Kitchen Hacks for Beginners

These kitchen hacks for beginners will help you unleash your inner Top Chef.

Photo by Ruben Chamorro

Cooking isn't easy, and if you don't believe it, look at how many Pinterest memes have been made based on botched recipes. What makes it worse for many would-be Gordon Ramsays is that the most complex recipes all seem to taste the best. 

That being said, there are quite a few recipes that become way easier with the right hacks. Here are some kitchen hacks for beginners will make cooking a cinch - regardless of what you're trying to peel, bake, boil, or chop. 

Stop making greyish potatoes.

If you're cooking shredded, peeleed, or sliced potatoes and have to wait a while before they get heated up, cover them with cold water before you cook them. This protects those potatoes from oxidation, which, incidentally, is what causes potatoes to get that weird greyish brown hue when left out during meal prep times. 

Speed up fruit ripening.

Nothing quite sucks as much as buying unripe fruit. Unripe fruit tastes bad, is hard to peel, and really can't be used for much other than a paperweight. This often means that you may have to wait for a while before you can even enjoy the fruit you buy. They do have to ripen, after all.

However, there is an easy kitchen hack for beginners to speed things up. Placing the fruit in a paper bag can actually help ripen them faster. Who knew?

Save cut fruit from turning brown.

Many a fruit salad has found its ruin because of the browning oxidation that happens when fruit is all chopped up and placed in a bowl. What most people don't realize is that it's possible to avoid this pitfall with a quick and easy tip. 

Keeping fruit fresh is actually really simple, and can be done in a number of ways. The most common way is to spray the fruit with a nice mist of lemon juice. A mixture of honey and water can also do the same in a pinch.

Ta da, no more brown fruit. 

Keep brown sugar from turning into a brick.

Brown sugar is really hard to deal with, simply because it tends to "brick" really fast. If you're tired of having to hammer sugar due to hardening, just pop it in the microwave or add an orange peel to it. The sugar will soften up and will be easy to use. 

Forget plastic wrap for picnics.

A little bit of creativity can make wrapping food up and keeping it nice and sanitary way easier. Rather than whipping out the hard-to-handle cellophone, chefs can get a lot of use out of showercaps made of plastic. They slip over bowls quickly, can be reused, and keep out all those nasty bugs that you are trying to protect your food from. 

Check to see if the eggs you bought are okay to eat.

Eggs, when rotten, can stink up the whole house. Rotten eggs smell vile - and are not edible. 

So, how can you tell if an egg is good to eat before you crack it open? Simple. Use this kitchen hack for beginners. Just grab a bowl of water, and place the eggs in it. Eggs that are still good to eat will sink to the bottom. Meanwhile, rotten eggs will float. 

Fish out eggshells faster than ever before.

Next time you see eggshell bits in your omelette, don't panic. Grab a bigger eggshell half and use that to fish it out. Eggshells tend to cling to other eggshell pieces. 

Make soups that don't have grease on top.

Having a soup that has pools of grease floating at the top is absolutely gross - and depending on the recipe, you might end up tasting more oil than anything else those first spoonfuls. Ever wonder how chefs are able to get soups to be grease-free? 

The way chefs remove fat from soups is surprisingly easy. They grab an ice cube, wrap it in cheesecloth, and skim the top of the soup's surface with it. This makes the fat solidify. Then, chefs use toast (or a spoon) to scoop up the solid fat bubbles. If you have more time on your hands, you can just place the soup in a fridge, and scoop the bubbles of oil off with a spoon as it chills. 

Peel garlic without a fuss.

This is one of those kitchen hacks for beginners that every Italian grandmother knows - and wishes you'd master. To peel garlic effortlessly, remove all the cloves from the bulb, whack the sides of each garlic piece, and then watch as the skin falls off. 

Pit stone fruits without all the hassle, too.

Want to remove the pits of those delicious stone fruits you enjoy so much? It's really easy to do, actually. Just cut the fruits in half like you would an apple. Then, when you get to the pit, twist the two halves of the fruit in opposite directions and pull the halves apart. 

You'll be left with one half of a perfectly pitted fruit. The other part, all you have to do is pull out the now-loose pit and you're good to go. 

Here's how to peel a bunch of eggs in a big batch.

Peeling all those eggies isn't easy, is it? Well, if you use the right cooking tricks, it is! This chef-approved tip will make your peeling times get greatly reduced, even if you're lightning-fast with your hands. 

Place all the hardboiled eggs you want to peel in a lidded container. Then, secure the lid on top, and shake as hard as you can. Then, open up the container. They may not look good, but they're peeled-ish and capable of being used in whatever recipes you wanted them for. 

Grate cheese with ease.

This is one of those kitchen hacks for beginners that will make your life easy as sin if you eat a lot of Italian food. Grating semi-soft cheese can be a major mess...unless you freeze it for about half an hour beforehand. You'll find that grating fresh mozzarella turns into a cinch when it's hard as a regular cheese. 

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Kitchen Hacks for Beginners