8 Stupid Kitchen Hacks (Tested for Usefulness)
Life hacks have made their way through the Internet like an updated and fully optimized version of Old Wives' Tales. There's a good chance you've seen a life hack and thought it was clever, then moved on with your life, never once testing out the tip for traces of horseshit. Well, that's what I'm here for. I love cooking, I love being in the kitchen, and I want to know if these too-good-to-be-true food-related hacks are worth the time and effort. I'm excited. I'm optimistic. So let's kick things off with ...
Eating Oreos With a Fork
Here's how the hack goes: You stab a fork through the cream of an Oreo, then dunk it in milk. Simple. The fork acts as an Oreo-retrieval system. And, I'm happy to report, it's not bullshit. It works. Here's a scintillating video of me proving it:
And that's the best thing that can be said about the technique: only that it works. It makes me feel like a dainty idiot. Oreo-dunking didn't need to be optimized for maximum drunk efficiency. The process didn't need to be streamlined. The clunky messiness of dunking Oreos is part of the experience. It's like when people eat a slice of pizza with a fork and knife. I want to ask them if there's some kind of physical or mental ailment that prevents them from holding the fucking slice in their fucking hands and just eating the fucking thing like a normal fucking human. Do you have a doctor's note that excuses your insolence? If not, use your fucking hands. If you do have a doctor's note, I'm so sorry, and I hope you're managing well with whatever ails you. God bless you and good luck in all of your endeavors.
But even if you do have a doctor's note, don't eat Oreos with a fork. Ever. They're Oreos. They do not require the use of modern tools. If I ever see any of you doing this, I will slap the fork out of your hand and jam your entire head into the glass of milk.
Using a Push Pin to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
Everyone has their own strategy for hard-boiled eggs -- their own cooking methods, their own cracking methods. If you boil it for precisely 2 minutes and 43 seconds then snatch the egg from the boiling water barehanded and throw it and say 17 Hail Marys before the egg hits something, the shell will blink out of existence and end up floating the inky void of space in a parallel universe filled with discarded egg shells. Egg-peeling techniques are personal, and what's snake oil for you is a bona fide miracle to others.
The method detailed here and shared as an image on roughly 7,000 BuzzFeed articles is pretty basic. All I can figure is that seasoning an egg with tetanus will result in the physical manifestation of perfection. The kind of egg God himself would boil with minimal effort while in his PJs before work. So, I followed the easy step, beginning with poking a hole in the shell and becoming disappointed that it didn't explode.
Then I boiled it. Then I cooled it. Then, the moment of truth: I peeled it. As I mentioned, I'm not a good egg peeler, which is why this happened:
Other than the perverse squirt of water that shot out of the egg hole as I cracked the shell, I found there to be absolutely no advantage to poking a hole in an egg before boiling. It's still a basic hard-boiled egg. In this case soft-boiled, because I messed up the cooking time. So it works, but no better or worse than however you hard-boil your eggs. Oh, and at one point, this happened:
So far I'm disappointed with these hacks. But, I'm still optimistic I'll find one that works. Maybe we'll have better luck with ...
Separating Egg Yolks From Whites With an Empty Water Bottle
Goddammit. There's no need for this. Crack the shell and pour the yolk from one half of the shell to the other until the white shakes loose and slides away. Or do the same thing in the palm of your hand. Bringing in a third thing is unnecessary. The only reason this method exists is to prove it can be done. Beyond that, it's entirely useless.
Well, that's what it seems like, at least. How about I try it and we pass judgment from there?
Yep. It works, and it's still entirely useless. Don't over-complicate your life. A "hack" shouldn't add, only subtract. All this does is add to a system we've long figured out and moved on from. Goddamn. These hacks are garbage. I'm losing heart and we're only three entries in. Fuck it. Let's throw this into overdrive ...
Softening Cold Butter With a Hot Glass
What a tremendous waste of time this is. Encasing butter in an upside-down hot glass to melt it enough to spread is so over-thought I'm shocked it doesn't involve a series of pulleys to raise and lower the glass.
Here was my result when I tested this one out:
After microwaving the cup for 1 minute and resting it over the butter for 2 minutes, the butter was slightly softer but still cold enough to ruin a piece of toast. But then I did this:
Four seconds in the microwave to get spreadable butter, versus 3 minutes. That's a difference of 176 seconds, and you don't need to microwave a glass.
