10 lesser-known kitchen hacks that’ll save you time & effort

Discover a collection of kitchen hacks that go beyond the usual tips and tricks. These lesser-known techniques are here to revolutionise your cooking. They range from clever shortcuts to smart methods, all aimed at making your time in the kitchen more efficient and effective.

So, say goodbye to kitchen frustrations and welcome a new level of culinary ease!

1. Rub hands with stainless steel to remove odours

When you’ve been handling pungent ingredients like garlic or onions, the lingering smell on your hands can be bothersome. A little-known trick is to rub your hands on a stainless steel object, like a spoon or your kitchen sink, while running them under water. The stainless steel helps neutralise and remove the odour, leaving your hands fresh and odour-free.

2. Use a potato for salty soup

hacks - potato in soup
hacks - potato in soup

Salvage an over-salted soup or stew with a humble potato. Simply add a peeled, raw potato to the pot. As the potato simmers, it absorbs excess salt, subtly balancing the flavour. After a short while, remove the potato to ensure the soup reaches the desired taste without overwhelming saltiness.

3. Use dental floss for perfectly sliced cakes

Achieving clean, even slices of cake can be tricky, but dental floss can be your secret weapon. Slide a length of unscented dental floss under the cake, and then cross the ends over the top to slice through it. This technique ensures neat slices without squishing the cake, making it ideal for layer cakes and delicate desserts.

4. Freeze leftover wine as ice cubes

hacks - red wine ice cubes
hacks - red wine ice cubes

Don’t let leftover wine go to waste. Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. These wine cubes are perfect for adding a splash of flavour to sauces or stews, and they won’t dilute your dishes like regular ice cubes would.

5. Revive stale bread with a damp paper towel

Stale bread can be given a second life with this hack. Simply wrap the loaf or slices in a damp paper towel and heat in the oven for a few minutes. The steam created by the damp paper towel revitalises the bread’s moisture, making it taste fresh and soft again.

6. Use a hair dryer to soften hardened brown sugar

Discovering your brown sugar has turned into a solid block can be frustrating, but don’t worry— a hair dryer can come to the rescue. Set it to low heat and aim it at the hardened sugar, moving it around to evenly distribute the warmth. In just a few minutes, your brown sugar will regain its soft, granulated texture, saving you from the need to buy a new bag. This hack showcases an unexpected use for a common household tool.

7. Cook bacon in the oven

hacks - strips of bacon
hacks - strips of bacon

For hassle-free bacon preparation, lay bacon strips on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven. This method ensures that the bacon cooks evenly and becomes delightfully crispy without the mess of stovetop splatters.

8. Use a potato to remove broken eggshells

Retrieving bits of eggshell from a bowl can be tricky, but a piece of potato works like a charm. Simply press a piece of potato against the shell, and it will adhere to the potato, making cleanup a breeze. Try it to believe it!

9. Use a lemon for a clean microwave

hacks - wiping a lemon
hacks - wiping a lemon

Cleaning a microwave can be a chore, but it’s made easier with a lemon. Place a cut lemon in a bowl of water and microwave it for a few minutes. The steam generated by the lemon helps loosen food residue and stains, making it a breeze to wipe clean.

10. Use a rubber band for stubborn jar lids 

When a jar lid refuses to budge, wrap a rubber band around it. This added grip gives you the leverage needed to open the jar effortlessly, sparing you from the frustration and potential strain on your hands.

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