Cooking sucks, bros. Apologies to all of you who enjoy cooking, but it had to be said. More specifically, cooking sucks when you don’t have the time to make anything besides Ramen and whatever you found in your neighbor’s trash.
And because we don’t want you to get caught rooting around in your neighbor’s dumpster for a half-eaten Big Mac and cold three day old pizza, we thought we’d take the time to help you out with these nine easy and quick (mostly, anyway…) cooking hacks. Boner a petit!
The Hand/Steak Test
Say you have to cook for a bunch of different people and they all want their steaks done differently. After you get done muttering “assholes” under your breath, relax your hand, and then feel the pad right beneath your thumb. That’s what a raw steak should feel like. Okay, got it? Now take your index finger and put it together with your thumb, like you’re making the “ok” sign. Feel the pad beneath your thumb again. This is what a rare steak should feel like. Do the same, only with the middle finger to the thumb. Touch the base. You’ve got medium rare. Ring finger to thumb? Medium. Pinky to thumb? Well done. Easier than a meat thermometer, which, as an added bonus, you can use to stab your friends with for being so goddamn picky.
Use a Baster to Get Melted Butter Down Deep into Your Popcorn
Sure, you could always butter your popcorn and then shake it so the butter gets down in there, but what are you, a caveman? Civilization has blessed us with tools, and a simple tool like the baster can be used to efficiently get that butter where you need it to be. Just melt the butter, suck it up with a baster and then shoot it down in there. Squirt it real good, baby. Nobody likes it dry.
Heat Your Ice Cream Scoop
Ice cream sounds great until you’re forced to try to excavate it from its frozen tomb like a goddamn grave robber. One elegant solution is to simply heat your scoop. Just run it under warm water for a few seconds and it should cut right through the frozen wasteland separating you from iced joy. This is the sort of thing that separates us from the animals. That’s right, apes still use cold spoons. Newbs.
Put a Wooden Spoon Over Boiling Water to Keep the Pot From Boiling Over
Anyone who’s ever made mac & cheese has experienced this. You boil the water, get it really rolling and then the next thing you know it’s erupting all over the stove like Mt. Vesuvius. A simple, if not exactly high-tech solution, is to simply place a wooden spoon over the top of the pot. Or, if you have to keep a lid on it, cock the lid a little bit. Same effect. Why does this work? Do I look like fuckin’ Mr. Wizard to you? Some things are just magic. Or the will of God, maybe? I don’t really know how religion works.
Marinate Your Meat in Dark Beer
Grilling is the only life that makes sense in these strange and terrible times. Unfortunately, the grill life also leads to some unexpected – and unwanted – consequences. When you grill meat, the smoke creates something called polycyclic aromatic hydrocrabons, or PAH, which is a carcinogen, which will give you cancer, bros. Charred meat also releases HCA’s, or heterocyclic amines, which, yup, you guessed it, also cause cancer.
Thankfully, studies have shown that marinating your meat in dark beer can reduce PAH’s by anywhere from 30-70%, while marinating your meat in dark beer for six hours before cooking can reduce HCA’s by up to 90%. Sure, it’s not exactly quick, but it is a hack that will, you know, save your life. Is there anything beer can’t do?
Dimple Your Burgers and Put Ice Chips in Them to Keep Them Moist
Again, nobody likes it dry. One simple solution is to make a little dimple in your burger and put some ice chips in there. It melts into the burger while it’s cooking and you’ve got a juicy burger. For even better effect, use butter instead of ice. Sure, it’s not exactly good for you, but this is America, we don’t care about that weak shit.
Grill Fish On Top of Lemon Slices
If you’re sick of your fish sticking to your grill whenever you try to cook it, making an unholy mess that smells like a hooker was just burned at the stake, just slide some lemon slices underneath and you’re golden. The lemon keeps the grill and your fish from becoming one terrible mutant entity, and as a bonus, the lemon soaks into the fish, which means you add some flavor to your fish and protect your precious grill at the same time. Heh. Owned again, fish.
Make Coke Brownies
Not those kind of coke brownies. Unless you’re from Colombia anyway. I’m talking about Coca-Cola. For some strange reason, you can just use a can of Coke instead of eggs and butter to make your brownies. It doesn’t taste exactly the same, but it’s close enough. It’s still a brownie. And besides being easier, it’s also a little healthier for you. Don’t listen to those creeps from the Egg Council.
Make Tacos in a Bag
This is the laziest, dirtbaggiest cooking hack there is, so naturally, I thought it should be at the top of the list. I understand what you need. Anyway, this one is gloriously simple, not to mention ingenious. You just get your taco mix ingredients, open a bag of corn chips (or Doritos if you like living dangerously) and dump that shit in. There, you’ve got a taco in a bag. Seriously, whoever thought of this deserves a Nobel Prize. All the Nobels. Including peace. Did the Dalai Lama ever do anything like this? I rest my case.