12 Uses For Your Muffin Tin You Need To Know About

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As of the end of January 2023, more than 1.3 million people watched and loved a TikTok in which Babs Costello describes an alternative use for disposable muffin tins. According to People, Babs, at 74, is a grandmother turned influencer (i.e. a granfluencer?!) and whiz in the kitchen. She says the only way to do Thanksgiving leftovers is with a muffin tin. Can Tin

12 Uses For Your Muffin Tin You Need To Know About

After everyone has overindulged in turkey, pie, and conversation, Babs sets up a leftovers station, complete with a stack of disposable muffin tins. People can fill each cup in their tray, snap on a plastic lid and take the tin home with them: No spilling in the car. The leftovers are easy to reheat in the oven since they're already in an aluminum tray.

Babs is onto something when it comes to this piece of ovenware. It's too easy to get trapped inside the box with muffin tins and stick to only breakfast goodies and cupcakes. Take Babs' lead and start thinking outside box because muffin tins are good for so much more.

Picture this: There's an industrial-sized pot of spaghetti on the table, and it should be enough for lunch tomorrow too. Everyone heaps pasta on their plates and scarfs it down. By the end of the night, the pot is empty, and everyone has a tummy ache because of overeating. Even worse, now, you'll have to think of something else for lunch.

The Ohio State University Extension says that larger vessels, like that enormous pot, lead to people eating more. If you want to cut back for health reasons or have a strict food budget, reduce portion sizes and use smaller plates. 

Specifically, make meals in a muffin tin, so you'll know each muffin cup is one portion. You could make baked spaghetti with cheese, sauce, and meatballs. Then, when it's dinnertime, just serve one or two spaghetti cups to each person and freeze the rest. That way, there will be enough for lunch the next day.

The muffin tin technique benefits people who live on their own, too. For example, you want lasagna, but even if you make a pan full, you'll only eat one or two slices. Then, you probably won't manage to eat the leftover lasagna in the fridge before it spoils. Making the same recipe in a muffin tin has benefits. You can easily eat one portion and freeze the remaining lasagna cups for later. Additionally, the whole batch will bake more quickly than when it's in a pan.

"I hate eggs! I won't eat it!" screams your three-year-old, pushing his plate away, and then, he continues to cry for the next quarter hour. You didn't even use any eggs to make the chicken casserole, but, "Oh, well!" Some kids have a harder time eating than others: They're sensitive to textures, flavors, smells, and presentation. Sometimes, the little ones just need to try each element separately, so they know what they're eating. That's where muffin tins come in handy.

For some families, dinner becomes fun instead of stressful with a muffin tin picnic, according to Parents Magazine. Just chop up different foods like strawberries, hotdogs, broccoli, and cheese. Put a few pieces into each muffin hole, but leave one empty to use as a cup holder. Spread out a blanket in the yard or on the living room floor.

Muffin tins also make fantastic individual-sized portions for kids whether you're making muffins, baked oatmeal, or mini quiches, says the Washington Post. You can make a large batch and freeze them. When you've got a busy morning, it's easy to pull one out, stick it in the microwave, and eat it in the car on the way to school or daycare.

Muffin tins are fabulous receptacles for baking eggs: The cups hold the eggs in to prevent messes. There are lots of ways to make eggs on the stovetop, and amazingly, most will also work in a muffin tin in your oven.

You don't need hot water to boil eggs. You can bake them instead, according to Chef Marcela Valladolid. Put eggs in a muffin tin and then in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. When you take them out, put them in an ice water bath. You could do the same on any tray, but the muffin tin ensures that the eggs won't roll away while you're moving them around.

You can also poach eggs in a muffin tin, according to Southern Living. It's as simple as putting a teaspoon of water into each muffin cup and pouring an egg in. Stick the muffin tin in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-11 minutes for a runny yolk or 12-13 minutes for a thicker yolk. When the eggs come out, let them sit for two to three minutes while they finish cooking. Any water left on top will roll off when you remove the poached egg.

Muffin tins also provide a great way to bake dishes like chipotle sweet potato egg cups and egg white muffins. Both recipes make ideal, protein-based breakfasts. The individual muffin-sized portions are easy to save in the fridge until you're hungry.

