- Food and Cooking
Kitchen Gadgets - Boon or Bane?
We all have them, kitchen gadgets that is. There are cool kitchen gadgets, unique kitchen gadgets, new kitchen gadgets, and even useful kitchen gadgets. Some kitchen gadgets are called kitchen tools to make you think you really need them. Of course some of them you actually do need to make your work in the kitchen easier. What kitchen would be complete without gadgets?
You can buy them in the grocery store, department store, mail order, online or even in a kitchen shop (specialty stores offering all things kitchen!)
Kitchen gadgets can range from a simple mixer to an under cabinet iPod holder and tons of things in between. There are Eco gadgets, electronic gadgets, drinking gadgets, cooking gadgets...if you think I'm kidding check out CoolestGadgets.com
Okay, let's get more specific. How about a gravy separator? This 'gadget' is actually a small measuring cup that is made to separate meat and poultry juices from fat. The fat rises to the top and you can then pour it off. If you don't need it any other time, it would be great for Thanksgiving and Christmas when your entire family is waiting for your scrumptious gravy! (Sans fat)
I'm sure lots of you have meat tenderizers, right? A wood or metal hammer with one smooth side and one side with little points. The pointy side tenderizes meat while the smooth side helps you flatten meats. I use mine to flatten boneless chicken breasts so they're the same thickness when I put them (the chicken breasts) in the oven so they can cook more evenly. I also put them in a storage bag before pounding so any juice or stray pieces stay in the bag and don't fly all over my kitchen. Nothing better than tender meat and evenly cooked chicken!
I'm sure every kitchen has a basting brush...either natural bristle or the new silicone. This is the only way to apply sauces and liquid flavoring to cooking meat, well maybe not the only way but certainly the easiest way. You can get basting brushes in all sizes and colors, with large handles and small, with large bristles or small. There's quite a variety out there now.
Of course there are kitchen gadgets that you may or may not want or use. For example, a bacon press. The usually iron bacon press is placed on top of frying bacon to hold it in place . I like to cook my bacon in the oven as it is easier and quicker and the bacon seems to shrink less. I'm always looking for the easy way out so now I use Reynolds Non Stick Wrap on the pan and I don't even have to wash the pan when the bacon's done.
Turkey lifters or turkey forks. I prefer the lifter because you can put the turkey in the lifter before cooking and just lift the whole thing out when its done. With the forks it can get a little messy if you drop the turkey back into the pan with all the fat and juices splashing about and its sometimes just plain difficult to lift a large turkey even if the forks are big.
The "microplane" is touted as the ultimate citrus tool. It's like a mini grater on a handle and it is great for "zesting" (zest is the outer layer of citrus fruits where a large amount of flavor and oils reside. Zesting is fine grating that outer layer into recipes.) Before the microplane you had to be careful your zest didn't contain your skin or fingernails that were accidentally grated when you tried to get the zest off the orange or lemon or lime!
Another fairly new gadget is the "kitchen scraper/chopper". Not only can you dice and chop your ingredients, but as you can see by the full length handle, you can scoop up what you've chopped to add to your recipe. It really is handy AND mine has a measuring feature as you can see from the numbers on the end of the chopper portion.
I've listed some of the 'boon' kitchen gadgets (though I'm saving the very best for last), but what about all those kitchen gadgets you bought, were given as gifts, or just appeared in your kitchen - the bane of your existence? They sit in your drawer month after month and you never use them. One I have is for buttering corn on the cob (the yellow thing in my first picture). While it sounds like a good idea it really is more trouble than its worth and not fun to clean. The spaghetti measuring gadget is another one. Why do you even need to measure the spaghetti you're going to cook? If you need the whole package, you cook it! If you only need half a package, that's what you cook. Why bother to have to dig out this little gadget to tell you what you already know? I believe the little silver thing is for cutting out donuts. Believe it or not I did make homemade donuts once upon a time (showing how old this gadget must be) but I can't even remember when that was!
I'm sure you could add tons of useless kitchen gadgets to this list. They're in a drawer somewhere or sitting on a shelf. Things you've never used or used once and realized they weren't worth the aggravation to use. The kitchen gadgets that are the bane of your existence.
I've told you about some boon gadgets, the ones that help your existence and I've told you about the bane gadgets, the ones that just take up space, but I've saved the booniest till last. (I know, I just made up that word.)
You can laugh if you want to but if you haven't tried it you'll never appreciate it! I HATE to peel potatoes. My husband has been peeling potatoes in my house for many, many years. One Christmas as a joke I bought him a "Rotato Express Peeler". Everyone chuckled when he opened the gift but they stopped chuckling when he used it. When they saw how easy it was to use they all wanted one! That was many years ago and as with all things progress and technology make improvements, even on good things. Enter the "Electric Rotato Express Peeler". I know you're probably on the floor laughing but I swear to you this thing works. Not only does it work but now with electricity it speeds through peeling a potato! You can use it to peel other things as well but we save it for the multi-eyed vegetable, the potato!
I've saved it for last because to me it is incredible. Since I found the electric rotato I have given one to each of my four kids for Christmas. Go ahead, keep laughing, but the year I gave only one to one of my children the other three complained because they didn't have one. You really, really need to try this if you peel a lot of potatoes or fruit. I can't tell you how cool it is and what a work-saver it is, really.
So, now you know. I wrote this entire hub about kitchen gadgets just to get you to the rotato. Try it, you'll like it - as they say!
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