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Clever kitchen hacks to try at home

Top tips and tricks from TikTok that will help you level up your kitchen game

Fontaine Cheng
Written by
Fontaine Cheng

Whether you're a little culinary challenged or a pro home cook, there is always room for hacks that will save you time and energy in the kitchen. And with so many of us working from home recently, there’s no time like the present to don an apron and get cooking. TikTok has shared its wisdom with most of the world but since we don't have it here, we thought we'd help by gathering the best to help you level up your kitchen game. So, here are some really clever kitchen hacks to change the way you cook or prepare food from here on out.

RECOMMENDED: Upgrade your bowl of instant ramen or try out these seven kitchen ingredients to make cocktails!

Kitchen hacks to try at home

Grate cold butter

If you’ve ever tried to spread rock hard butter from the fridge on a slice of toast, then you’ll know that what you end up with is lumps of cold butter on hacked up toast. Not exactly the ideal breakfast you were looking for. Instead, grab your grater and grate the butter onto the toast, then let the warmth of the toast do its job, and spread evenly with your knife. You can use the same method when you’re baking. Rather than slicing up cold butter, you can grate it into your mixture instead.

Onion on wet paper towel

From wearing swimming goggles for protection to soaking onions in water before you cut, we have seen many tips that claim a tear-free onion-chopping experience, but have you tried this one? Fold a couple of pieces of paper towel and soak it in water before placing it underneath the onion on the chopping board. As you chop, the acid from the onion (the stuff that makes you cry) is attracted to the wet paper towel and no longer stinging your eyes, preventing you from crying.

Save vegetable scraps

If you’ve used a variety of different vegetables for a casserole or stir-fry, don’t throw away the scraps – we’re talking about the onion skin, carrots tops, garlic trim, cabbage core or mushroom stems – and put them to good use by making homemade vegetable stock. You can keep them in a bag in the freezer until you’ve got enough to make the stock, then put them in a pot with boiling water for ten minutes (no longer than as it can result in an overly sweet stock) and strain.

Reheat leftover rice

Leftover rice usually means we’re making fried rice the next day. But for those that want to enjoy plain rice again, you can revive your leftover rice by placing an ice cube on top, with some parchment paper over it, and popping it in the microwave for one minute. You’ll be left with an almost melted ice cube, which you can discard and then enjoy perfectly reheated rice.


Peel fresh garlic

It's not always easy to separate the peel from a clove of garlic and it usually leaves a rather pungent smell on your fingers for hours, if not days. The easiest way to tackle this is to microwave the garlic for 30 seconds. As the garlic warms and the peel shrinks, it separates from the clove easily so you can peel much quicker.

Separate yolk with garlic

So we've all seen the water bottle trick that sucks the egg yolk into the bottle and separates it from the egg white, but have you tried the one with garlic fingers? After peeling fresh garlic, you can rub your thumb and index finger on it. Then, using the same fingers, pinch lightly and pick up the yolk to separate it from the egg white.


Get fresh lemon juice without a knife

Sure, we can all get fresh lemon juice by slicing the fruit in half and squeezing it, but then all the seeds and pulp pops out too. For a less messy way to get freshly-squeezed lemon juice, simply roll it on the countertop (to soften it a little) and use a skewer or chopstick to poke a hole vertically through the fruit (from one end to the other but stopping before you pierce through). Pull the skewer out of it and point the lemon (with the hole side down) towards a bowl or glass. Now you'll get fresh juice without any of the mess.

Revive limp greens

To perk up your greens, be it broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce, spinach or celery, you can trim the bottoms off and drop the stalks, so it's standing upright, in a jar of ice-cold water. This will help to crisp up your greens again and help them stay fresher for longer.

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