We Put 10 Pinterest Food Tricks To The Test So You Don't Have To

You've been pinning your favorite food hacks, but will they actually work?

June 13, 2016
egg yolk hack
1/11 caroline praderio

The only thing better than browsing Pinterest is browsing Pinterest Fails, documents of recipes and crafts and life hacks gone so horribly wrong you can't help but laugh. But surely not all Pinterest tips end in failure, right? I decided to find out for myself. Here's the full report of everything that happened when I tried 10 popular Pinterest cooking hacks.


This article was originally published by our partners at Prevention.

eggless meringue
2/11 caroline praderio

1. The Claim
You can make eggless vegan meringue with the liquid from canned chickpeas.


The Trial
I followed a recipe I found on Slate, beating ¾ cup of chickpea liquid (drained from 2 cans) with some sugar and vanilla. The chickpea liquid whipped up beautifully, but it took about 20 minutes on high speed to get there. This is a cinch if you have a stand mixer and an excellent arm workout if you have a handheld, like me. I portioned spoonfuls of the mixture onto foil-lined baking sheets and let them bake. The resulting meringues had an odd, scaly look on the outside, but on the inside? Light, crisp, airy, and not even a hint of beany flavor. You'd never be able to tell they weren't made from egg whites.


The Verdict
This hack is the real deal. Perfect for vegans, people who hate separating eggs, and anyone who wants to make a delicious dessert out of something you usually toss down the drain.


Related: 7 Foods That Aren't Exactly Food

slicing tomatoes
3/11 caroline praderio

2. The Claim
You can easily slice many small tomatoes at the same time by using two plates.


The Trial
If you're anything like me, you hate the drudgery of slicing tiny tomatoes for a salad, and if you're a lot like me, you have also sliced off several fingertips while doing so. Let's just say I desperately wanted this hack to work. I took a handful of grape tomatoes and arranged them on the flat underside of a dinner plate. Then I laid an identical plate on top and pressed down gently to hold the little fruits in place. Finally, using my sharpest serrated knife, I slowly sawed back and forth through the pinned-down tomatoes until the blade emerged on the other side. And when I pulled the upper plate away, I shed a tear of joy because each and every one of them was perfectly halved.


The Verdict
You'll need a sharp, preferably serrated, knife, but this trick should work. You're left with two plates to wash instead of one cutting board, but it's totally worth the time you save.

strawberry hack
4/11 caroline praderio

3. The Claim
You can pop off the stem of a strawberry using a drinking straw.


The Trial
I followed the photos I’d seen on Pinterest, pushing a plastic straw from the pointy end of the berry all the way through the stem. But the leafy top did not come off in one piece. Instead, I got a sad-looking mangled mess. It took three tries to remove the entirety of the stem.


The Verdict
A certified Pinterest fail. This hack might work better with smaller berries because mine were rather large, but this isn't easier or faster than removing strawberry stems with a knife.


Related: 10 Stuffed Avocado Recipes You're About To Start Craving

peeling a mango
5/11 caroline praderio

4. The Claim
You can peel a mango quickly and easily using a drinking glass.


The Trial
Mangoes are so difficult to peel and cut that it's almost worth it to buy those hideously overpriced, presliced spears at the grocery store. Could there be a better way? I sliced a mango in half, tossed the pit, and wedged the edge of a 16-ounce beer glass between the flesh and the skin. With some gentle downward pressure, the two came right apart.


The Verdict
Juicy and messy but highly effective.

egg yolk hack
6/11 caroline praderio

5. The Claim
You can separate egg yolks from whites using a water bottle—and it's totally mess-free.


The Trial
I cracked an egg into a bowl and rinsed out a sturdy plastic water bottle from the recycling bin. The next part was almost like magic. As soon as I touched the lip of the bottle to the yolk, the soft golden orb slipped right up and away from the white, as if the bottle had become a vacuum cleaner. What was even more amazing was that when I repeated the process roughly a dozen more times, out of sheer delight, and the yolk never broke.


