Cooking Hacks 2018 : 24 NEW tips to help you cook better & faster than ever

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Do you have a set of cooking hacks that save you time and energy in the kitchen?

Us Brits love cooking. We spend an average of 24 hours a month in the kitchen cooking up delicious treats for our friends and family.

Whilst cooking can be a relaxing hobby to indulge in at the weekend, during the week, many of us just want to get food on the table fast.

That's where our cooking hacks come in - perfect for simplifying cooking tasks and helping you cut down on mess.

Discover our 24 brand new cooking hacks today, and start saving your time and energy for the good stuff.

1. How to make DIY muffin cases

homemade muffin cases hack
How clever!

Batter ready, oven on...no cake cases.

Don't be disheartened - you can knock up some easy, DIY muffin cases with this cooking hack.

All you need is some baking paper and a glass. Place the paper into an empty tray cup, then place the bottom of your glass inside. Twist it to mould the paper into place, then repeat with the other tray cups.

Pour your batter inside, and bake as normal.

2. How to soften brown sugar

Cooking a batch of caramel cookies? You'll need some demerara sugar then!

If yours has gone hard, we have a clever tip to get it lovely and soft again almost instantly.

The secret? A marshmallow. Pop a giant one in the bag when you store your sugar and it will prevent it from drying out, ready for all your baking needs.

3. How to peel garlic - the easy way!

garlic bulb
It doesn't have to be fiddly!

This cooking hack really is a game changer.

To peel garlic the easy way, microwave the whole bulb on high in your microwave for 20 seconds. When you take it out, the skin will slide straight off.

Easy peasy!

Like apples? You need to try this...

4. Stop apples from going brown

For some reason, kids seem to prefer cut apples. The problem? They can brown quickly and don't taste anywhere near as good when they do.

We have a clever tip for that.

Once you've cut your apple, rebuild it and pull an elastic band over it to keep it in place.

The fresh will stay lovely and white, to your little one's delight.

5. How to shred chicken in seconds

Shredded chicken is so scrummy. It's incredibly versatile and great for throwing into messy week-night dinners as well as in lunchtime sarnies.

The problem? It's pretty fiddly to prepare.

Want to know how to do it, the easy way?

In the food processor! Shredded chicken in seconds - just be sure to remove the bones first).

6. The correct way to peel ginger

peel ginger with spoon
Are you doing it right?

How do you peel ginger?

Here at Expert Home Tips, we only ever use one thing - a spoon.

The smooth edges are surprisingly effective at sliding off your ginger skin.

Best of all, they leave you with all the flesh, reducing waste and keeping costs low.

7. The best way to remove squash skin...

Squash is an affordable and versatile vegetable, great in stuff like soups and stew.

The only problem? That tough skin and fiddly seeds.

We have a quick fix for that!

Pop your whole squash in the microwave and zap for 3 minutes on high. The skin will be much easier to slice through.

8. ...& for the seeds?

Most people don't know, but the best thing to use when removing seeds is an ice cream scoop.

Its round sharp and sharp edges are perfect for this otherwise-tricky task.

9. A cooking hack for cheese lovers

Trying to cut down on the cheese?

Mozarella is a low-calorie choice, and delicious on pizza and pasta dishes.

Keep your portion size low by grating it.

The secret hack?

Freeze your mozzarella ball for 30 minutes to slightly harden it, and it will make cutting a breeze.

10. The best way to peel fruit

clementines wood chopping board
Easy-peasy peeling!

Oranges are full of Vitamin C, making them a great, healthy snack choice for you and your family.

Lightly roll your orange on a flat surface before attempting to remove the skin to make it easier.

11. Can you use crystalised honey?

Has your lovely, smooth, shiny honey turned into a crystalised mess?

We have a cooking hack for that!

To get your honey fluid again, simply zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

12. How to cut a pepper

Stir-fry, fajitas, roasted veg- lots of the best dinner options involve peppers.

Are you cutting yours properly?

This video by Rumble Viral shows you how to deseed bell peppers without any hassle - genius!

13. How to soften butter, fast

We've all been there - trying to spread butter on a piece of sliced bread, only to poke a hole right through it.

The problem?

