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    47 Tips & Tricks That'll Make Cooking Way Less Stressful

    You'll be the master of the kitchen in no time flat thanks to these smart culinary shortcuts and handy gadgets.

    1. Before you even get started, you'll want to make sure your kitchen is stocked with the right knives for the task. Did you know a chef's knife will actually squish delicate ingredients like tomatoes? You'll want to use a serrated knife instead!

    A guide to a knife block, with examples of steak knives, chef's knife, slicing knife, serrated knife, paring knife, vegetable knife, utility knife, tomato knife, and cheese knife

    2. Once you get the proper knives, you'll want to start learning what all the different kinds of knife cuts are and actually do them when the recipe calls for it. Yes, there is a difference between dicing and mincing.

    Header image for the post The Complete Guide To Knife Cuts

    3. If the recipe calls for a 1-inch dice, use this cutting board with measurements etched into it to get a perfectly even chop every time.

    The cutting board with a grid of measurements to guide chopping, with someone julienning and small dicing a carrot on it

    4. Keep your knives cutting as well as the day you bought them with a knife sharpener. Not only is chopping with a dull knife frustrating, but it can also be dangerous because it's more likely to slip.

    Person using a kitchenIQ small knife sharpener to sharpen knife

    5. And if the thought of cutting yourself with a knife downright terrifies you, invest in a pair of cut-resistant gloves that are four times stronger than leather to keep all your fingertips safe.

    Model wearing grey gloves while cooking meat

    6. As you're chopping ingredients, scoop up your ingredients with a bench scraper to easily transfer your food to the pan. It keeps your chopping board clean and tidy, and it's much faster and more effective than using your hands or a knife to gather up the ingredients.

    reviewer using a bench scraper to scoop up zucchini

    7. Use a pair of five-blade herb scissors to make quick, precise chops of herbs with ease. You won't even need to use a cutting board — just chop these straight over the pan you're cooking in or a prep bowl.

    model using herb scissors to chop up some sprigs of herbs

    8. Now that we've covered the basics of knives, let's switch to eggs. If you're cracking eggs and some eggshell pieces end up in the bowl, just use one of the big eggshell halves to scoop it up.

    9. Consult this handy graphic to know exactly how long and at what temperature you'll want to cook your eggs to get them to look and taste exactly how you want them to.

    graphic showing all the ways to cook eggs

    10. If you're dreaming of extra-creamy scrambled eggs, the trick is to stir them constantly while they're on the pan at a low temperature.

    11. And if you're short on time and energy, use this rapid egg cooker that can cook up to six eggs at a time. Make hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, or individual omelets in a matter of minutes!

    12. Before you even start cooking a recipe, figure out which ingredients you'll need and prep the correct amount by placing them in little containers or glass bowls (this is called mise en place). Now you'll never forget to add an ingredient or add 2 tablespoons of salt when the recipe actually called for 2 teaspoons.

    The set of bowls being used for various baking ingredients, with the largest used as a mixing bowl

    13. You'll also want to clean up as you go by keeping a large countertop garbage bowl nearby (à la Rachael Ray) or a hanging compost bin that'll attach to the outside of your cabinets for easy disposal as you chop and cook.

    14. Keep all of your most-used pantry ingredients tidy and organized with a set of OXO food storage containers that have an airtight seal to keep your food fresher for longer. Because the containers are clear, you'll be able to see exactly how much of each ingredient you have left so you'll never stress about running out of flour right in the middle of cooking.

    a reviewer's cabinet full of OXO food storage containers

    15. If complex recipes stress you out, master the beauty of the one-pan dinner. All you need is a sheet pan + protein + veggies + salt + oil. That's really it — you can customize it to whatever your tastes or dietary preferences are!

    A header image showing a variety of one-stray oven dinners

    16. Or if you're worried about racking up your grocery bill, try out some of these $10 dinner recipes to help you whip up a delicious meal without breaking the bank.

    sheet pan with food, chicken tenders on a sheet pan, and a plate of pasta

    17. Is the fear of getting avocado hand preventing you from eating the delicious ingredient? Try this three-in-one avocado slicer instead — now you can make avocado toast while staying stress-free and out of the emergency room. This might become your most reached-for tool, especially if you're a big avocado toast fan.

    18. When you're juicing limes or lemons, you'll want to cut it in half and then slice the bottom of each slice so that all the juice can escape through the fruit instead of getting trapped in the rind.

    Two pictures side-by-side; first picture shows someone cutting the bottom end of an already halved lime. The second picture shows the lime half being placed into a squeezer

    19. If the recipe you're cooking from calls for lemon or lime zest, use a microplane to remove only the top layer of skin without also removing that white stuff (it's called the pith), which can leave behind a bitter taste.

    A model zesing a lemon on the large microplane

    20. Season your food from up high to make sure the seasoning is more evenly distributed. No one wants a super salty bite of food!

    A hand sprinkling salt into a dutch oven from about two feet up

    21. Speaking of seasoning your food, remember to season your cold foods more than your hot foods.

    Overhead shot of a hand seasoning a salad made with green leaves, radish, and green peas with black pepper

    22. Keep your spices *actually* organized so you don't reach for and use the cinnamon when you thought you were using cumin. Whoops!

    23. Avoid arm cramps and prevent food from burning at the bottom of the pan with an automatic stirrer. Let this fancy gadget do all the hard work so you can focus on other kitchen tasks like chopping veggies or working on your meal's dessert.

    green automatic stirrer in a pot with soup

    24. Peel garlic with ease using this silicone tube. Just pop the clove inside, roll it back and forth, and it'll peel without you ever having to grab a sharp knife or get your fingers smelling all garlicky.

