30 Kitchen Tricks That Really Save Us In a Pinch

Life hacks have a place in our kitchens and our hearts, so we partnered with another time-saver—meal delivery service Home Chef—to share 30 of our favorites: The hacks that actually work.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 14 years, you are very familiar with life hacks (yes, that is in fact how long ago the word was coined—they’re teenagers!) and their pledge to get something done better, faster, easier.

That promise of greatness is what makes hacks so fun. And also, because hope springs eternal, so tempting to buy into even the ones we know are ridiculous—those hacks that are useless, time-consuming, and more likely to get a laugh than help you get anything done more efficiently.

But when hacks are good, they’re really, really good. From a smarter way to zest citrus to a dead-simple trick to sweeter pineapple, here are 30 of our favorite useful kitchen hacks (two of which require bringing your hair dryer into the kitchen, but none of which require you to start hoarding plastic bread clips):

Here's How to Chill Any Wine in 7 Minutes Flat

Here’s How to Chill Any Wine in 7 Minutes Flat by Samantha Weiss Hills

How to Open a Bottle of Beer Without an Opener

How to Open a Bottle of Beer Without an Opener

by Mike Dunkley

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew by Amanda Sims

Note: the above two should only be considered efficient​ options when you don’t have proper openers on hand.

How to Make Your Own Powdered Sugar

How to Make Your Own Powdered Sugar by Erin McDowell

A Faster, Better Way to Clarify Butter

A Faster, Better Way to Clarify Butter

by Alice Medrich

The Best Way to Soften Butter, Fast

The Best Way to Soften Butter, Fast

by Alice Medrich

How to DIY Cake Flour and Self-Rising Flour

How to DIY Cake Flour and Self-Rising Flour by Jen M.

The Safest, Cleanest Way to Melt Chocolate

The Safest, Cleanest Way to Melt Chocolate

by Alice Medrich

How to Temper Chocolate in the Microwave

How to Temper Chocolate in the Microwave by Lisa Kolb

(Psst: first hairdryer use appears above)

How to Chill That Dough—And Quick

How to Chill That Dough—And Quick by Ali Slagle

How to Hack the Kitchen Tools You Need (+ Why Not to Buy Them)

How to Hack the Kitchen Tools You Need (+ Why Not to Buy Them) by Alice Medrich

How to Hack a Sous Vide Machine

How to Hack a Sous Vide Machine

by Amanda Li

Hacking a Tart Pan

Hacking a Tart Pan

by Kristy Mucci

Skip the Fancy Barware: 6 Hacks for Cocktail Equipment

Skip the Fancy Barware: 6 Hacks for Cocktail Equipment by fiveandspice

How to Hack a Steamer

How to Hack a Steamer

by Sarah Jampel

Hacking a Cherry Pitter

Hacking a Cherry Pitter

by Kristy Mucci

How to Juice Without a Juicer

How to Juice Without a Juicer by Lindsay-Jean Hard

How to Hack a Heat Diffuser

How to Hack a Heat Diffuser

by Brette Warshaw

How to Fake a Double Boiler

How to Fake a Double Boiler

by Food52

The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks

The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks by Alice Medrich

(Spoiler alert: The second appearance of a hairdryer can be found above)

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs by Kenzi Wilbur

A Trick for Zesting Citrus

A Trick for Zesting Citrus

by Kenzi Wilbur

A Trick for Stretching Saffron

A Trick for Stretching Saffron

by Brette Warshaw

A Hack for Slicing Cherry Tomatoes

A Hack for Slicing Cherry Tomatoes by Kristy Mucci

An Easy Trick for Poaching Fruit

An Easy Trick for Poaching Fruit

by Sarah Jampel

For Easier Deep-Frying, Just Add a...Carrot?

For Easier Deep-Frying, Just Add a…Carrot?

by Sarah Jampel

The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method)

The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method) by Kristen Miglore

How to Revive Wilty, Droopy, Squishy Vegetables

How to Revive Wilty, Droopy, Squishy Vegetables

by Ali Slagle

A 5-Minute Trick for Fresher Tomatoes

A 5-Minute Trick for Fresher Tomatoes

by Leslie Stephens

A Hack for Sweeter, Juicier Pineapple

A Hack for Sweeter, Juicier Pineapple by Ali Slagle

We know you love a good hack too. Remember the competition from years ago, which had vvvanessa getting more counter space out of an ironing board and hardlikearmour hacking a cold smoker? So tell us: What’s your favorite kitchen or home hack (that’s actually worth your time)?

Home Chef is a meal delivery service that offers 11+ meal options, reduces food waste, and saves time in the kitchen—all things we’d say make life easier, better, and faster.

This article was written by Lindsay-Jean Hard from Food52 and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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