7 essential cooking hacks that will save you hours in the kitchen

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

People are inherently lazy. Given the choice between spending hours slaving away in a sweaty kitchen or getting out in half the time and chilling with a glass of something cold and naughty, there’s only one option that makes sense. Any way that we can save precious seconds with our cooking is a surefire way to make any evening less stressful. Though they might not meet the exceptional standards of culinary school, there’s little doubt that these seven hacks are a great way to make your mealtimes as nifty as possible.

1. Cutting Tomatoes

You would think that making something as simple as a salad wouldn’t take more than a few seconds. But, as anyone who’s spent time chasing rolling cherry tomatoes around a chopping board will be all too aware, cutting small, round fruit and veg can be a nightmare. Save yourself a headache by gently placing your ingredients between two plates and slicing a knife between them.

2. Vinegar and Eggs

The key component in any truly impressive breakfast in bed is a properly poached egg. Though indispensable, soft whites and runny yolks can be incredibly tricky to achieve, making the start to the day that much more stressful. In order to keep the whites in shape when they hit the pan, try soaking your eggs for a few minutes in vinegar before cracking them.

3. Water Your Bread

There’s nothing worse than saving a loaf for later, only to realise that you’ve delayed for too long and the whole thing has gone stale. Instead of throwing your frustrating bread in the bin, restore it to its former glory by splashing a little water on a slice and putting in the oven. Once the water has evaporated, you’ll be left with a warm, fluffy piece of fresh looking bread.

4. Microwaving Pizza

Waking up post take away to discover a few slices of stone cold pizza clinging to a box is always a pleasant surprise. Zapping it in the microwave to produce a soggy, chewy mess, however, is not. Avoid this calamity by placing a small glass of water on the same plate as the pizza. This will ensure that the crust returns to its former glory and doesn’t ruin your morning.

5. Towels and Beer

In the face of summer heat, the mad dash to cool a couple of cans as quickly possible is a dance as old as time. Though it can seem like it takes an age for your drinks to chill, there is a handy hack that can help you out. By soaking some paper towels in water and wrapping them around your can or bottle before they go into the fridge, you’ll drastically reduce the time it takes for the liquid to turn from lukewarm into ice cold.

6. Warm your butter

Everyone knows the feeling of going to butter some toast, only to discover that the delicious salty spread is nigh on frozen solid. Instead of microwaving and leaving yourself with a scalding yellow pool, try placing a warm glass over the top of the butter. This will soften the outside sufficiently for spreading, without liquifying the rest of the knob.

7. Ice Cream in a Bag

In many ways just as frustrating as butter, a tub of ice cream that is too firmly frozen is one of the worst ways to round off a meal. Rather than hacking away with a slowly disintegrating spoon, try putting the ice cream tub in a ziploc bag before it goes in the freezer. You’ll find that the contents are easier to spread and every it is smooth as you’d expect.

Often, saving time costs money. With so many kitchen gadgets and gizmos on the market, it can feel like expensive tech is the only way to make cooking any easier. As this collection proves, sometimes the raw materials you have around you are all the extra assistance you need to shave precious minutes off your cooking.