40+ Handy Tips From The Internet That Will Streamline Anyone’s Cooking ProcessBy Harpreet K
For most people, cooking is one of their least favorite activities. Unfortunately for them, food happens to be a basic need. So, whether it’s making a simple meal or fussing with an extensive recipe, everyone uses food hacks that make their process much easier.
The best part about using different tips and tricks is that they give you a chance to learn different things, like new ways of making eggs or chopping onions without shedding tears. Moreover, they teach you things that can make you a legendary host or hostess within your circle.
One of the simplest options to make your food better is to vary how you season it. In this listicle, we explore this, and a few other hacks that we guarantee will improve your cooking process.
1. Take-out chicken at home
Making take-out chicken at home is easy and doesn’t require unique ingredients. You only need a few simple items and time to cook the chicken. Once you follow these steps, everyone in your family will be begging you to make some more within no time. Begin by heating oil in a pan.
Proceed by cooking the chicken until you’re satisfied that both sides are cooked through. Once it’s cooked well, transfer it to a bowl and set aside. As for the garlic, ginger, and onions, fry them in the same skillet and once they are done, add in the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes.
2. Poach eggs in the microwave
In the morning, there is nothing better than a hot, fresh poached egg. However, making these eggs is a bit tricky since they are a bit harder to get right compared to normal scrambled eggs. Lucky for you, we have a hack! Just place an egg in a microwavable bowl and cover it with water.
You can add half a spoonful of vinegar to help with egg coagulation. For the egg to be well cooked, set the heat a bit high and leave it in for about two minutes. We recommend adding chili sauce and salt to the egg for flavor.
3. Make these simple pancakes
Looking for a healthy and flourless pancake recipe? Look no further than these three-ingredient pancakes! By using mashed sweet potato instead of flour, you are cutting out many unhealthy carbs that come with traditional pancakes. Also, use little oil when making these pancakes to reduce fats.
As seen in the picture, adding eggs and ground cinnamon ensures that the pancakes are both delicious and nutritious. If you consider yourself an adventurous person, try this recipe out. You might be pleasantly surprised and choose to stick with it!
4. No more sticky fish
This is a valuable hack for anyone who loves salmon. When grilling fish, it is vital to have a lemon on hand. Slice a lemon and place it under the fish before grilling. This will help with seasoning as it will give it a delicious citrusy flavor.
Moreover, the citric acid in the lemon will prevent the fish from sticking and make it easy to grill. You may also try this method with other seafood when grilling. The result will be a non-sticky flavorful meal that is easy to cook and tasty as well.
5. Freeze onions before cutting
Before cutting onions, it’s essential to consider how they’ll be used. If they are going to be chopped and added to a dish raw, you can cut them without freezing them first. However, if they will be used in a cooked dish, it’s best to freeze them first.
Freezing onions makes them easier to cut because the layers between the onion skin and the flesh are frozen. This prevents tears when you cut through the onion. To freeze onions, peel off the outer layer and discard it. Also, don’t freeze them whole. Instead, cut them in half.
6. Poach eggs in plastic bags
Another poached egg hack! If you can’t tell by now, we love these eggs, and since we’re sure lots of other people do as well, we thought it’s best to include another trick. You only need some plastic bags and a pot of water.
Boil the water before placing the bags in it. Also, remember to make sure they are tightly closed. This method takes a bit longer, so the eggs should remain in the water for about 10 minutes. Finally, remove the eggs from the bags using a slotted spoon.
7. Freeze herbs in ice cube trays
If you love fresh herbs but don’t have a lot of room in your kitchen, freezing them is excellent for keeping them on hand. You can freeze whole or chopped herbs in olive oil, and what’s even better, when you finally need them, you can still use the herb-infused oil for cooking!
To freeze herbs, start by chopping them up into small pieces. Then, put the herbs into small containers or ice cube trays. After that, pour olive oil into each compartment, making sure to cover the herbs well before freezing. Finally, store the frozen herb cubes in a Ziploc bag or container.
8. Hard-boil a dozen eggs
If you need a quick and easy way to hard boil a couple of eggs, we’ve got it! Instead of the cumbersome process of actual boiling, use a muffin tray and your oven instead. For the eggs to be cooked properly, set the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best part about this is that the eggs will cook quickly and evenly. So, in about half an hour, you will have perfectly cooked eggs! After getting them out, you can cool them in cold water for a few minutes.
