With families spending more time at home, kitchens are getting a workout, making it more essential than ever to keep them clean and functional without spending a lot of time doing so.
You may get a little help from these proven time-saving kitchen hacks:
- Tame frozen ice cream. Ice cream too hard or frozen to the scoop is a pain when every minute counts. Put the carton in the microwave for 15 seconds and it’s ready to serve with ease.
- Have ripe fruit at the ready. Green bananas or rock-hard peaches are no fun to eat—and neither are mushy, over-ripe ones. Buy a few ready-to-eat and a few less ripe, which you can keep in the fridge until you need them. Then ripen them fast by placing them in a brown paper bag for just a day or two.
- Open a stubborn jar. There’s a little more frustration than trying to get the best of a jar that doesn’t want to open. Wedge a spoon underneath the lip of the lid and push up until you hear a pop. The jar will open instantly, so if there’s liquid in it, perform the operation over the sink to avoid a mess on the floor or countertop.
- Clean a grungy cutting board. Few things are less appealing when preparing food than a sticky, scratched-up cutting board. Make it look like new again by sprinkling it with coarse salt, running a halved lemon over the surface then rinsing it with clear water and letting it air dry.
- Trap a bit of eggshell. It’s annoying and time-consuming when a tiny scrap of eggshell falls into the bowl, and slips and slides when you try to get it out. Ditch the grief and use the broken shell to scoop it out in a flash.
- Stop boil-overs. Water boiling over leaves a mess to clean up. Avoid the boil-over altogether, or stop one mid-boil, by putting a wooden spoon into the pot.
- Cook bacon in the waffle iron. Save a pan and reduce clean-up time by cooking bacon strips in the waffle iron. The bacon will crisp up nicely, and waffles cooked in the left-behind fat will have that lovely bacon-y taste.