The Verdict
This is a hack for the ages. It's easy and mess-free. Bonus: you can probably convince a kid that it's magic and that you are a wizard.

cold beer hack
7/11 caroline praderio

6. The Claim
Wrap a beer bottle in a wet paper towel and put it in the freezer. It will be ice cold in 15 minutes.


The Trial
I took a room-temp bottle of beer, wrapped it up, and put in the back corner of the freezer, where it's coldest. I checked the bottle after 15, 20, 25, and 30 minutes—still not ice cold, as I'd been promised. It took a full 35 minutes to do the trick.


The Verdict
I'll call this a half-fail. It's slightly faster than chilling an unwrapped beer bottle, but you won't have a cold one ready in 15.


Related: Fight Colon Cancer, Diabetes, And High Cholesterol With…Leftover Pasta?

pancake art
8/11 caroline praderio

7. The Claim
Use an empty ketchup bottle as a batter dispenser for pancake art.


The Trial
I assembled my favorite pancake recipe and loaded the batter into an empty squeezable mayo bottle. Then came the hard part, the art. You've probably seen videos online of extremely talented people using this method to create pancake Beatles and pancake Darth Vader. I am not one of those people. So I kept it simple with a smiley. I laid down the facial features first, cooked them until golden brown, then squeezed more batter into the pan to form a complete circle around those features. A few minutes and a quick flip later, the 'cake was done. It was cute, I suppose, in that so-ugly-it's-cute kind of way.


The Verdict
This hack works, but I'd recommend a bottle with a small opening to allow for more detail. Another essential is artistic talent, or, at the very least, an audience who won't make fun of your misshapen pancake faces.

hardboiled egg
9/11 caroline praderio

8. The Claim
Shake a raw egg vigorously before you boil it. You’ll get a scrambled hard-boiled egg that’s uniformly golden throughout.


The Trial
For this hack, I followed instructions provided by a Youtube video. Put an egg into the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt, tie off the sleeve on either side of the egg, and twist and pull the sleeve several times so that the egg spins violently, apparently scrambling inside the shell. I boiled the egg for 10 minutes, let it cool, and peeled off the shell, eagerly awaiting that smooth, yellowy interior, but alas, it looked like every other hard-boiled egg I've ever made.


The Verdict
A miserable Pinterest fail. Still, try it out it if you're curious. The worst case is that you're left with a tasty breakfast or salad topper.

chopped onion
10/11 caroline praderio

9. The Claim
If you chill an onion in the fridge or freezer before chopping, you won't tear up.


The Trial
Onions don't just make me cry, they make me sob, like, makeup-running-down-my-face, contacts-falling-out, why-the-hell-am-I-chopping-onions-again kind of sobs. That's why this hack excited me, minimal effort for maximum, no-tear results. I put half an onion in a plastic container in the fridge overnight and diced it in the morning. I’m thrilled to say I didn’t shed a single tear. Apparently, chilling keeps propanethiol S-oxide, the eye-irritating chemical in onions, from evaporating into the air.


The Verdict
I give this hack two thumbs up because I’m going to save so much money on makeup!


Related: This Is Why You're Still Hungry After You Eat

toaster cheese
11/11 caroline praderio

10. The Claim
You can make faster, easier grilled cheese in your toaster.


The Trial
I placed some cheddar on a slice of whole wheat, tipped my toaster on its side, and gently pushed the lever down. A few minutes later, the cheesy bread popped right out onto the counter, like something being spit out of a mouth. Was the cheese melted? Yes. Was the bread toasted? Mostly, though it was overdone at the bottom and underdone at the top. But was this as good as a real grilled cheese made in a buttered skillet? Not by a long shot.


The Verdict
Neither fail nor win. A word of caution, though, be sure to empty your toaster of all crumbs before you start. Otherwise, when you tip it on its side, the crumbs will fall onto the heating element and slowly burn. Take it from someone who set off every smoke alarm in her apartment.