There comes a time in your life when you’re expected to be able to prepare food that doesn’t involve simply combining water with some powdery substance. Due to a lack of practice, most of you will be terrible at it. I know I was, at least. But, after watching hundreds of hours of Gordon Ramsay shouting things like “you’re an idiot sandwich” at people in white aprons, I’ve decided to throw myself into cooking — not just because my mom and everyone in the family expects me to cook, but because it’s a major personal pressure release valve.
But like with most things, cooking only becomes fun when you get better at it. That is why we’ve rounded up over 15 of the coolest culinary secrets to help you on your way. From slicing onions without crying to making the perfect coffee, these tricks will turn you into a culinary god in no time. Have a look below!
#1. Yogurt Drops
Yogurt drops are delicious and, more importantly, healthy snacks, especially loved among children. They’re easy to make: put yogurt into a plastic bag or a confectionery syringe, squeeze the drops out onto a cookie sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1 hour.
#2. Slice onions without crying
To not let onions bring you to tears again, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes before you start cooking.
#3. How to bake without eggs
If you are going to bake scones or other pastries but you suddenly realize you’ve run out of eggs, you can use bananas instead: 1 egg = 1/2 banana. The taste won’t be any worse for sure.
#4. Throw a slice of apple in with baked treats to keep them soft and moist
Baked treats tend to get fairly dry and don’t taste so good after a while. A good way to combat this is to keep them in a plastic container with an apple slice, which will help them preserve moisture and stay yummy for much longer.
#5. A fast way to peel garlic
To save time peeling garlic, just put it in the microwave for 15 seconds — it will make the husk easier to remove.
#6. Slicing pastry without a knife
You can use dental floss to quickly cut cakes or rolls into equal parts.
#7. The perfect coffee
This trick will be truly appreciated by all coffee lovers and those who simply cannot wake up in the morning without a cup of freshly brewed espresso. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon to ground coffee before brewing. The salt helps to get rid of burned beans’ bitterness, and cinnamon adds an amazing taste.
#8. The most delicious bell pepper
When buying a bell pepper, turn it over and look at the bottom. If you see 3 bumps, it’s a “male“ pepper; 4 means it’s a ”female.“ “Females” are sweeter, and it’s better to use them fresh. ”Males” are more solid, and their flavor is deeper, so they’re great ingredients for various dishes.
#9. Better than fries
If you think there’s nothing better than French fries, try cooking this: make thin cuts in potatoes, sprinkle with olive oil, put butter slices into the cuts, and add salt and pepper to taste. Put them in an oven preheated to 220°C for 40 minutes. Potatoes cooked this way have every chance of becoming your favorite dish.
#10. Fast potato peeling
If you don’t like peeling potatoes, this trick is just for you:
- Make small cuts in the potatoes.
- Pour hot water into a pan with the potatoes, put it on the stove, and wait until it’s boiling.
- Pour out the boiling water, and fill the pan with cold water.
- Take one potato at a time, and pull the peel off.
#11. Put ice cream in a bag before putting it in the freezer
Ice cream can get rock hard in the freezer and it takes ages to thaw out just enough that you can eat it. A simple trick to keep it just the right consistency is to put the container in a plastic zip lock bag before throwing it in the freezer.
#12. Use protein powder, almond milk, oat flour and frozen fruit for healthy snacks
People often view pancakes as a dirty pleasure, but you can make healthy and diet-friendly pancakes using protein powder, almond milk, oat flower, different fruit and other healthy ingredients.
#13. Freeze a fresh herb mixture in olive oil to add to your meals
If you are the kind of person who likes to add fresh herbs to meals, you can stock up on herbs, chopped them up, put them in ice cube tray, cover them in olive oil and freeze them. Next time you are cooking something, just drop a cube in and have yourself a treat.
#14. Weave bacon strips into a square shape and bake them in the oven
Bacon is actually cooked much more evenly in the oven than in the frying pan, and to go a step further you can weave them into a square shape first. It’s a great shape for sandwiches, and you won’t have chunks falling out.
#15. Grill your fish on top of lemon slices
Fish will tend to stick and even break up when placed on the grill, but if you put it on top of lemon slices and grill it like that it will be much easier to prepare, and it will get that nice zesty flavor.
16. How to split an apple in half without a knife
If you have only one apple and two eaters, here’s an easy way to divide the desired fruit in half:
- Twist the stem off.
- Take the apple in your hands, and start turning until you find a comfortable finger position.
- Press on it with your hands, pushing it aside — it easily separates into 2 equal parts.
#17. Slap some wet paper towels on bottles of soda or beer to cool them much faster
You have guests arriving any minute now, and your beverages are all lukewarm? Well, have no fear, just take a few wet paper towels and wrap them around the bottles before throwing them in the freezer. It will cool your drinks down incredibly fast.