    A hand rolling garlic in a silicone tube

    25. If you're cooking a recipe that wants you to sauté both onions and garlic before adding more ingredients, do the onions first.

    Pot filled with browned sliced onions

    26. When it comes to making rice, follow this one simple rule: NEVER ever stir it while you're cooking it! You'll turn it from fluffy goodness to a sticky and starchy mess.

    The header image for how to make perfect rice

    27. If you can never remember the grain-to-water ratio, keep this chart handy — it might even encourage you to try out new-to-you grains like farro and wheat berries.

    A grain to water ratio with cooking instructions

    28. When you're making pasta, drain it when it's a few minutes from al dente, but make sure you save some pasta water! Next, transfer your noodles to your sauce, where it will finish cooking, and then add some of your reserved pasta water. Your sauce will get silkier and will cling to the pasta way better than before.

    29. To make draining your pasta water easier, attach this snap-on pasta strainer on the side of your pot, tip out the water (and pour some into a glass measuring cup to save for later), and then get back to cooking!

    A model straining pasta from a green strainer clipped to the sides of the pot

    30. And if you're worried about your pasta boiling over and ruining your glass stovetop, put this boilover safeguard on top and get back to perfecting your meatballs!

    red boilover safeguard on top of a pot

    31. Transform bland chicken breasts by using a marinade. Why not try out one of these that only has three ingredients?!

    A chart of three-ingredient marinades, with directions to combine with 1 pound of chicken, refrigerating 1-3 hours and baking at 400 degrees until cooked

    32. While we're on the topic of chicken, the possibilities of recipes you can make with a rotisserie chicken from the store are basically endless. It'll cut down the stress of cooking a whole chicken and add protein to any meal in an instant.

    The header image for the recipe roundup, with sandwiches, bowls, and wraps

    33. If you find yourself without any salad dressing, making your own vinaigrette is actually super easy. Just follow this ratio: one part vinegar/acid, two parts oil.

    Header image for salad dressings 101

    34. In fact, you can make and store your homemade vinaigrette in a salad dressing shaker that has measurements printed on the side, an airtight seal, and a one-handed lever so you can easily pour the dressing on your salad.

    The shaker, filled with vinaigrette in a fridge

    35. Don't be afraid to invest in some splurge-worthy kitchen items. They'll end up making cooking easier, faster, and less stressful. Take the air fryer for example: It'll heat up 6 quarts of food super quickly, and it'll get food like fries and wings super crispy with barely any of that hard-to-clean oil. When you're done cooking, all you have to do is place the nonstick air fryer basket in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

    red air fryer with fries inside non-stick air frying basket

    36. Keep this air fryer cooking cheat sheet on your fridge so you know exactly how long to cook every kind of food instead of just shoving it in the basket and hoping for the best.

    A spiraled notebook style cheat sheet with tabs for tips and tricks and different kinds of meat

    37. If you're stuck in an apartment without any outdoor space, you can still cook up a super yummy barbecue with this countertop griddler. Fix mouthwatering burgers, grilled veggies, and yummy salmon all from the comfort of your house. You'll still get those gorgeous grill marks, and it's so much easier to clean than an outdoor barbecue.

    Gray and black 5-in-1 countertop cooker with fresh orange pepper slices, broccoli florets, and a slab of salmon

    38. For the easiest cooking imaginable, dump all of your ingredients into a slow cooker at the beginning of the day, and then you'll come home to a delicious, complete meal.

    large slow cooker cooking up meat and veggies

    39. Stop overcrowding your pans, especially when you're cooking meat. If the pan is too crowded, the heat won't distribute evenly, and you won't get those yummy caramelized bits.

    A cast iron pan with three caramelized chicken thighs

    40. Every vegetarian and vegan knows the pain of getting water out of tofu, so speed up the process with this tofu press. The water collects at the bottom of the press, so you can easily dump it out when you're done. And you'll be left with tofu that crisps up in the pan and crunches when you bite into it.

    41. If you're looking to get better at baking, keep this baking mat handy — it acts as a nonslip, nonstick surface for you to easily roll out your dough, and it has measurements so you can shape your dough to exactly the circumference you need.

    Hands roll out slab of dough on white and red baking mat with measurements

    42. And don't forget to also use a set of silicone baking mats on your sheet pans to prevent your baked goods from sticking to the pan. Bonus: These reusable mats are much more sustainable and budget-friendly than the single-use parchment paper you usually use to line your pans.

    43. Did you know baking your bacon is actually the better way to do it? Seriously — you can cook a bunch at once, you won't have hot, dangerous oil spurting up, it'll stay flat instead of curling up (better for sandwiches!) and it'll cook perfectly every time!

    Five strips of raw bacon in a sheet pan

    44. When you're done cooking the bacon, get the rest of the grease to absorb with the Bacon Sponge — a 100% organic cotton towel that can absorb TEN TIMES its weight in liquid! Now you won't have to use nearly half a roll of paper towels just to absorb all that grease and oil.

    Pile of bacon sitting on the quilted cloth

    45. Instead of struggling to fold, crimp, and seal your dumplings or empanadas, try out this dough press — it makes evenly shaped pockets every time, and you won't have to worry about the filling seeping out in the oil when you fry them.

    46. Make measuring ingredients easier with these angled measuring cups — you don't have to bring the cup up to eye level or bend down to see how much you've poured in. Why didn't I think of this?!

    three angled measuring cups shot from above that show eggs, sugar, and milk in them

    47. To create perfectly round and uniform pancakes every time, use this easy-squeezy pancake batter bottle to distribute your batter directly into the pan. Heck — you can even go the extra mile and make some Mickey Mouse–shaped ones!

    reviewer holding a full bottle dispenser above mickey mouse shaped pancakes in a pan

    You whipping up award-winning recipes now that you're a pro: