13 Brilliant Hacks That Will Save You Time In The Kitchen

Kitchen Hacks

Even though my blog isn’t food-focused, I’ve certainly shared a lot of kitchen tips over the years! I love finding and sharing information that helps make daily life easier. And for many of us, our daily lives involve quite a bit of time spent in the kitchen! And in my experience, having a tip or trick up my sleeve that can save me a little bit of time or effort in the kitchen can be hugely rewarding. I’ve posted many of my favorite time-saving kitchen tips here on my blog, including how to shred chicken in seconds, how to soften butter quickly, and how to craft the perfect cinnamon roll.

No matter whether you’re crafting a gourmet meal, or just trying to get dinner on the table, we could all use a little help in the kitchen! And I think I’ve got just the post to help. :-) Today I’ll be sharing 13 quick and easy cleaning hacks that are sure to save you time in the kitchen! From saving salty soups to wrapping up leftovers, these tips will help you save time and energy (and maybe most importantly, stress!) on many different cooking and baking tasks!

Related: 13 Surprising Problems You Can Solve With Wax Paper

13 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks

saving salty soup

1. Save Salty Soups

Ever been a bit too heavy-handed with your seasonings when making soup? Salt can make the difference between a bland soup and a delicious one, but too much salt can be very unpleasant! To rescue a salty soup, drop a peeled potato into the pot. The potato will help absorb some of the excess salt and save your soup!

Related: 9 Brilliant Ways To Save Time In The Kitchen, According To Chefs

saving burned rice

2. Rescue Rice

Rice can be tricky to get right at the best of times! And if you happen to overcook it, the rice at the bottom of the pot can burn and affect the taste of the rest of the rice. But there’s an easy way to salvage your rice! Just placed a slice of white bread on top of the rice for 5-10 minutes. The bread will draw out the burned flavor and aroma, leaving you with plenty of palatable rice to serve! (Just be careful not to scrape up any of the burned bits off the bottom of the pot when you go to scoop the rice.)

Related:  9 Time-Tested Kitchen Hacks That Will Always Be Useful


3. Pop More Popcorn

I love homemade popcorn, but I used to get so frustrated by how many kernels remained unpopped after making it! But then I learned a simple tip that really helped. All you have to do is soak your popcorn kernels in water for about 10 minutes before popping. The additional moisture from the water creates more steam inside each kernel during cooking, resulting in fewer unpopped kernels!

storing potatoes

4. Prevent Potato Sprouts

Can’t seem to keep your potatoes from sprouting in storage? Just drop an apple in the bag or basket where you keep the potatoes! The apple will help prevent premature sprouting.

defrosting meat

5. Faster Defrosting

You can defrost meat quickly by pouring white vinegar over the surface of the meat. The vinegar will lower the freezing temperature of the meat, causing it to thaw faster. And as an added bonus, the vinegar will also help tenderize the meat too!

saving greasy soup

6. Fish Out Fat

Here’s a great tip for getting rid of excess fat and oil from sauces, stocks, stews, and soups. Wrap a few ice cubes in a paper towel, then skim them across the top of your soup. The ice cubes will encourage excess fat to solidify, making it much easier to scoop out and discard!

saving runny sauce

7. Thicken Runny Sauces

Struggling with a runny sauce? Toss a dry lasagna noodle into the sauce. The noodle will absorb the excess liquid without changing the taste or texture of your sauce. Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency, just pull the noodle out and discard it.

storing ice cream

8. Ice-Free Ice Cream

Having an icy crust form on the surface of your ice cream can make it unpleasant to eat. But it’s easy to prevent that icy layer from forming in the first place! When you’re ready to put your ice cream away, press a piece of wax paper into the surface of the ice cream before replacing the lid. This will help keep your ice cream ice-free!

cooling a cake

9. Keep Cake From Sticking

Use a damp towel to ensure your freshly baked cake doesn’t stick to the pan. After taking the pan out of the oven, set it on the damp towel to cool for a few minutes. Then turn the pan out onto a plate, and the cake should slide right out! This works for ceramic and metal baking dishes only – not for glass!

warming up an egg

10. Quickly Warm Baking Ingredients

I can never seem to remember to let my eggs and butter warm up to room temperature before I start a baking project! But luckily for me, there’s an easy way to speed up the process! Just place your eggs and wrapped butter into a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes. The water will warm them right up!

preheating a pan

11. Roast Without Flipping

When roasting foods like fries, vegetables, and potatoes, you typically need to flip them once or twice during cooking to ensure they cook evenly. But you can eliminate the need to flip by pre-heating your baking sheet before putting your food on it! (While this works great for roasting, I don’t advise trying it with baking!)

covering dishes with shower caps

12. Easy Reusable Wrap

Instead of covering your leftovers with single-use plastic wrap, use a shower cap instead! Unlike plastic wrap, a shower cap is quick and easy to apply, and you can rinse and reuse it again and again!

storing plastic wrap

13. Simplify Plastic Wrap

Sick of fighting with tangled plastic wrap? Just store the roll in your fridge instead! Chilled plastic wrap is much easier to handle than room temperature wrap. You’ll save yourself so much time and frustration with this tip!

