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What odd or especially useful kitchen gadget do you love?   Go to last post Go to last unread
#103 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3:08:22 PM(UTC)

bittrette - I think you may be using a different Microplane than we are.  We are talking about the rasp (long thin) that has slightly curved edges. So you hold the citrus fruit in your left (if you are right-handed) and the zester blades down in your right. Then pass the rasp over the fruit, collecting the zest in the top side of the rasp. If you get too much zest to hold in the edges then turn over the rasp over a bowl and tap to knock it out.

This is the grater on Amazon.

#104 Posted : Friday, June 5, 2020 2:11:02 PM(UTC)

Ah, I thought you were talking about the Flexizesti.

ETA: During this lockdown I discovered a second use for one of my gadgets. I made caramelized (not sautéed) onions for the first time, and it won't be the last time I make them. To get them from the pot to the plate, a spaghetti fork is just the thing. I suppose you can use spaghetti tongs if that's what you use for spaghetti.

As for the tuna can drainer, it's not as important anymore. As tuna canners put less fish and more liquid in each can, you can remove the excess liquid just by pressing the lid down, after you've removed it with a can opener.

#105 Posted : Sunday, September 20, 2020 10:51:20 AM(UTC)

My milk frother! I use it for small batch whipped cream- that definitely increases our consumption of this treat.

#106 Posted : Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:34:22 AM(UTC)

My choice is a simple little set of individual silicone muffin cups (1/3 cup volume) which I have NEVER baked muffins!  However, I use them to make individual egg bakes that I then pop into a Tupperware container in the fridge for quick winter breakfasts. They also make a great mold for freezing small portions of caramelized onions, soffritto, pesto etc and I really like having frozen 1\3 cup portions of homemade stocks for quick additions of extra liquid to soups, stews etc.  Food pops out effortlessly (far easier than ice cube trays in my experience) and they are much quicker to clean than my traditional muffin pan.  I also find it easy to slice chunks off of these little frozen "hockey pucks" with a sharp knife as needed.  My freezer is FULL of prepped ingredients where these little guys lent a hand.

#51 Posted : Saturday, March 20, 2021 1:52:14 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Barb_N Go to Quoted Post
I have loved my flexizesti for citrus. I took a calculated risk and used it to grate garlic; alas I can't rid it of the smell. Now I will own two- one dedicated to citrus, one to garlic. I keep my knuckles and fingernails intact with the flexizesti much more easily than the Microplane.

Anther word of caution about using the flexi-zesti for garlic. After doing so a handful of times, I can't rid it of the garlic smell. Fortunately I have a separate one for citrus, but I can't store the garlic scented one in the drawer, even after soaking in dish soap and running it through the dishwasher. This is not a problem with the original microplane grater. The plastic must absorb the odor.

#108 Posted : Saturday, March 27, 2021 3:43:33 PM(UTC)

If you are willing to try a science experiment, there might be a way to remove the odor.

There is a trick using baking soda, salt, aluminum foil and boiling water for removing tarnish from silver. It works because the the tarnish is a sulphur compound. But the sulphur has a greater affinity for the aluminum than it does for the silver alloy.

The odor of garlic is a sulphur compound as well. It's worth a try to see if it would work with the silicone. It might not. I've seen things indicating that the silver needs to be in contact with the aluminum foil, suggesting there might be an electirical/ionic component to the effect. But all the parts are cheap and in the house, so might as well try.

#109 Posted : Saturday, March 27, 2021 11:41:52 PM(UTC)

What odd or especially useful kitchen gadget do you love?
I have this silicone garlic peeled tube I got as a bonus when I ordered a really good garlic press. It's wonderful in quickly getting the garlic cloves cleaned and ready to press!

I had, but lost in a move, a silicone flat gripper that made quick work of getting tight lids off jars. Been trying to find another one like it but can't seem to locate anything similar. I got,one with the teeth-grip and a handle that works ok, but it isn't as simple or as easy to use as that old silicone grip.

