the middle of the egg and use a skewer to hold it in place. Season with chili, salt, and a bit of olive oil.
8. How To Let Your Toast Cool
Taking toasted bread from the toaster and laying a few together risks them getting soggy; nobody likes eating that for breakfast. With this hack, you can have perfectly toasted bread every single time, and who will say no to that?
Make your toasts stand upright, facing each other on a chopping board until you are ready to eat them. This way, your toast is always fresh, crispy, and crunchy. Where have we been, and why have we not tried this before?
9. Crispy Fried Pickles
Love the crispiness of deep-fried foods, but don’t want too much oil? This “fried” pickle chips recipe is perfect. The only other ingredients you need are shredded cheese and seasoning. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and use the cooking spray to grease the muffin pan.
You can also use parchment paper to line the pan. Pat the pickles dry to remove excess moisture, sprinkle cheese on the tray, press the pickles into the cheese, and spread more cheese on top. Bake for 8 minutes at 400F, and have great “deep-fried” food with zero oil.
10. Waffle Pizza
Call this a breakfast pizza if you must because this will take your first meal of the day to new heights. Leftover pizza works well with this, but you can also use frozen pizza. If you’re using the latter, let it thaw first.
This is the answer to what to do with leftover pizza that no longer looks appetizing. You’ll feast on crispy, filling, and gooey goodness first thing in the morning, and that’s something we all want at the start of a busy day.
11. Lasagna Chips
Here is something to make and munch on, so you don’t have to cook lasagna on an empty stomach. We hate throwing away those lasagna trimming anyway, and this is perfect for leftovers too. Take them out of the freezer and let them defrost.
Fry until crispy, and season with salt, garlic, or any seasoning that works for you. This is a healthier substitute for sweets and chips. Serve with sauce. Munch on this so you don’t need to wait for dinner on an empty stomach.
12. A Cheese Crust
We’ve already mentioned how much we hate soggy bread, so it goes without saying that we enjoy our fried egg sandwiches, but we don’t like how ketchup makes the bread soggy. Can something be done to prevent this? You bet!
The answer is cheese. Put the cheese on the inside face of the bread before toasting. This will give you a cheese crust that’s crispy and delicious. You also get to add your ketchup without worrying it will soak the bread.
13. Butterfly Chicken Drumsticks
Why is it difficult to replicate the crispy chicken wings we’ve had at restaurants? When we try to do it at home, it always doesn’t come out right. Here’s an alternative we’ve recently come across. Remove the bones from the chicken drumsticks and season with your chosen spices.
Fry over low heat with butter and oil to cook the drumsticks faster. Even picky little children will love this cheaper and more flavorful alternative to expensive chicken wings. The best thing about this is you save money, work less, and enjoy great taste!
14. Waffles And Yogurt Combination
This two-year-old puts yogurt on his waffles and actually likes how it tastes. We know it’s weird taking culinary advice from a toddler, but there’s no harm in trying. Not only is yogurt healthier than cream, but it tastes much better.
Yogurt has a sweet and sour taste, giving it a balance of flavors. Jam, chocolate, and an assortment of fresh fruits can also be used as toppings to provide the waffles with more flavor. Pick a combination that works for you.
15. Grease Your Chocolate Cake Pan With Cocoa Powder
Baking is a science requiring specific steps to produce a flawless, tasty cake. No one wants to see a cake collapse in on itself or split into two while being removed from the baking pan. Those are the stuff of bakers’ nightmares.
To prevent your chocolate cake from splitting, grease the pans with butter or baking spray, then dust them with cocoa powder instead of flour. You’ll notice the cake won’t stick to the pan and won’t have white patches around it.
16. Frozen Pizza Hack
A smart way to eat pizza without stress? Coming right up! Now you don’t need to be afraid of buying a whole pizza because you live alone and can’t eat everything in one sitting. There’s no risk of getting stale pizza that’s seen better days.
No need to put the whole pizza in the oven if you can’t eat that much. Cut a few slices and toss them in the air fryer. You’ll get nice-looking pizza and save the rest for another meal. Waste not, want not, right?
17. Special Brownies
The right ingredients can make a massive difference in brownies and elevate their taste. Preheat your oven, then grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with salted butter for a crispy texture and salty and sweet taste. Adding coffee to the mixture also brings out the flavor of the chocolate.
Pour the batter and spread evenly in the pan. Bake for about half an hour or insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out with moist crumbs, it’s done. Be careful because it’s easy to overbake the brownies.
18. Baked Ham
This no-fail hack assures your holiday season is filled with delicious food. After all, it is a season to be jolly, merry, and satisfied with delightful meals, from turkeys to hams and even puddings. A favorite of ours has to be hams.
Those fatty bits are heaven in our mouths. If you have leftover ham from Christmas, don’t throw it away. Roll it in a puff pastry with brie, cranberry sauce, and mustard, and put it in the oven. Voila, you’ve got freshly baked delicious ham!
