40 Great Kitchen Hacks and Kitchen Tricks
Kitchen hacks to make cooking more fun
The kitchen – a place of enjoyment, a place of community and a place of work for creative gourmets. Less time spent, less stress and often a clever way to save money: kitchen hacks make our everyday life in the kitchen a lot easier. In this blog article we have put together a few great kitchen hacks for you that will make your everyday life easier.
Kitchen hacks make everyday life more relaxed!
It’s stressful at work, the children are cranky today and there are visitors coming tomorrow and healthy food should also be on the table? – some days are just exhausting. With a little preparation and planning, a certain basic order in the kitchen, everyday life will be more relaxed and you will have more time to relax.
Countertop Space: Kitchen Storage Ideas
Nothing is more frustrating than a lack of work space in the kitchen. Try to hang up as many kitchen utensils as possible and put them in drawers and cupboards. You can also simply hang up coffee cups so that they are both ready for emergency coffee and away from the work surface. Particularly beautiful coffee cups also have an decorative value as kitchen decoration. When it comes to larger kitchen appliances such as stand mixers and coffee machines, concentrate on the essentials: Only the things you use frequently deserve a place on the work surface – if you only actually bake once a month, the cherry-red Kitchenaid might be better off on the fridge than on the work surface.
Decorate Kitchen with a Clock
Decorating a kitchen with a clock infuses both style and functionality into the space. Opt for a clock that complements the kitchen’s aesthetic, whether it’s rustic, modern, or vintage-inspired. Hang it on a prominent wall, ideally near the cooking area or dining space for convenience. Consider a clock with easy-to-read numbers and hands for practicality while cooking or socializing. Surround the clock with complementary decor such as framed recipes, utensils, or shelves displaying spices or cookbooks. Ensure the clock’s size is proportional to the wall space, avoiding overcrowding. Lastly, embrace personal touches to reflect your unique culinary style and make the kitchen feel inviting.
Organize kitchen cabinets: pans, bottles such as oils in magazine holders
Sturdy magazine holders and slipcases made of plastic or wire are ideal for organizing pans without scratching them. Large bottles such as oils and cleaning products under the sink also find a place in the magazine holder.
Egg slicer hack – not just for eggs
With the egg cutter you can not only cut eggs: small soft fruits such as strawberries and peeled kiwis can also be easily chopped up with the egg cutter. The same goes with mushrooms.
Whiteboards and blackboards in the kitchen help with shopping
It’s annoying when you suddenly run out of baking powder while baking and there are no trash bags left! Hang up a whiteboard or blackboard in your kitchen so that as soon as you notice something missing or running low, you can quickly make a note and simply take a photo of it with your smartphone before your next purchase. Small whiteboards can also be attached to the inside of kitchen cabinet doors.
Combat food moths: airtight storage
Got up, made coffee, maggots in the cereal: there’s nothing to sugarcoat, food moths are a nightmare and unfortunately difficult to get rid of. With the right glass storage containers you can keep the greedy little beasts away from cereal, flour, seeds and dried fruits – airtight seals also protect the food from premature spoiling and loss of flavor, protecting your wallet and counteracting food waste. You can also find more tips against annoying food moths in our blog article “ Keeping your kitchen tidy – 19+ great cleaning and organizing hacks for the kitchen ”.
Hygiene in the kitchen: color-coded cutting boards
Color-coded cutting boards help reduce germs in the kitchen! Chicken meat in particular has caused some food poisoning. It is best to choose different colored boards for vegetables, fruit and meat, e.g. wooden boards for vegetables, fruit and bread and plastic boards for cutting raw meat, the latter can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.
Plan shopping and meals for less stress
If you plan meals, you have less stress and spend less at the supermarket. Take stock as a family: What do you have in your meal rotation, which dish can be on the table almost every week, what would you like to change? Should there be more veggie and vegan days? Are there particularly stressful days where fresh cooking isn’t really an option because there are fixed, permanent appointments in addition to work? Write down a pool of dishes that you like to eat. This way everyone can get involved and you have an honest overview of the tops and flops from the kitchen.
Weekly meal plan ideas
Once you have collected your ideas, it’s time to implement the planning. We have put together various options for you below.
Weekly plan with clothespins
Some households sit down together once a week and plan meals for the following week. For example, you can label wooden clothespins with dishes and attach them to a hanging clipboard with days of the week. On Monday there is spaghetti, on Tuesday there is pumpkin cream soup, on Wednesday there is onion cake, on Thursday there is chicken legs – and so on.
The perpetual calendar
Some families also rely on their own “algorithm”, as a “perpetual meal planner”, in which dishes are assigned to categories such as “Monday is pasta day” – Carbonara, Bolognese, Pasta Primavera are served on the table. Tuesday there are fixed dates, which is why it is frozen day – there is a pre-cooked dish. Wednesday is a sweet day with dishes such as yeast dumplings, pancakes and rice pudding. Thursday is soup day: tomato cream soup, pea soup, leek cream soup, noodle soup and more are on the menu. Friday is fish day – there is plaice in mustard sauce, fish fingers, or a salmon bowl. Saturday is usually a bit of a break – it’s often a good idea to try out a new recipe and on Sunday there’s a meat dish.
Ideas for categories
Create categories such as veggie, noodle dishes, Asian, Oriental, soup dishes, fish dishes, rice dishes and fill them with your recipes.
