Make your time in the kitchen a breeze with these amazing cooking hacks. Get some new tricks and ideas you haven't thought of before!

Woman grating vegetable, from Shelf Cooking

Cooking is no joke! It's a great way to save money and feed your family a healthy meal, but it can really be overwhelming sometimes. Especially if it's not your favorite. And let's be honest… Nobody just loves cooking 100% of the time, all the time!

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But wanna know what makes your time in the kitchen 1,000 times better? These nifty cooking hacks are about to knock your socks off. They'll make things go faster, taste better, and make your time spent cooking so much easier! So, what are we waiting for? Let's get started!


Toast on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Get your day started off the right way with these kitchen cooking hacks! No more getting frustrated and turning to those expensive and unhealthy prepackaged foods for you. It's time to be the queen of the kitchen!

  • Dash a little salt in the pan when you’re cooking up foods with lots of grease. (We’re talking to you, bacon!) Grease splatters will be more likely to stay in the pan where they belong.
  • Use an empty water bottle to separate the egg yolk from whites. Hold the bottle upside down and gently squeeze. Then, place the opening around the egg yolk and stop squeezing the bottle. The yolk will suck right up into the bottle, leaving the egg whites where you need them. Save those yolks for later, they're great for these egg sandwiches!
  • Peel your hard-boiled eggs easier! Add baking soda or vinegar to the water while it boils. Once your eggs are cooled, shake them around in an empty bowl or pan to help crack all the shells.
  • Use a waffle maker to make the perfect golden hash browns with minimal effort and clean up.
  • Toast lots of bread at once! Set your oven racks close together in the middle of your oven and put a sheet pan on the bottom rack. Stand slices up in the sheet pan so the top grate is holding them up. Bake at 450°F for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Now you'll have toast ready for the whole family at the same time!
  • Use a clean condiment bottle to make pancakes! You can now become a pancake artist since the bottle makes fun-shaped pancakes a breeze to design.
  • Know when to flip your pancakes! Wait until you start seeing bubbles in the middle of your pancake before you attempt to flip. Only flip them once and they'll turn out perfect every time!
  • Use a wide-mouth mason jar ring to make perfectly-shaped eggs for egg sandwiches. You can also use large rings of onion if you like a little bite to your sammy.
  • Cook bacon in the oven to prevent grease splatters while also making enough to feed a small army! Lay bacon on top of a wire rack to get it extra crispy and to keep it out of the grease.

Pro Tip: Cover your bacon with parchment paper and place a sheet pan on top to help keep the bacon flat while baking. They'll fit perfectly on a sandwich this way.


Shredded chicken in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Ahhhh, chicken. It's such a versatile meat and it's usually the cheapest you can find at the store. But boy, can it be tricky sometimes! Use our awesome cooking hacks to take it that extra mile. Make that delicious bird work for you!

  • Save your chicken or turkey bits and bones to make your own broth!
  • Shred chicken in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer! It's so much quicker than doing it by hand and so. much. easier. Do it while it's still warm so it'll shred easy peasy. (Make a lot at once and freeze it in meal-sized portions to make life easier on you!)
  • Use a bundt pan to cook a whole chicken! Stand the chicken up and fit it over the bundt pan center. Add potatoes and root vegetables to the pan, and season the chicken well. Bake at 425°F until a meat thermometer reads 165°F.
  • Soak your chicken in a saltwater solution before cooking to keep it moist and to give it extra flavor. No more bland, dry meat in our house!
  • Make your chicken extra tender and flavorful by marinating it in plain yogurt. It makes a great base and you can add whatever seasonings to it that you have.

Pro Tip: Make sure your chicken is thawed completely before cooking! Frozen chicken can cook unevenly, and nobody wants to deal with that. Get even more great tips on how to cook the perfect chicken breast!