19. Smashed Potatoes
Potatoes are versatile. They go well with everything and can be cooked in different ways. What we love most about them is that they always look amazing, regardless of the cooking process. One of our go-to recipes is smashed potatoes; it doesn’t need much.
Wash your potatoes thoroughly, and boil them with the skin on for about 30 minutes. Cut the potatoes crosswise and smash them. Sprinkle with herbs, salt, and spices, then bake the potatoes at 200 degrees for half an hour or until crispy.
20. Dip Ruffles In Melted Chocolate
Ruffles chips are made from sliced potatoes that are deep-fried until crispy. The ridges on ruffles chips, which are created during the manufacturing process, give them a unique appearance and also enhance their ability to hold dips and sauces.
Instead of using sour cream or salsa for your ruffles, try chocolate instead. Melt a bowl of chocolate over hot water and then dip the chips into melted chocolate, thoroughly mix it, and add sprinkles. A game changer!
21. Coffee Guitars
If you don’t want your coffee diluted in water or with regular ice, this hack is for you. By freezing the coffee into ice cubes, you can use them whenever you want to cool down a hot drink without diluting it.
Brew some coffee using your preferred method. The amount of water and coffee grounds can be adjusted based on your preference. Once cool, transfer the mixture into ice cube trays or a guitar tray like this one, and put them in the freezer.
22. Use The Peel Of Your Lemon
Lemon has several health benefits, and when it comes to flavoring food, you can’t go wrong with it unless you cut it the wrong way. Yes, there is a correct way to cut lemon, and we just found out now too.
Lemon goes well with pasta, salad, and salmon; you can get its essence in two ways. One is to use the peel instead of the juice to avoid tanginess, and the other is to grate the zest and add it to what you’re cooking.
23. Turn Your Heavy Cream Into Butter
Stop throwing away your heavy cream when it’s about to go bad because you can still use them by turning them into butter. This might not work with all heavy cream, so ensure it’s not pasteurized and has a high-fat percentage.
Before the heavy cream is about to go bad, put it in a glass jar with a lid, and shake until a solid lump of butter is formed. Strain away the liquid and put the solid butter in a clean bowl. Rinse with cold water before storing so it doesn’t smell, and lastly, remember the flaky salt.
24. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Tortillas are incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortilla chips, and tostadas. The list is endless, but this time, we have a new way of enjoying tortillas, one most people have yet to try.
Cut your tortillas or low-carb bread into small pieces like the one in the photo, add sweetener and cinnamon, and mix together. Transfer the mixture to the air fryer and cook until it’s brown. You’ve got cinnamon toast crunch with only half the calories.
25. Salsa With A Secret Ingredient
Salsa is a popular dish that is commonly associated with Mexico, and it’s something everyone should try at least once. If you’re late to the party, we have the perfect recipe. With this secret ingredient, we guarantee salsa with a ton of flavor.
Place the tomatoes, onion, peppers, lime juice, and cilantro leaves in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until you get the desired consistency. Season with salt and spices, and add a few splashes of white wine vinegar, and you’ve got a winner.
26. Ramen Seasoning Popcorn
We know most enjoy their popcorn with caramel, some say milk, and others would rather have butter in theirs to make it creamy. But what if we told you there was another great way to enjoy your popcorn? This time with just two ingredients.
You need a ramen packet; if you have one around the house, try it with your popcorn. Stir it and add butter or margarine. Mix it with the popcorn, and there you have it, a delicious snack that will have you licking your fingers!
27. Baked Potato Hotdog
Never allow the absence of a few ingredients to stop you from making your favorite meal. Be open-minded to trying new things when cooking, and be adventurous enough to do something you haven’t done before, without risking safety.
Want a hotdog sandwich but have no buns on hand? Fret not; you can still pull it off by using a baked potato. Now that’s genius! Bread has a high starch content, and so does potato. If you ask us, potato is tastier than plain bread.
28. Do Not Throw Your Stale Bread Away
Stale bread still has a lot of life, so don’t throw it away. Put it to good use by turning it into bread crumbs. This hack will open your eyes to the many things you can do with stale bread, including delicious buns.
Dip the stale bread in a milk and egg mixture. You can use milk if you don’t like eggs. Deep fry in hot vegetable oil and soak in sugar syrup. This makes for a fantastic meal. If you have yet to try this, now is the best time.
29. Perfect Combo Dip
A hot miso sauce is a condiment made with miso paste and additional ingredients to give it a spicy kick. Miso paste is a traditional Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans, salt, and a koji starter (a type of fungus).
It has a distinct rich, savory, and slightly tangy taste. Add mayonnaise to your hot miso sauce to bring the flavor up a notch and use this combination for various things, such as ramen, rice, carrots, and salads. The possibilities are endless.
30. Cook Rice And Salmon In A Rice Cooker
Cooking rice and salmon in a pressure cooker can be a convenient way to prepare a delicious meal with less hassle. It will help you save time and the worries of an overcooked salmon. Use cold water to rinse the rice until it runs clear.
