We Test the Internet’s 14 Most Popular Culinary Life Hacks
We at Bright Side love surfing the net in search of those helpful tips and tricks that make our life easier. Lately, we’ve decided to test out some of them for ourselves. For example, are those popular culinary life hacks really as effective as their likes and reposts appear to suggest?
Today we invite you to take a look at the results. Disclaimer: no editors were harmed during the experiments!
№ 1: To cut all of your cherry tomatoes in half at once, put them between two flat plates and slice through the gap with a sharp knife.
Result: Cutting tomatoes in this way is very cumbersome. We only managed to slice a few and then had to resort to doing it the old-fashioned way. This life hack might work if you use a very sharp knife, but even then you’ll hardly succeed in slicing the fruit exactly in half.
Conclusion: This doesn’t work.
№ 2: To make sure your milk doesn’t overboil, put a wooden spoon on top of the saucepan.
Result: The milk still overboiled, and the wooden spoon did nothing to prevent it. This life hack is complete nonsense!
Conclusion: This doesn’t work.
№ 3: A quick and easy way of making delicious cupcakes is to put the ingredients in a mug and place it in the microwave.
To prepare the cake, we took 1 egg and mixed it with small amounts of flour, sugar, and cocoa. Then we added a little water, some baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
Result: To be honest, our dish had an acquired taste. The cupcake turned out somewhat rubbery, tasting more like a pancake. But, most likely, a great deal depends on the quality of the ingredients. The recipe can come in handy as a fun way of introducing your kids to the world of home cooking.
Conclusion: It works, but the results may not be to everyone’s liking.
№ 4: To make peeling your eggs easier, place them in cold water after boiling.
Result: A good old life hack, tried and tested by our grandmothers and mothers. Placing eggs in cold water really makes them easy to peel.
Conclusion: Works like a charm.
№ 5: Frozen grapes can be used to chill wine.
Result: Unlike ice cubes, which melt in the glass, frozen grapes do not dilute the drink. They cool your wine just as effectively and look beautiful to boot.
Conclusion: This definitely works.
№ 6: To avoid “onion tears,” sprinkle your cutting board with salt.
Result: In the course of our brave experiment, we determined that this life hack does save you some tears…but by no means all of them.
Conclusion: It works, but poorly.
№ 7: Wrapping an ice cream package in a plastic bag before putting it in the freezer makes the ice cream softer/easier to scoop.
Result: Prolonged storage in the freezer usually makes ice cream hard, which means that you have to wait before you can serve it. Trying out this life hack helped our ice cream retain its softness. As a result, we were able to quickly serve it in beautiful glass dishes.
Conclusion: This really works.
№ 8: If you’ve sliced an avocado in half but only intend to use one of the halves right away, make sure you select the half without the pit. The half that contains the pit has a much better chance of remaining fresh in the fridge.
Result: We conducted our own experiment by leaving two avocado halves in the fridge — one contained a pit, the other didn’t. After two days, both halves looked far from fresh.
Conclusion: This doesn’t work.
№ 9: To quickly peel garlic, put it in a jar and shake well.
Result: A useful life hack if you want to peel several heads of garlic at once. Just don’t forget to cut off the ends and shake the jar as hard as you can, otherwise nothing will happen.
Conclusion: It works.
№ 10: Freezing olive oil in ice cube trays makes it last much longer. Even after a year, you can still safely fry with it. You can add herbs and greens to the oil before freezing it, and then use them with hot dishes or salads.
Frozen in such a way, your greens completely retain their flavor and aroma. At the same time, their scent becomes more subdued and less likely to cling to the rest of the freezer’s contents.
Result: The success of this tip totally depends on the quality of the oil: if you use unrefined olive oil, it will congeal at 41°F. However, ordinary filtered frying oil will not freeze that easily, and the recipe won’t work.
Conclusion: Works only if you’re using quality oil.
№ 11: Lemon juice can help keep freshly cut apple slices from browning.
Result: Sprinkling sliced apples with a small amount of fresh lemon juice produced a fantastic effect: not only had it prevented the slices from browning but it also made the apple flesh look whiter and more radiant.
Conclusion: This truly works.
№ 12: Wrapping plastic film around banana stems will help the fruit remain fresh longer.
Result: To test this life hack, we used two bananas — one wrapped in plastic film, the other in its “natural” state. After 3 days, both fruits became equally inedible.
Conclusion: Doesn’t work.
№ 13: You can cook an egg “inside out” using a pair of stockings and some sticky tape.
The advice goes like this: wrap an egg entirely in sticky tape, place it in a pair of stockings, and give it a good spin. This will cause the white and yellow yolk to trade places. Don’t forget to boil the egg afterward (without removing the sticky tape).
Result: This life hack is definitely not for your average fragile lady. Quickly spinning an egg inside a pair of stockings is a difficult and exhausting task. Moreover, once cooked, the egg proves extremely difficult to peel. Perhaps for someone with outstanding strength and nerves of steel this tip might actually prove useful!
Conclusion: This just doesn’t work.
№ 14: Help your greens remain fresh for several days by tying them in a bundle, putting them in water, and covering them with a plastic bag.
Result: We conducted our own test using two bunches of greens. One of the bunches was subjected to all the manipulations described in the life hack, and the other one was left as is. A few days later, the result became apparent: the method described in the tip really helps to preserve your greens’ freshness 100%!
Conclusion: This most definitely works.
Photos by Roman Zakharchenko, exclusively for Bright Side