The Best “Weird, but Life-Changing” Cooking Hacks, According to Reddit

updated Feb 24, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Reddit, the ever-giving forums that sends us gems like “guy who won’t shut up about how great the food his girlfriend is allergic to is” and “guy who invites vegan to dinner and doesn’t cook for them,” does actually have a purpose beyond keeping us extremely well-entertained. It also reminds us why we shouldn’t paint our walls gray, and leads us to a ton of weird, cheap meals.

And today’s lesson might be the best of all. The popular subreddit r/cooking had a recent thread about all the “life-changing” cooking hacks you might not have thought of before. The thread has over 4,000 comments (!!!), so we decided to pull out some of the best and strangest ideas from the conversation.

The original post leads off with the suggestion of adding a bullion cube to your pasta cooking water, to give a little meatiness and umami to the noodles. They also suggest using scissors for everything in the kitchen, including cutting up chicken thighs. From there, Reddit users were off, ready to help out with ideas like keeping a half stick of butter just for greasing pans directly from the stick. 

Some of the suggestions were classics — the ones that are always good to remind people of, in case they haven’t tried them yet or are newer to cooking. One popular suggestion was about cross utilization, like using potato cooking water in your gravy and pickle juice in your dressings or as cooking liquid.

Mayonnaise was a popular topic. There were suggestions of using it instead of butter for grilled cheese, in place of oil in boxed brownies, and even in guacamole. (We’re not so sure about that last one. Maybe when we see it in use we’ll believe it — much like the suggestions of using sour cream in your egg wash for frying, or vodka in your buttermilk soak for fried chicken.)

The most-liked tip on the thread had to do with protecting yourself after cutting hot peppers. Right after you’re done, the commenter said they rub a neutral oil (like vegetable oil) on their hands and then wash them with regular dish soap. (Kitchn has written about this tip before, too!). The second most-popular tip was about adding orange juice to banana or pumpkin bread to add some brightness to the dish. A lot of the commenters said they do this with other baked goods too, like carrot cake and apple crumble.

Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know in the comments.