View Full Version : The Lazy Person's Thread of Cooking Shortcuts

06-01-2013, 10:17 AM
Like cooking 5min rice in soup instead of water!

Also, cooking eggs in a basket (wherein you cut a hole in a slice of bread) is great if, like me, you love eggs cooked over medium or easy, but can't seem to flip them worth a damn without breaking the whole thing.

Feel free to post substitutions too. As someone who doesn't keep milk handy for baking, because I don't drink the stuff, I often grab milkless recipes such as this one for pancakes from The Internets. (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120201090501AAKD6dI)

06-01-2013, 02:26 PM
I sometimes cook my breakfast egg in the tea kettle. It's a device perfectly adapted by God and man to boil water, why shouldn't I use it to hard-boil eggs? All you need is a long-handled plastic spoon with slots so that you can fish it out.

I also like using instant rice for rice pudding, because it's so much quicker and easier than regular ole' rice.

06-01-2013, 03:21 PM
I have no suggestions but I am always eager to learn how to make my laziness more efficient.

06-01-2013, 08:58 PM
Another useful one I've seen is cooking pasta by using a frying/saucepan instead of a pot of boiling water. You just use cold water to make sure the pasta doesn't fuse immediately together or anything. I'm not really big on pasta anyway, so I don't know if cooking it any way aside from a pot is like, a gourmand's nightmare, but it's pretty efficient if you just want spaghetti right the fuck now.

Paul le Fou
06-01-2013, 08:59 PM
Get a rice cooker.

You can do so many damn things in a rice cooker with like no effort required.

I throw a cup of rice, a cup of lentils, some diced vegetables and spices in there with water and hit go. Boom, dinner. And a lot of it, too.

You can make steel-cut oats in there too! The possibilities are endless!

06-01-2013, 09:09 PM
Occasionally I microwave bacon.

06-01-2013, 10:05 PM
I don't really have any lazy shortcuts other than easy recipes. Learn to grill? It looks harder than it is and people will think it's super impressive when it's actually just about letting something smoke for a long time while you drink beer.

OH, here's one: Next time you grill over coals, when you pull off the meat or whatever, wrap up some peeled garlic cloves in foil with oil, salt, and pepper and toss it on the grill with the lid closed. By the time you are done eating you should have some perfectly roasted garlic for an after-dinner treat.

Occasionally I microwave bacon.

No, that's just wrong.

06-02-2013, 08:24 PM
If you need milk for baking but not drinking, why not buy... dry milk powder? The stuff keeps basically forever and when you need milk (for cooking and not drinking, this cannot be stressed enough) you mix it with some water and you're ready to roll.

Today I worked out a way of getting fat out of homemade stock that I thought was pretty clever but I am p. sure that this thread is not for people who make their own stock since that takes hours of time.

06-03-2013, 07:49 AM
Like cooking 5min rice in soup instead of water!

My favorite sidedish in the whole entire world when I was a kid was Minute Rice cooked in Cream of Mushroom Soup.

In fact, I still love it, but I don't have it as often thanks to learning how to cook real things. I'd love to someday try and figure out a big-boy version of the same dish...

06-03-2013, 07:53 AM
Oh, homemade stock is fine for lazy people. It's not like you have to watch it or interact with it much at all while it's doing its thing on the stove.

06-03-2013, 10:46 AM
A) This thread is going to make me cry.

B) The best way I've found to remove fat from stock is to skim like crazy (not a lazy way of doing it) and then to chill the stock in the freezer and discard the congealed fat. OR, save the congealed fat, melt it down, strain it, and use it to cook something else.

06-03-2013, 11:12 AM
A) This thread is going to make me cry.

The tears, they won't stop coming...

Olli T
06-04-2013, 07:10 AM
If you're making vegetable-heavy soup, but can't be bothered to be fuzzy about how long things take to cook perfectly, just cook them long enough and blend the result.

06-06-2013, 12:54 PM
i've got one!

If you're taking mass quantities of tomatoes and turning them into sauce and canning the results*, roast the tomatoes first. It makes it easy to slip the skins off and gets a lot of the initial water out of the tomatoes, so you have to cook them less time in the saucepan. Plus the roasting concentrates the flavor.

*okay, so this might not be for lazy folks, but it does save time.

06-06-2013, 03:51 PM
That reminds me of one--if you're making mashed potatoes but don't have a masher, boiling the potatoes for like a half hour beforehand makes them soft enough that practically anything will do the job for mashing them.

06-06-2013, 06:33 PM
How... how do you make mashed potatoes without boiling them?

06-06-2013, 06:35 PM
Being full of rage.

06-06-2013, 06:55 PM
It's technically possible to bake them and then mash them ferociously, I think? Having plenty of milk on hand helps if you're doing them that way.

06-06-2013, 09:34 PM
I'm still trying to parse this. Are you really eating mashed raw potatoes? Or rather, did you in the past?

06-06-2013, 10:13 PM
I've only ever boiled them, but the recipe I used when I first looked up how to make mashed potatoes spoke of it like it was an alternative to some more conventional method.

06-07-2013, 06:35 AM
For lazy baking: The Cake Mix Doctor books are great. Recipes for adding extra stuff to cake mixes to make them taste better without bothering with all that "from scratch" nonsense. Nobody's going to know it's from a mix unless you tell them. I've gotten pretty good at modding mixes after going by the book for a while.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies: 19.5 oz chocolate brownie mix + 1/2 cup Skippy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. Follow the directions on the brownie mix but mix in the peanut butter and bake as directed. Just did this for a potluck at work and everyone loved them.