9. Freeze before grating
If you’re like most home cooks, you probably don’t bother freezing whole cloves of garlic and ginger before grating them. But if you’re trying to maximize the flavor and nutrition of your food, it’s a bright idea to freeze them first. Freezing garlic and ginger also makes them easier to grate.
Plus, they’ll retain their essential nutrients and flavors intact even after being frozen. Start by thinly slicing both vegetables and after you’re done, wrap the pieces in plastic. After freezing for about two hours, remove them from the container, and they’ll be ready to grate.
10. 5-ingredient tropical piña coladas
Looking for a delicious and refreshing drink to cool you off on a hot summer day? Try this tropical piña colada recipe! The ingredients are 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light rum, 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk, and one frozen pineapple slice.
Combine the cream, sugar, rum, and coconut milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Next, add the frozen pineapple and mix again. After you’ve served the drink, you can also garnish it with thin pineapple slices and an umbrella for full effect!
11. Microwave the whole squash
If you have a microwave, why not try microwaving your squash instead of boiling it? Microwaving it for about three minutes in high heat results in a much softer texture and less stubbornness when cutting. Like most hacks, this will save you lots of time.
Once the three minutes are up, you can use a fork and a knife to cut it into pieces. Luckily, the microwave softens the squash and makes the knife glide easily on the flesh. You won’t need any muscle power to cut through it.
12. Easy, evenly cut protein
Chicken breast and flank steak can be cut more efficiently and cleanly if they are frozen before being cut. This will reduce the amount of fat released during cooking, resulting in a cleaner and more even slice. To freeze your meat, cut them into thin slices before freezing.
Chicken breasts should be cut into 1-inch slices, while flank steak should be cut into 3/4-inch slices. When you’re done chopping the slices up, place them in a freezer for about 2-3 hours. Once frozen, the protein can be sliced with a sharp knife.
13. Soy sauce magic
Soy sauce is one of those ingredients that can be added to any savory dish to enhance the flavor. Since it has an umami flavor, you can easily use it on salty food and snacks. Umami is a flavor enhancer that comes from amino acids and soybeans.
It’s responsible for the taste and aroma of some foods, like seafood, chicken, and beef. The versatility of soy sauce is one of the reasons why we always recommend having a bottle of it in your pantry. It really is a magical ingredient.
14. No-mess measuring
This is probably one of the most popular questions in cooking: how do I measure sticky ingredients without making a mess? The easiest and most foolproof option is to use nonstick cooking spray or oil on the measuring spoons and cups.
This way, you won’t have to worry about making a big mess, and you’ll get accurate measurements. This is a great trick, especially for those who love baking but hesitate to follow recipes because they’re scared of messing up the portions.
15. Jackfruit as a meat substitute
Canned jackfruit is a great meatless substitute for pulled pork. It can be cooked in various ways and is an excellent option for those looking for a healthy and affordable meal. So, if you’re looking to embrace the vegetarian lifestyle, here’s a little hack to get you started.
To begin, heat the oil in a saucepan before adding the jackfruit. Next, cook until lightly browned and slightly tender, for about 10 minutes. See, it even gets ready faster than meat! So, next time you’re at the store or farmer’s market, pick up some jackfruit and try this out.
16. Caffeinated brownies
Coffee is a very popular ingredient in pastries and desserts. It is used in cupcakes, cookies, cheesecakes, and even some types of bread. You can also add a bit of it to your brownie recipe. This will help boost the chocolate taste.
The rich chocolate flavor will be even more detectable, and your brownies will have an extra caffeine boost. If you’re feeling incredibly daring, you can add a bit of dark chocolate to the mix for an even more intense flavor.
17. The yummiest hot dogs
Spiralizing hot dogs is a great hack for anyone who enjoys these tasty snacks. This process gives them a unique look and texture and makes them even crisper and crunchier on the outside. Plus, the spirals’ ridges help to make perfect indents for your condiments.
First, place your hot dog on a flat surface and slice it up. Place the strips onto a clean work surface and start spiraling them clockwise, making sure to keep them as close to one another as possible. Finally, add your favorite condiments and enjoy!
18. Non-sticky pasta
To prevent the pasta from sticking together, you should consider adding a splash of olive oil to the pasta water. This is especially important when making pasta with egg noodles, which tend to stick together more quickly than other kinds of noodles.
By lubricating the noodles’ surface with oil, you’ll be able to cook them more evenly and avoid sticking. Also, add just enough salt to the pasta water so the noodles are more flavorful and work well with the pasta sauce.
19. ‘Roasted’ garlic in a few minutes
When you roast garlic, it yields a sweet, mellow flavor that’s perfect for adding depth to your dishes. This hack allows you to get that effect in just a few minutes. To roast garlic, cut off the head and place the bud in a microwave-safe container.
Proceed by adding a little oil, water and some salt to the container Next, place it in the microwave and leave it for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze garlic from the individual cloves. This lightly brown roasted garlic can be mixed with butter or added to soups for a nice flavor.
20. Crunchy cheese sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic summer dish. However, they can be a little bland. To remedy this, try coating the bread in mayonnaise before pan-frying to give it some extra flavor. This step is optional, but it gives the sandwich a lot of depth of flavor.
If you don’t want to bother coating the bread, just pan-fry it with mayo and some cooking oil. Either way, your grilled cheese will be delicious and crispy. Moreover, you can add different types of cheese for a yummy cheese-pull sandwich.
21. Egg yolk for easy carbonara
If you are one of those people who adore Italian food, you can try stirring egg yolk directly into cooked pasta for an easy and delicious carbonara recipe. Start by cooking your pasta accurately following the package instructions. That’s very important.
Once you’re sure it’s cooked, add the egg yolk and mix that with the cheese well for a creamy taste. You’ll want to continue stirring until the egg yolk fully melts into the sauce. Finally, add salt and a bit of black pepper for a kick and serve.
22. Heat the baking tray
If you’re roasting something in your oven, it’s essential to heat it up before placing the food. However, you’ll be amazed at how much heating the baking tray can help. This will help to cook the food faster and create a crispier result.
First, preheat your oven to its standard setting along with an adequately oiled baking tray. After the pan has been in there for a few minutes, place whatever food you want to cook in the pan and proceed as you normally would.
23. Corny and creamy scrambled eggs
If you’re looking for a savory breakfast option that’s both easy and quick to make, try making an omelet or scrambled eggs with a little bit of cornstarch or sour cream. The starch will thicken the egg mixture, and the eggs won’t feel runny when cooked.
The sour cream will also add some richness and flavor. Just be sure to heat the pan or cooking oil before adding the eggs so that they cook evenly. Cook this mix in butter or oil at low heat to allow the flavors to combine in a soft blend.
24. Freeze-sliced avocados
At some point, you’re going to find yourself with leftover avocados. If you love these fruits and hate to waste any, there are a few tricks you can use to reduce wastage. For example, freezing avocados in half or slices is a great way to ensure you have some on hand later.
You can also freeze chunks of avocado so they are smaller and easier to eat. Once frozen, place the avocado chunks in a freezer bag or container to store until you need them again. If you’re like us, that is going to be very often since these fruits go with everything!
25. Save the pasta water
Do not drain pasta water into the sink. This starchy liquid is gold for recipes. Pasta water can be used in various dishes, from boiling it to make a soup or sauce to using it as a poaching liquid for eggs.
You can use it to make chicken and vegetable soup. Boil pasta water in a pot, then add the chicken or vegetables and let the soup boil until the chicken is cooked through. You may also use it to thicken curry or add it to pasta sauce to make it richer in texture.
26. Easy and quick pizza
There are so many ways to make pizza with a flour tortilla, and this recipe is one of the simplest. Just heat some oil in a skillet, then place the tortilla in the oil and cook until nice and crispy. Next, add your favorite toppings, and you’re ready to go!
You may add pepperoni, mushrooms, and any other vegetable on top to make a custom pizza. The no-oven requirement is convenient for those who do not have one but love pizza! If that is you, we highly recommend trying this out.
27. Creamiest mac n cheese
If you’re looking for a healthier mac n’ cheese option, you can try substituting some or all of the milk with sour cream. This change will not only make the dish more nutritious, but it will also add a slightly sour flavor that can be pretty refreshing.
