It seems to happen every night: You get through a long day of work, and the last thing you want to do is cook dinner. But you don’t have to order gut-busting delivery just to save time. Instead, use these simple kitchen time-savers that all take about a minute to do.
With these simple kitchen hacks, you’ll save calories and fat as well as time. That means you’ll have a little wiggle room to squeeze in a workout, spend time with your family, or just catch up on your favorite Netflix show. And while these hacks are all about time-saving, you can get even more brilliant tricks for smart swaps and waist-friendly culinary secrets with these 32 Kitchen Hacks for Healthy Eating!
Read the full recipe before cooking
This seems so simple, but sometimes we get in such a rush to cook that we forget to read the recipe before starting. Keep a time-consuming step from blindsiding you by reading through the whole recipe before you start. That way, you’ll be prepared for any daunting step before you get to it. Want to really be prepared? Use this read-ahead time to assemble your ingredients in prep bowls so you won’t be digging through your spice cabinet at the last second.
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Crush garlic with the side of a kitchen knife
Skip the painstaking process of peeling garlic cloves. Simply place the clove under the flat side of a wide knife blade and crush it with the heel of your hand. If you’re making a paste, chop the garlic after smashing it and then smash it again with your hand or the knife until it’s the consistency you want.
Grate Parmesan cheese at room temperature
Ask any chef, and they’ll tell you to keep Parmesan cheese at room temperature at all times. There’s a good reason: Warm Parmesan grates much, much faster than cold cheese. If you’d rather keep your block refrigerated, that’s absolutely fine—just bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Boil water in an electric kettle
Boiling water can take upwards of 10 minutes, but it takes only a minute or so in an electric kettle. Genius!
Wear gloves when working with meat
Working with meats can be a total time suck because you risk cross-contamination—and serious illness—if you handle other ingredients right after prepping the meat. Washing your hands multiple times increases the cooking time considerably, so only prep meat when you’re wearing gloves—and then take them off for the rest of the cooking process.
Use the float test to check egg freshness
Can’t remember when you bought those eggs? Don’t fret; eggs are typically good well past their expiration dates. But you can always do the “float test” to check their freshness before you ruin dinner—and other food—by adding spoiled eggs. It’s simple: Just put an egg in a bowl of water. If they float, they’re bad; if they sink and lay horizontally, they’re good to go.
Build a meal strategy
Don’t decide what you’re having for dinner right before you start cooking. Instead, make a master meal plan for the week ahead on Sundays and then write out the ingredients you’ll need for each. It makes for easier shopping—and you only have to refer to your plan before starting the dinner-making process.