How do you save yourself time and effort in the kitchen?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Your cakes will NEVER stick again if you simply cut out a piece of paper the size of your cake pan and insert it in the pan, pour your batter in and bake. When finished baking, turn baking pan upside down, give a gentle tap ( I like to take a butter knife and run it around the edge between cake and pan first) voila. Peel off the paper and you have a perfectly in tact cake.

  • I love your site, and I have learned a lot of tips, but, one thing that drives me nuts is the word HACKS that you always use…..it sounds so trashy, anyway you could use something more civil?

  • I have used several of these ideas with great success, but the popcorn one I use is different. When a new jar of popcorn comes home it goes right in the freezer. It lets more of the kernels pop and the taste is great. It should work on the same principle with getting moisture into the kernel from the freezing.

  • I have an old cat who had an “accident”, do you have any recommendations on how to get the urine smell out of my comforter before I burn it?

    • locate urine area and soak with white vinegar. Let set for a while (1 hour-overnight) wash in cold water using white vinegar in fabric softener cup and detergent. Check for urine smell before tossing in dryer. Resoak and rewash if needed…………………….

    • I have 10 cats. Go to Walmart and buy a product in the cleaning Dept – “Kids and Pet’s” urine and stain remover. Then look for BIZ detergent (in a box or bottle). I’m not sure if WM sells it.
      My procedure:
      Soak up the urine with paper towels.
      Saturate area with Kids and Pets and let sit for a while.
      Throw it in the washing machine with about a cup of BIZ.
      Then for the rinse cycle add 1 cup of white vinegar.
      I also keep a spray bottle on hand filled with water and about 2 table spoons of BIZ as my go to cleaner.

  • I love the popcorn idea, but if you soak popcorn in water and even if you blot it on paper towels after, when it’s dropped into hot oil in a pot, it is going to splatter badly. Any tips to prevent this?

  • Oh my, Jillee, what marvelous useful tips. I am going to pass these tips to my daughter and granddaughter. Thanks so much for sharing. Always learning something new from you! God bless you!

  • Refrigerate your plastic wrap !! What an awesome hack/idea ! I’ve actually thrown away rolls of saran wrap I get so frustrated trying to roll it :-) Thanks once again Jillee !

    • Unless you heat food in plastic, non food grade should be ok. done this for years, big plus for the environment, your budget and time saver.

  • Great ideas. One hack that I discovered a few years ago is to save the wax liners from empty cereal boxes.These are great for covering some leftover items in the fridge. They are also great for freezing homemade goodies. It’s mquch cheaper than buying special bags for this.

    • When I freeze meat, I use the cereal box liners and seal the open end shut with clear packing tape. Once, I found some forgotten pork chops that had been frozen like this for THREE YEARS. There was not a bit of freezer burn, so I went ahead and cooked them. I fully expected that they would have that flavor food usually carries when it’s been in the freezer too long but, boy, I was wrong. They were nice and juicy and tasted totally fresh!

  • You’ve got several really good ones there jillie, thank you!
    I’ll add one of my own: When you want to cook slices or pieces of eggplant (fry them or grill them, mostly), pre-cook them in a steamer first (not the whole eggplant, the slices/pieces) – about 10 minutes should do it (you can do it in a steaming basket if you don’t have an elecric steamer, that’s what I do). Then let them drain for 15 minutes at least (but there’s no rush, you can just keep them like that for a few hours), and cook as usual. They’ll absorb much less fat than usual and come out moist and delicious.

  • Hi Jill … I just read your post called, “13 Brilliant Hacks That Will Save You Time In The Kitchen”. I always love reading your posts, and learn so much from you, but reading this one today caught my eye where you said to use a “damp cloth” to make a cake slip out of the pan. It caused me to remember something that happened years ago. We were vacationing with friends and one member of the group made a breakfast casserole for us one morning. However, when they removed the Pyrex casserole dish from the oven, they used a damp dish towel that made the dish absolutely explode all over. There went our breakfast, but it made an impression on me never to use anything damp on a glass baking dish straight from the oven. While it may be okay with certain types of ceramic, or metal pans for dishes, I’d be concerned about recommending such to your readers.

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