10 Quick and Easy Cooking Hacks

Cooking hacks make putting food on the table quick and easy. One of the things that keeps people from cooking at home is the time it takes to shop, prep, cook, and clean up.

Once you learn a few basic cooking hacks and reset your thoughts about how to get a nutritious meal on the table, you’ll find yourself heading for the kitchen instead of the closest drive-through.

Make Cooking Easier

I wouldn’t even try to count them because there are so many different ways to cook the same meal. One of the things I do is pick up a few canned and frozen items that keep the prepping steps to a minimum.

While it may cost more to purchase pre-prepped ingredients, it’s still more economical than eating out. Remember that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing process.

If you feel like having a cooking marathon, by all means, do it. All I’m saying is that it’s nice to have some handy convenience items in the fridge and pantry.

Benefits of using these cooking hacks:

  • You’ll save time in the kitchen.
  • Save money. Eating out often is expensive.
  • You’ll have more time to spend with your family.
  • Create more memories around the dinner table in your home than you will at a fast food restaurant.
  • You’ll know what is in your food when you cook it at home because you’ll have the labels in your possession.
  • You can have fun cooking with your family, without boring the children by using some of these cooking hacks.
  • You’ll be dining at home. Consequently, you’ll be able to teach your children table manners in private. 

Convenience Foods

Cooking hack: Use a rotisserie chicken like this one from Costco.

Another big timesaver a cook can have is a deli item–especially one of the seasoned rotisserie chickens from the grocery store.

Cooking hack: Have precooked diced ham ready for quick meals.

Season the ham, stick it in the oven to bake all day, pull it out, let it cool, slice and dice it … or pick up a pack of precooked diced ham. No one will know the difference, and you’ll save a bunch of time.

Cooking hack: Buy ready-made bone broth rather than spend 48 hours making it in the slow cooker. This one is from Walmart.

Bone broth has more protein than regular broth. Also, you’ll love the extra flavor it adds to your soups, stews, gravies, and casseroles. 

Cooking hack: Use frozen chopped onions and diced bell peppers so you don’t have to spend hours prepping.

Purchasing whole onions and bell peppers from the produce department at the grocery store is more economical. However, if you need to save time, you’ll also save money by having these on hand so you can cook at home.

Cooking hack: Canned apple pie filling is convenient for a quick dessert.

Add a crust or top with cookie crumbs. Throw it in the oven for a few minutes, and you’ll have a delicious dessert.

Cooking hack: Canned fruit is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

You can use canned fruit in salads, main dishes, sides, and desserts. Have a variety on hand for those times when you want a little extra flavor.

Southern Kitchen Secrets

Something that southern women know how to do is to bring out the best in any food. You might think every single thing on the table is made from scratch, but there just might be something that has been transferred from the deli container to Mama’s favorite serving bowl. Just sayin’…

Kitchen Tools and Gadgets

Cooking hack: Rice cookers save stovetop space.

I have 2 rice cookers–this small one and a larger one for when I have to cook a bigger batch of rice. You don’t have to limit its use to cooking rice.

Cooking hack: Use a lid with a strainer. This Curtis Stone jug sauce pan is the ideal size for a small family.

A pot with a straining lid is convenient and saves the time and hassle of having to use a colander. I use it for boiling pasta, steaming veggies, and boiling water.

10 Cooking Hacks

There are quite a few things I do to save time in the kitchen. Here are 10 of them:

  1. Purchase a rotisserie chicken that you can use to make several meals, including chicken enchiladas, chicken salad, chicken casserole, and much more.
  2. Pick up diced cooked ham to add to omelettes, casseroles, mac-n-cheese, and soups.
  3. Use chicken or beef bone broth to flavor soups and deglaze meat. You’ll love the taste, and it is good for you.
  4. Always have bags of chopped onions and bell peppers in the freezer for those times when you don’t have fresh ones.
  5. Use a rice cooker to prepare rice (obvious, right?), oatmeal, quinoa, and even a frittata. 
  6. Have a pot with a straining lid to save time. I have one in red, my accent color, so I can keep it on the stove all the time.
  7. Keep plenty of canned foods that can be added to your recipes in a flash for extra flavor. You can always add extra seasonings to make them taste homemade.
  8. Peel a potato the easy way. Immerse the whole potato in boiling water for 10 minutes and then quickly move it to a bowl filled with ice water for a minute. The skin will come right off, and you don’t even need a potato peeler.
  9. Prevent your pot from boiling over when you cook pasta, rice, or anything starchy by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray before you fill it with water. You can also pour a tiny bit of cooking oil on top.
  10. For an extra festive drink, use frozen grapes, berries, and other fruit instead of ice.

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