Remember, some people may prefer more savory seasoning, while others might want a more pronounced sweetness from the added sugar, so adjust the spices appropriately. You can also add a bit of pepper and nutmeg for an additional kick of flavor.
28. Bake to ripen an avocado
There are many ways to ripen an avocado, but one of the simplest is to place it in a brown paper bag and leave it on the kitchen counter. The avocado will turn from green to a brownish color and will be ready to eat. However, this method takes a few days to work.
To ripen an avocado faster, you have to bake it. For the best results, leave an unripe avocado in the oven for about 15 minutes with the heat set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This will cause the avocado to darken and become softer. You’ll be able to cut/smash it without too much force.
29. Freeze grapes to substitute ice
If you’re looking for an alternative to using ice in your drinks, consider tossing a few grapes into the freezer and using those instead. Not only will this not water down the drink, but it’ll also cool it without altering its taste.
Keep the grapes in the freezer for at least half an hour for them to freeze. You can also try replacing ordinary ice cubes with frozen grapes to create refreshing summer cocktails or mocktails. Just be sure to give the drink plenty of time to settle before sipping it.
30. Mustard in mac n cheese
Mixing in a dash of mustard into mac ‘n’ cheese makes it even more flavorful. The acid in the mustard breaks down some of the starch in the mac ‘n’ cheese, resulting in a cheesier taste, which is one of the perfect ways to enhance a simple meal if you ask us.
The result is creamy yet has a complex kick of flavors. This little addition of mustard sauce will level up your regular mac n cheese. Make this the next time you’re cooking this popular meal. You may also add pepper and dry yeast for a rich boost.
31. Make protein keto waffles
If you are looking for a healthier breakfast option, protein keto waffles are the way to go! This revolutionary breakfast option is packed with protein and fiber. Also, it tastes delicious, so it is perfect for a quick and easy breakfast!
To make these waffles, you’ll need 1 cup of protein powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar-free cocoa powder, 1/2 cup of egg whites, and 1/2 mashed banana. To make the waffles, whisk everything together and cook in a waffle maker. So simple!
32. Easy sangria recipe
There’s nothing like a refreshing drink on a hot day. But making your own may be a bit of a hassle. If you want to make easy sangria, freezing fruit and booze in ice cubes is the way to do it. First, wash and chop your fruits. You can use whatever you have.
You can use something sweet and fruity like berries, oranges, strawberries, or grapefruit. After chopping the fruit, pour liquor into a jar or container. Next, put the chopped fruits and wine into a large ice tray or freezer bag/container. Once freezing is done, you can remove it from the freezer when needed.
33. Cook in broth or stock
There are many benefits to cooking rice, pasta, and couscous in broth or stock instead of water. Broth and stock have a richer flavor that can be enhanced by adding aromatics such as garlic, onion, and herbs. In addition, these starches will absorb more flavor from the ingredients.
To cook rice or pasta in broth or stock, add the desired amount of broth or stock to a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Next, add your rice or pasta and cook just as you would if you were using plain water.
34. Cottage cheese in a food processor
We know we speak for everyone when we say cheese is an essential ingredient in any kitchen. If you like ricotta cheese but have trouble finding it, you can use cottage cheese or cream cheese. Both kinds come in smooth and dense textures, making them an excellent substitute for ricotta.
As shown in the picture, whip cream cheese or cottage cheese in a food processor. You can also add any desired ingredients, such as herbs or spices, to create your flavor profile. The end result is fluffy cheese that can easily be used as an alternative to ricotta.
35. Bake eggs in a sheet pan
To make a big batch of omelets easily, bake the eggs on a sheet pan! This method yields perfect-sized omelets that are easy to flip and cook evenly. Start by preheating your oven before placing the eggs inside to cook.
As a topping, you may add some ham cut into bite-size pieces and capsicum for a perfect blend of crunchy and soft garnish. This would be a very popular dish if you were playing host for something like an old-fashioned Sunday brunch.
36. Easy vegetable scrap stock
If you have some vegetable scraps you don’t want to waste, you can use them to make vegetable scrap stock. In a household where several meals are prepared a day, such leftovers are a common sight. Begin by rinsing and placing them in a large pot with water.
