Whether you’re a professional chef or a home “chef-in-training,” everyone can use a little help in the kitchen. Smart “shortcuts” (or “hacks”) make time we spend in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable. And considering the average woman spends approximately three years of her life in the kitchen…we can use all the help we can get! :-)
Check out these 14 budget- and eco-friendly tips that are sure to sharpen your skills in the kitchen.
If cooking and washing has made the inside of your aluminum pots and pans appear dull and cloudy over time, simply fill it with water, add some apple peels, and bring it to a boil. The apple peels will shine up the aluminum and make your kitchen smell great!
If your veggies have seen better days and are starting to look sad and wilted, toss them into a bowl with 2 cups of cold water and a tablespoon of vinegar and let them soak for an hour or so. The veggies will bounce back enough for you to be able to use them in the next day or so.
Lingering kitchen smells are a pet peeve of mine! Eliminate any burnt or strong odors in your kitchen by leaving a shallow dish of apple cider vinegar in the kitchen overnight.
If two stacked glasses become stuck together in your cabinet, there’s an easy fix. Fill the top glass with ice, and submerge the bottom glass in a small bowl of warm water. The bottom glass will expand and the top glass will contract, and they will easily come apart.
To make your butter super-spreadable for bread or corn-on-the-cob, take a room temperature stick of butter and whip it with a small amount of water added. Not only does this trick make it light and spreadable, but it will also last longer because it expands in volume!
Once a week or so, run a dishwasher cycle with a cup of vinegar added to your empty dishwasher. You can place the vinegar in a small dish on the top rack, or just pour it right into the bottom of the dishwasher. This will clean out any remaining food residue and keep it smelling fresh.
Keep your lettuce and greens fresher longer in the fridge by storing them in a ziplock bag with a dry paper towel. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture, which will help it from getting wilted and soggy.
Shine up your stainless steel appliances in a snap with a bit of olive oil. Pour a little bit of oil on a microfiber cloth (a little goes a long way!) and use it to buff your stainless steel to a shine.
Speaking of stainless steel, you can use a stainless steel utensil to rid your hands of lingering food odors, like garlic, onions, or fish. Simply rub the utensil between your hands, and the smell will disappear.
Bananas ripen quicker when they’re stored in a bunch. Separate each banana from the bunch to lengthen their life span!
When juicing citrus like limes and lemons, microwaving them is an easy way to ensure you can extract the maximum amount of juice. Simply pop one in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, roll it on the countertop a few times with your palm, then juice as usual.
If you were a little heavy-handed with the salt while making sauce or soup, the dish can still be salvaged! Just add a peeled potato to your pot while it’s still cooking, and the potato will absorb the salt. Discard it when you’re done cooking.
If your bowls tend to slide around on the counter while your mixing things, there’s no need to go out and buy new rubber-bottomed mixing bowls. Just place a slightly damp kitchen towel underneath your bowl, and say goodbye to slipping and sliding.
If you’re in a rush to get some frozen meat thawed, pour a bit of white vinegar on it. This will help it thaw faster, as well as help to tenderize the meat. This works great on steaks!
What is your favorite kitchen hack for saving time, money, or your sanity? :-)