17 Essential, Crazily Simple Breakfast Hacks

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

We can’t all have a personal butler, particularly since AskJeeves.com disappeared, and that makes mornings hard because waking up without bacon in bed is damn near impossible. But with these 17 breakfast hacks, like three-minute bacon and single-serve microwave pancakes, you can at least make your mornings just a little bit more convenient.

Bacon Hack -- Thrillist Recipes
Laura Murray/Thrillist

Cook bacon in the oven with no cleanup

The oven method is best when making more than a few strips of bacon. Cleaning the wire rack afterward is a pain in the ass though. A makeshift foil rack leaves you with nothing to scrub after breakfast. Fold a sheet of aluminum foil into an accordion. Spread bacon strips over it and bake at 400℉ until crisp.

Cook bacon in the microwave for quick eating

Line a plate with paper towels. Place bacon in an even layer on the towels without overlapping. Place another layer of paper towels on top. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Bacon shrinkage breakfast hack
Laura Murray/Thrillist

Reduce bacon shrinkage

Sometimes cold water reduces shrinkage. Shock bacon in ice-cold water to keep it big during the cooking process. Pat it dry before putting it in the pan, duh.

Waffle frozen hash browns

Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat it to the highest setting. Add thawed frozen hash browns and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Scramble eggs in a jar in the microwave in less than 2 minutes

Whisk 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon milk, salt, and pepper in a Mason jar. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave for 30 seconds more.

For a crowd, poach eggs in the oven

Make a dozen poached eggs at once with a muffin tin. Preheat oven to 350℉. Pour 1 tablespoon of water in each cup of a muffin pan and gently crack 1 egg into each cup. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.

Grate butter breakfast hack
Laura Murray/Thrillist

Grate butter for easy spreading

Trying to spread cold butter on hot pancakes (or French toast or waffles) is a disaster. Grate the butter instead for a quick melt.

Make single-serve pancakes in the microwave

For a single-size serving, grab a mug or ramekin, and use a fork to whisk 1/4 cup Bisquick, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil. Microwave for one minute.

DIY pancake syrup

Simmer for 3 minutes over medium-high heat: 1 cup sugar, ⅔ cup water, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Yields 1 cup.

Strain cereal breakfast hack
Laura Murray/Thrillist

Get rid of extra cereal dust

Keep annoying crumbs out of that last bowl of cereal by straining it first.

Make yogurt popsicles (without popsicle molds)

Slice small slits in the tops, insert popsicles sticks. Freeze overnight. Remove from yogurt cup and dip frozen popsicles in your favorite cereal.

DIY coffee creamer substitute

No cream? No problem. Just blend your cup of joe with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter. You'll have frothy, creamy coffee in 3 seconds flat.

Coffee ice cubes prevent watery iced coffee

Freeze coffee into ice cubes to avoid a watered-down cold brew.

Fresh eggs breakfast hack
Laura Murray/Thrillist

Determine if your eggs are fresh

Float eggs in water to determine freshness. Place an egg in a cup of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, it’s not. If it stands on one end, it’s best to use soon.

DIY breakfast sausage

Sausage patties are just ground pork plus seasonings. To make your own in minutes, mix 1 pound of ground pork with 1 teaspoon each of poultry seasoning and kosher salt, then form into patties and pan-fry.

Make donuts at home with Pillsbury biscuit dough

Cut holes out of Pillsbury biscuit dough and fry at 350℉ until brown. Dip in sweetened condensed milk, or make a quick glaze.

DIY pancake batter dispenser

Transfer pancake mix into an empty (and clean) ketchup bottle. Each squeeze will extract just the right amount of batter for one pancake.

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