Meatballs on a wire rack, from Shelf Cooking

“Where's the beef?” We've found it, and you're going to want to use these cooking hacks for it! 😉

  • When making meatballs, add a ½ cup of cottage cheese for every pound of ground meat! It adds both flavor and protein. Plus, it stretches your recipe. #ShelfCookingWin
  • Want one of our favorite meatball cooking hacks? Roll the meatballs mixture into a log and cut it into even slices before rolling the meat into balls. It will give you even amounts and should keep the meat from going under your nails. (Because let's be honest, that's definitely not the fun part of making meatballs!)
  • Cook your meatballs on a baking rack. The grease will drip down into the pan and your meatballs will get caramelized on all sides.
  • Tired of your meatloaf drying out? Start using half ground turkey or pork. You won't be able to taste the difference. 😉
  • Put an ice cube in the middle of your hamburger patties. It'll keep the burgers from drying out… You'll never make another dry burger again!
  • Easily tell the temperature of your steak without a thermometer. Raw will feel like the palm of your hand near your thumb. Rare will feel like that area when you touch your pointer finger to your thumb. Medium rare will feel like that area when you touch your middle finger to your thumb. Medium will feel like that area when you touch your ring finger to your thumb. Well done will feel like that area when you touch your pinky to your thumb.

Pro Tip: Buy a bunch of ground beef, precook it, and freeze it in meal-sized servings. It makes dinnertime so much easier and it saves you some time by cooking it all at once!


Tacos on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

Alright, are you ready to really feel like a champ in the kitchen? If you're not already following these cooking hacks, then you're going to jump on this party bus because things are about to get fun!

  • Make your own crunchy taco shells! Hang your tortillas over two grates with one space between them. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes or until golden. This will make them have flat bottoms, so they'll stand up on their own!
  • Use a sheet pan to keep your counters clean. Put everything you need on the pan while cooking, then easily carry it to the sink to clean.
  • No more cutting your finger on cans! After you open it with your can opener, use a magnet or spoon to remove the lid.
  • Revive old spices! Don't throw out your old spices that have lost their flavor! Add however much you need to a skillet over a medium flame and stir around 1-3 minutes until the spices start giving off a strong aroma.
  • Make your own cooking spray! Grab an oil sprayer, add your favorite cooking oil, and spray away.
  • Make your own bread crumbs when you're in a pinch and run out!
  • Keep a large, lined bowl handy while cooking and throw any scraps into it. This makes for easy cleanup, especially if your trash can isn't handy.

Pro Tip: Keep a scrap baggie in your freezer to put any spare bits of veggies, peels, skins, and ends into rather than just tossing them in the trash. Once you have enough, you can make your own broth!


Pasta on a plate, from Shelf Cooking

We've saved the best for last! If these cooking hacks don't make you do a happy little jig, then we're not sure what will.

  • Sticky pasta is a thing of the past! Toss it with a little bit of olive oil or butter and keep on keepin' on.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon to your rice to keep it from sticking. It adds great flavor while also keeping your rice fluffy.
  • Lemon is a tenderizer, so it's perfect for a marinade or cooking meat! It gives flavor and leaves your meat tender and juicy.
  • Rescue a salty soup by adding raw wedges of apple or potato. Simmer for 10 minutes, then discard the wedges. #ShelfCookingSave
  • Peel garlic easily! Remove all cloves from the bulb by applying pressure with your hand and rolling it around until they come apart. Then, using a large chef's knife, lay the flat side of the blade on the clove and give it a good whack with the palm of your hand. You'll be able to easily peel the skin off! (Be very careful! Make sure your knife won't roll, you don't want to risk cutting your hand.)
  • Use a fine grater on your ginger and garlic instead of mincing it. Such a time saver!
  • Boil potatoes for easy peeling. The skin will slide right off, but be sure to let them cool a little bit so you don't burn your fingers!
  • Tired of long noodles being hard to eat? Use kitchen scissors to cut them into smaller, more manageable bites after they're done cooking. This is especially a great hack for kids!
  • Roast your frozen broccoli without defrosting! Cooking it at a high temperature around 450°F is best, and you can achieve a crispier texture if you preheat the sheet pan while the oven is preheating.

Pro Tip: Keep your mixing bowls and cutting boards from slipping by putting a damp kitchen towel underneath them. (Psssttt… if you liked that tip, then you'll love these other 39 food hacks!)

Whew, alright, well there you have it! 35 of our favorite cooking hacks that will change your world for the better. Do you have any hacks that you can't live without? Share them with us in the comments!

Image with text that reads "crazy awesome cooking hacks" from Shelf Cooking

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