Let's face it, we come to a problem at one point or another and we Google different hacks to see how we can make our lives a lot easier. Well, fear not! Here to the rescue are some hacks for you in the kitchen to help keep things clean, organize your cooking skills, or even aid you when things go awry. You can never have enough knowledge when it comes to kitchen tips and tricks, and some can even help with kitchen disasters. 

1. Yes, you can meal prep your pancakes

meat, pancake, chicken
Caty Schnack

You took the time to make the batter and bring out the pancake griddle or pan, so make extra pancakes, store them in an airtight container, and reheat them throughout the week. You can even freeze them on a baking sheet individually and then put them in a plastic bag and reheat them in the microwave as you get that pancake craving. This can holds true to crepes and waffles as well.  

2. Reuse the water from boiling pasta and potatoes 

spaghetti, pasta
Jennifer Cao

What do you do with all that extra water when you boil pasta or potatoes? Use it for your plants! Wait until it cools off and then give your potted plants a nice drink of nutrient-filled water. 

3. Use the Blender's power to clean 

Mayleen Zhagnay

So you've made a beautiful smoothie and it's now time to clean your blender. You can actually use it to clean the mess you made. There are many different ways in which you can clean a blender. You can either do it under a basic sink water spout action or you can use an old toothbrush to remove the fruits and veggies that often get stuck in there. However, if you are looking for an easy alternative to that, the quickest and most efficient way to clean your blender is to add some water and dish soap and blend it.

4. Remove the seeds to make peppers less spicy

pepper, vegetable, chili, sweet pepper, cayenne, habanero pepper, hot pepper
Josh Renaud

If you want to enjoy those uncooked peppers for salsa of even just for snacking, but cannot take the heat, cut the pepper in half and remove all of the seeds. Then take salt and rub it on the insides and soak the pepper in water for five minutes. This can also works for when you cook with them if you really want a mild spice flavor. 

5. Use vodka to clean residues

beer, alcohol, liquor, wine, vodka
Sabhyata Badhwar

Create a germ-busting cleaner by mixing together 4 ounces vodka, 8 ounces white vinegar, 4 ounces lemon juice, 8 drops essential lemongrass oil, and 2 or 3 drops castile soap in a spray bottle.

Another tip is to let lemon or orange peels sit in a jar of vodka for a few weeks before transferring the liquid to a spray bottle. The citric acid from the peels will be extracted by the vodka to create a powerful citrus-scented cleaner.

Or, even easier, just fill a spray bottle with vodka to use for quick cleanups. Use straight vodka or a 1-to-1 vodka-water mix to degrease the tops of range hoods, backsplashes, and countertops.

6. Freeze herbs in olive oil

herb, vegetable, Greenhouse, Garden, Earth, Green, Eco, compost, Plant
Alex Frank

Freeze those freshly picked herbs that may not always be in season. Put them in an ice cube tray and drizzle some olive oil over them. To use the herbs, just break off what you need straight from the freezer (you don't even have to defrost them). 

7. Freeze cheese to make grating easier

sweet, dairy product, milk, dairy, Feta, cheese, crumbles
Caroline Ingalls

Wanna make it easier to grate your cheese? Put it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes prior to grating it. This is great for softer cheeses it will cause it to firm up and make it easier for you to hold onto and not create a slimy, gooey mess. 

8. Use honey to treat burns

What do you do if you burn yourself while cooking, but don't have any aloe? Use honey! Not only is it sweet, but is a great natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Honey bandages may help sterilize a burn and prevent infection. So use it on minor burns to soothe burned skin and ease some of the pain.

9. Peel ginger with a spoon

ginger, vegetable, galangal, herb
Tyra Wu

Use a spoon to peel ginger. We all know the difficulty in trying to use a peeler in those crevices and can actually make it more dangerous. Use a spoon to get in-between the grooves and if you slip, you won't get cut.  

10. Use wine as a cooking ingredient

alcohol, wine, rosé wine, rosé, glasses, cheers
Caroline Ingalls

Don't waste that leftover wine you have, freeze it in an ice cube tray and save it for cooking later. There is no use in wasting wine. Use it for sautéing, broths, soups, or even to add to a cocktail—the possibilities are endless. 

11. Clean your microwave in 5 minutes

Fill a microwaveable bowl with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add a drop of essential oil if you want to mask the vinegar smell. Drop a toothpick into the bowl of water to help keep the water from boiling out over the edges of the bowl. Put it in the microwave, shut the door, and run the microwave on high for 5 minutes. 

When the timer goes off, don’t open the microwave right away. Leave the door shut for 2-3 more minutes to let the steam continue to work. The steam will help loosen up caked on bits of food, and the vinegar and lemon oil will help eliminate any odors. When you open the door, be careful pulling the bowl out; it will be very hot! Remove the turntable tray and wash it in the sink. Take your sponge and wipe down the inside of the microwave; the dirt and food will come right off.

12. Bleach those white cutting boards to make them good as new 

cutting board
Jocelyn Hsu

As you may already know, bleach does not work on wood or other porous materials, which means that it would be ineffective for a wooden cutting board. However, if you have a white plastic cutting board and you noticed it started to hold the stains of whatever you cut or cook lately, then some bleach can really come in handy for whitening it all up, quickly and without too much effort. Run an inch or so of hot water in sink and pour generous amount of bleach into water (a cup or less should do it). Lay the boards into water and bleach and let them soak for an hour or so. Drain the sink and rinse off cutting boards.

Now won't it be great when all your friends and family start asking you for advice? Take these kitchen hacks and adapt them to what you need and your cooking capabilities. The great thing is also sharing and bouncing ideas off of other people so take these simple hacks and expand, make them better, change it up, make them unique to your lifestyle. Hopefully these have helped you learn of some new tips and tricks in the kitchen world and add to what you already knew.