#110 Posted : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 7:08:23 AM(UTC)
After having the benefit of reading other’s responses, I agree a bench scraper (or in my case a dough scraper) is an underrated device. Yes, I too use it to cut scones but before that, I use it to carry diced citrus pieces up from the cutting board to the bowl, mix the scone dough and eventually cut wedges after forming a rustic circle. If you aren’t familiar with mixing with a dough scraper, hold the straight edge against the palm of your hand and bend it to form a curve. That curve will scrape the side of your bowl and mix at the same time eliminating the need for a spoon, spatula or knife.

Another helpful tool is a flat whisk. I especially like them to deglaze a pan when making a pan sauce. Yes a rounds are irreplaceable but a flat one will do the job more efficiently.

One useful gadget I didn’t see mentioned is a citrus peeler and it was free from a Tupperware party! It’s like a crochet hook but the hook is sharp and slices into the peel making it easy to form nice even slices for candying or marmalades.

My most favorite of kitchen helpers is silicone infused parchment paper. It goes from freezer to oven without burning, is reusable and helps with clean up, now what’s more versatile than that?

#111 Posted : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 5:59:14 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: coupon Go to Quoted Post
One useful gadget I didn’t see mentioned is a citrus peeler and it was free from a Tupperware party! It’s like a crochet hook but the hook is sharp and slices into the peel making it easy to form nice even slices for candying or marmalades. 

Oh yes! those things are great! I have several citrus trees in my yard so mine can get quite a workout in season. I've tried a few other peeling gadgets over the years, but nothing works quite as well as that Tupperware freebie. 

#112 Posted : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 2:23:57 PM(UTC)

Most of my favorites have been listed.  I love my cherry pitter the couple of times a year I use it.  The first time I made cherry jam without owning a pitter I ended up throwing away the clothes I was wearing as the cherry stains never did come out.  A jar lifter has been mentioned, but I can't live without my lid lifter when canning.,  It is just a small plastic stick with a magnet on the end that you use to fish the lids out of the hot water.

#113 Posted : Thursday, May 13, 2021 2:05:37 PM(UTC)

Not a gadget per se, but I finally caved and bought the ceramic non-stick Always Pan from Our Place. The first one I bought with a 20% blog discount, but gave it away at Christmas to make the gift count come out even (yes, we still do that; they are 27 & 24). I just received my own and I have used it every night since. My cast iron skillet is not really non-stick, this pan is magical. It does not really replace 8 pieces of cookware but it has earned a place on my stovetop.

#114 Posted : Sunday, August 8, 2021 5:14:47 AM(UTC)

If the question is about kitchen gadgets, nothing comes to mind except kitchen scales. There are different types of scales. Some can switch between pounds and kilograms. Some connect to the phone via Bluetooth. And there are generally smart kitchen scales that can calculate the calorie content based on its weight on a plate. I bought my kitchen scales two years ago on Amazon . Batteries need to be changed very rarely. I use kitchen scales when I need to calculate the amount of flour, coffee, and cereals.

#115 Posted : Sunday, August 22, 2021 12:00:07 PM(UTC)

Thanks to watching an episode of "America's Test Kitchen" a month ago I found my new favorite gadget for my kitchen.  It is called a Frywall and is a silicone skirt that fits into your frying pans to help keep splatters in the pan.  Since I replaced my old electric stovetop with a new glass flattop stove last year I've have been trying very hard to keep the splatters down to reduce my cleaning time and this simple gadget really does the trick.  I started with the one for a 12" pan and then ordered the 10" size.  The 12" is 7 inches high and the 10" is 6 inches high.  You just open them and fit them into the pan and they usually rest above the bottom and on the side of the pan.  They don't prevent you from using your frying pan any differently.  My only problem is that my new heavy non-stick pan is from Belgium and it is 11" so I am having problems with that one but all my old 12" and 10" pans work great.  After using the Frywall I put it in the top rack of the dishwasher over the glasses to get it clean.  I have hand washed them a couple of times too with no problem.  To store just roll them back up and put them in the plastic sleeve they come in. They come in different colors so I ordered a lime green 12" and an orange 10" so they are easy to tell apart.

