This post is sponsored by Fresh & Easy. Thanks, Fresh & Easy!
I love searching pinterest for “life hacks” that greatly simplify how to do everyday tasks. I’m especially into kitchen hacks, and even though I pin a lot of them, I’m often not entirely convinced that they all work. I realized that the best way to find out if they work is to, you know, try them! Because I’m a giver, I tried a bunch and narrowed it down to ten that actually work.
1. A mason jar can replace a blender jar.
Annabel wanted a smoothie last week, so it was the perfect time to see if this really works…and it does! Just make sure you have a standard-mouth mason jar (not a wide-mouth) and screw it on tightly to the blade attachment. Definitely trust me on that last part. It can be messy.
2. Use your oven to quickly ripen bananas.
This sounded crazy to me, but I figured it was worth a try. I placed a banana on a lined baking sheet (I dunno, I thought maybe it would explode or something) and stuck it into a 350° oven for five minutes. And…it actually wasn’t bad! I probably took the banana out too soon (I was freaked out by the black skin), but I think if I’d had the oven slightly cooler and left the banana in a bit longer, it would have been perfect. I’ll keep tinkering with this one.
3. Throw a couple large marshmallows in your brown sugar package to keep it from clumping.
My grandma always did this, so I can say with confidence that it definitely works!
4. An apple slicer can cut potatoes, pears, and other similar foods.
I don’t know why this never occurred to me, but it’s a quick way to cut fruits and veggies. I needed a little extra elbow grease to slice this potato, but it was still much faster than how I usually cut up potatoes!
5. Quickly and easily grate cheese in a food processor
My mom has been doing this for years and swears by it. It’s definitely a million times easier to throw the cheese in the food processor than to grate it by hand, although it doesn’t make those long strands of grated cheese.
6. Use an empty coffee canister and layer filters with pre-measured grounds in them, grab the top filter to quickly brew a pot of coffee.
Do all the hard stuff in advance so you don’t have to do any work before you’ve had caffeine. Genius.
7. Cover cut potatoes with cold water before you cook them to keep them from turning gray.
This is another one my grandma did when I was growing up. I never thought about why she did it, but I definitely understand now. Grey potatoes are gross.
8. Putting a slice of bread in your mouth can keep your eyes from watering when you chop onions.
I have the most sensitive eyes around, so I was very willing to try this hack…and it worked like a charm! At one point I thought, “Maybe I just have a mellow onion,” and I took the bread out of my mouth. My eyes and nose instantly started watering, so it looks like I’ll always have bread around when I need to chop onions.
9. Place a cup of water in the microwave when reheating leftovers to keep them from drying out.
YES! I always forget about this trick and it makes a huge difference when I’m reheating leftovers.
10. Keep baking soda close to your stove top to put out accidental grease fires.
This is…definitely true. Also keep a fire extinguisher handy!
Be sure to check out Fresh & Easy’s Hacks of Life Pinterest board. It’s filled with a TON of genius cooking hacks. And while you’re at it, you can enter their Holiday Sweepstakes to win $150 in groceries or $300 Cash.
What’s your favorite kitchen hack?
Putting a matchstick between your lips or teeth when chopping onions also works…weird, but true!!!!
How have I lived this long without knowing that onion trick? I have been known to eliminate onions from a recipe just to avoid that eye burn.
Patty Smith says:
These are great- the potato one is my favorite- cutting it with an apple cutter! I don’t understand number 1?
I don’t understand it either. I’m glad that I’m not the only one.
It replaces the “jug” of the blender- you put the mason jar on over the spinning part (the treads of a mason jar match the treads of the part that you screw the jug on to). Its great for one portion things or if you’re making something that you’re going to pour into a mason jar anyway (like a homemade salsa).
Why would you use the food processor blade to grate cheese when it comes with a grater blade?
Mine doesn’t have one! But it’s pretty old, maybe that’s why?
I was going to say the same thing as Susan- most food processors now come with a grater blade that sits on top of the bowl. This obviously awesome for cheese, but also for grated carrots for carrot salad, zucchini for zucchini bread or potatoes for hash browns.
Putting your potatoes in water for several minutes (and then drying them thoroughly) before tossing in oil and baking them also results in much fluffier-on-the-inside crispier-on-the-outside french fries. It’s our favorite trick.
I don’t get #1 either…my blender container has blades in it and a thingie that connects to the base, so how does the Mason jar work? My blender is about 11 years old, so maybe this is a newer model thing.
I read online last night that you can lift the top of your stove up to clean under it. I had no idea. I meant to try before I left this morning but forgot.
Funny story about the baking soda: Years ago, I invited a guy I’d just started dating over to my apartment for dinner and somehow managed to start a fire on the stove. We both were like, “Don’t you use some kind of white powdery substance to put out a fire? Like…flour! Let’s try flour!” We ended up with a lot of scorched flour but somehow managed to get the fire out without any damage or needing firefighters. I told my mom about it later, and I think she was like, “How could I have raised such a stupid child?”
You screw the blade part onto the mason jar!
