10 Insanely Clever Kitchen Hacks

When it comes to the kitchen, you should work smarter, not harder. These kitchen hacks from Chowhound will save you time, money and effort.

1. Freeze Ground Meat In Portion-Sized Pieces

Stop defrosting the whole block and not using it. By storing meat in usable portions, you're more likely to just take out what you need, and keep the rest frozen for another day.

2. Make Your Own Quick Pickles With Leftover Brine

When you finish your pickles, throw some cucumber slices in the jar and store them in the refrigerator for a few days. Green beans, garlic, carrots and radishes work great too -- just make sure you par-boil them first.

3. Wet Fingers To Easily Remove Eggshell Pieces

Fishing out little eggshell pieces can be a pain, but if you wet your finger before dipping it in the egg, the shell pieces will stick to your finger and save you a ton of effort.

4. Your Vegetables Aren't Dead! Resuscitate In Cold Water

When celery, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuce or spinach gets limp and lifeless, trim the bottom of the stalk (and the top of your celery) and place it in a jar of ice cold water. This will help it crisp back up. If you even store your vegetables like this, they will last a little longer.

5. Egg Slicers Work On Mushrooms Too

Cut off the very bottom of the mushroom and throw the top into an egg slicer to save a ton of time. This also works for strawberries.

6. Burnt Cookies? There's A Microplane For That

Use a Microplane (or other sharp utensil) to scrape off the burnt bottoms of your cookies or cupcakes, to make them look like you took them out of the oven just in time. We won't say a word.

7. Cut Up Plastic Bottles To Store Bulk Foods

Follow this Instructables tutorial and never fool with big, awkward bags again.

8. Use Cooking Spray When Measuring Thick Ingredients

The next time your recipe calls for a half cup of peanut butter (or anything sticky), coat your measuring cup with a thin coat of nonstick cooking spray first. That peanut butter will slide right out.

9. Stop Freezer Burn By Trimming As You Go

If you aren't like us and can't polish off a whole carton of ice cream in a matter of minutes, avoid subjecting your ice cream to freezer burn by trimming down the carton as you go.

10. Use Kitchen Charts

Don't do math. Seriously, just don't. Somebody already did it for you:

There's one for grain to water ratios too: