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What odd or especially useful kitchen gadget do you love?   Go to last post Go to last unread
#65 Posted : Saturday, March 17, 2018 8:38:06 PM(UTC)
The jar lifter tip is brilliant! Thanks so much. I already use the roaster for baking with a water bath, not having any cake pans and eager to make more use of a near-unitasker. But my extraction technique for ramekins involves tongs and a cooking spatula; the jar lifter sounds both safer and speedier.
#66 Posted : Sunday, March 18, 2018 1:11:55 PM(UTC)

Fine Cooking had a tip for slip-proof tongs:  wind a wide rubber band around the gripping end of each of the two tong ends (twice around or so, until tight).  This creates a non-slip holder which functions way more "confidently" than the plain metal tong ends. 

#67 Posted : Sunday, March 18, 2018 9:22:00 PM(UTC)
Another great tip! The wide, small-diameter blue rubber bands that broccoli is sometimes packaged work well as grip enhancers on stainless tongs.
#68 Posted : Monday, December 17, 2018 11:34:19 PM(UTC)

My luck in finding pepper grinders has not been the best, but after two grinders that didn't work at all, I found a grinder that does its job - it grinds peppercorns onto food - and is such a delight to use that I'm tempted to overpepper my food. I have three of them - one for black pepper, one for white, and one for some pepper I might get in the future. I got them at Home Basics - they don't seem available on Amazon. They look like what you'll find if you search this on Amazon:


Chef'n Mini Magnetic PepperBall and SaltBall Set (Black)


but they're not as flimsy as the grinder that Amazon sells, the magnet is stronger, and the "rabbit ears" come in either red or black. They live on the side of my refrigerator.


If I were to review the grinder I have, I would give it four stars - the subtraction of a star is because I've never figured out how to adjust the coarseness.

#69 Posted : Sunday, December 30, 2018 3:36:00 PM(UTC)

I have a few tools I really love that I don't see in many friends' kitchens:  offset spatulas in a couple sizes, pastry blender, stainless steel magic whisk, 


Someone else I know loves her two handled mezzaluna, but I am indifferent to mine.

#70 Posted : Monday, December 31, 2018 12:56:21 PM(UTC)
Speaking of mezzalunas, I have a chopping bowl with a one-handed mezzaluna-like chopping tool; I inherited it from my mother. Though it does only one thing AFAIK, I find it invaluable for that one thing. I don't know what I'd replace it with if I lost it.

I use it for breaking up canned tuna in making a tuna salad.
#71 Posted : Wednesday, January 9, 2019 5:11:34 AM(UTC)

Because I live alone, I often want to minimize the amount of cleanup - something the campfire foil packet approach (or en papillote) can do. So I love my Lekue silicone steamer which allows me to apply the same principle but a bit upscale - fish, wine, vegies is a favorite. And occasionally I can even resort to a microwave with quite decent results.

#55 Posted : Wednesday, May 1, 2019 9:27:45 AM(UTC)

Ed;15443 wrote:
Speaking of Kuhn Rikon, I love their "corn zipper" to easily remove whole kernels from the cob.  Use this instead of a knife, with the mess and uneven cuts that would result.  I use the original stainless steel design, which gets more uniform kernels then their new plastic handle one (even though it takes a few more strokes).


I second you, ed. I love it for stripping kernels from corn. (It's the one with the cute smiley face in front of the powerful cutting part.) If I can't find my corn tool, I think, "Oh shucks, I'm going to have to use a knife."

#73 Posted : Friday, May 3, 2019 3:19:17 PM(UTC)

I don't think anyone has mentioned this but I really love my  digital temperature probe for checking that I have achieved a 'kill step' when making custards with raw egg, or for checking temperature of roast poultry, or more precisely testing the internal temperature of reheated food.  Was introduced to them on an icecream making course and can't live without mine now!


Also, if you are chopping onions, try holding a piece of bread in your mouth while you are doing it.  Somehow this stops your eyes watering - it seems to divert the moisture into your mouth!

