People Are Sharing Their Most Life-Changing Cooking Hacks, And They Might Actually Surprise You
"Just this one ingredient makes such a remarkable difference, especially in tomato sauces."
1. "Put chicken stock cubes in the water to boil pasta."
2. "If you're cutting hot peppers and don't want an unfortunate accident later on, rub a little neutral oil (canola, vegetable) on your hands when finished, then wash with a little dish soap."
"The capsaicin (spicy chemical in the peppers) essentially binds with the oil. Then the dish soap takes care of the oil on your hands." —u/CorneliusJenkins
3. "Add a splash of orange juice to pumpkin or banana bread. The acidity really adds some brightness against the spices."
4. "Keep ginger in the freezer. Use a microplane or grater to grate the frozen ginger into sauces, fried rice, etc. It's easier to work with when it's frozen."
5. "Baking powder on chicken skin makes it extra crispy."
6. "I use olive brine/pickle brine to add flavor to a lot of dishes like casseroles, stews, etc. It adds a nice depth."
7. "I save all my vegetable scraps — onions, garlic, bell peppers, carrots, celery, herb stems — and collect them in a freezer bag. When it’s full I turn it into stock and then use that stock to cook rice, quinoa, lentils, etc..."
8. "I keep Parmesan rinds in my freezer for stock, sauces, and stews. I just throw it in after everything else to simmer. It makes a remarkable difference, especially in tomato sauces."
9. "Pour leftover stock into ice cube trays so you always have frozen flavor starters."
10. "Mixing butter and soy sauce in the same dish. It's one of my favorite flavor combinations."
"It's excellent in just about any savory dish, and it works especially well with mushrooms." —u/PotusChrist
11. "Add a splash of vinegar in the water to boil potatoes for either potato salad or roasted potatoes. It stops them from falling apart."
12. "When you're cutting broccoli or cauliflower, turn it upside down. Then rotate it as you cut the stem part."
"It's so much cleaner than cutting through the flowery part from the top, and you get really nice florets." —u/January1171
13. "The microwave is extremely useful to speed up the whole process for making baked potatoes. I microwave them for five minutes, then throw them in the oven for 15. Perfect baked potatoes in 20 minutes instead of an hour."
14. "When I bake, I grease my pans, but instead of using flour to coat it, I use granulated sugar. It makes the edges sweet and crunchy and saves me from needing to use icing or frosting."
15. "Cooking vegetables in boiling water during the last few minutes of making pasta. They soak up that starchy deliciousness and it turns many of my recipes into one-pot recipes."
16. "Toss noodles in toasted sesame oil after they’ve drained. Takes them to another level."
17. "Lemon zest in garlic butter, specifically for garlic bread. It's an absolute game changer, even if you use just a little bit."
18. "Use a potato masher for browning ground beef."
"While the meat is still raw, push down with the masher and use a spatula to scrape the meat that pushes through. Once it starts to brown, the masher helps crumble it." —u/MKE1969
19. "When roasting meat, add your herbs and spices in order of coarse to fine. For example, add thyme, then coarse black pepper, then cayenne, then garlic powder. It helps everything stick to the meat better."
20. "Pre-toast flour for roux. Spread flour in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F, stirring often, until it’s toasty. Cool and store, and use it as the flour in any roux to speed up the process.
"If you have toasted flour on hand, you’re always halfway to gumbo at any moment, and it’s a nice flavor boost for other kinds of flour-based sauces and gravies!" —u/whateverpieces