- Soups:chicken soup, cream of broccoli soup, lentil soup, cream of mushroom soup
- Pasta dishes:Bolognese, canneloni, gnocchi,
- Veggie and vegan :vegetable casserole, tarte flambée, vegetable curry, quiche,
- Weekend junk food:pizza, chicken wings, spare ribs, hot dogs
- Sunday dishes:fried chicken, sauerbraten, beef stroganoff,
- Frozen and braised dishes:Soups and stews such as chili con/sin carne, goulash, pumpkin soup
- Fish dishes:fish soup, fish tacos, fried fish, grilled salmon
Meal planning apps for meal planning, weekly planning, meal prep and more
Of course, meal planning can also be done digitally instead of on paper and with colorful clothespins: There are now plenty of meal planning apps and many also integrate functions for shopping lists and pantry planning and can be synchronized on many devices. Recommended apps include Paprika, Mealtime, Platejoy, MealPreppPro. Alternatively, Googlesheets often works.
Sufficient space, ideal for meal prep : Freezers are friends
A tiny freezer compartment in the refrigerator often offers too little space. Especially if you have a demanding, time-consuming job or have young children in the house, you will benefit enormously from a sufficiently large freezer. You save money when you shop ahead. Frozen vegetables are often even richer in vitamins than fresh vegetables because they are frozen immediately after harvesting and are not transported and stored for days. A freezer is also ideal for time-saving meal prep and freezing leftovers.
Pre-cooking and meal prep: dishes that can be pre-cooked
The working week is often very hot, sometimes there isn’t enough time to cook for yourself, and the taste of some canteens is… mediocre. Regardless of whether you take it with you to work or eat it at home: If you cook larger quantities of food on less stressful days, you can relax a little during times of high stress, and you don’t have to go shopping or ask yourself “What’s for dinner?” Spontaneous hunger can be satisfied quickly and orders from pizza delivery services become less frequent. Stews such as goulash, Thai curry, soups (without noodles) such as tomato soup, leek cream soup, pea soup, pumpkin cream soup are particularly easy to freeze. Add a few toasted slices of bread, pasta, rice, or couscous and your lunch is ready.
Freeze cakes and bread
Another green, dusty coating on the bread and the bakery is already closed? Damn! Bread, rolls and toast can easily be frozen in smaller portions and defrosted as needed, either overnight or in the toaster or air fryer. “If I had expected you today, I would have cake here”: You can also freeze sponge cakes without icing, muffins and brownies. If guests spontaneously arrive or you’re hungry for a snack, you’ll always have something tasty in the house!
Too many herbs left? Make your own pesto cubes!
Simply make some more pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays. Herbs that you don’t want to use to make pesto can be finely chopped and sprinkled with a little olive oil in the ice cube tray – this way you always have a small amount of herbs on hand to cook with! If you have a herb bed in the garden, you can of course easily freeze the harvest from the main season.
Make your own stocks and broths
A glass of stock is usually not cheap at all in the supermarket, bouillon cubes or broth for sprinkling often tastes quite mediocre – the real deal is homemade broth. Fans of Japanese food make their own authentic ramen broth. Depending on the type of broth, you will need vegetables such as greens, mushrooms and dried mushrooms, herbs, wine, bones, or even fish bones. Stock is the boiled down form of a broth. If you boil the stock again, you will get a demi-glace in which the taste is even more concentrated. With the pressure cooker you can make broths even faster and more energy-efficiently. You simply freeze bones, sinewy meat sections and mushroom stalks from cooking and use them to cook broth.
Defrosting meat quickly made easy
We were actually supposed to have turkey schnitzel today, but forgot to put the meat out to thaw in the evening? Place your meat in a plastic bag in cold water to thaw and it will thaw faster. You would pre-cook the meat with hot water and that usually comes at the expense of the consistency (except with sousvide ).
Saves time, electricity and money : pressure cookers, pressure cookers, instant pots and co.
With pressure cookers for the stove, or devices like the Ninja Foodi or the Instantpot, you can prepare many dishes in less time and often save electricity at the same time. Stewed dishes such as roulades, dishes with legumes such as chickpeas, chicken soup and pulled pork only take around a third to half the time in pressure pots compared to conventional cooking. Pressure cookers can also often be used as rice cookers and for healthy, vitamin-preserving steaming of vegetables. In combination with meal planning, using a pressure cooker saves you time, nerves and money.
Saving tips: Don’t shop hungry, write yourself a shopping list
These are true classic savings tips! It’s better to spread bread before you go shopping than to let your empty stomach decide what to buy: If you go shopping hungry, you buy more and usually more junk food. If you are already a successful meal planner, it will be less difficult for you: Try to stick to your shopping list as much as possible. Before you go shopping, look for offers and see what you can preserve – for example in the freezer.
Keep your knives sharp!
Once a dull knife slips off a hard carrot and blood splatters and the cooking session is over – dull knives are dangerous knives! High-quality knives make work in the kitchen easier, but you can also get good knives for around 30 euros (e.g. from Victorinox ). The most important thing is to keep your knives sharp: Get used to pulling your knives over a sharpening steel at least once a week and using a whetstone to sharpen them several times a year. If you store your knives in a knife block or on a magnetic strip, they won’t constantly rub against other utensils in the drawer and will retain their sharpness for longer.
Cook with your children!
Not only reading, writing, arithmetic and cycling need to be learned at primary school age, children of this age should also learn to prepare their first meals independently. In this way you offer your children a creative field, you can convince difficult eaters and you take some of the pressure off yourself. There is a lot to learn in the kitchen, from how to hold the chef’s knife correctly, how to safely handle hot pots, kitchen hygiene and order in the kitchen. Your children will discover new tastes, consistency, texture and a wide range of ingredients and spices. Good beginner dishes include scrambled eggs, soups, sandwiches and cakes. You can even find knives in stores that can be used by kindergarten children under supervision!