How To: 10 Awesome Food Hacks That Every Home Cook Should Know

10 Awesome Food Hacks That Every Home Cook Should Know

Every home cook has their most-hated kitchen task. For me, peeling hard-boiled eggs and garlic are pretty high up there. Actually, peeling just about anything is, but for every annoying job, there's a shortcut to make it easier.

From the folks at Household Hacker, here are 10 great hacks for making your day-to-day kitchen chores less painful.

1. Open a Tight Jar Lid with Duct Tape

Have a housemate that always screws jar lids back on too tight? All you need is a piece of duct tape. Just put a piece over half the lid and pull. When the tape comes off, the jar will pop open with it.

Don't have any duct tape? No problem. There are tons of household items that can help you out, like a rubber band, dryer sheet, or even a hair dryer.

For more ideas, check out Yumi's illustrated guide to opening stubborn jars.

2. Make Your Own Watering Can

Working on your indoor apartment garden but don't have a watering can? Grab an empty milk jug, pop a few holes in the lid, and fill it with water. Now you have a simple DIY watering can.

Milk jugs work well for this, but if you're not a milk drinker, any plastic container with a handle will do.

3. Make Perfectly Round Fried Eggs

Fried eggs are delicious, but messy. Keep them from spreading all over the pan by cracking them into thick slices of onion. Perfectly round eggs are just what you need to make those homemade McMuffins even better.

If you don't like onion-tasting eggs, use a mason jar ring instead.

4. Keep Homemade Cookies Soft with Bread

There's nothing better than a fresh batch of homemade cookies, but without all the preservatives store-bought ones have, they get stale much faster. To keep your cookies soft for longer, just throw a slice of bread into the container with them.

The moisture from the bread will transfer into the cookies through osmosis and extend their deliciousness for a few more days.

5. Get All the Food Out of a Can on the First Try

Soup may be a no-brainer, but there are some canned foods that can be a real pain to get out. To make the food come out easier, poke a few holes in the bottom of the can after opening.

This releases some of the air pressure in the can and allows the contents to come out more smoothly. And it's not just for cans—it works wonders for juice cartons, too.

6. Shine Shoes with a Banana Peel

If your favorite pair of shoes is looking a little dull, but you don't feel like buying a polishing kit, shine them up with a banana peel. Just rub the inside of the peel all over the shoe, then wipe it off with soap and water.

You can also use that banana peel to polish silver, leather, and even your teeth. Check out Yumi's illustrated guide on banana peel uses for more.

7. Turn a Pot Handle into a Spoon Rest

It seems like the tastiest foods are often the messiest. When you're cooking, it can be tough to find a place to put your utensils if you don't have a spoon rest, unless you want sauce all over your stove or countertop.

For an easy solution, wrap some aluminum foil around the spoon and secure it using the hole in the pot handle. The extra sauce will drip back into the pot, and you can easily remove the spoon when you need to use it.

The only downside to this hack is that your utensil will get hot, so it's important to not use a metal one without a good handle.

8. Reheat Pizza on the Stovetop for Crispy Crust

Nothing beats leftover pizza, but if you prefer yours reheated rather than cold, it can be hard to get that crunch back. Next time, skip the microwave and reheat your pizza in a pan on the stove over medium-high heat for a near-fresh taste. If you have one, a cast iron skillet works even better.

Or, if you prefer, try the microwave-then-toast method perfected by Aaron Mattis of Serious Eats.

9. Make Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Oven

There are many, many methods for cooking hard-boiled eggs. With such a wide array of cooking times and temperatures, it can get pretty confusing. The easiest way to remove all the uncertainty is to cook them in the oven instead.

Put the eggs on a baking tray and bake them at 325° for 30 minutes. When they're done, put them in a bowl of ice cold water so they don't continue to cook.

Want to step up your hard-boiled egg game? Try scrambling them inside the shell before cooking to make a pale yellow "golden egg."

Image via

10. Cut Bread from the Bottom to Avoid Crushing

If you've ever tried to cut a loaf of bread with a dull knife, you probably know it doesn't work very well—it just ends up squished. Next time, flip it over and cut from the bottom.

The top crust is harder, so slicing it from the other side doesn't require as much force and will help you avoid crushing your bread.

For more cool life hacks, make sure to check out Household Hacker's YouTube channel.

What's Your Favorite Food Hack?

Know of a great food hack that's not on the list? Share it with us in the comments below! We've got a whole world of them, so be sure to check it out and subscribe for more tips and tricks.

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I made this video showing several hacks for eggs - enjoy:

I still have the scar in between my thumb and index finger (you know, in that soft fleshy part) from poking holes in a jar lid with a knife that missed the lid and went into my hand...

That's when I learned- set the lid on the counter, rest the knife point on top of it and then hit the end of the knife handle with your hand. Voila! Holes in lid not in hand.

...If only the people who kept telling me I was gonna cut myself had explained that first instead of after lol

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