How to crack an egg perfectly and eight other kitchen hacks

Be amazed at the little tips and tricks that can really change your life. Photo / Getty
Be amazed at the little tips and tricks that can really change your life. Photo / Getty

It seems that we've been getting it  all wrong. Only last week it was revealed that cooks, who for decades have crumbled Oxo stock cubes into their cooking with their fingers are making a basic mistake.

The "correct" - and certainly more efficient - way to add an Oxo cube to your food is to crush and flatten it in its foil wrapper before opening the packet with scissors and tipping the granules into your saucepan. The disclosure caused an uproar on social media.

So what other everyday things have we been doing "the wrong way"? From serving ice cream to cracking eggs, tying your trainers and eating Toblerone - be amazed at the little tips and tweaks that really can change your life. Mandy Francis takes a look...

Break an egg cleanly

Can't crack an egg without getting tiny pieces of shell in your meal? Then you need to try this life-changing technique.

Give the side of your egg a gentle tap on a flat surface, instead of using the sharp edge of a bowl or pan, and only the outer layer of shell will break, leaving the thin inner membrane intact. Any stray pieces of shell will stay attached to this inner lining now, making it easier to open the egg neatly into your pan without splinters.

Take a single tic tac

Ever gone to shake a tic tac out of the box, and ended up with a huge handful? Ok, it's definitely a First World problem, but this neat, rectangular box actually contains a clever compartment designed to dispense one sweet or mint at a time, if you just know where to look.

To take a single sweet out of a tic tac box, first make sure the box is closed properly, then turn it upside down and give it a shake.

Then carefully turn the box horizontally, open it by holding the lid and pulling the carton back, away from it. Inside the lid you will find a neat slot that should be holding just one, single sweet. Clever! You may need to practise, though.

Toblerone trials

Love Toblerone's famous triangular chocolate, but struggle to break off those big, chunky pieces?

According to those in the know, there is no need to resort to a knife, your teeth or dynamite to break up one of the bars. A change in direction is all that's required.Instead of trying to pull the individual chunks AWAY from the rest of the bar, try holding the bar in one hand and using your thumb to pull the tip of the first triangle BACK towards you and the other chocolate segments. The chunk should snap off easily. Ta da!

Clutching at straws?

Drinking through a straw is a great way to protect neatly applied lipstick.

But when you place a straw in a can of cola or fizzy water, the bubbles make it bob around manically, before ejecting it.

There is a simple trick that can stop this, however. Once you've opened your drink, turn the pull tab around 180 degrees until it covers the drinking hole. The small aperture in the pull tab can now be used to hold a straw firmly in place. Brilliant.

READ MORE: • You've been using OXO cubes wrongThe trick to sealing ziplock bags correctlyHow to store your fruit and veg better

Be a double dipper

Most fast-food restaurants now provide little paper cups to fill with ketchup or mayonnaise, instead of the sachets of old. While they save money, they're tiny and they're frustrating for those who like to dip - a chicken nugget just doesn't fit. However, those paper containers can be customised to make a bigger bowl. Unroll the edge of the cup and fan out the pleats around the side to create a wider, deeper container in seconds.

Crack a tough nut

Pistachio nuts are delicious - but isn't it annoying when you find a handful that are too tightly closed to pop open with your fingers?It's easy to resort to biting them, but this can result in a mouthful of shell.

Instead, try nature's solution, and use an empty shell half to prise open any closed nuts. Just wedge the edge of the empty shell into the gap on the closed nut and twist. The pistachio should pop open.

Ice cream that's a cut above

If you have a dinner party coming up and want to serve ice cream to your guests, avoid the hassle of trying to scoop out perfect balls. Instead, slice up your favourite frozen dessert.

Cardboard tubs are best for this, as you can slice through them with a sharp bread knife then simply peel away the strips of cardboard container from your individual ice cream portions. Simple!

Quick fix for foil roll

Do you hate the way your rolls of foil, cling film and greaseproof paper jump out of their boxes and unravel whenever you try to tear off a length?This is not a design fault. In fact, you are missing a trick. If you take a look at the small, square ends of your cardboard container, there should be a tab on each end with the words  'push in' or 'press here'. Push those tabs in so they hold the roll in place - meaning it will be held securely when you next tear off a length.

How to unzip a fruity favourite

You would think that, after millions of years of evolution, humans would have cracked the simple art of opening a banana - but apparently not. The best way to peel a banana quickly and neatly is not to snap off the stalk end as we've all been taught, but to approach the fruit the way monkeys do - upside down.Just give the opposite end of your banana - the one with no stalk - a gentle squeeze on either side, and the skin will pop open easily into two or three neat strips without the usual mushiness and bruising. Amazing!

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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