Some kitchen gadgets are a big fail when we get them home, but these five will make your kitchen life easier.
What is your favorite gadget to use in the kitchen? We all have them, things that seemed frivolous when we bought them, but now that we have them we don’t think we could do without them.
Sometimes we buy gadgets on a whim. Often they are just too odd to pass up when we see them in the kitchen aisle. After all, we are creatures of curiosity; we love something new! And, you never know; that weird thing may just be the new rage of the age in our kitchen! Here are five kitchen gadgets that everyone should have at their disposal:
1. Pot Scraper: When my mom insisted on getting me one of these—it was all of 59-cents or so—I thought it was the most ridiculous waste of change I’d ever seen. Do I REALLY need to buy a little piece of plastic to scrape my pots? And, as I quickly found out, the answer is YES! Not just YES!, in fact, but YES! YES! YES! That little thing has made cleaning my pots and pans a breeze, particularly my pressure cooker, which always ends up with a yucky ring around the top of the pot. The great thing about the pot scraper is that, not only does it do a fantastic job of cleaning stuff off of your pots and pans, it helps your scrubbers and sponges last longer, because all of that stuff you were once cleaning off of your pots and pans with your scrubbers and sponges—stuff that invariably became trapped in the scrubber or sponge—is now long gone by the time you give your pots and pans a once-over scrub. If you only get one thing off of this list, this is the one to get.
2. Pineapple Corer: After you have fresh pineapple, you never want to go back to the canned stuff. But, cutting off the “bark” and chunking it up can be a pain. So, if you are like me and grab one or two of these yummy tropical fruits every time they are on sale, you really must have a pineapple corer on hand. Cut the top off the pineapple and set the teeth of the gadget over the center core of the pineapple. Now, twist; when you get to the bottom, give it a pull, and you will have a stack of fresh pineapple rings—no muss, no fuss. Cut the rings apart, or cut them into bites, either way you have a bowl of fresh pineapple ready to go next time you want a sweet snack. Another good thing about the pineapple corer: Less waste. You get all of the edible pineapple available in the fruit—and you can use the empty “shell” for a crazy tropical drink if you are in the mood.
3. French Fry Cutter: Now, some of you may cringe at the idea of making fresh fries—they are sooooooo good from the bag, right? Well, okay, they are. But, making your own is healthier, and if you cut them up with this gadget, it is not only easier, you get greater eye appeal, with all of the uniform little fries on your plate, just like those that come out of the plastic bags. The fries also cook better when they are a uniform size. There are all kinds of fry cutters out there nowadays. Our first one was about the size of a mandolin slicer, and it had a box to catch the cut fries. However, my favorite is the one we have now: It is about the size of a single potato, which means it takes up almost no space in my cabinets. And, with no box to catch the cut fries, I just cut them on the cutting board, then slide them into an awaiting bowl (I like to cut mine a couple hours before I am planning to make them and soak them in water to get out some of the starch; we find it makes them crispier). Whether you make baked fries or you deep fry your potatoes, you will appreciate this gadget after you use it once.
4. Salad Spinner: This is another gadget I once made fun of years ago. Really, you need something to “spin” the water off of your lettuce? Well, after using it, I realized that, yes, I do need something to spin the water off my lettuce. It is not only quicker and easier, it actually works. Who wants drippy lettuce and, subsequently, runny salad dressing, right? In fact, I “spin” other things now, such as cherry tomatoes and green pepper slices, before adding them into my salads, and I love it. One thing I like to do is buy a bag of mixed salad greens (I refuse to pay full price for them, however; I get whatever is marked down in the produce section. There is always something, so it pays to be open-minded when you go to the grocery store) and wash and dry them when I get them home (I do not care if it is “prewashed” or not; I always wash myself, just in case). Then, I seal them in a container and have them ready to go when I want—or know I should have—a salad. It takes away a lot of the work and, therefore, the excuse-making out of having a salad along with my meal each night.
5. Immersion (Stick) Blender: This gadget is bordering on the appliance realm, but I still consider it a gadget, nevertheless. It is definitely handy, if a little difficult to use at times. For most of us, it will take practice to successfully blend that pot of tomatoes into a smooth sauce without throwing it all over ourselves and the counter (yes, when I say “us” I mean “me”), but it is worth the effort. It is much easier to clean that little immersion blender than it is to clean the regular blender or the food processor, and it is definitely easier to set up than either of those clunky things. And, before you buy one, shop around. You can find them for less than $20 for some brands, and all the way up the line to over $100 for others.
Some gadgets fail miserably when we get them home, but others, like the ones in this article, are all winners—at least, they have been in my kitchen!
Huliq readers, what are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets you can recommend to the rest of us? Let us know in the comment section below.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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