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Hack Your Life Into Submission: In The Kitchen

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 4 3

Life is hard, there is no denying that. Sometimes it is stupid small things that just make it harder, but any hacker knows that if there is an issue, there is always a way to solve it. Cooking in the kitchen can be a particular pain in the rear. However, the most annoying things also leave room for using the most creativity.

Using some of these simple ideas, you can hack your kitchen into submission and limit the amount of mess and headaches cooking can cause.

ketchup bottle pancake

Pancake Ketchup Bottle

This is a widely spread hack around the internet. For this all you need is some pancake mix, a funnel, and a well cleaned old ketchup bottle.

Make your pancake mix as you normally world, then pour it slowly through your funnel into the old ketchup bottle. Place the lid on the bottle and viola, your new no-mess pancake batter pouring device. If your pancake batter includes eggs or milk, do not store. However if it is a just add water mixture, it will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

sour cream baggie

Sour Cream Baggie

Sour cream can be difficult to distribute easily with just a spoon. However, if you take a page out of a cake bakers book, you can make this headache go away fairly easily. To frost cakes, a cake maker would use a special frosting bag with a special little tip. Though not all of us are such fancy bakers and have this equipment. All you need is a sandwich baggie. Place the sour cream in the sandwich baggie and seal it. When you are ready to use, cut (or bite) a very tiny little bit of the end of the baggie and pipe the sour cream on top of your food like frosting. This works excellently with nachos, tacos or creating little designs in tortilla soup.

yolk in bottle

Separating Egg Yolks, the Easy Way

While amusing, moving the egg yolk back and forth between the broken shell to separate the yolk from the white is messy and increases the risk of shell going into your food. For an easier way, all you need is a bottle and two bowls. Crack an egg in the first bowl. Now squeeze the bottle about half way, place it over the egg, and stop squeezing the bottle. The force of the bottle wanting to take in air and expand will suck the yolk right up in there so you can squeeze it out into your second bowl.

Science saves the day again!

heating up leftovers

Heating Up Leftovers

When heating up leftovers, you know what is going to happen. The top will be super hot while the middle and bottom will still be ice cold. Usually we are lazy and just eat the cold food anyway. However, next time, try making a donut. Rearrange the food so thatit has a hole in the center, this way it will promote the food to heat evenly.

Ever wonder why donuts have holes? That's why.

cutting cake with dental floss

Cutting the Perfect Cake

You can't get that picturesque beautiful cake cut with a knife. Usually the frosting or the cake with try to stick to the knife and just ruin the cake. To get that absolutely perfect cut in your cake or any other baked goods, use unscented dental floss. The dental floss will cut through it like a razor through paper. Since the dental floss is anti-stick and has virtually not surface for the frosting to attach to, it comes out clean.

checking a cake with a toothpick

Is My Cake Done Yet?

If you after making a cake it can be difficult to tell when it is done. Especially if you are using an odd sized pan not covered by the cake mix cooking directions. For this one, stick a tooth pick in the center. If it comes out dirty, your cake is not done. When it comes out clean, it is.

how to cut bread without squishing it

How to Not Squish Bread

If you are new to baking bread or have bought some fresh bread, cutting it can be infuriating. No matter what you do, it seems to always squish. Try flipping it over and cutting it was a serrated knife like a saw through wood. This keeps your bread from squishing and makes some fine slices.

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open a jar

Opening a Jar

As you get older, jars seem to get stronger. Stupid jerk jars! A simple way to open a jar is to get violent with it. Take a knife (it can be any knife, I recommend butter knife for safety) and stab it in the dead center of the lid a few times. This breaks the vacuum in the jar and makes the lid easy to open. Though sometimes even that fails, run some hot water over the lid or place it on the stove burner for a few seconds. The heat will help loosen the lid.

home made steamer

Easy Steamer

Steamed veggies are super healthy for you, but not every kitchen has a steamer. To make a simple steamer for your kitchen put your veggies in a colander (I call it a strainer, preferably metal) and place in a pot that has some water in the bottom. Make sure your strainer does not touch the water. Turn on the heat and cover with a lid. As long as water remains in the bottom, your veggies will steam.

peel an onion

Peel an Onion, the Easy Way

To peel an onion quickly and easily, take a knife and chop both ends off your onion. Then take the knife and slit through a few layers on the side of the onion. Peel off the layers you cut through. This takes off the crunchy outer layer and some of the tougher layers under that, leaving you with a perfectly peeled and tender onion.


More Lemon and Orange Juice

Think your citrus are not giving the amount of juice they should be? The answer to more juice is not more citrus, it is warmer fruits. Both oranges and lemons will produce more juice when they are at a warmer temperature. Try warming them in your hands or under a warm tap before use.

frozen grapes in wine

Chill with some Wine

So you have finished hacking your kitchen and are ready to relax with a nice cool glass of wine. Instead of ice cubes, which will melt and water down your wine, try freezing grapes and plopping a few of them in there. They cool the wine, don't make it watery, and provide for an awesome after wine snack!



Feb 17, 2013 1:44pm
Hi--I'm not much of a kitchen guy but this was fun and informative. 2 thumbs up and rating from this poor cook.
Mar 8, 2013 7:46am
Fun tips. I bet you could measure your dry pancake ingredients into the ketchup bottle, then add the water/milk and shake. An egg might be tricky, but I guess you could mix the egg with the milk first, then add if to the bottle.
Mar 8, 2013 8:06am
I just love all these tips! Congratulations on a great featured article. Thumbs Up!
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