Being part of cooking groups on Facebook is quite the roller coaster ride. Reading the comments is proof that folks can argue over literally anything! All drama aside, if you make it through the name-calling you are bound to stumble on some amazing recipes and great tips. Whenever something feels mind-blowing to me, I just have to share it with the world. So, today, here is a collection of tips that I’ve gathered from the at-home chefs of world wide web that I think are worth sharing!

#1. Your freezer is your new best friend. We all know how useful the freezer can be, but sometimes we don’t consider that we can freeze certain things that seem, well, “unfreezeable.” (I know that makes no sense!) One lady, Julia, mentioned that she buys giant bags of celery, onions, carrots. She washes them, runs them through food processor, and then puts them in gallon freezer bags. Those items are always on hand for recipes! She also zest lemons and keeps the zest in a bag in the freezer. Get this – she then juices the lemons, and freezes the juice in ice cube trays. Genius! Several other people recommended freezing just about everything under the sun – herbs, bananas in their peel, coffee cubes to drop into hot coffee to cool it without watering it down. And here is one more that blew my mind:

Beverly said, “You can freeze raw, fresh, whole tomatoes. I don’t even put them in containers. If you pull them out of freezer and let them sit for 5 – 10 minutes, the skin will slip off like an (Instant Pot) hard-boiled egg. Throw them in any soup, sauce or stew and viola! I use them in so many things. No more wasted tomatoes or running to the store because I was out.” What??? Whole tomatoes in the freezer? I can honestly say that I’ve never even considered that.

#2. Use your IP Pot or your crockpot as a freezer mold, suggests Rich. Prep your food, put it in a freezer bag, and then freeze it inside the bowl. That way it is guaranteed to fit back when you’re ready to cook it.

#3. Out of heavy cream? No worries. Camille says, “Quite a few soup recipes call for cream. In a pinch, you can use 1/3 C melted butter + 3/4 milk to substitute for 1 C cream. I’ve used this swap many times and it works, and tastes great!”

#4. Cut your chicken shredding time in half. I’ve heard this one a couple different places, like on this video posted on Youtube by Civilized Caveman Cooking, George Bryant. Marcela from IP Community said, “I used to shred chicken by hand now I just stick it in my KitchenAid mixer 15 seconds later it’s shredded!”

#5. Repurpose your shower cap. Huh? That’s right, your shower cap. Use it to perfectly cover dishes by stretching it around the edge of the bowl. Wash and reuse!

#6. Freeze the cheese. Seriously! Freeze a block of cheese for about 30 minutes and grating becomes a breeze.

#7. Get the nasty off your fruits and veggies. Lord knows what you’re really grabbing when you pick up that ridiculously shiny red apple off the produce shelf. Save some bucks by creating a produce wash using baking soda and water. Other folks recommend vinegar and water as working just as well!

#8. Marshmallows are awesome.  We already know that. But did you know you can use them to keep your brown sugar soft by popping a couple in the bag?

#9 Cutting potatoes is a snap. Just use your apple corer!

#10. Turn your Instant Pot into a self cleaner. This one comes from yours truly. One night my pot was scorched and the filth at the bottom of the pan wasn’t budging. I sprinkled baking soda all around the bottom of the pan, added 4 cups water, and set my IP on 5 min HP. I enjoyed my dinner and when I was done I opened the pot. The water was dirty and when I dumped it out, the pot was nearly clean. A little Dawn, a rinse and a quick scrub and my pot was shiny again! Here is a video tutorial:

Hope some of these hacks help you in the kitchen!

xo Jaime

Written by Jaime Fox