Your butter's too hard. The quickest way to soften it is by grating - the friction will help warm the butter up, and increase the surface area exposed to room-temperature air.

14. How to reheat pizza

Let's face it - reheated pizza is never going to be as good as the fresh stuff.

However, if you do it right, it can be pretty close.

Our trick?

Placing a glass of water in the microwave whilst you reheat. This helps prevent the pizza from drying out, giving you the gooey, melty results you're after. 

15. DIY cookbook stand (in seconds)

cookbook holder using coathanger
Genius!

This is one of our favourite cooking hacks of all time.

Here at Expert Home Tips, we're all about keeping things simple - the less equipment, the better.

That's why we don't have a cookbook stand - instead, we use a coat hanger.

A coat hanger you say?

Simply fix your cookbook into a skirt coat hanger, and hook it on one of your high, kitchen cupboard doors for easy reading. This way, there's no need to worry about it getting stained, either.

16. How to get thinly sliced meat for stir-fries

Stir fries are one of our favourite, go-to dinner options. For some reason, however, we can never seem to be able to get them to look as neat as they do in the restaurant.

Until we discovered this tip, that is...

...the key to getting super-thin, neatly cut meat is using frozen meat. Cut it into strips when it's been thawing for about an hour, and you'll be able to get incredibly clean lines.

It will also be more tender - delicious!

17. Use essential oils to wash fruit & veg

These days, most fruit and veg comes with a side of waxy, pesticide coating.

The best way to clean your fresh produce? Lemon essential oils.

Like this cooking hack? Discover more incredible uses for essential oils in our other blog post.

18. This cooking hack makes chopping much easier

chopping board courgette carrot
That's better!

Got a slippy-slidey countertop and a slippy-slidey chopping board?

There's a cooking hack for that!

Simply place a tea towel under your chopping board, and it will prevent it from sliding all over the place.

19. How to dry herbs at home (in the microwave!)

Have you ever bought a load of herbs for a recipe, and not managed to use them all before they've gone off? Us too.

We recently discovered you can actually dry herbs out in the microwave, thereby preserving them for use at a later date.

Sounds great, right?

To try it: pop your herbs onto a piece of paper towel and microwave on high for a minute, turn, then repeat at 30-second intervals until dry.

Don't forget to check out these other microwave hacks too - they'll save you even more time in the kitchen.

20. How to make an edible chocolate bowl

Love chocolate? Then you're going to love this cooking hack.

Why not treat your guests, kids, or even just yourself to special dessert tonight and serve up some ice cream in a homemade chocolate bowl?

It couldn't be easier - all you need is a balloon and some chocolate.

Watch the video below to learn how to make this tasty treat in seconds.

We've still got more cooking hacks to save you time and energy in the kitchen. Keep reading!

21. Remove eggshells with this cooking hack

Even the most competent of chefs get eggshell in their mix from time to time.

What experienced chefs do know, however, is the best way to fish it out again - do you?

All you need to do is wet your fingers, and any stray pieces will be much easier to remove.

22. How to make the best pancakes

Who says pancakes are just for pancake day?

Our clever cooking hack makes them so easy, they can become a weekly thing in your household!

The trick is easy...

...simply pour your pancake batter into a condiment bottle, and it will be much easier (and less messy) to knock up a batch of fluffy pancakes - yum!

23. Healthy meatballs

Meatballs are so delicious, but they're not exactly diet-friendly.

Hack your way to healthy meatballs using an egg carton. Simply place your meatballs inside, and the cardboard will absorb extra fat whilst cooking, leaving you with a light, but extremely tasty dinner.

Looking to lose weight? Check out our list of diet-friendly foods that are surprisingly tasty for some inspiration!

24. How to flavour grains

tea bag to flavour grains
Adding flavour doesn't have to be complicated.

Is your plain rice a bit...plain?

Our favourite way of giving grains a boost of flavour is to pop a tea bag into the water whilst cooking them.

Mint, turmeric, ginger - the choice is yours!

Do you have any clever cooking hacks that save your time & energy? Share them with us in the comments below!

Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Margaret Venmore on February 27, 2018 at 8:25 am

    This was headed "uses for cupcake cases" - seems ths got lost ! Would like to see it sometime. Love all the info that comes with your emails.

    Reply

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