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1) When food gets cold before you can serve it.

Restaurants keep dishes piping hot with heat lamps. You can buy one for your kitchen for around $100.

Adcraft HL-2 Dual Heat Lamp & Food Warmer

2) When water takes *forever* to boil

Try boiling water in your saucepan—the increased surface area of the pan gets the water hotter, faster. This is ideal for pasta because then you can just go ahead and cook the sauce in the same pan.

Quick Pasta Reserved Water
Quick Pasta Reserved Water

3) Forgetting you turned a pot on and walking out of the room.

Any ideas, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson?

4) When oil or a messy food scrap gets on the handle of your knife while you use it, making it all gross and slippery.

Keep some wipes near your cutting board, which'll also help you quickly clean up any chopping messes or spills.


5) Inconsistent stoves or ovens.

This is a fact of life, like traffic or the Oscars being dull. The only solution is an oven thermometer. Cook's Illustrated recommends the CDN Multi-Mount Oven Thermometer, it's $10 on Amazon.

CDN Multi-Mount Oven Thermometer

6) Pets getting all underfoot when you're cooking.

And just think about what they're doing when you're not home!

7) When the smoke alarm goes off.

"It's not you, it's me!" (Says your smoke alarm.) 90% of U.S. households have an ionization smoke alarm, which is prone to this sort of thing. Photoelectric smoke detectors like this one (about $15) are less likely to give off false alarms when cooking.

First Alert Photoelectric Sensor

8) When you cut yourself.

Most of us get better instruction on how to hold chopsticks than we do for knives. A proper grip could keep your fingers slice-free. Serious Eats has a truly excellent guide on how to hold a knife.

Serious Eats How To Hold A Knife

9) When you burn yourself.

With silicon cooking gloves you can thrust your hands into boiling water with no consequences.

Silicone gloves in boiling water

10) When you open the cereal bag and it rips down the side.

We've put 12 men on the moon, but apparently still have no solution for this. Until then, the best I can offer is the solace of commiserating with other miffed cereal fans in this Reddit post (Some NSFW language).

11) Eyes burning when you cut onions.

Some folks are simply more sensitive to onion irritants. The Kitchn has 5 good tips to help your eyes stay dry.

Onions sliced for caramelized onions

12) Accidentally using the wrong measuring device.

13) Hearing that bursting/popping sound while microwaving and opening the door to find sauce sprayed all over the inside.

A microwave splatter cover is about 7 bucks, and doesn't take up much storage space because it can live permanently in the microwave.

IKEA microwave lid

14) When you realize one of the ingredients you knew you had in the pantry is inexplicably not there, right when you need it.

This ultimate pantry checklist should help you keep track of everything you need.

15) Dull knives.

Presto EverSharp Electric Sharpener

Amazon's best selling electric knife sharpener is surprisingly inexpensive.

16) The fact that making dinner means washing dishes afterwards.

Sweden's on the case with self-cleaning dishes.

17) When garlic skins don't come off easily.

Oh, there's a hack for that.

18) Spilling uncooked couscous. Almost as bad as coffee grinds.

Some of us are just messy cooks. Keep a powerful cordless Dustbuster around to fix spills before your s.o. notices.

Cordless dustbuster in action

19) And the most annoying thing of all: When someone comes into the kitchen and tells you you're not doing something "the right way."