Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ask the Internet: Favorite Weird Kitchen Tool?

Today’s question comes from CHG headquarters, a multi-level high-tech complex buried deep underground in Utah. (Note: Actually, an ancient apartment building in Brooklyn.)

Q: This is the Husband-Elect’s bacon fork.


It has a single function: to flip his bacon. In his eyes, no other utensil can do the job nearly as well. If I were to ever injure, mar, or disfigure the bacon fork in any way, the world would end. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together ... mass hysteria.

Do you or your family own a similar utensil? Something with only one use, but life would be unimaginable without it?

A: Readers! This one's all you. What's your most favorite, most bizarre kitchen tool?

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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37 comments:

mutantsupermodel said...

It's not bizarre but I'd be absolutely miserable without my potato smasher. I get distraught when I can't find it. Nothing smashes like my potato smasher. NOTHING.

aletheia_vox said...

The "Beer Butt Chicken" roasting stand).

Actually, I think I just like saying that I make "Beer Butt Chicken."

Elizabeth said...

This is a two-part team of culinary goodness: the perfectly seasoned, exact right size cast-iron pan used to cook palacsinta (thin Hungarian pancakes, like crepes), and the spatula-type thingy we used to flip them. Hell hath no fury like the time my grandma used The Pan to make biscuits and gravy. My dad was livid, she didn't get what the big deal was.

uncanny said...

My Pampered Chef garlic press is just irreplaceable. I do occasionally use it on ginger, but realistically, it just minces garlic. Fantastically.

Annie Jones said...

I don't think this is weird but some people do: I'd be lost without scissors in the kitchen. I have two pair that are specifically for kitchen use. I use them to cut herbs, pizza, raw chicken or other meat, homemade noodles, canned tomatoes (right in the can), bacon, etc. That's not to say I don't use knives, because I do, but sometimes scissors are just better and easier.

Anonymous said...

Probably my egg hole puncher. Its sole function is to punch holes in eggs. I use it for two things - punching a little hole so my hard boiled eggs don't crack, and starting the hole to blow out eggs for easter eggs. I bought it one day for $1 and I always smile when I use it!

MCM Voices said...

The tart tamper. I use it to arrange graham cracker crusts.

Your GB reference made mi lol. We sometimes use that to describe mayem around here as well.

Mrs. Troy said...

My Australian husband *loves* his tea in the morning, so we have an electric tea machine. It looks like a prop from a "Dr. Who" episode, but he swears it makes the perfect cup of tea.

Blakely said...

my knife specifically used to cut tomatos. summer is not the same without it because I love the way it cuts my tomatos perfect for sandwiches.

maria santos said...

My boyfriend has a SPECIAL PLASTIC LID for his designated protein shake cup. It often hides underneath plates/bowls on the drying rack and my BF gets very very upset when he can't find it. I often threaten that I will throw it out, but then yes, there would be hysteria!

Ann Marie said...

A cheap, big, red plastic serving spoon that my mom bought me from a discount store when I went to college. It has no sentimental value, but after 10 years of heavy use and dishwashing, it's still perfect. No scratches or discoloration. It's the perfect size to stir sauces, pancake batter, and serve pretty much anything except soup. The plastic is very sturdy, not flimsy like disposable cutlery. I will keep that spoon until I die.

Nanny Dee said...

What a fun idea for a post! I like those little Strawberry hullers that look like tiny thongs -- just squeeze and pull!

Healthy In Heels said...

An apple corer. Just a corer, not to slice, but simply to core the apple. I saw one in Chicago one time but didn't buy it because I thought I could purchase it for less than its $8 asking price at home. Boy was I wrong. I tried mass retailers, speciality stores, no luck. Finally I found one at one of those carts in the mall. I don't know what I would do without that bad boy now!

-healthyinheels.blogspot.com

Gabrielle said...

My rice cooker. We're Cajun and eat lots of meals with rice, so I can't imagine living without it. It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I realized that not everyone owns a rice cooker.

I also love my Vidalia Onion Chopper (just like on TV). I received it as a Christmas gift, and it's fabulous. Again, thanks to being Cajun, most everything we eat involves onions and bell peppers, so this is a real time saver.

I use both of these gadgets to make something and freeze the extra. We always make extra rice and cut extra onions to put in the freezer.

shanghaishrimpo said...

My ex brought his own beloved cast iron skillet to the marriage. I wasn't allowed to use it (shhhh... I did use it a couple of times -- just because).
He took it with him when he left 18 years later.

Vote4SafePregnancy said...

my favourite knife which I got from my japanese friend. it 'a must' in my kitchen

suzannah @ so much shouting/laughter said...

hehe, tart tamper.

we have a ginormous, perfectly seasoned restaurant-supply pizza pan. it is a BIG thing to store for only one use, but my husband loves it. his dad also made a wooden paddle/wedge for the express purpose of getting pizza out of said pan in one piece.

love my rice cooker, too:)

sillyberry said...