There's so much you can make in a muffin tin, but the most novel and bizarre dish is a bouquet of 12 bacon roses. Getting a dozen muffins makes anyone feel loved, but receiving bacon roses is on a whole other level, according to Rachel Ray Show. The only proof you need is that Camila Alves McConaughey, actor Matthew McConaughey's wife, makes these for her hubby and kids. Anyone who wants to eat the same Valentine's Day breakfast as this celebrity family can now do so.

Just take strips of bacon, roll them up, and pin them together with two toothpicks so that they don't flop flat again. Place each bacon roll in a muffin tin cup and bake. The muffin tin will collect the grease and make it easier to throw out while also holding the bacon upright. Complete the rose bouquet effect by placing two spinach leaves beneath each bacon roll and adding a skewer stem. Place your bouquet in a glass jar or small vase.

At first glance, muffin tins aren't the right shape for making cookie bars or doughnuts, but this bakeware is more versatile than expected.

According to Pilsbury, if you don't have a doughnut mold and want to make this ring-shaped delicacy, you should look no further than your muffin tin. Grab some tin foil. Now, cut a nine-inch by nine-inch square. Fold it in half twice to form a long skinny rectangle. Roll it into a cylinder and put the tube in the middle of a muffin cup. Repeat for each hole and fill with batter to make cute mini doughnuts: No doughnut mould necessary.

Cookie bars and brownies seem like they should always be made in a pan, but there are other options. Try whipping up some S'mores cookie bars and baking them in a muffin tin instead of one big pan. You won't have to cut them; just pop them out of each hole. 

They'll come with extra crust, so if you're one of those people who thinks the best part is the chewy outside, you'll love using your muffin tin this way. You won't even need one of those fancy all-edges brownie pans from Amazon.

It's a classic problem: Filling your taco shell without everything falling out. Most people hold the shell in one hand and spoon their homemade Tex-Mex shredded beef in with the other. It works, but you can only fill one taco at a time this way. Then, if you set it down on a plate while moving on to the next, something's going to dislodge and cause a fiasco. There's an easier way to do this. 

Rachel Ray flips her muffin tin over and uses the underside to hold her taco shells. Six fit on a twelve-cup muffin tin. Making tacos this way feels like riding a bike and shouting, "Look Mom, no hands!"

If you're using soft tortillas, shape them with your muffin tin. Fold the tortilla in half, fit it between two cups on an upside-down muffin tin, and bake. Alternatively, you can fit tortillas into each hole in a right-side-up tin to make taco cups. Whether half circles or cups, take out your taco shells once they've hardened and browned just a bit. Now they're ready to fill.

Finally, imagine you're getting your taco toppings ready: Shredded cheese, black olives, diced tomatoes, chopped green onion, avocado cubes, and sour cream. You love eating tacos but hate having to clean up all the little bowls you used for the fillings. Simplify things with your muffin tin: Put one topping in each cup, and you'll only have to wash one dish.

Sprinkles go in this cup, chocolate chips here, and chopped nuts in a third: If you're planning an ice cream sundae party, you should grab your muffin tin before guests start arriving, according to Chef Justin Chappel. By putting the toppings there, you make it easier to carry them to the table and back to the kitchen again when you're finished. You'll also have fewer dishes to wash.

This concept applies to more than just sundaes, though. You could try cookie toppings or candies for decorating gingerbread houses, caramel for dipping apples along with mini marshmallows and chopped nuts.

If you're not a fan of sweets, you can use your muffin tray for savory condiments too. Imagine whipping up a batch of pigs in blankets for a party and accompanying them with a muffin tin filled with ketchup, relish, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and chopped white onions like caterer Mary Guiliani does.

Nothing is as healing as a bowl of chicken soup when you're under the weather. You probably don't want to head out to the store to buy some or chop up veggies and boil chicken bones if you've got the snivels. Use your muffin tin to always have a perfect portion size of chicken soup ready. 

According to CNet, muffin tins are perfect for freezing soup. Pour soup into each muffin cup, leaving a little space since frozen soup expands. Put the tray in the freezer. After about three hours, you can pop the soupy ice cubes out of the muffin tin, wrap them individually in wax paper, put them in a zip lock bag, and back into the freezer. It works best with a silicon muffin pan.

