11 Life-Changing Food Preparation Hacks
If you like to cook, then you probably already know your way around the kitchen pretty well. That being said, there are always new helpful tips, ticks, and techniques to learn that will help you up your cooking game. From time-saving hacks to clever ways to elevate your cooking skills, these 11 life-changing food preparation hacks will teach you quick & easy ways to make the perfect snack, meal, or desert. Learn how to make delicious caramel corn at home, gauge when the cooking oil is the perfect temperature to start frying, and even how to make a fancy dessert bowl out of chocolate or cookie dough in no time! Chop, bake, whisk, fry, and toast like the culinary master you were born to be!
1. Cut The Perfect Pizza Crust
- pot lid
1.1 Roll out the pizza dough on a clean work surface. Use a pot lid to cut out the dough and you'll have the perfect pizza crust – simple, quick, and perfectly round!
2. Delectable Dessert Decor
- hard candies
- parchment paper
- flat iron
2.2 Fold a piece of parchment paper and place a piece of hard candy in the center. Heat the flat iron and gently flatten the candy that's placed inside the parchment paper. Use the gorgeous flattened candy as a decoration for cupcakes or other desserts.
3. The Perfect Pour
- safety seal
3.1 To prevent yourself from pouring out too much vegetable or olive oil, simply remove the safety seal from the top of the bottle of cooking oil, flip it over, and insert it back into the cap upside down. When you pour out your cooking oil, the perfect portion will come out.
4. Delicious Dessert Bowls
- 1 stick butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg whites
- ¾ cup flour
- 4 ring-shaped stencils
- muffin pan
4.1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar together, then add in the egg whites and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the flour into the mixture until combined, forming a sticky dough. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place 4 ring-shaped stencils on top. Fill in the center of the stencils with dough and spread the dough around to make thin, even layers inside the stencils. Remove the stencils and you should have 4 perfectly round pieces of dough. Transfer the baking tray to the oven and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
4.2 Remove the baked cake circles from the oven and flip over a muffin pan. Place the warm cake circles on top of the wells in the bottom of the muffin pan and push them down carefully to create small bowls.
4.3 Let the cups cool down and fill them with the dessert of your choice.
5. Easy Caramel Corn
- hard caramel candies
- popcorn kernels
- large heat-resistant mixing bowl
5.1 Melt the hard caramel candies and butter in a pan. Add in the popcorn kernels, place a large heat-resistant bowl over the top of the pan, and let the kernels pop. Once the caramel corn is done, carefully flip everything over straight into the bowl you used as a lid.
6. Homemade Cookie Crumble
- empty pepper grinder
6.1 Break the Oreos into small pieces and transfer them to an empty pepper grinder. Grind the pepper grinder as you would normally, and you can add a professional finish to your coffee, cakes, or anything else you think could use an extra touch of sweetness!
7. Chocolate Cake Writing
- bar of chocolate
- double boiler
7.1 Melt a fully wrapped bar of chocolate over a double boiler, then cut open 1 corner of the wrapper. Use the melted chocolate to write a message or a draw a design onto a piece of parchment paper. Let the chocolate cool and use it to decorate a cake.
8. Chocolate Bowls
- silicone mold with semicircular wells
- popsicle sticks
- chocolate, tempered
8.1 Fill the silicone mold with water and place 1 popsicle stick in each well. Transfer the silicone mold to the freezer and freeze the water.
8.2 Temper some chocolate, dip 1 semicircular ice cube into the tempered chocolate, and let it sit in the chocolate briefly. Take chocolate-coated ice cube out of the tempered chocolate and remove the ice cube from the chocolate coating. Now you can use the hardened chocolate as edible dessert bowls.
9. Hack For Squeezing Lemons
9.1 Not everyone has a juicer at home, and that means a lot of juice goes to waste when you're squeezing citrusy fruits. In order to get the most juice possible out of your lemon, squeeze it between a pair of tongs instead of using your hands. Getting the juice out will be less effort, plus you'll squeeze out even more than you would've if you had used your hands!
10. Temperature Check For Cooking Oil
- wooden spoon
10.1 You don't necessarily need a thermometer to check the temperature of cooking oil when you want to fry something. Just stick a wooden spoon in the hot oil, and if the oil bubbles up on the stick, it's hot enough to start deep frying.
11. Roast Marshmallows Over The Toaster
- wooden skewers
11.1 Stick the marshmallows onto a wooden skewer, press down the toaster to heat it up, and hold the marshmallows over the heat. Rotate the skewers sporadically so that the marshmallows toast evenly on all sides.
There can never be enough simple kitchen tricks. With every new idea, delicious recipe, and time-saving technique, you're 1 step closer to becoming a master chef!