What is one of the keys to becoming a better cook (well, aside from ya know, cooking all the time)? Finding ways to make things easier and more efficient! So to help you along the way on your kitchen efficiency journey, we’re giving you a set of 12 new kitchen hacks guaranteed to shave time and make things easier for you. And hey, while you’re at it, here are 47 more kitchen hacks you should have already mastered. You’ll thank us later. Tell us in the comments if there are any other kitchen “hacks” you swear by.

1. Use a Wooden Spoon to Prevent Boil Overs


Following the law of duality, a watched pot will never boil and an unwatched pot will boil over. Save yourself from the mess with this hack from Life Hacker – take a wooden spoon and lay it across the top of the boiling pot. Boilover no more

2. Peel a Mango Using a Drinking Glass

The Kitchn

The folks at the Kitchn have verified that the easiest way to peel a “ripe” mango is using a drinking glass and a little know-how

3. Clean Your Cast Iron Pan with Salt


A cast iron pan can be the best piece of cookware in your arsenal, that is until it comes time to clean it. Instead of using a soapy sponge- a BIG no-no – scrub the pan with coarse salt. It will make cleanup a breeze

4. Cut Potatoes With an Apple Slicer

Grandma's Briefs

The quickest way to make perfect steak cut french fries? Use an apple slicer – it will cut down your prep time faster than you can say potato

5. Halve Cherry Tomatoes Using Two Plastic Lids


Every pantry probably has a few loose takeout lids floating around. Instead of tossing them in the trash, you can use two lids to help cut those pesky cherry tomatoes. This hack also works on olives, grapes or any other little round fruit / veggie that might roll away

6. Chill Glass Bottles Quickly, Using a Wet Paper Towel

Cupcakes and Cashmere

Nothing is worse than having to wait for your bottle of wine, champagne or beer to chill in the fridge. Speed up the process by wrapping the bottle in a wet paper towel and sticking it in the freezer for 15 minutes for an instant chill

7. Peel a Whole Head of Garlic in 10 Seconds

The Kitchn

Just watch this video from Saveur and you can peel a whole head of garlic without making a single cut. All you need are two metal bowls and a few deft shakes

8. Keep Bananas From Turning Brown with Plastic Wrap


The trick to keeping your bananas from over-ripening? Wrap the stems in plastic wrap – it will prevent the release of ethylene gas from the stems, which speeds up the ripening process. Your bananas will keep for much longer with this simple hack

9. Store Salad Greens in a Container Along WIth Paper Towels

The Kitchn

Don’t let that big bag of lettuce spoil before you’ve had a chance to eat it all. Store lettuce in a large container along with a few paper towels – your greens will keep for at least two weeks longer than if you kept them in the original container

10. Use Your Keurig (Or Coffee Maker) For Quick Boiled Water


When you don’t have time to fully boil a pot of water, your coffee maker will give you a quick cup of super hot water – perfect for that cup of oatmeal or instant noodles

11. No Steamer? Use a Pie Tin


Not all of us have a steamer (or even steam tray) at hand in the kitchen. If you only have an occasional need to steam something, a pie tin poked with holes can work in a pinch

12. Freeze Your Smoothie Ingredients Using an Ice Cube Tray

Shelly in Real Life

While we’d all love to start the day with a fresh green smoothie, time in the AM can be a little rushed. To help speed up the process, pre-blend all of your favorite smoothie ingredients and freeze them in an ice cube tray. When you are ready to make a smoothie, just pop a few in the blender along with some liquid and voila – smoothie time.

Dan McKay is a Canadian actor, film director, screenwriter, and musician—oh wait, that’s Ryan Gosling. Dan is a Philly-based freelance writer, photographer, and digital marketer. He has written for Eater and Thrillist, in addition to other publications. Outside of work, you might run across him in the Asian market or in one of Philly’s local drinking establishments.
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