The moral of the story is, fuck you and your hot glasses. Buy a butter dish and keep a stick of butter at room temperature at all times. It's 100 percent safe.
Hey, here's a second hack on making cold stuff slightly less cold:
Fuck you. Buy a butter dish.
And a third one that I will not give you context for:
Fuck you. Buy a butter dish.
Increasing the Efficiency of Your Sandwich by Cutting Your Deli Meats Like an Asshole
Here's my efficient sandwich:
An efficient sandwich tastes like a regular sandwich but with the after-taste of OCD and wasted time, which runs contrary to the reason behind constructing a more efficient sandwich. This had to have been devised by an engineering major who, some years down the line, will be told that his or her work is over-engineered to the point of uselessness. And it truly is useless, especially in this day and age when (in America, at least) a lot of deli meats come in these plastic containers:
The meat tastes fresher, less processed, but as a trade-off all the delicate slices are folded into each other, so separating them tears them to shit. That means a sandwich ends up looking like the meat had been wrestled out of the mouth of a dog. Can't efficiently slice something that could double as the dangly chunks hanging from the neck of a severed head on Game of Thrones.
So this was stupid too. Next!
Peeling a Hard-Boiled Egg Through the Power of Blowing
Tim Ferriss says that if you boil an egg with some baking soda, then peel a little shell off of both ends once the egg has been cooled, the egg will effortlessly slip out of the shell with a stiff blow, kind of like blowing up a balloon. Let's see if he's right:
Fuck Tim Ferriss.
Chilling a Beer in Two Minutes by Wrapping It in a Wet Paper Towel and Freezing It
Here's a picture of my attempt:
This didn't work after chilling in the freezer for 15 minutes, let alone 2. Do people actually test these things out before they slap them on the Internet, or is this a part of an elaborate prank to teach a lesson about unsolicited Internet advice?
Hacks are trash. Hacks of any kind are some of the most depressing, pathetic, and useless attempts at self-improvement on the Internet. No one needs these shitty pieces of unsolicited advice on how to accomplish anything. To all life-hackers across the globe, please, blow all of your hacks out your asses. I heard that by boiling them with a little baking soda, it's easy to do. The only hack out there worth a damn is ...
Peeling Garlic Cloves by Shaking Them Between Two Bowls
Peeling multiple cloves of garlic can be a menial task that tests patience. When the natural juice of a garlic clove comes in contact with a clove's paper-like shell, they create a bond strong enough to be considered a form of pornography. This leads to the whole peeling process taking much longer than it should. No one ever invented an "As Seen on TV" kitchen gizmo that would effortlessly peel a garlic clove in a breeze. For ages it's been all fingers and frustration, much like puberty. You can change that if you've got a couple of large bowls on hand. That's all you need to peel one or more heads of garlic at the same time, and in seconds. This is how it works:
1) Break apart an entire head of garlic into individual cloves.
2) Place cloves in a large bowl.
3) Put another large bowl on top to create a dome.
4) Shake the shit out of your dome of garlic like you're pissed at a Magic 8-Ball for being too indecisive.
5) Separate the bowls, and BOOM -- like magic, all or most of the garlic cloves will be peeled. Usually the ones that don't peel are the tiny clove nubs close to the center of the garlic head.
Don't forget to shake those bowls hard. You should be shaking so loudly people walking by your home think two rival steel drum bands are having a brawl in your living room. If you're thinking, "But I'm never going to need that much garlic at one time," well, listen you short-sighted, garlic-hating dick: You don't have to. Chop it all up and keep it in a small storage container. Pop it in the fridge and use as needed. One batch should stay fresh and potent, losing almost no flavor, for about a month and a half to two months. I've been doing it for years, and it's extremely convenient. Pair that with the bowl-shaking technique and an ingredient that was once annoying to prep becomes infinitely easier to manage.
For some, the noise might not be worth it. But if you want a "hack" that actually accomplishes everything hacks purport to do -- like actually work and be a legitimate time-saver and be useful -- this is, by far, the best one out there.
You can follow Luis on Twi- Fuck you. Buy a butter dish.
For more from Luis, check out 4 Great Educational Videos for Never Sleeping Ever Again and 5 Automated Jobs That Seem to Suggest We're Trolling Robots.
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