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What odd or especially useful kitchen gadget do you love?   Go to last post Go to last unread
#44 Posted : Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:29:15 AM(UTC)

I just got one of those new brussels sprouts corers which I ordered from Amazon. You can core each one, and then the outside leaves are released so can be removed if necessary.

#45 Posted : Sunday, January 7, 2018 7:54:46 PM(UTC)
After cooking constantly (it seemed like it anyway) for the holiday season I have two more gadgets to recommend to other EYB cooks. For many years I have loved my set of Progressive magnetic measuring spoons. They have two ends for each size spoon, one regular and one narrow, and each spoon will stand filled on the counter without tipping over. Even better they nest and stay together beautifully in the drawer, and finally they come with a 1 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. When you are trying to make half a recipe this really comes in handy.

Second, after reading Jenny's post earlier in December about kitchen gadgets, I ordered the Kuhn Rikon Ratcheting Grinder in red for my kitchen. I was so impressed with it and loved it so much right away that I went back to Amazon and ordered three more in other colors for Christmas gifts. It is so much easier to grind pepper with this grinder and refilling it through the little door on the side is genius! I had to order a green one for my husband to keep at his place at the kitchen table to make sure he wouldn't steal my red one from my prep area. Don't let my friends know but they each will be getting one for their birthday this coming year.
#37 Posted : Monday, January 8, 2018 1:01:03 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: ellabee Go to Quoted Post
Isn't "bench" the UK equivalent to US "counter"? Scrapers are handy for moving quantities of chopped ingredients from cutting board to pan or prep bowls, among other uses.

I'd definitely agree with the whatever-we-call-it surface scraper being a really useful tool - I make scones and pastry and it just gets almost everything off the surface so I can go in with a nice clean cloth and finish off.  Saves going to the sink numberous times with a yukky slimy pastry-laden sponge cloth! 

I also love my flexible silicone 'Orca' oven gloves, with removable, washable towelling liners.  They're brilliant. As is my large multi-way adjustable cake-cooking tin (I do a lot of traybakes of all sorts of sizes).  One gadget I would hate not to have is a GoodGrips manual whisk, the whisking beaters detach and go in the dishwasher.  I do have electric versions, but this one is so handy to use and easy to clean!  And I also am lucky to have a Thermomix, which is great fun and a wonderful workhorse, and even my husband is learning to use it.

BTW, in my bit of the UK (south) we'd say 'worktop', 'worksurface' or or sometimes 'counter-top'for a kitchen surface and use 'workbench or bench' if it's the working surface in a garage.

#47 Posted : Thursday, January 11, 2018 9:04:45 PM(UTC)
Still using my 6" and 7" rulers (the 7" ruler was a promo item from a bank).

The smallness of my kitchen, and the way it's laid out, make it very convenient for me to put a recipe card on the fridge door, at eye level. For that, you need a magnetic clip, and some are better shaped than others.

My favorite are the Oxo Good Grips mini magnetic clips. So small and so mighty (I mean that in a figurative sense). They're the shape of a fingernail and slightly larger than one. Their small footprint means that they won't obscure the recipe much.
#48 Posted : Saturday, January 13, 2018 2:40:33 AM(UTC)

We got rid of all plastic years ago and now use German Weck canning jars for storing in our pantry and refrigerator. They are beautiful to serve from, bake in, and can be microwaved. I mark on the side the contents and the date it was made with my kids' crayola window markers - then it washes off in the dishwasher.

#46 Posted : Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:56:11 PM(UTC)

I love this thread. :)

Originally Posted by: hillsboroks Go to Quoted Post
... I ordered the Kuhn Rikon Ratcheting Grinder in red for my kitchen... It is so much easier to grind pepper with this grinder and refilling it through the little door on the side is genius!

I hadn't run across these before, but after hillsboroks' post I went looking.

I now have three in use and one more on the way because I want more! I have some whole spice blends (Baharat and Besar are my current faves) that I love adding to this and that. Baharat went into clam chowder last night, after being ground up in one of these marvels. My original thought was to have the black one for peppercorns, one red for "warm" spice blends, and one green for dry herby stuff. I use a couple of the spice blends enough that I want them ready to go on the fly, hence the need for one more red. I have attached "Label Once" labels to the grinders so I know what's what.

I have a small electric spice grinder but using it has always been a pain, from digging it out to cleanup, and sometimes I abandon using a particular spice, or adding more of it because I don't have time for grinding it in the midst of dinner prep. I also have a mortar and pestle and various hand grinders, but these top all of them for speed and uniform grind.

