Food & Recipes

10 Kitchen Tricks Every Home Cook Needs To Know

Did you know you can bake your underripe bananas?

Are you a home cook who wants to up your skills in the kitchen? Step up your game with these mind-blowingly easy kitchen tips and tricks! Sure, learning how to make an impeccable soufflé or a juicy pork roast would be dandy, but who has time for that? Chances are you don’t if you clicked this article — and that’s totally fine. Below you’ll find 10 fool-proof kitchen tricks that will make you feel like the true food connoisseur you’re meant to be.

1. Freeze extra herbs, wine and cooking stock.

Cut back on waste by saving your leftover herbs, wine or cooking stock in your freezer. Pour or place them into an ice cube tray and simply save them for a future recipe. Frozen cubes of herbs filled with olive oil, wine or stock are easy to defrost when the time comes to use them.

(Bonus tip: Use a pizza cutter to chop your herbs!)

cooking herbs photo
Flickr | Living in Monrovia

2. Bake your underripe bananas.

No one likes overly ripe bananas. Or hard green ones for that matter. Make your life easier and bake your underripe bananas to perfection. Here’s what to do: place bananas on a sheet pan and pop them into the oven at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Once the skins are blackened and soft, you’re ready to make some banana bread with your now-ripe ‘nanas.

bananas photo
Getty Images | Christopher Furlong

3. Use water to thaw meat faster.

Don’t have time to wait for your meat to thaw? Get the show on the road by submerging your packaged meat in a bowl and running room temperature water through it.

(Bonus tip: If your meat is a little too mushy and you’re having a tough time chopping your bacon strips or slab of steak, pop it into the freezer for 15-20 minutes and you should be good to go.)

meat photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

4. Shred chicken or pork with a hand mixer.

The easiest way to get restaurant-quality shreds of meat? Use a handheld mixer! No mess, excellent shreds.

chicken salad photo
Flickr | Au Kirk

5. Check your eggs for freshness with a glass of water.

Anyone who has stepped into a kitchen should know this trick. Need to find out if that carton of eggs in your fridge is still good to eat? Place one of the eggs in a glass of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it floats, toss it!

eggs photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

6. Soften your butter with a cheese grater.

Butter gets cold and hard in the fridge, which keeps it safe to eat but frustrating when we want a slice on our morning toast. However, there’s an easy way to get yourself some butter without waiting forever for it to thaw: Use a cheese grater! Scrape your butter on the large side of a box grater and you’ll plenty of butter before you know it.

butter photo
Flickr | Steve A Johnson

7. Check the ripeness of your avocado by looking at the stem.

Unsure if your avocado is ready to be eaten? Pop off the stem and check to see what color it is. Yellow and green are good colors, while brown is bad. If the stem doesn’t pop off easily, give it more time to ripen.

avocado photo
Getty Images | Sean Gallup

8. Swap out water for stock.

Cooking couscous or other grains? Instead of boiling it in water, use a broth or stock. Whether veggie or meat, both will add loads of flavor to your dish.

couscous photo
Flickr | wuestenigel

9. Freeze your stale bread.

Slice your stale baguette or other hearty bread and pop it into the freezer. When you’re in the mood for cheese or dip with bread, take out your slices and toast them. Good as fresh!

bread photo
Getty Images | Spencer Platt

10. Prevent pasta from boiling over with a wooden spoon.

Never have your pasta boil over on you again: place a wooden spoon over the pot. It will pop the bubbles as they surface and keep the pot from boiling over.

pasta boiling photo
Flickr | The Travelling Bum

*Mind blown.*

Do you have any other must-share kitchen tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments!

[H/t TipHero]