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30 Kitchen Tricks That Really Save Us In a Pinch

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Life hacks have a place in our kitchens and our hearts, so we partnered with another time-saver—meal delivery service Home Chef—to share 30 of our favorites: The hacks that actually work.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 14 years, you are very familiar with life hacks (yes, that is in fact how long ago the word was coined—they're teenagers!) and their pledge to get something done better, faster, easier.

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That promise of greatness is what makes hacks so fun. And also, because hope springs eternal, so tempting to buy into even the ones we know are ridiculous—those hacks that are useless, time-consuming, and more likely to get a laugh than help you get anything done more efficiently.

But when hacks are good, they’re really, really good. From a smarter way to zest citrus to a dead-simple trick to sweeter pineapple, here are 30 of our favorite useful kitchen hacks (two of which require bringing your hair dryer into the kitchen, but none of which require you to start hoarding plastic bread clips):

Here's How to Chill Any Wine in 7 Minutes Flat
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Here's How to Chill Any Wine in 7 Minutes Flat
How to Open a Bottle of Beer Without an Opener

How to Open a Bottle of Beer Without an Opener by Mike Dunkley

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How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew by Amanda Sims

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Note: the above two should only be considered efficient​ options when you don't have proper openers on hand.

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How to Make Your Own Powdered Sugar
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How to Make Your Own Powdered Sugar
A Faster, Better Way to Clarify Butter

A Faster, Better Way to Clarify Butter by Alice Medrich

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The Best Way to Soften Butter, Fast

The Best Way to Soften Butter, Fast by Alice Medrich

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How to DIY Cake Flour and Self-Rising Flour
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How to DIY Cake Flour and Self-Rising Flour
The Safest, Cleanest Way to Melt Chocolate

The Safest, Cleanest Way to Melt Chocolate by Alice Medrich

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How to Temper Chocolate in the Microwave

How to Temper Chocolate in the Microwave by Lisa Kolb

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(Psst: first hairdryer use appears above)

How to Chill That Dough—And Quick
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How to Chill That Dough—And Quick
How to Hack the Kitchen Tools You Need (+ Why Not to Buy Them)
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How to Hack the Kitchen Tools You Need (+ Why Not to Buy Them)
How to Hack a Sous Vide Machine

How to Hack a Sous Vide Machine by Amanda Li

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Hacking a Tart Pan

Hacking a Tart Pan by Kristy Mucci

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Skip the Fancy Barware: 6 Hacks for Cocktail Equipment
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Skip the Fancy Barware: 6 Hacks for Cocktail Equipment
How to Hack a Steamer

How to Hack a Steamer by Sarah Jampel

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Hacking a Cherry Pitter

Hacking a Cherry Pitter by Kristy Mucci

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How to Juice Without a Juicer
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How to Juice Without a Juicer
How to Hack a Heat Diffuser

How to Hack a Heat Diffuser by Brette Warshaw

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How to Fake a Double Boiler

How to Fake a Double Boiler by Food52

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The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks
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The Quickest Way to Dry Strainers and Whisks

(Spoiler alert: The second appearance of a hairdryer can be found above)

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
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The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
A Trick for Zesting Citrus

A Trick for Zesting Citrus by Kenzi Wilbur

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A Trick for Stretching Saffron

A Trick for Stretching Saffron by Brette Warshaw

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A Hack for Slicing Cherry Tomatoes
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A Hack for Slicing Cherry Tomatoes
An Easy Trick for Poaching Fruit

An Easy Trick for Poaching Fruit by Sarah Jampel

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For Easier Deep-Frying, Just Add a...Carrot?

For Easier Deep-Frying, Just Add a...Carrot? by Sarah Jampel

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The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method)
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The Best Way To Store Lettuces & Other Greens (A Controversial Method)
How to Revive Wilty, Droopy, Squishy Vegetables

How to Revive Wilty, Droopy, Squishy Vegetables by Ali Slagle

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A 5-Minute Trick for Fresher Tomatoes

A 5-Minute Trick for Fresher Tomatoes by Leslie Stephens

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A Hack for Sweeter, Juicier Pineapple
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A Hack for Sweeter, Juicier Pineapple

We know you love a good hack too. Remember the competition from years ago, which had vvvanessa getting more counter space out of an ironing board and hardlikearmour hacking a cold smoker? So tell us: What's your favorite kitchen or home hack (that's actually worth your time)?

Home Chef is a meal delivery service that offers 11+ meal options, reduces food waste, and saves time in the kitchen—all things we'd say make life easier, better, and faster.


See more of our easiest, fastest, best week

Tags: home chef, hacks, hacks that work, home chef