Put the rinsed rice and salmon into the pressure cooker. Pour in the appropriate amount of water based on the type of rice you’re using. Stir gently to distribute the rice evenly. Once cooked, season the salmon and serve hot.
31. Use Lime In Your Poke Bowl
Poke bowls are pretty popular nowadays. The traditional Hawaiian dish typically consists of a base of rice or salad topped with fresh, raw fish, vegetables, and various toppings. To enliven and enhance the flavor, it’s given a squeeze of fresh lemon.
But did you know that using lime instead of lemon gives it a tremendous change in flavor? Try the substitution, and you’ll see a noticeable difference in your healthy meal. We are definitely doing this the next time we order a poke bowl.
32. Chili Heatwave Chicken
Stop eating chicken the old-fashioned way because we have something here that will delight your taste buds, the chili heatwave chicken. The name alone should be convincing enough. Get some chicken, seasoning, egg wash, and smashed-up Doritos. Wash the chicken and pat it dry.
Season the chicken, dip it in the egg wash, and coat it with crushed Doritos. The Doritos should stick to the chicken and create a crispy, flavorful coating. Fry or bake the chicken until thoroughly cooked. This will make you ask for more.
33. Gluten-Free Waffles
Prioritizing health should be everyone’s mission in life. This means watching what you eat and being mindful of the ingredients you use to prepare meals. You should also avoid certain unhealthy food options that will not benefit your mind and body.
Instead of making waffles with many sugary and unhealthy ingredients, opt for dairy, gluten, and cane-sugar free recipes. Palm sugar is one of the best sweetener options out there. There are also various recipes online which do not use dairy.
34. PB&J With Sliced Bananas Made In Waffle Maker
A PB&J, short for peanut butter and jelly, is a classic and popular sandwich combination that consists of peanut butter and jelly or jam spread between two slices of bread. It is often enjoyed as a quick and easy lunch or snack option.
There’s a new twist to the traditional PB&J, which we’ve come to know and love, and we’re always up for trying something new. While you spread the peanut butter and jelly, add crushed banana to both slices of bread. Put it in a waffle maker and press both sides.
35. Candied Bacon
Everything tastes better with a slice of bacon, and we’re here to tell you that it can be made more decadent. You heard that right! Try this cooking hack, and you’ll never have bacon another way. This also makes for an excellent afternoon snack.
Get a few bacon slices, pat them dry, sprinkle brown sugar, and drizzle maple syrup on top. Massage well to let all the flavors soak in, and then cook in an air fryer for a few minutes. There you have it, candied bacon!
36. Fried Babybell With Marinara Sauce
Here is a delicious snack that we think everyone will love. Carefully peel off the wax coating from the Babybel cheese rounds and discard. Put beaten eggs in one bowl, flour in another, and bread crumbs in the last bowl.
Take a Babybel cheese, coat it in flour, and dip it in the beaten eggs. Finally, cover the cheese with bread crumbs. Fry and serve with a sauce of your choice, but marinara works best. Enjoy and spread the word!
37. Frozen Espresso Cubes
This is a top-notch idea for quenching summer heat with iced coffees. Brew a batch of espresso according to your taste. Allow the brewed espresso to cool down. You can place it in the refrigerator for quicker cooling if desired.
Once the espresso has cooled, pour it into an ice cube tray, and freeze. Enjoy your chilled coffee without worrying about it getting diluted since the espresso cubes will melt slowly, maintaining the strength of your drink. Enjoy your jolt of caffeine.
38. Cone S’mores
This hack is our favorite, and since coming across it, we’ve never prepared s’mores any other way. This is another take on the usual way of grilling marshmallows on a stick; you’ll love it! First, get a few ice cream cones.
Add graham crackers and some milk bar chocolates, and put the marshmallows on the cone. Wrap each cone in a foil and grill over medium heat until the marshmallow has melted. You’ve got yourself hot ‘ice cream’ goodness that’s easier to handle.
39. The Perfect Bacon
Everyone loves crispy and well-cooked bacon, and it can be annoying when that’s not the result you get. The secret is to start the cooking process in the microwave. Cook the bacon for 30-45 seconds, cover with a paper towel, and allow to cool.
After allowing it to sit, transfer the bacon to the stovetop and fry in a nonstick pan until crispy. This is a surefire way of getting well-cooked bacon for breakfast, burgers or sandwiches. This food hack works wonders and never fails.
40. Little Sushi Cups
Love sushi but could be better at rolling them into perfect cylinders? You’re not alone. We’ve had similar problems. Thankfully, there is an easier and quicker way of doing it. While the rice is cooking, divide your Nori sheets into four squares.
Place a heaping tablespoon of rice into each nori sheet, then put it into a muffin tray. Add seasoning and bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. You can use a variety of toppings to garnish the sushi. This works every time.