Cooking Tips

25 More Tiny Skills to Improve Your Cooking Today

Adding to our collection of small, doable kitchen hacks to improve your cooking game immediately.

Published Sept. 9, 2022.

Our original collection of 50 tiny cooking skills is among our most popular articles all year.

Now we're adding 25 more tips to our list: practical, test cook–proven skills that you can use immediately to save time in the kitchen and make your food taste more delicious.

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1. Just how much dried spaghetti is one serving? About the circumference of a penny. 

2. Like garlic, the finer you chop an onion, the more intense the flavor.

3. The best surface for cracking an egg is another egg.

4. For maximum juice and squeezability, cut your limes not into wedges, but into cheeks.

5. Two ways to tell when a watermelon is ripe: Look for a yellow belly. And knock on the watermelon with your knuckles—you should feel a vibration, a reverberating knock.


Cook's Illustrated's Kitchen Hacks

Featuring 1,000+ ingenious kitchen hacks from America's Test Kitchen.

6. You can reuse frying oil up to four times for battered/breaded foods and at least eight times for cleaner-frying foods such as potato chips.

7. Female scallops taste sweeter and richer. Look for ones with a peachy-pink tint. 

8. If you add dressing to the bowl first and top with greens, you’ll have fresh and nonsoggy salad when you’re ready to toss.

9. Refrigerate your tuna cans instead of storing them in the pantry. Chilled tuna makes for tastier tuna salads. 

10. The fastest way to make chunky-smooth guacamole? Press the avocado through a wire rack.

Pushing avocado through a wire rack for chunky guacamole.

11. Safely clean your blender with a little soap, water, and a 30-second whizz.

12. Shopping for bell peppers? Red bell peppers are sweetest, followed by yellow and orange, followed by green.

13. Boost the brightness of tomatoes with a pinch of cream of tartar.

14. Toast your French toast bread first before dredging it in batter and cooking it.

15. Learn to “reverse marinate” a steak (grill first, slice, and then douse with marinade).

16. Crosshatching vegetables before grilling (diamond cut) helps them soak up more flavors and rids excess moisture.

17. For ultrarich scrambled eggs, use four eggs plus an extra yolk.

18. Can't pry apart that frozen block of bacon from the freezer? Coil them first and have anytime slices.

The Frozen Bacon Hack

19. The most flavorful part of the tomato? The gel sitting on your cutting board. It’s packed with sugars and acids, and it contains three times the flavor-enhancing glutamic acids as the tomato flesh. 

20. The secret to getting Parmesan to stick to roasted vegetables? Cornstarch.

21. Don’t like soggy chicken Parm? For a crispier texture, add the cheese on the cutlet first and then the sauce on top.

22. Extract maximum lemon flavor in your lemonade with a potato masher.

Making lemonade with a potato masher

23. When reheating frozen food, you should reseason the dish (flavors can dull in the freezer).

24. Revive wilted vegetables such as scallions, celery, and parsley in a glass of cold water.

25. Prepeeled garlic tastes every bit as good as garlic from a head but saves you time and frustration.

Missed the original list? Check out our original 50 Tiny Skills to Improve Your Cooking Today.

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