18 Genius Cooking Hacks, Charts, and Tips For Back-To-School August 15, 2018

by Tips & Tricks

Teachers tell you not to take shortcuts, but once you step inside the kitchen with HelloFresh this back-to-school season, YOU are the one in charge… and YOU make the rules. So feel free to embrace alllll the cooking hacks with the help of this handy guide — from conversions and measurements to time-savers, storing, and clean up. If we were you, we’d bookmark this gem stat. 

Conversions and Measurements

1. Grain-to-Water Ratios

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-grain-water-ratio

Always wasting time Googling the grain-to-water ratios? We’ve got you covered.

1 Cup Brown Rice2 Cups Water30 Minutes
1 Cup Basmati Rice2 Cups Water20-25 Minutes
1 Cup Quinoa1 1/4 Cups Water20 Minutes
1 Cup Farro4 Cups Water25 Minutes
1 Cup Rolled Oats2 Cups Water15 Minutes

2. Measurement Conversions

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-kitchen-conversions-chart

Don’t have time to whip out your calculator? Say no more.

3 Teaspoons1 Tablespoon
2 Tablespoons1 Ounce
4 Tablespoons1/4 Cup
1 Cup8 Fluid Ounces
2 Cups1 Pint
2 Pints1 Quart
4 Quarts1 Gallon

3. Meat Temperatures

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-meat-thermometer

Unsure if your steak is done? Invest in a meat thermometer and your days of poking and prodding will be over.

Medium Rare130°F
Medium Well150°F


4. Bread looking “meh” but don’t have time to run to the store? Run it under a bit of water and put in the oven 5-10 minutes for fresh, crunchy, just-baked flavor.

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-bread-fresh

5. Don’t have time to wait for your avocado to ripen? Wrapping it up tight in aluminum foil and popping it in the oven at 200ºF for 10(ish) minutes will do the trick.

6. Don’t have time to wait for meatloaf to cook? Divide meat into individual portions in a muffin tin and bake at 450ºF 15-20 minutes.

7. Finding yourself in a sticky situation every time you try and measure honey? Coat your utensil with a small amount of cooking oil first.

8. Want a cold glass of cab, quick? Wrap a wet dish towel around your wine bottle, place it in the freezer and remove it after about 15 minutes.

Storage Tips And Tricks

9. Need to keep your lunch cool, but don’t wanna buy an ice pack? Make your own by soaking a sponge in water and then freezing it in a zip-top bag.

10. Store tomatoes stem end down to prevent air from entering and moisture from exiting the spot where the tomato was once attached to the vine.

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-storing

11. Dos and Don’ts of Freezing Veggies

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-freezing-veggies

Stuck with more produce than you can eat? Freeze it (but not everything)!

Avocado FleshCucumbers
Herbs Celery
Cauliflower Potatoes

Clean Up

cooking hacks-HelloFresh-clean up

12. Wooden cutting board looking worn down and smelling, ahem, interesting? Scrub with half a lemon and a generous amount of coarse salt.

13. Not a fan of expensive, store-bought cleaners? Make your own by combining 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup distilled water, and 3 drops each orange, grapefruit, and lemon essential oil.

14. Can’t get the stale air out of your kitchen? Make your own air freshener by combining 2 cups distilled water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 7 drops lavender essential oil, and 3 drops lemon essential oil.

15. Stuck with dirty sponges? Zap ’em in a microwave for two minutes to kill the germs.

16. That microwave looking messy? Nuke a bowl of water with squeezed lemon juice and the rind for 3 minutes, and let it stand for 5 more to let steam loosen the gunk. Then just use a clean towel to wipe it sparkly clean.

17. Struggling to get your coffee grinder spick and span? Toss a few chunks of stale bread and pulse. The stuck-on grinds will stick to the bread like a magnet.

18. Always stuck struggling with plastic wrap? Store it in the fridge instead — chilled plastic wrap is infinitely easier to handle.

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