10 Smart Ways to Save Yourself Up to 10 Minutes in the Kitchen
On those crazy days when you’re rushing to get out of the kitchen and on with your busy life, you might do anything to save a few extra minutes. And while you probably have your cooking routine down to an art by this point, there may be some time-saving kitchen hacks you haven’t thought of just yet.
From tips on how to make meal prep go faster to advice on how to make a hearty breakfast in under two minutes, here are 10 kitchen hacks that will save you up to 10 minutes in the kitchen:
1. Peel fresh garlic faster.
Peeling garlic by hand can be a time-wasting hassle, but this simple trick can save you a few extra minutes: Place a head of garlic in the microwave. Heat it on high for 10 seconds and check to see if the skin feels loose. If not, heat it for 10 more seconds. Let the garlic cool for a couple of minutes, and once it does, you’ll be able to peel the skin off the cloves with ease.
2. Don’t waste time waiting for ice cream to thaw.
If your typical dessert night involves waiting five to ten minutes for ice cream to thaw out, here’s how to save that precious time! Stash your ice cream container in a zip-top freezer bag before storing it in the freezer to keep your frozen treat as soft as it was on day one.
3. Have sauces and marinades ready to go.
Ice trays aren’t just for keeping your favorite drink cold. You can use them to make frozen cubes of pre-made sauces or marinades that you can pop out at a moment’s notice and add to any recipe for some extra flavor. This kitchen hack can save you five minutes or more during dinner prep.
4. Save time prepping salad toppings.
Sure, it might not take that long to prep veggies using a knife and cutting board. But, when you’re short on time, cutting your salad toppings with an egg slicer is way faster. (Plus, you’ll only have to wash one thing instead of two.) Just by running your ingredients through the egg slicer’s blades, you can quickly cut just about any topping you’d like into bite-sized pieces — from mushrooms to zucchini to avocado — and save yourself five to ten minutes in prep time.
5. Make use of your slow cooker.
There are a million reasons why a slow cooker is every busy chef’s best friend, but perhaps the greatest reason is that it makes dinner prep a breeze. Right after you’ve had your morning cup of coffee, simply toss in your ingredients for dinner, turn on your slow cooker, and go about your day. By evening, your meal will be ready to go — without any active cooking time on your part. Talk about a total time-saver on busy week nights.
6. Whip up a hearty breakfast in under 2 minutes.
All you need is 90-seconds to make this quick yet filling breakfast. Crack two eggs into a microwave-safe bowl or dish, add a splash of milk or half-and-half, season with salt and pepper, and whisk with a fork to combine. Then, microwave your eggs on high for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds to break up the curds that form. Let it cool, then eat up!
7. Streamline your weekday salad prep.
Instead of customizing which toppings to add to your salad every day at lunchtime, commit to eating the same salad all week long. While it might sound slightly less exciting, it’ll save you tons of meal prep time. Just toss your favorite salad ingredients together on Sunday and divide the mixture into 5 air-tight containers to save yourself around 20 minutes of prep time throughout the week.
8. Clean sticky residue off of your kitchen tools and recycled jars faster.
Removing the sticker from glass jars you plan to reuse or peeling off the price tag sticker from your new spatula can sometimes leave behind a sticky and annoying residue that takes forever to scrub clean. But this time-saving kitchen hack makes removing them so much easier. Simply take a hairdryer and blast the sticker with warm air for 30 seconds to soften the adhesive. Then, the sticker should peel off smoothly and cleanly.
9. Use pre-made alternatives to replace time-intensive recipes.
While homemade creations are almost always tastier, some days when you’re especially short on time, you need make a recipe go faster. That’s where pre-made alternatives and substitutions can help. For example, instead of whipping together a batch of homemade buttercream frosting, try canned frosting — or even marshmallow fluff, if that’s all you have on hand — instead. Similarly, if you don’t have time to make your own gravy for chicken pot pie filling, use a can of condensed cream of chicken soup to make meal prep go faster.
10. Invest in a recipe stand.
Save valuable minutes during meal prep with the help of recipe stand, so you don’t have to waste time leaning over your cookbook or washing your hands before you scroll through the recipe’s next steps on your phone. Be sure to carve out a dedicated spot for your recipe stand right near your chopping block or stovetop, so you don’t have to keep moving it back and forth while you’re cooking.