9 (More) Time-Tested Kitchen Hacks That Will Make You A Better Cook

cooking hacks

Earlier this year I shared this list of 9 time-tested kitchen hacks, and today I’m adding to that list! I have 7 more hacks to share that will make your time in the kitchen not only more efficient, but also more fruitful in terms of the quality of your finished product.

These tips, from tried-and-true cooking techniques to lesser-known tricks, are sure to take your culinary skills to the next level!

9 MORE Time-Tested Kitchen Hacks That Everyone Should Know

cooking hacks

1. Start Garlic In Cold Oil

If you’ve ever tossed minced garlic into a pan only to watch it blacken and turn to charcoal before your very eyes, this tip is for you. Put your garlic and oil into a cold pan and then turn on the heat.

It will cook more gently, slowly, and evenly as the pan heats up, resulting in better flavor and less stress.

cooking hacks

2. Taste As You Go

The flavor that salt and other seasonings lend to a dish evolves during the cooking process, which means that even if two dishes contain the exact same amount of seasonings, they’ll taste differently depending on when those seasonings were added.

It also means it’s important to season your dish along the way, and not all at once right at the end. To facilitate this process, you may even want to follow in the footsteps of professional cooks by keeping a small stash of clean spoons nearby. That way, you can easily grab one for a quick taste throughout each stage of cooking and adjust as you go.

cooking hacks

3. Double Down On Sauce

If a recipe calls for a tasty sauce, double down on it! Doubling a sauce is sure to leave with some leftover, which you can mop up with a piece of crusty homemade bread, or spoon over chicken breast and roasted veggies for a quick and easy lunch.

cooking hacks

4. Season To YOUR Taste

One teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper in a recipe? Think of that as your starting point when it comes to seasoning your dish. If it needs a little something extra, a splash of acid (lemon juice or any sort of vinegar) and a sprinkle of salt will rarely lead you astray.

cooking hacks

5. Read The Recipe

I’m personally terrible at this, so this is as much a reminder for me as it is for anyone else: read the recipe all the way through before you start cooking. Reading the recipe ensures you won’t run into any surprises, like that part about marinating for 2 hours before you start cooking.

For more tips the will help you avoid basic cooking mistakes, check out this post .

cooking hacks

6. Always Be Prepared

Preparation is key when it comes to efficient cooking! Cut up your veggies and measure out all of your ingredients (including spices) before you turn on your stove or oven.

Chefs call this mise en place. It ensures that once you start cooking, you can focus fully on what’s happening in the pan instead of scrambling around prepping other ingredients.

cooking hacks

7. Use A Garbage Bowl

Another tip for being efficient in the kitchen: set aside a designated bowl for food scraps while you’re prepping and cooking. Put any scraps, empty packages, and other trash in the bowl so you don’t have to keep making trips back and forth to the trash can.

For more tips that will help you keep your kitchen clean while you cook, check out this list.

cooking hacks

8. Steady Your Oven Temps

An easy way to make sure your oven temperature stays stable is to put a pizza stone on the bottom rack. It’ll take a bit longer for your oven to heat up, but it’s worth it because it acts as a buffer between your oven’s heat source and the food.

Adding a pizza stone to your oven will also help reduce the amount of temperature fluctuation that happens when you open the oven door.

cooking hacks

9. Don’t Forget The Broiler

Most ovens have a broiler function, but it’s easy to forget to take advantage of it! The broiler function produces a high, concentrated heat for a short period of time, which is ideal for toasting bread, charring veggies, or caramelizing a glaze (like miso on salmon).

It’s a quick and easy way to take a dish from pretty darn good to undoubtedly delicious in one simple step. Just be sure to keep one eye on your food when it’s under the broiler, as the difference between deliciously charred and burnt is often a matter of seconds!

Do you have any kitchen hacks or tips you use all the time?

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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


Food & Recipes

  • I really need to get better at the organizing all ingredients before starting to cook. I do keep a separate bowl for all compostable items, it is a great way to divert trash from landfills and help the gardens at the same time.

  • Great post, Jillee! I had NO idea about the garlic tip! I always hate sauteing garlic because it is so hard to keep up with watching my garlic while keeping everything else up to speed. And more times than not my garlic ended up in a bad way! :-( Learned a lot today! Thanks so much…

  • Hi,
    With garlic, to allow the flavour to mix properly, remember to prepare it, either crush, slice, dice etc. with the rest of your ‘mise en place ‘ (things in place) this allows the chemicals in the oil combine with the flesh of the garlic,’ there are two distinct ways to use this highly cherished bulb:

    1. If you want a mild flavour add the garlic at an early stage of cooking (as per Jillee’s post).

    2. If you want the full medicinal benefits, add the garlic at the very end of cooking, literally just before serving. This does produce quite a intense garlic flavour …

    • Wow, Michelle, thanks! You taught me something. I am 65 and have been cooking since I was about 12! However, thinking back, my mother (my teacher!) was not much of a garlic person. When I was in my late 40’s I dated an Italian man and he WAS a garlic person, so I learned a lot about cooking with it but I wish I had learned YOUR tip a long time ago! I need, as we all do, as much of the health benefit that I can get! Thanks so much for caring enough to share. God bless…:-)

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