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20 Things You’ve Been Doing Wrong in the Kitchen Your Entire Life

Are you scrambling eggs, making chocolate chip cookies, and measuring pasta the right way? It might not seem obvious, but there are plenty of basic things you could be doing the “wrong” way in the kitchen. These 20 hacks will make you a serious cooking pro if you’re not already. Keep reading to learn every cooking shortcut and tip that will save you time, stress, and sanity in the kitchen.

Storing Lemons

You can say goodbye to moldy lemons in your fridge thanks to this ingenious hack for keeping them fresh for up to three months. All you need is a bowl of water.

Roasting Potatoes

The best roasted potatoes are boiled in salted water and roasted in the oven for a perfectly soft interior and supercrunchy exterior. The other secret ingredient — whole-grain mustard — takes their flavor to the next level.

Cutting a Lime

Cutting a lime in half barely gives you any juice . . . and that’s because that’s not the proper way to cut it.

Scrambling Eggs

Protein, including eggs, hates heat. If you’ve always ended up with overcooked and rubbery scrambled eggs, you’re probably cooking them too quickly at too high a heat. Low and slow is the only way to go for soft, custardy scrambled eggs.

Making Peanut Butter Cookies

You only need four ingredients (peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla) for perfect peanut butter cookies.

Draining Pasta

Almost every time you make pasta, you should save about half a cup of the pasta water before pouring the rest down the drain. The salty, starchy liquid that the pasta cooked in becomes a crucial part to achieving a silky, cohesive sauce in most pasta dishes like carbonara, cacio e pepe, and garlic white wine pasta.

Wasting Spoiled Wine

Don’t toss your spoiled bottle of wine! You can easily save it by swirling a (clean) penny around in a glass of the wine.

Making Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re not adding salt to the top of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, you’re doing it wrong. A sprinkling of good-quality flake salt completely transforms the flavor of chocolate chip cookies and immediately elevates them.

Making Fettuccine Alfredo

One-pot fettuccine alfredo might actually change your life. There’s no need to make the cheese sauce in a separate pan when the pasta can be cooked in the liquid for maximum flavor and easy cleanup.

Filling Your Muffin Tin

A spring-loaded ice cream scoop will be your key to evenly portioned cookies and cupcakes.

Making Mashed Potatoes

Since you’re already adding heavy cream and butter to your mashed potatoes, you should actually be cooking the potatoes in the cream and butter. Chef Tyler Florence’s mashed potatoes will convince you there’s no other way to make them.

Cooking Bacon

Sizzling bacon on the stovetop only results in greasy splatters and painful burns. You should roast bacon in the oven on a cookie sheet lined with foil so that the bacon cooks evenly and the cleanup is effortless.

Forgoing Lemon Zest When You Don’t Have a Microplane

Don’t have a Microplane? Get citrus zest anyway by peeling the skin and chopping it up.

Making Burgers

You’ll never buy ground beef again once you learn how to make burgers from sirloin tips rather than ground chuck. The flavor and texture are far superior to store-bought ground beef.

Mincing Garlic

Peeling and mincing garlic is one of the most tedious kitchen tasks, and knocking it out with your Microplane is so much easier and more efficient.

Complicating Chicken

All you need for the best-ever oven-baked chicken is salt — seriously.

Measuring Spaghetti

Perfectly measuring spaghetti can be stressful — it’s easy to end up with too much or too little. Turns out the secret to a perfect portion of spaghetti lies in the kitchen tool you’re already using to make it.

Making PB&J Sandwiches

Who says eating peanut butter and jelly for lunch as an adult is unacceptable? You can elevate the classic sandwich by using a combination of creamy and crunchy peanut butter, Nutella, strawberries, bananas, marshmallow fluff, jelly, and honey.

Making Quesadillas

Eating quesadillas is messy. Make them dip-friendly and a lot more fun to eat by making quesadilla roll-ups instead of flat quesadillas.

Tossing Eggs After They Go Bad

If you’re not going to finish all your eggs before they go bad, freeze them! Fresh eggs will last about five weeks in the fridge but up to six months in the freezer. The simplest way to freeze eggs is by dividing them in a muffin tin. Freeze until they are solid, transfer to a resealable freezer-safe plastic bag, and store until you’re ready to use.


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