Food & Nutrition

25 Brilliant Kitchen Shortcuts You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

Apple cutters slice potatoes


You’ll have perfectly sized pieces to bake as wedges.

Soften ice cream hard as a brick


Heat a sharp knife under warm water, then use it to make one-inch-deep cuts in a grid formation, spacing the lines about an inch apart. This increases your ice cream’s exposed surface area, speeding up the thawing process (similar to the beef trick). Run a scooper under warm water, and easily serve up each section. Plus, try these brilliant ways to use an ice cream scoop around the house.

Defrost meat last minute


Thank high school science for this neat trick: Remember, metal conducts heat. Place meat in a plastic bag, then put it on top of an upside-down aluminum pot. Fill another pot with room-temperature water, and set it on the meat. In five to ten minutes, your meat will be defrosted. Make sure you aren’t falling for these frozen food myths everyone still believes.

Cut away the mold


Before you toss suspect-looking leftovers, know this: firm foods are more likely to be salvageable than soft foods. Mold generally can’t penetrate deep into hard cheeses like Asiago and cheddar, so it’s OK to cut off about an inch. The same goes for firm produce like bell peppers and carrots. However, chuck moldy-looking foods with high moisture content—yogurt, soft cheeses, cooked leftovers, and bread. Porous foods are likely to be contaminated beneath the surface. Here are 50 more kitchen mistakes you need to stop making.

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