Boil this until the veggies are cooked. Finally, strain the stock and discard any solids that remain after. Having stock like this at the ready is very convenient as you can easily make soup and make other meals with it.
37. Oven-cooked pasta
There’s something about freshly cooked pasta that just feels satisfying. Unfortunately, sometimes after a long day of craving pasta, you may find it difficult to find the energy to make it from scratch. Luckily, if you have an oven, you can still satisfy that craving.
As usual, the first step is preheating the oven. Set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, spread an ample layer of sauce over each course of pasta. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot, and enjoy!
38. Box cake to cookie dough
Depending on what you want to make, there are many different ways to turn any ready-to-make box cake mix into cookie dough. For example, if you like chocolate chip cookies, you can add the chocolate chips directly to the cake mix.
If you want peanut butter cookies, you can add peanut butter and sugar and bake them according to the instructions on the package. Additionally, if you are a fan of red velvet, you can use a red velvet cake mix to make cookies.
39. Dairy-free mac n cheese
There’s no need to give up mac n’ cheese when you go dairy-free. This version is made with coconut milk for a delicious, creamy texture and squash for a bit of sweetness. Moreover, it’s low on calories, so it’s a very healthy option as well.
To begin, heat olive oil/butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Next, cook your squash in coconut milk and cook for a few minutes until it’s tender. Serve this dish over some steamed broccoli for a complete meal. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal or a vegan dinner party.
40. No-knead bread
No-knead bread is a classic bread that’s made without kneading. It requires a little time and effort to make, but the end result is bread with a super-crispy outer layer and an airy, warm inner layer. To get started, add all the ingredients, except yeast, into a bowl and mix well until everything is combined.
Then, add yeast and mix until it is dissolved. As with all types of bread, the next step is to leave the dough to rise. Finally, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, line a baking sheet using parchment paper, and set the dough inside to bake.
41. Make the softest box cake
This recipe is for you if you’re looking for an ultra-fluffy and tender cake. Adding mayonnaise to the batter before baking can make a cake incredibly soft. In one bowl, combine baking soda, salt, and your cake mix, and then in another, mix butter until creamy.
The next step is to add mayonnaise and once it’s blended, pour the batter into a prepared pan. Leave the cake to bake for about half an hour before checking if it’s done. Once you’re sure it’s ready, place it on a cooling rack.
42. Boil pasta in a creamy sauce
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to cook your pasta from scratch, this one-pot pasta trick is a great option. This creamy sauce is perfect for those who love a hearty dish but don’t have time to cook everything separately. Plus, it only takes about 15 minutes in total!
Start by heating some oil and then frying some garlic in it. Next, add your vegetable or chicken broth, butter, milk (or cream), and pasta. Boil the sauce and cook until the pasta is al dente. Serve with your favorite sauce or toppings.
43. Chill drinks fast
As we said, some of these tips are great for situations when you’re hosting people. For example, if you’re looking for a speedy way to chill wine or beer, using wet paper towels can be a great option. The first step is to wet the paper towels and then place them around the bottle.
Then, put the bottle in a refrigerator or cooler filled with ice. The cold water will quickly cool down the liquor, preventing it from going bad due to the high temperature. This method really comes in handy when you have to chill drinks for a gathering.
44. Freeze fruits for smoothies
A quick and easy way to make a healthy smoothie on the go is by freezing individual packs of fruits and vegetables. You can use whatever fruits you prefer for this. Simply place the frozen packs in a Ziploc bag, and you’re good to go.
Not only is this a convenient way to get your daily dose of vitamins, but it also means you won’t have to waste any leftover fruit. Plus, frozen smoothies are always refreshing and delicious! Blend the frozen fruit mix in some coconut milk or water when you need a delicious breakfast.
45. Better ramen than the package recipe
Ramen stir-fry is a great way to use leftover ramen noodles and that seasoning packet you have in your pantry. All you need is some soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, garlic, and ginger. In a pan, cook the noodles for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
Then add your favorite vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or mushrooms and cook for another 5-7 minutes until they are tender. Serve with some teriyaki sauce on top for extra flavor. You may also sprinkle some crushed peanuts and lime juice.