#18 Posted : Monday, May 6, 2019 1:05:53 PM(UTC)
PennyG;7430 wrote:
@hillsboroks, I know this post is a year old but thought I would chime in regarding tears when chopping onions. My eyes used to tear up something fierce when chopping even the smallest shallot, much less 3-4 onions for a larger dish. I had tried everything, including goggles, which worked but is kind of a pain. Anyhoooo a few years ago I found the BEST remedy - works every time (for me). I bought one of those small desk-sized fans and place it where it blows across my cutting board when chopping onions. Works like a charm - has never not worked for me. Now, anytime I chop even a single small onion, I do not do it without that fan! I did find though that the little fans are a seasonal item, generally available at Target and the like only during summer months. Maybe worth a shot for you!


This comment is two years old but I just saw and tested it today. That's too bad because I could have saved a lot of tears! It worked like a charm. It's also the only good use I have found for my tiiiiny USB fan. Thanks for the tip!
#74 Posted : Monday, May 6, 2019 2:32:47 PM(UTC)

Now I have a reason for buying a tiny USB fan.

#75 Posted : Tuesday, May 7, 2019 12:23:44 PM(UTC)

Yildiz100 - I bought a small fan after PennyG's post a couple of years ago and it has been one of the best things I have ever bought for the kitchen. It comes out every time I chop or slice onions and I never have tears any more. You just have to be aware of where it is blowing - my daughter pointed out I was blowing the fumes straight towards her.

#76 Posted : Friday, May 10, 2019 2:52:48 PM(UTC)
I just joined EYB, and I'm looking through some of these posts, which I'm enjoying. Re this thread, it seems like nobody has mentioned the pineapple corer/slicer/ corkscrew thing, whatever it's called. I usually don't like gadgets that are single-use, and I know you can cut up a pineapple just fine with a knife, but I almost never do. It just seems like more trouble than it's worth. But I seriously eat more pineapple now, since I got this gadget! It does leave a lot behind, but that's not wasted in our house, because we boil the rind/extra bits down into a drink. Great gadget, IMO.
#77 Posted : Saturday, May 11, 2019 9:06:28 PM(UTC)
It's easy to despise single-purpose gadgets until one comes along that exactly fits your purpose. I can think of my tuna-chopping set, my tuna-can drainer, my corn stripper, my strawberry hullers, the small ice-cream scoop that I use for mini-muffins, my mushroom slicer (it has blades instead of wires), and others that I'll remember soon enough.

I also like the tall, slender pot that's marketed as an asparagus cooker but which I use to boil corn on the cob.
#78 Posted : Sunday, May 12, 2019 8:29:48 AM(UTC)
bittrette;17510 wrote:
It's easy to despise single-purpose gadgets until one comes along that exactly fits your purpose. I can think of my tuna-chopping set, my tuna-can drainer, my corn stripper, my strawberry hullers, the small ice-cream scoop that I use for mini-muffins, my mushroom slicer (it has blades instead of wires), and others that I'll remember soon enough.

I also like the tall, slender pot that's marketed as an asparagus cooker but which I use to boil corn on the cob.


Ah yes, the “fifth burner pot”. I do use it mostly for asparagus but first read about it on Food in Jars for hot water bath canning small batch preserves (I think you can fit 3 of the tiny jars or one 1 pint at a time). I will have to keep in mind for corn though I’m usually boiling several ears even in our household of two. My FAVORITE single use, some would argue dual-use, tool is my cherry pitter. I don’t think it works well for olives.
This thread should have affiliate links! I have purchased a few of the items mentioned including the onion goggles (for my hubby though they came in handy when our office dressed up as Minions on Halloween) and the citrus zester with the handle/catchment area- saved more than a few skinned knuckles.
#79 Posted : Sunday, May 12, 2019 10:54:53 AM(UTC)

