Food & Wine Photo Credit: Western Living

12 Genius Kitchen Hacks

These can’t-believe-I-didn’t-think-of-this-before tricks will save you time and frustration.

So often in the kitchen, we say to ourselves, “There just has to be a better way.” But thanks to the good ol’ internet, now we know there usually is. Read on, fellow home cooks, to discover our favourite tricks for no-fail pancakes, melting chocolate with no mess, and (most importantly) aerating wine in minutes.

how to revive stale bread

1. Revive stale bread. Put that crusty loaf under water (hot or cold is just fine), positioning the cut-side away from the faucet. Get the crust good and wet. (Bon Appetit told us to!). Then set the oven to 300-325 degrees F, and put the bread right on the rack for 6-7 minutes. Your bread will be good as new.

freezing sauces
2. Freeze everything.
You just needed a tablespoon of tomato paste, and now you’re stuck with a whole jar. Freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray for easy-access portions for your next recipe. (This works for other canned things, like beans and guacamole, and cooking wine, too!) 

make better pancakes

3. Put your pancake batter in a squeeze bottle. Forget messing around with a dripping laddle. Load your batter into a squeeze bottle and dollop out perfect portions every time.

decant your wine faster

4. Decant your wine with a blender. Our resident wine expert may not approve, but this is a rapid-fire way to aerate your favourite red.

peel your garlic fast
5. Peel garlic in mere seconds.
Crush garlic, throw in salad bowl, then put another bowl on top. Shake it up, and uncover to find the garlic magically peeled.

peel a potato

6. Peel potatoes in a snap. Put away the peeler. Instead, boil your potatoes, then plunge into a bowl of icy water for a few second. Grab the potatoes, twist, and the skin should break apart and fall right off.

grating butter
7. Grate your butter.
Instead of waiting for your frozen stick of butter to get to room temperature, grate it into your mixing bowl. It’ll make for better pastries, but also can help it melt faster for other purposes.

melted chocolate
8. Melt chocolate with a hair dyer. Forget the double boiler—melting chocolate this way couldn’t be simpler: aim, heat and stir.

salad spinner

9. Get rid of your salad spinner. You don’t need this chunky piece of kitchen equipment clogging up your cabinets. Just bundle washed lettuce in a kitchen towel, then step outside and whirl it over your head, helicopter style, to remove excess moisture.

how to cut a cake10. Cut of cake with unscented floss. It’ll slice right through the cake without any of the pressure or jagged carving of a knife. Great for cutting soft cheeses, too.

 boiling water trick
11. Put a wooden spoon on top your pot of water. The spoon pops bubbles and absorbs moisture–no more boil-overs.

avocado halves

12. Save an avocado half. Brush half of an avocado with olive oil, and then place face down on a plate and leave in the fridge. The oil creates a seal that keeps out air and light, preventing oxidization.

What are you favourite kitchen hacks? Let us know in the comments!

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