My garlic zoom. It is the best way to chop vast quantities of garlic quickly.

PC said...

My mother's stovetop Krumkake iron - it sees the light of day once a year for Christmas, but there's really no other way to make the delicious Norwegian treat.

sarah said...

I can't live without my immersion blender. I'm not sure that it fits the category of things being described here, though, because it is so useful and a real multi-tasker, unlike... the bacon fork?! The hand blender makes pureed soup so easy, also makes quick salad dressings, and making bread crumbs for a massive batch of slow cooker stuffing.

Michelle said...

I have an odd device - I don't remember where it came from - that is basically a double-sided, tiny rolling pin. I use it for small amounts of dough and for squishing down crumb crusts, and any number of other odd uses..

Kelly said...

I had a gift card to Williams-Sonoma, so I bought a fancy doodad whose sole purpose is to mince garlic. I use it all. The. Ding-dang. Time.

Rebecca said...

It would have to be an old plastic slotted spoon. But instead of curving around the front, the way normal spoons do, mine blunts off, so it's kind of like a slotted spoon-atula. Really, though, it's hideous, and when I make curries it turns bright yellow from the turmeric and stays put through at least 5 washings. But I loves it all the same :-)

Anonymous said...

My tomato slicer! It's a silly contraption with serrated edges to make the perfect tomato slices for burgers or general consumption! My husband thought it was the silliest thing ever when I put it on the wedding registry, but even he has now converted to its awesomeness!

CJ said...

I use tongs to flip the bacon. No splashing; more control. Husband elect's bacon flipper does look really cool and high tech.

I have a few gadgets that I really love, one being those tongs, of course. Use them for everything from flipping bacon, grilling meats, flipping tortillas, tossing pasta to grabbing salad.

The salad spinner is still way, way up there. I love it for washing, spinning AND storing lettuces. Especially tender, baby greens. It keeps the lettuce fresh and crisp for such a looong time.

There's the flexible cutting board, the vegetable peeler, cast iron raised rib griddle, immersion blender, the coffee grinder....all indespensible.

My new favorite gadget is the cheese knife. http://thecheeseknife.com/ It's great for cutting cheese, especially soft ones that would stick to a knife blade. Great for hard boiled eggs too. I liked mine so much that I bought one for each of my friends and my mom too.

Diane said...

I have a clay mortar and wood pestle (Laotian style) that is only used for making green papaya salad. I use it only a few times a year, but LOVe it. It is beautiful. You should not use a stone mortar & pestle for this, as it bruises the papaya too much.

Adam said...

Pampered Chef garlic press and herb mincer.
these have saved me DAYS in aggregate already...

Anonymous said...

My microplane, stainless steel tongs and Foley slotted spoon (like this one http://www.tias.com/12908/PictPage/3923259912.html ) are very dear to me and get used continually. I also have a vintage, curved grapefruit knife, with surprisingly sharp, serrated edges and a green painted handle that I picked up at an estate sale for $1. I never use it for grapefruit, but it's perfect for releasing the skin from all sorts of melons. Definitely worth the drawer space.
Mikeinkansascity

wosnes said...

There are a number of things mentioned that I'd be lost without in my kitchen, but a microplane, tomato knife and grapefruit knife are at the top of the list.

Jeanie said...

My very favorite kitchen tool is an "antique" jar opener that belonged to my ex's grandmother. It has a metal slider bar with grips that adjusts to the size of the jar lid with a handle on the top that you turn to tighten the slider and twist the cap off the jar. It works like a charm. Don't know what I'd do without it.

Juno said...

Nutmeg grater! You know, with the little flip-up compartment to keep the whole nutmeg in between uses.

CJ said...

I posted earlier about my favorite tools. Then, while making lunch, grabbed my silicone spoonula (silicone spoon-spatula). I LOVE that thing too.

Andrea said...

I love love love my cherry pitter! Rainier cherries and bings add a perfect touch to a fruit salad and the cherry pitter makes that possible. Plus, it's really fun to use!

Heather said...

My locking thongs. I use them for everything.

And a large stainless steel bowl that was a wedding shower gift. I use it for tossing salads, mixing ground meat, washing veggies, etc.

Hubs hates it as it is so large, it doesn't fit in the dishwasher.

Melynda said...

The husband elect here has an ice cream spade that is also a recognition "award" from the days of yore when he was a warehouse manager for Dryers Ice Cream. NO other ice cream scoop/spade/utensil is as good, ask him! :) (actually I like using it too)

Bertrand said...

I love my little grapefruit spoons. They are like teaspoons but they have serrated edge. Perfect for eating grapefruit with having to prepare it first. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grapefruit_spoon

redd said...

A munchen (monk) pan, which is used only for cooking a delicious little sort of Danish pancake thing. It looks like this: aebleskiver pan.