Kitchen Hacks: Which Ones Work?

Rustic Kitchen Display

By: Joely Zeng, Nutrition Peer Counselor, UC Davis Fitness and Wellness Center

Wondering if the kitchen and food hacks you see on Facebook videos and Buzzfeed articles actually work? I’m going to test five popular hacks and give my opinion on if its a successful tool to aid you in your future cooking endeavors or not.

My criteria is based on:

  • How easy the hack was
  • Effectiveness
  • How often can this hack be used

The Hacks

1. Remove strawberry stems with straws

D3A6CEB6-1644-4BAB-8E73-19DDB067C7F3Overall Score: 3/10

Unfortunately the hack just doesn’t really work! I tried two types of straws in which the red one was slightly wider and stronger and two sizes of strawberries, but both straws just simply pierced through the strawberries. Three points are given for the easiness of the hack and the possibility of using this hack often. It’s also possible that maybe the straw size just has to perfectly match the width of the stem for the hack to work, but no higher score can be given as it just wouldn’t be an easy hack anymore. 

2. Make scrambled eggs in the microwave

img_6276.jpgOverall Score: 5/10

May be a bit intuitive but scrambled eggs can be made in the microwave! It’s also quicker and more hassle free than using a pan which indicates that the hack can be used often. The downfall of the hack though is that the taste and texture of the eggs suffered. The eggs didn’t taste like eggs and had become rubbery. Personally, I would rather go through the hassle of using a pan.

3. Open a tight jar lid with duct tape 

IMG_9663Overall score: 7/10

This was actually a hack I’ve never heard of before and good news! The duct tape was successful at removing the lid. However a few points were deducted for trickiness I did not anticipate. For example, I accidentally taped the lid on the right side (pictured above) when it should have been taped on the left side to follow the “lefty loosey and tighty righty” trick when pulling the tape from the roll. Another good thing to note is that the lid might fly off like the cork of a champagne bottle, so make sure you’re not wearing any white shirts!

4. Separate eggs with an empty plastic water bottleIMG_0271Overall score: 9/10

This hack is pretty popular but I’ve never bothered to try it out because I was quite content using egg shells. Overall I was pretty amazed by this hack! After playing around with it, I realized that it was a more efficient method if you’re trying to separate a few or more egg yolks. Also, it’s super fun and difficult to break the yolk. One downfall I found is that plastic bottles aren’t an item I have usually in my kitchen and they’re more wasteful than just using the egg shell.

5. Put a ziploc bag around ice cream to leave it staying soft in the freezerIMG_6426Overall Score: 4/10

I was pretty excited to try this hack because of the raves from my friend! Unfortunately, I was left disappointed. The scooping of the ice cream wasn’t any more soft than my ice cream not placed in a plastic baggie. I did notice that it wasn’t as icy as usual but this may be due to length of stay in the freezer and the higher quality ice cream. Points were awarded for how easy and do-able it would be if the hack worked. I don’t want to give up on this hack though and will in the future compare with different quality ice creams and varying amounts of air left in the ziploc bag to come to a final conclusion if the hack works or not.

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