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We asked the BuzzFeed Community for their most useful cooking shortcuts and favorite time-saving kitchen tools, and here's all their best advice!
1. Set aside an afternoon to chop a BUNCH of onions (or other veggies!) then stick them in the freezer to pull out whenever a recipe calls for 'em.
2. Or just go ahead and buy chopped, frozen onions, cauliflower, and other frozen, prepped veggies at the grocery store, so all the hard work's basically done for you.
3. If you prefer fresh produce but hate the time it takes to dice things with knives, get a little food chopper to take care of all that work in no time.
4. Or upgrade to a full-sized food processor to slice, dice, shred, chop, and purée to your heart's content.
5. Skip the forks and save your fingers: Shred cooked chicken in no time using your hand mixer or stand mixer.
6. To keep rice on hand without having to cook it each time, make a huge batch then stick it in the freezer for later. (It also works v. well with quinoa, or whatever grain you like best.)
7. Or just get a rice cooker, which makes it super simple to keep grains around whenever you might want some.
8. With an electric kettle, you're always only a few minutes away from a big boiling pot of water (or just some delicious soup or eggs).
9. Or, boil your water while you start your pasta sauce, turn it off/down to keep it warm, then reheat it to boiling again when it's pasta-o'clock.
10. But if you'd rather just set it to cook and forget it until it's actually time to eat, put your pasta in a microwave cooker while you heat up the sauce on the stove.
11. An airfryer can cook all kinds of frozen foods — from chicken strips to dumplings to mixed veggies and yes, french fries — in half the time as a normal oven and with up to 75% less fat than a traditional fryer.
12. Upgrade your vegetable peeler (or just buy a nice one in the first place) because prepping carrots, potatoes and zucchini faster means dinner's done that much sooner.
13. Head to Trader Joe's or Amazon to pick up a tray or two of Dorot crushed garlic frozen in small cubes — it has all the flavor of freshly minced garlic, because that's what it is, with none of the mess.
14. Or make your own frozen garlic by mincing a bunch of cloves in the food processor and freezing them in an ice cube or mini-muffin tray.
15. Look for pre-prepped packs of veggies at your grocery store that can make short work of a simple stir-fry.
16. Make incredible spaghetti sauce by just adding meat and extra garlic and herbs to your favorite store-bought jar.
17. For a quick and simple side, steam chopped or frozen veggies right in your microwave.
18. And if you microwave potatoes in a fabric bag for seven to nine minutes, they'll emerge as deliciously soft baked potatoes. Top them simply to serve as a side, or add all your favorite fixings for a quick dinner!
19. Always crack eggs on the flat of your countertop or cutting board, not the edge of the bowl. You'll get a cleaner break and you won't end up with bits of shell in your eggs that you have to painstakingly fish out.
20. But if you regularly enjoy hard/softboiled or poached eggs for protein at dinner (avocado toast is an any time of day–food that's always improved by poached eggs, IMO!), enlist a rapid egg cooker that can make perfect eggs in no time with basically zero effort.
21. Speaking of avocados, especially if you eat 'em regularly: This three-in-one tool makes cutting, pitting, and slicing them nice and quick, especially if you don't love prepping them with a regular knife.
22. Whether you call it a dump bowl or a garbage bowl, keep one next to your cutting board to skip multiple trips to the trash.
23. When you're planning to attempt a particularly complicated dish or an easy one you haven't mastered yet, try practicing ~mise-en-place~.
24. If you'd like, you can simplify mise-en-place by using prep bowls that have measurement markings on the inside.
25. Kitchen shears chop small things (like herbs and scallions) and messy things (like chicken breasts and canned tomatoes) in way less time than it takes to use a regular knife.
26. Make friends with the seasoning mix aisle in your grocery store and explore other gourmet seasoning blends for inspiration to try different recipes.
27. And don't forget to check out soup kits — they're packed with quick-cooking dehydrated seasonings, veggies, beans, and more (depending on the kit), and all *you* have to do is dump them in a pot with some chicken or vegetable broth and wait half an hour.
28. Prep a bunch of chicken breasts in different marinades one weekend, freeze them, and then pull them out each morning to defrost in the fridge in time to cook for dinner.
29. Pick up a rotisserie chicken and make it the base protein in a quick and easy meal.
30. Grate or slice dozens of veggies and fruits for a glorious but incredibly low-effort side salad with the help of a Salad Shooter.
31. Of course, your slow-cooker is your best friend — especially if you prep several dump dinners to keep in your freezer.
32. But if you really want to get great dinners on the table in no time, the Instant Pot might just change your life.
All of us, enjoying our food SO much more because it was almost effortless to cook:
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Note: Answers have been edited for length and clarity. Not all tips are from Community users.