Here are EYB affiliate links for some of these items. You may also go the home page and click - the Amazon link so that EYB can benefit. Amazon general affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2YnAxmK


 


Jar lifter: https://amzn.to/2VWVOWY


Googles:  https://amzn.to/2VmlNT3


Mezzaluna: https://amzn.to/2YnA4ku


4th burner pot: https://amzn.to/2YmhysH


Corn zipper: https://amzn.to/2Heap8e


Small desk fan: https://amzn.to/2HfzUWM


Strawberry huller: https://amzn.to/2He1mUK


Tuna drainer:https://amzn.to/2Jwo1xb


Oxo medium cookie scoop: https://amzn.to/2JBRWDV


 


If you would like any affiliate links - please email jenny@eatyourbooks.com (or again go to the home page) - your support means that we can index more books etc.

#80 Posted : Sunday, May 12, 2019 2:26:22 PM(UTC)
I:d love to be able to post links - maybe I can? I couldn:t with Android Marshmallow but it may work in Pie. I've had this new Galaxy S10 for less than a week and I'm still learning to use it.

About the chopping kit - the chopping bowl with the one-hand mezzaluna - I don't know. I should find a way to rescue it in case of fire, because I haven't found a replacement in Amazon or any other store.
#81 Posted : Sunday, May 12, 2019 2:40:39 PM(UTC)
Alas, Jenny, those URLs don't show up as links. I cancopy them into the search box, but I don't know if I can.

You linked to the wrong size scoop. To make mini-muffins, I use the small scoop.

But thanks for the links.
#82 Posted : Wednesday, January 22, 2020 12:26:29 PM(UTC)

A pot drainer - a flat thing with a handle at one end and a lot of small holes in its "working" part. I use it to drain off the liquid from oatmeal that I've cooked in a saucepan.


I have two, and the bigger one is Progresso blue.


It's best to have the oatmeal perfectly cooked and all the water absorbed, but if I miscalculate, I'd rather have some unabsorbed liquid that I can drain off, rather than burnt oatmeal that sticks to the pot.

#83 Posted : Friday, March 27, 2020 6:16:52 PM(UTC)

hillsboroks;5514 wrote:


As I was quickly cleaning and packing some blueberries for the freezer this morning before work I realized I would not have attempted to do it without my handy measuring colander from Chef's Planet that I picked up at a discount store several years ago.  It looks like a 3-cup plastic measuring cup with holes on the sides and allows me to measure, clean and drain berries in one step.  I really love it for raspberries and other tender berries.


My other indispensable tool is the pair of onion goggles my children bought me for Christmas many years ago.  I cannot chop onions without profuse tears flowing and as a result have cut myself numerous times.  I remember an article years ago in Cooks Illustrated talking about all the methods they tried to prevent or reduce tears from chopping onions.  I think I tried them all - the burning candle next to the cutting board, trying to chop or cut under water (what a mess!) and whatever else they suggested as useful.  But I still remember their comment about the best technique was to wear swim goggles and how the only drawback is that they make you look like a kitchen terrorist!  Well, a few years later someone else must have read the same article and came out with the onion goggles.  They look like a combination of sunglasses and swimgoggles and they absolutely make you look like a kitchen terrorist or a googly-eyed alien but boy do they work!  Luckily I can still see well enough without my regular glasses to cut onions wearing them with no problem.  I cannot imagine doing onions or shallots without wearing them anymore and have purchased many pairs as gifts for friends and relatives.


I took a photo of these two gadgets this morning but cannot get it to post here so you will have use your imagination as to what these things look like.  What odd little gadgets have other EYB cooks found that the rest of us need to check out?



Sadly, onion goggles have become au courant- I just ordered 2 more pairs so we could safely grocery shop during Covid-19. Not having the luxury of WFH I 'suit up' for work on the front lines every day. Looking forward to food shopping on my weekend off. Next week, when numbers climb, I may even start wearing them to the hospital.

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