#117 Posted : Wednesday, August 25, 2021 2:37:34 PM(UTC)

My favorite gadget is a grapefruit spoon. It makes peeling ginger, cleaning chiles/peppers, seeding tomatoes so easy

#119 Posted : Wednesday, August 25, 2021 3:05:47 PM(UTC)

I suppose it also cleans the fibrous glop out of a winter squash.

#118 Posted : Friday, August 27, 2021 7:32:27 AM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: Amypie Go to Quoted Post
My favorite gadget is a grapefruit spoon. It makes peeling ginger, cleaning chiles/peppers, seeding tomatoes so easy

I have fond memories of visits in my grandmother's kitchen eating grapefruit broiled with brown sugar, using her special grapefruit spoon! I wonder who inherited?

#120 Posted : Sunday, October 10, 2021 3:10:26 PM(UTC)

I love (and collect) 1960's pyrex double boilers.

Why ever discontinue such an ingenious invention? You can monitor the depth of the water in the bottom, and whether it is boiling or simmering. You can see into the insert pot to see if your concoction is uniformly melted or blended. The whole thing goes in the dishwasher. I buy them in antique malls now, but they were a great product, form and function brilliantly suited.

#116 Posted : Monday, October 11, 2021 10:21:29 PM(UTC)

Originally Posted by: hillsboroks Go to Quoted Post
Thanks to watching an episode of "America's Test Kitchen" a month ago I found my new favorite gadget for my kitchen. It is called a Frywall...

I have to 2nd the love for the Frywall. I saw the episode of ATK too, and then Hillsboroks’ post made me take the leap and try them. I too got the 10” and 12”. In addition to what Hillsboroks has said, I’ll add a few things. The Frywall makes it easy to deal with large quantities of ingredients you know are going to cook down, like sweating spinach or sautéing mushrooms (this was in the ATK episode). You also gain a lot of the functionality of a wok without the drawbacks of using one on a conventional range. I’d also like to recommend Souper Cubes. They are silicone “ice cube” molds for freezing food portions. They come in 2 cup, 1 cup, 1/2 cup and 2 tbs (1/8th cup) sizes. Freeze in these, then transfer to freezer bags, and you won’t believe how much you can store in your freezer. It works great for stocks, sauces, saucy dishes, etc. The half cup are roughly butter stick like, and I use those for storing ghee and flavored butters. I half fill the 2 tbs molds with things like grated ginger. The molds are really well designed. The individual wells are separated from each other, making freezing faster and the contents easy to unmold. The tray has a thick, steel core rim and a tight fitting lid, making them rigid and easy to transfer to the freezer when full of liquid.

#121 Posted : Friday, October 15, 2021 3:18:30 PM(UTC)

I second Fyretigger's recommendation of Souper Cubes. We have two of the one-cup version and two of the two-cup version, and use them all the time. In addition to freezing stock or tomato sauce, we use it to freeze portions of cooked beans or stews. I love that they can go in the dishwasher! They are pricy but worth it.

One other tool I love and use at least daily is the Oxo mini (1/4-c.) angled measuring cup. It's nice to have a liquid measuring cup for 1/2-to-4 tablespoon amounts, rather than awkwardly trying to measure liquids in a measuring spoon. We have 2 in the house and 1 in our camper, and they all get used heavily. And, I must add, they are handy for cocktails! I never use jigger measures anymore. 

#122 Posted : Saturday, November 6, 2021 10:58:32 AM(UTC)

I second the little measuring cup, I had one of the old clear ones and replaced it with one of the newer stainless steel ones, really clear even for my bad eyesight.

But one tool I have that I don't think has been mention, is an extra long bread knife.  Because I am partially sighted, I got a bread slicing guide; there are various types, I think they all work.  I bake bread, slice it evenly, and freeze the slices, easy.  Or, in fact not so easy using a standard 8 inch/20 cm bread knife which tends to lift out of the slicing guide and tear the surface of the loaf when returned.  The answer was simply to get a 10 inch /25 cm bread knife as are often used by caterers and bakers. Not only does it work better with the slicing guide, it is so much easier to cut a smooth surface on any bread or cake with a knife that bit longer than the width of the food.  Really worthwhile for anyone who bakes I think

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