2022’s Best Viral Cooking Tips That Actually Worked

published Dec 27, 2022
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Graphic collage showing cheese, muffins, a bowl of crispy tofu, cucumbers, mashed potatoes, and Ina Garten
Credit: Photo: Cheese: Andrew Bui; Muffins, Cucumbers, Mashed Potatoes: Joe Lingeman, Tofu Bowl: Shelly Westerhausen; Ina Garten: Talaya Centeno/Penske Media/REX/Shutterstock

In 2022 we were presented with a lot (like, a lot) of viral cooking content, complete with uber-popular cinnamon roll–making recipes, a since-debunked Jennifer Aniston–inspired salad, super-polarizing butter boards, and much more. Amidst it all there was definitely no shortage of viral cooking hacks this year, many of which worked pretty well and some of which, well, didn’t actually work as promised.

To find the tips worth the hype we put many of this year’s cooking hacks to the test. Which ones are better left behind in 2022 and which ones should you bring with you into the new year? Here are the best cooking hacks that actually work.

The Twist That Releases Clumpy Spices 

If you have a bottle of rather old (yet still usable) spices and seasonings in your cabinet, chances are some of them have gone clumpy and cakey. You’ll know if this is the case if you try to shake them over your food and barely anything trickles out. The solution? While you try to shake the spice over your food, twist the sifter filament (new term we learned this year!) back and forth with two fingers like it’s a spice grinder. 

The “Cool” Ladle Hack for Degreasing Soup

A warm pot of chili or chicken noodle soup just hits in the best way during the cold winter months. What’s not so heart-warming, however, is a soup, stew, or sauce that has just a little too much grease floating at the top. To get rid of the excess oil, simply use this ice-filled ladle hack from author and influencer Barbara Costello (aka Brunch with Babs).

The Key to Non-Soggy French Toast

If you thought your average French toast couldn’t get any better, think again! Everyone has their own particular way to make their French toast, but if one thing is certain, it’s that almost no one likes super-soggy French toast. Use this hack to make sure your bread maintains its structure after its soak in the batter. 

Martha Stewart’s Tip for Juicy, Evenly Cooked Salmon

It’s almost impossible to find a person who doesn’t love salmon. It’s easily the most beloved fish at the market. It cooks quickly and takes on flavor nicely. One of the main problems you might run into with salmon, however, is accidentally overcooking it and drying it out. You can, in fact, avoid super-dry salmon by simply following Martha Stewart’s lead and using this tip for the most tender salmon.

The Secret Ingredient for the Creamiest Mashed Potatoes Ever

We’ve noticed that our readers really, really love mashed potatoes. And just like with dishes like mac and cheese and potato salad, people are very opinionated about the best way to make them. However you make yours, we at Kitchn suggest adding this key ingredient while boiling potatoes for the creamiest mashed potatoes ever — especially if yours tend to come out on the lumpy or dry side. 

Exactly What Your Avocado Toast Needs

Yes, another avocado hack, because you really can never have too many. Avocado toast is one of those dishes that is so simple, it’s kind of hard to make it the wrong way. Whether you prefer topping your avocado toast with everything bagel seasoning or lots of red pepper flakes, try out this hack for super-flavorful avocado toast. All you need is a quarter cup of one common tangy ingredient.

Ina Garten’s Mess-Free Cake-Decorating Tip

One of the most important challenges when learning to decorate cakes like a pro is ensuring that your icing looks super sharp and tidy. If you don’t have the right tools or techniques, this can be a difficult task. So Ina Garten uses this magical technique involving parchment paper triangles to get a perfectly frosted cake presentation — without creating a mess and without the awkward transfer from decorating surface to cake stand.

They Key to Cooking the Juiciest Meatballs

However you enjoy eating them, meatballs are a great protein and they keep things fun and creative in the kitchen. If you’re worried about yours coming out super dry and rubbery, though, add this one step to your cooking routine to ensure your meatballs are moist and juicy

The Two Ingredients for the Crispiest Pan-Fried Tofu

Whether you’ve grown up eating tofu as part of a vegetarian diet or are somewhat new to cooking with tofu, you may have noticed how challenging it is to fry it so it’s crispy on the outside. Tofu retains a lot of water — this is why recipes tell you to manually press the tofu to get as much of the water out. Even then, though, this isn’t always enough. If this sounds familiar, try this simple hack to take the crispness up a level.

The Secret Ingredient for Storing Your Cheese

There are so many different varieties of cheese in the world, which means there are plenty of options to choose from when finding your perfect cheese pairing! There are, however, just a few ways to properly store your cheese at home to make sure it lasts for as long as possible. Thankfully cheese expert ​​Patricia Michelson shared a clever method for storing cheese — all you need is a food container, some parchment paper or aluminum foil, and one secret ingredient.

The Grandma-Approved Hack for Keeping Gravy Warm

Now that you have the ultimate hack for creamiest mashed potatoes ever, you can thank Barbara Costello (once again) for this helpful tip on keeping your gravy warm while you finish all of your other dishes during your family gatherings. The last thing you’d want is to spend so much time working on getting the best mashed potatoes, only to end up with gravy that’s cold, lumpy, and not really pourable. This trick is the best way to keep the gravy warm without having to keep a watchful eye on the pot.

The Absolute Best Way to Keep Cucumbers Crisp 

If you’re a salad person at heart, then you likely keep fresh cucumbers in the fridge regularly. In addition to salad, cucumbers are excellent simply as a snack when paired with a tasty dip. Cucumbers aren’t their best, however, when they start to go soft. To keep cucumbers crisp and snappy use this tried-and-true method.

The Secret to Perfectly Fluffy Bakery-Style Muffins

Muffins are a coffee-shop staple and they’re arguably the best when paired with a warm cappuccino or latte. They’re easy to make at home as well, but yours might not turn out exactly like your favorite bakery’s. If your previous muffin projects have ended in super-oily and dense muffins, there is a way to fix this problem with ease. Just sprinkle a small amount of one common pantry item into the muffin tin.