You can do the same with homemade juice or make big ice cubes for putting in punch bowls. The Ontario Produce Marketing Association suggests putting fruit, such as lemon slices, strawberries, and watermelon chunks, in a muffin tin with water to make fruity ice cubes. Raspberry ice cubes dazzle in a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day.

Finally, muffin tins are ideal when freezing servings of pasta sauce. If you've got a huge harvest of basil but can't eat it all, you could make a big batch of pesto. Freeze it in a muffin tin, and you'll have just the right amount to take out every time you have spaghetti.

It's spring cleaning time. You've pulled a stack of muffin tins out of your cupboard, and you're wondering if they spark joy or not. Maybe just one or two would be enough? Don't put them in the donation pile just yet, though. Organizing genius Kon Mari recommends reusing old containers (like muffin tins) for categorizing small items.

Put a muffin tin in your desk drawer, and you'll have a place to put rubber bands, paper clips, pins, staples, and coins. Fly fishermen could use them for separating their fly-tying materials such as feathers, hooks, and fake eyes.

You can even attach a muffin tin to the underside of a shelf in your workshop with a nut and bolt, according to The Family Handyman. Then, fill each cup with nails, screws, and other odds and ends. You can rotate the organizer out to grab what you need and then rotate it back. When it has been put away, you won't even notice it's there.

Doing arts and crafts often causes a huge mess: Imagine tipped-over bottles of paint and beads rolling all over the floor. Using a muffin tin will make cleanup slightly less painful.

Painters could put their acrylics in each cup. That way, colors won't mix by accident, and more importantly, they won't spill easily. If you use a mini-muffin tin, you'll have 24 spaces for your colors. Some craft supply stores sell plastic muffin tin palettes, like this one on Amazon, but using the real thing is just as effective.

People who sew may like sorting their buttons with a muffin tin. You might divide beads by color or shape into each cup. Pompoms and googly eyes can go into muffin tin holes as well.

Finally, if you have a lot of old crayons lying around, you can make rainbow crayons by mixing bits and pieces of different colored crayons in each muffin cup. Then, put the tray in the oven for 20 minutes at 230 degrees Fahrenheit (as per Today's Parent). The result will be twelve disc-shaped, rainbow-colored crayons.

Kids have the most fun with toys that aren't toys at all: Sticks, cardboard boxes, and toilet paper rolls. Egg cartons and old kitchenware provide hours of fun. Muffin tins do too. Here are some ideas to get started.

If you need to count down to the holidays or birthdays, a muffin tin can help. BBC Good Food recommends converting mini-muffin tins into advent calendars. There are 24 holes in the tray, the number of days until Christmas in December. Put a treat (stickers, figurines, or chocolates) into each hole. Tape a numbered piece of paper on top. Kids will love ripping them and finding the treats within. It's a great way to visualize how many days are left and reduce anxiety.

According to Teacher Starter, muffin tins are useful for teaching letters and numbers. Write single letters on liners and put one in each hole. Toss a ping pong ball and see which letter it lands on. Your kid could say the letter, the sound it makes, or a word that starts with it. Alternatively, you could use a muffin tin to teach division. Give your child twelve counters and ask him or her to dispense them evenly among three cups.

Finally, muffin tins are tools for improving fine motor skills, according to Child Care Land. Ask your little one to sort beads or buttons by color into muffin cups. Grabbing small objects and placing them carefully is a fundamental part of the development process. 

People with green thumbs are notorious for sticking plants just about anywhere they can. If there's an old muffin tin around, soon, there'll be plants in it. The cups provide a perfect space for seedlings, succulents, or a mini herb garden. Before starting, though, drill a hole in the bottom of each cup so that your plants don't drown.

If you've planted seedlings in a muffin tin, just scoop them out with a spoon when it's time to put them in your vegetable garden. For succulents, the muffin tin will become their permanent home. It's the perfect decoration for a window sill or a sweet gift for a friend. 

12 Uses For Your Muffin Tin You Need To Know About

Lockable Tin Box Finally, Dukes and Duchesses recommends using a muffin tin to plant herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, and marjoram. Think of it. You're cooking and need a little oregano, you reach over to the muffin tin on a shelf beneath your window, pick off a bit, and throw it in your sauce. That's living your best life.