Thanks hillsboroks!

#13 Posted : Thursday, March 8, 2018 6:01:12 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: TheFloShow Go to Quoted Post
I’d love to have one if those! These agar agar noodles sound fantastic!

Although this one is made from plastic, it is rectangular shaped so it would be easy to cut agar to fit into it for extruding.  Avoid all circular shaped ones because you cannot cut the slices circular. 

I love making and eating tokoroten with vinegar/soy/dashi sauce esp in the hot summer months.

#49 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 7:02:16 PM(UTC)

One that is special purpose that I use quite a lot is the microplane flexizesti. it fits really easily into your palm and captures all the zest of citrus fruits into the little repository. It's so much easier than my standard microplane.

#52 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 8:15:56 PM(UTC)

I like that zester.  Next on my list. 

#53 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 8:41:33 PM(UTC)

I have a different zester that is the same kind of idea (holds the zest) that I like a lot  - the Zest Nest. It has a clear bottom so you can see how much you have zested. I have had mine for a few years and it has stood up well.

#54 Posted : Saturday, March 10, 2018 1:08:47 PM(UTC)

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).

#56 Posted : Saturday, March 10, 2018 8:10:13 PM(UTC)

I use the following tools, A LOT...salad spinner, food mill, chefs knives 

#57 Posted : Saturday, March 10, 2018 9:56:15 PM(UTC)

Anyone interested in the flexi zesti- there is more than a $4 price difference depending on the color you choose!

#58 Posted : Monday, March 12, 2018 8:53:01 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Barb_N Go to Quoted Post
Anyone interested in the flexi zesti- there is more than a $4 price difference depending on the color you choose!

Just ordered this.  Thanks!

#59 Posted : Wednesday, March 14, 2018 4:22:06 PM(UTC)
A Nightowl’s idea of getting extra Kuhn Rikon Ratcheting Grinders for various spice mixes is brilliant! I love the idea of color coding them according to the blend too. Now I am getting excited about all the various spices and salts I could put into these handy gadgets.
#60 Posted : Thursday, March 15, 2018 2:47:47 PM(UTC)

I keep butter I use on the counter because I don't like using cold butter when cooking - too hard to deal with.  All other butters are frozen or refrigerated depending on use.  This works for me because our house stays mostly constant temperature.  When it gets hot ie over 85F, butter I use daily gets refrigerated to prevent from melting. 

However, I don't like the mess the room temperature butter makes in my fiestaware butter holder.  Do you have a great container to keep butter at room temperature and easy to use?

#61 Posted : Friday, March 16, 2018 2:07:22 PM(UTC)
Rinshin, I use a butter bell. It's a two-part porcelain or stoneware container: The cylindrical base is filled partway with cold water, and the "bell" filled with butter fits down into it. Water seals out oxygen, which is just as serious a threat to the butler's quality as high temperatures. You change the water every day or two.

It works more effectively with salted butter unless the kitchen is quite cool. It requires messing directly with butter to fill and refill, but it's worth it to me to have butter ready on the counter.

They're available in different capacities; the one I have holds a stick of butter (half-cup/113 g).
#62 Posted : Friday, March 16, 2018 3:31:07 PM(UTC)

Thank you ellabee.  I am going to check them out. 

#63 Posted : Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:33:05 PM(UTC)
Happy shopping!

One other maintenance task with butter bells etc.: if you store butter in the freezer, you have to make sure to rotate a stick/portion into the fridge in readiness for refilling the bell. Now that I've used a bell for several years, the habit's ingrained, but there were repeated "d'oh!" moments for the first few months.
#64 Posted : Saturday, March 17, 2018 5:03:24 PM(UTC)
I just found a new use for my big turkey roasting pan besides cooking the annual Thanksgiving turkey. My pan has nice big upright handles on the ends so it is easy to take in and out of the oven. Today I was making individual creme brûlées and hit upon the idea of using the roaster pan to set the custard little dishes in rather than the big cake pan I used to use. Once the hot water was added to the pan it was so easy to carefully set the pan in the oven and later to pull it out to check on them. No more jiggling water onto my custards or accidentally having a hot pad dip into the hot water or mar the top of a custard as I tried to maneuver the pan.

Then when It was time to lift the individual custards out of the hot water I had my canning jar lifter at the ready. I discovered that trick a few years ago and would never go back to hot pads or towels when trying to remove small containers from hot water.

I am sure that there are other uses than what was intended for many of my kitchen gadgets and pans. I just have to figure out what they are.
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