08/05/2014 06:25 pm ET Updated Sep 21, 2014

20 Essential Kitchen Hacks

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Put away your appliances -- today, we're hacking everything.

Some days are meant for lingering in the kitchen -- for tempering chocolate on a marble slab and listening to the warm crackle of bacon in the skillet.

Other days, we go rogue. We break our rules with abandon and make the most of what’s in our kitchens, right now. There will be no double boilers or heat diffusers to stand in our way -- and if you forgot to bring your butter to room temperature, don’t worry about it. Because tonight, we’re doing it all MacGyver-style -- that is, if MacGyver hacked sous vide machines instead of diffusing bombs with a toothpick. You already have everything you need -- so let’s get cooking. 

• Make the breakfast of champions, like a champion: bake your bacon and get perfectly peeled eggs, every time.

• Finish it off with a fresh juice -- no juicer needed


• Next, prep your fruit. Pit your cherries, sans pitter, and turn your citrus zesting upside down.

• Forgot to stale your bread? Pop it in the oven. While you wait, soften your butter without mercy.

• If you’re working with chocolate, hack your own double boiler -- but if you need it tempered, do it in the microwave


• No time for the grocery store? Whip up some makeshift buttermilk with just two ingredients. While it curdles… 

• ...replenish your flour bins with DIY cake and self-rising flours.

• Ready? Let’s cook. Turn your rice cooker into a sous vide machine and hack a steamer for your pork buns. 

• Then, keep it all warm with an improvised heat diffuser


• Do you have a sheet pan? A piece of aluminum foil? You can make a tart pan of any size

• Treat yourself to butter pecan ice cream -- minus the churning -- and s’mores, campfire be damned.


• Once you’re done cooking, use your pantry items and food scraps to clean up the kitchen. 

• Finally, grab a spoon and crack open a beer -- you deserve it. 

What are your favorite kitchen hacks? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally appeared on 20 Essential Kitchen Hacks 

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