We’d like to think that we know our way around a kitchen.
We’d like to. Clearly we don’t.
Thanks to the internet, we’ve learned that we’ve been doing everything incorrectly, from eating bananas to scooping ice cream. Chances are pretty good that you’re doing the same.
For instance, you probably never knew that…
1. You shouldn’t cook bacon in a pan.
To get the flat, perfectly cooked slabs you enjoy in restaurants, bake your bacon. Set your oven to 350 degrees, then line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the bacon on the baking sheet, and you’re good to go (you don’t even have to wait for the oven to preheat).
This method keeps the bacon flat through the entire process and allows you to cook lots of bacon at once.
2. Use dental floss to cut cakes.
Simple yet effective. With a little steady pressure, the floss cuts more cleanly than a knife, and you can work it back and forth to cut denser cakes. Just make sure to use the unflavored stuff; nobody likes tasting dental floss during a birthday party.
3. This video demonstrates how to peel an orange in 30 seconds:
4. Use old Sriracha bottles as oil dispensers.
You’ll never lose another cap, and the controllable opening at the top of the bottle is perfect for getting the exact amount of oil you need.
5. Use leftover candies to make mint hot chocolate.
Crush up mints with a mortar and pestle, then mix them in your hot cocoa before adding the boiling water. Although this adds quite a bit of sugar to the drink, mint and chocolate go together like…well, mint and chocolate.
6. Use lemons to grill fish.
Grilled fish tastes great, but it makes a mess of your barbecue. Instead of putting the fish directly over the hot grates, create a bed of lemon slices. The lemons will impart some flavor to the fish and stop it from burning or sticking to the grill. This works especially well with salmon.
Try experimenting with other citrus fruits. Orange pairs well with tilapia, for instance, if you’re going for a sweeter taste.
7. Your waffle iron basically turns leftover pizza into gooey pieces of perfection.
Leftover pizza is perfectly fine on its own, but you’ll never settle for cold cheese again after trying this tip. Take your pizza and fold it in half (or if you’re feeling especially gluttonous, smush two slices together).
Oil up your waffle iron, then put your pizza in. Close the iron, turn, and let it do its thing. This increases the surface area of the crunch thanks to the waffling, and you can even throw some extra marinara on as “syrup.” Sure, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s one of the most delicious.
By the way, you can also do this with other starchy foods. Fritters, hash browns, and polenta are especially good choices. You could make an entire meal on your waffle iron, but your friends might start looking at you strangely.
8. Want more nutrition from your carrots? Cook them.
Most people assume that raw vegetables are better for you. That’s not necessarily true in every case. Cooked carrots have higher levels of carotenoids, which provide substantial health benefits. Likewise, canned tomatoes are richer in lycopene than fresh tomatoes; several studies have shown that lycopene helps to prevent certain forms of cancer.
9. Keep your tomatoes from falling off your sandwich.
An enterprising Reddit user figured out that folding your lunch meat over your tomatoes will keep your sandwich in order. We assume that this would also work with lettuce, if you’re not into meats. It’s simple enough that we wonder why we never thought of it.
10. Stop your ice cream from getting freezer burned.
All you’ll need are two sealable plastic bags. Put the ice cream container in one of the bags, then put the second bag over it so that the seals of the first bag face away from the seals of the second. This prevents moisture from creeping into the ice cream container and keeps your dessert smooth and creamy.While we’re at it, here’s a bonus tip: Warm up your ice cream scoop by running it under hot water before you start scooping. You’re welcome.
11. Use onions to cook the perfect eggs.
Here’s another one from Reddit.
Slice an onion into rings, making sure to leave them fairly thick. Press them down in a hot pan using a bit of oil to create some surface tension. Then simply break your egg directly into the onion ring. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to make restaurant-quality breakfast sandwiches.
12. Peel bananas from the bottom.
Try peeling your banana from its bottom rather than its stalk side. This will keep much of the fibrous material together, providing a cleaner experience. This is apparently how wild animals peel their bananas (but not monkeys, because most monkeys actually hate bananas).
13. Different types of teas need to be brewed differently.
White, yellow, and green teas should be brewed for 1 to 2 minutes. Oolong and black teas should brew for 2 to 3 minutes, whereas herbal teas should brew for 3 to 6 minutes. Any longer than that and your tea might end up getting bitter.
14. Coat your French toast with cereal to make it extra crunchy.
For best results, use plain corn flakes. Crush them up, then prepare your French toast. After you’ve dipped the bread in the egg mixture, give it a quick dip in the corn flake crumbs. To make this work you’ll definitely need to have a decent layer of oil in your pan.
This simple hack gives you a much more satisfying breakfast, particularly when you add the syrup and powdered sugar. Just don’t get too creative; sugary cereals can burn easily when exposed to high heat, ruining your breakfast in the process.
15. You can use a fork to dip your Oreos in milk without making a mess.
Simply stick the fork into the creme filling, then dip. As an added benefit, this makes you look slightly more dignified.
16. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more satisfying, dip Oreos in milk and freeze them.
Be sure to put them in a freezer bag before popping them in your freezer. This gives you the flavor of cookies and cream in a slightly more convenient package.
This is also a great way to set up for a cookies-and-cream milkshake. Take the frozen Oreos and add them to your blender along with milk and ice cream for a delicious, decadent treat.
17. Boil your water before freezing it to make clear ice cubes.
Boiling the water removes some impurities, preventing the water from clouding over. Sure, the ice tastes about the same, but it’s much better for impressing guests at a dinner party.
18. You can quickly ripen bananas by baking them.
This works best if you’re planning on using the bananas for cooking (so, for instance, if you’re overcome with a sudden hankering for banana bread). Put the fruit on a lined baking sheet, then load it in a 300 degree oven. The bananas will ripen quickly, and they’ll start to turn black—ideal for banana bread—around the 40-minute mark.
19. The oven trick also works on avocados.
Take a hard, unripe avocado, cover it in foil, and put it into a 200 degree oven. You’ll need to leave the avocado in the oven for about an hour, according to a post on The Kitchn. The avocado will taste a bit different (not worse, but different), so you’re better off using it as a last resort when you’ve got some urgent guacamole to make.
Another way to quickly ripen an avocado is to put it in a drink cozy overnight. The cozy traps in the ethylene gas that ripens the avocado, speeding up the process.
20. Bacon is not a side to your pancakes. It is part of your pancakes.
The bacon pancake is not just a song from Adventure Time. Why keep these two complementary foods separate on your plate?
Try dredging cooked bacon slices in pancake batter before you throw them into the skillet. When you see grease bubbles forming and bursting on your bacon pancake, flip it and give the other side the same treatment.
Here’s a good recipe. Don’t forget the syrup.
21. Hack your lunch meat for full sandwich coverage.
Why do delis still serve lunch meat in round slices? Don’t they know we’re trying to get full coverage on our bread? Well, with this quick kitchen hack, you can ensure that no bite will go unmeaty.
Slice your round lunch meat into halves. Place the straight edges flush with the four sides of the bread, overlapping in the middle. Not only does this eliminate dry corner bites, it creates a beautiful pattern in the center of your sandwich. You might have to go open-face on this one.
22. Use hot dogs for a quick meatball substitute.
Your toddlers will be amazed with this trick. Once you take a bite, you will admit that your toddlers have pretty good taste. Check it out:
Try spearing chunks of hot dog right out of the package with strands of uncooked spaghetti. Then boil the spaghetti as normal. In the end, you’ll have a plate of noodles threaded through the hot dog chunks like beads on a necklace. This is edible jewelry at its best.