Best cooking hacks of 2021

I must admit that I’m a sucker for cooking hacks, and if they seem remotely plausible I am game to give them a whirl. They do not always live up to their hype, but I find enough new shortcuts and improved methods to keep me willing to try more. BuzzFeed’s Hannah Loewentheil also enjoys experimenting with kitchen hacks, and she shares with us the top 36 tricks she learned this year.

Some of these hacks were ones I had seen before, such as how to refresh a stale loaf of bread using water and a brief rest in the oven. Others were new to me, like sautéing mushrooms in a dry pan before adding any fat to allow the excess moisture to escape more rapidly. I have long used trick #17 and I am intrigued by tip #21. (If anyone has tried it, please let me know in the comments!)

I found it interesting that four of the 36 tricks involved using mayonnaise in unexpected ways. When I was growing up, we never used mayonnaise, and I did not discover what a delicious and versatile ingredient it was until I moved away from from home. Even though I love making it from scratch, I always keep a jar of Hellman’s on hand for emergency mayo situations. Which of these hacks are you most interested in trying?

Addendum: Just in case you are looking for more tricks, Greatist provides a list of the top 51 food hacks of 2021. I am sad to say that none involve mayo.

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  • averythingcooks  on  December 23, 2021

    Re: #9 and browned butter – thanks to EYB, I learned how to make it in the microwave – and only do that way now.

  • FuzzyChef  on  December 31, 2021

    I gotta admit that a lot of those tips strike me as “unlikely to disgusting”.

  • nova  on  January 9, 2022

    Hi, I would love to learn how to brown butter in the microwave! Can you let me know where to find directions on EYB? Thank you

  • STM  on  January 25, 2022

    Wow! I loved all these hacks especially the mayo and egg yolks ones. I will definitely try those. I can see all of them as very useful though.

  • nova  on  February 26, 2022

    Dear Jenny, Many, many thanks for letting me know where to find the recipe for how to make brown butter in the microwave recipe! I so so appreciate it!

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