Ashamedly, once you discover TikTok, it’s a slippery slope towards addiction. Yet perhaps even more ashamedly, it can prove to be quite an entertaining and useful resource. And yes, while I found myself in a 1am Jennifer Lawrence blooper TikTok spiral, I have also discovered some quite useful cooking hacks.
Starting from a culinary base of zero means I am easily impressed, however it is still fairly easy to jettison some of the more useless hacks, even for a… hack… like myself [eg. who bothers removing the core of strawberry? Well, if you do, a straw will apparently do the trick!]
Here are some of the more useful tips and tricks I’ve stumbled upon, given a try, and mastered… to varying degrees of success…
REMOVING THE PEEL FROM GARLIC
Garlic is incredible. Fact. On bread, vegetables, in a stir fry… it’s a flavour bomb and worth the accompanying halitosis. AND it also comes with a host of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure and immunes system support. However peeling garlic is less idyllic. The smell gets under your nails, hanging around for days like a, well, bad smell.
Thanks to my adventures on the ‘Tok, I’m here to tell you, if you lightly microwave your garlic cloves, the skin slips off with just a gentle squeeze. However, peeler beware, with an emphasis on the ‘lightly’. Go too hard, and you have pre-cook garlic, all mushy and gross. Hit 20 seconds to start with, that should do the trick.
JUICE A LEMON WITHOUT CUTTING IT
I have a juicer, and even with this help I end up with a sticky bench. There’s the admin of the knife, the chopping board, the juicer and then the ick all over your fingers. Too. Much.
Well apparently you can just skewer the end of the lemon, and squeeze. It seems almost too simple. Additionally, to make the juice flow more easily, ‘tenderise’ the lemon the bench-top before skewering the end. This will loosen the flesh inside, still without cutting into the rind. Zesty.
PERFECT EGG SANDWICH
I had never eaten an egg sandwich, and never had any desire to before I saw this hack. And it’s probably my favourite of all the hacks I’ve found. Essentially, you’re toasting your bread in the fry pan while cooking an omelette. Genius, time saving, and down-right logical. When you inevitably become an egg-sandwich addict, you’ll want to start removing the yolks to avoid surplus calories… enter my next hack discovery.
REMOVE EGG YOLKS WITH A WATER BOTTLE
The benefits of egg whites have been common knowledge for years, but let’s be honest, separating the yolk from the white has always seemed too hard basket. Until now.
In this hack, you crack your eggs into a bowl as per usual, however you can hoover up the yolk with an empty water bottle. Squeeze the bottle prior, and the resulting suction will separate the yolk. Sure, some egg white goes up with it, but slowly tip that back in with the rest and the results are egg-ceptional.
PEEL A MANGO USING A GLASS
As we approach mango season once again, I can already hear a collective cheer echoing out across our great southern land. And whilst I’m not usually one to peel my mango – I’m a noughts and crosses man myself – this does seem like a good way to maximise mango flesh intake.
I’ve seen this trick replicated many times on my TikTok spirals, however I’ve traced the origin back to a pre-Tok era, and it seems one of the first to post it was Aussie supermodel Rachel Finch on Instagram. Or at least, that’s where my tracing ended.
This method involves slicing off a cheek of mangoey goodness and essentially scooping the guts out with a cup, allowing the flesh to slide right into your vessel. Italian kiss.