Too funny about the flour. You got it out so you were kind of right, LOL.
This is totally my favorite kitchen hack. https://snapguide.com/guides/remove-strawberry-stems-the-easy-way/
You don’t cut away edible parts of the strawberry and it’s super easy! Did then when prepping strawberries for a fruit salad for a party and it was amazing!
Great ideas! Thanks for sharing them.
I don’t have too many tricks in the kitchen but here is one:
Leave a dry erase board or a piece of paper & pen on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door or pantry door to write down the grocery shopping list as you run out of items.
I know multiple people who’ve tried the “water in the microwave to retain the moisture” hack and said it didn’t work for them. Did you do anything special?
Really? I think it might depend on how long you’re microwaving it for. I only put about a 1/4 cup of water in. My mom will sometimes put a wet paper towel in the microwave, maybe that would work better because it will steam faster (but watch it so you don’t start a fire)!
Love all of these!!
I recently tried a hack to prevent watery eyes while chopping onions — breathe through your mouth, with your tongue slightly out, while chopping. Felt kind of like a panting dog, but it totally worked!
The shredded cheese and the onion trick!! AHHHH!!!
I’m so excited to try those because the last time I tried an “onion” trick, it involved chewing gum and all I ended up with was minty fresh tears.
I wonder if the bread will still work with a spread of Nutella on it.
I honestly think you should try it with Nutella and then report back. For the greater good.
You can also cut an onion near running hot water (i.e. a running faucet by a sink). The steam will help lessen the reaction to the onion.
Heather in CA says:
we’d need to capture that water in CA though. Severe drought!!
Thank you for the onion one!! I had given up and only bought the pre-chopped onions because I am so sensitive to it. Maybe i’ll go back to chopping my own.
If you’re like me and ALWAYS boil over a pot when making pasta.. Put a wooden spoon across the top of the pot and it will not boil over! I don’t know where I learned that little trick but it has saved me.
For #9, you can also cover your food with a damp paper towel – it keeps your food from getting all over the microwave and it keeps it moist. The wet one is better than a dry paper towel, because sometimes a dry one will blow off part way.
Also, one of my favorite microwave cleaning techniques is just to mix 2 cups of water and 2 Tbsp vinegar into a pyrex measuring cup or glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. then you let it set in there for a few more minutes and then wipe with a sponge. Everything comes right off! It’s like magic!
Do you cover it or not?
I’m assuming you are talking about the water/vinegar mixture to clean the microwave – No, do you do not need to cover. Just set it in there and microwave!
I just taught my daughter about the baking soda for grease fires yesterday. I learned it when I was little from my mom too. and the first time I tried frying anything I was glad I remembered.
Well, when you are done biting on the bread for the onions you can place the bread in a freezer bag along with your brown sugar and it keeps it soft forever… or use a fresh slice. I did that last year and had oatmeal this morning and pulled out the freezer bag from my cupboard and used the brown sugar. Perfect. I do not keep marshmallows in the house because they get hard!
I finally gave up on cutting onions and buy mine pre-diced in the freezer section. I might have to get an onion and see if the bread trick works for me!
I soak a paper towel and place it over the plate of leftovers. It works like a charm for me, no dried out rice!
Thanks for these! I would like to see which tricks didn’t work for you! Seems like a very funny post!
My favorite hack I’ve found is the one for peeling an orange.
Cut the top and bottom of the orange, cut a vertical slit on one side, then gently roll the orange out.
Loved this post!!
In Japan they’ve found that a great way to put out deep fat fryer fires (as when frying tempura etc) is to throw a bottle of mayonnaise into it. In Japan, mayonnaise comes in plastic bottles. The plastic vaporizes instantly and the fat in the mayo puts out the fire.
Wow! I’d like to see that in action!
When they discovered this it was all over TV, pretty amazing. I never make tempura so have never tried it myself.
To get onion or garlic smell off of your hands rub them on stainless steel (spoon recommended). I don’t know why or how this works but it does.
I’ve also heard if you put an onion in the freezer to get ice cold before chopping it helps with the tears.
Baking soda/vinegar for removing almost any smells. Stinky garbage disposal pour in baking soda, let it sit for a while, pour vinegar and let it sit and fizz up then run really hot water and run the disposal. Helps with stinky smells.
They have stainless steel ‘soap’ bars for the smells. It’s amazing! I got mine from Williams Sonoma. You just rub it between your hands under running water as if it were a bar of soap and it works perfectly. :).
Not kitchen, but you can use water/vinegar mixture as a conditioner. Makes your hair really soft and pretty. And, if you have dandruff, shampoo your head with Listerine. I’ve done these all myself.
While holding a slice of bread between your teeth sounds like fun, really all you need to do is have a candle burning nearby. We keep a candle in the kitchen for just this reason. I had my doubts when I first read about it, but it really works.
Elissa Lerma says:
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WEST DILLON DISRESPECTED COACH TAYLOR! ????
Elissa Lerma says:
True, true but Riggins, Street, Smash, Saracen Forever.