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What are your non-kitchen, kitchen tools?


Zacky
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We all improvise when necessary and certain improvisations have become mainstays in the kitchen. The only place that pins get used in my house is for pricking the bangers so they don't, well, bang! My dad's old cut-throat razor has been my lame for slashing bread and scoring pork belly for years. Bricks from my local DIY store in the oven and even a good old paint brush I use for painting BBQ and the like.

So what non-culinary cunning have you deployed?

My personal favourite is gaffer tape - and I'm probably not alone there. The stuff is genius.

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I was watching the World Pastry Team Championships on TLC yesterday, and someone mentioned that one team brought in condoms one year. Apparently they're very easy to use for making shapes with chocolate. What kind of shapes, I do not know, but there you go.

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I have this big old draw knife. It is very, very sharp!

Draw Knife.JPG

I use it to remove the skin from big winter squash, pumpkins, watermelon (for the rind to be pickled).

I have some old recipes that require the squash/pumpkins to be cooked whole, seeds and all and if the skin is left on, it is a mess to remove later.

It also works great for splitting large root vegetables - celeriac, parsnips and just a few days ago I used it on some giant horseradish roots.

I know I have used it for other purposes but these are what comes immediately to mind.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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blow torch to get a nice crust going on some meat preparations.

needle nose pliers to remove pin bones from fish.

That's all I can think of right now.

other than that I'm more prone to use kitchen tools (and other tools) creating artwork.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Locking forceps (hemostat) and surgical scalpel - invaluable for removing silverskin. A hacksaw for bones. A rubber mallet for getting through really hard squash with a chef's knife. Jeweller's pliers for getting out fish bones. I am betting there's more here but can't think of them at the moment.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Toothbrushes (the disposable kind you get in hotels) are excellent for scrubbing small objects.

1/4" 320 plate cut to cover two burners in place of a griddle.

Welding gloves in place of oven mitts.

That's about it for me.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I love Technology Transfer to the kitchen.

The first thing I thought of are the sharp metal woodworking pieces I use such as microplanes, a lathe gouge and my own invention -- the squash adze.

Andie, how do you use that deadly draw shave? Wouldn't you need a special bench or some kind of catcher's vest?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I'm with the brick people. No need to drop a hundred bucks on a panini press.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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An old plastic milk crate, large clamps, a couple of metal rods and some plastic clothes pegs for our first attempt at dipping pretzels in caramel and chocolate.

Very impressive. It looks like a delicious hybrid of Pocky and Foosball.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I've got a thick, heavy chopping block with a hole in which I sink a "Texas Tack" (big tent peg that looks like a giant nail). Impale squash on spike and work from top to bottom, or with long squash, like a banana, work from end to end.

I am so used to using it that I don't even think about it most of the time. I can't even remember when I began using it but it was before I moved up here because I used it in my prior home and that was more than 22 years ago.

I have some other woodworking tools that occasionally are used. I have an inshave that I originally bought when I was carving bowls and it is dandy for cleaning squash.

I seem to be hung up on squash but I love them.

I use woodworker's rasps too.

I have a cordless drill that is for kitchen use only. I use small hole saws to open coconuts neatly.

I have a good-sized vise that I use for holding bones while I saw them into pieces (cordless reciprocal saw). I put it through the dishwasher and then into the oven to dry it well because it does rust if any moisture is present. I got tired of using a hack saw.

I used to have a band saw but sold it a while back - to the same guy who bought my big cheese press, commercial oven and dishwasher.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I had the same problem but repurposed the lid of a lettuce keeper. The round domed part with the outer edges cut away just fits into the outer rim of the lid and any liquid runs back into the TMX and only the dome gets splattered with wet stuff.

I had a bit of a problem when I processed something that flew up and knocked the measuring cup out of its hole.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I had the same problem but repurposed the lid of a lettuce keeper. The round domed part with the outer edges cut away just fits into the outer rim of the lid and any liquid runs back into the TMX and only the dome gets splattered with wet stuff.

I had a bit of a problem when I processed something that flew up and knocked the measuring cup out of its hole.

These days I'm using a nice solid silicone disc, that also dips into the middle. It started life as part of a spoon rack.

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andiesenji - I have a wonderful mental image of you living amongst giant vegetables! Thanks for sharing everyone.

Nobody has come up with anything too scientfic yet - any liquid nitrogen people out there? I had some good advice on baking with spelt to add vitamin C and I myself have used ascorbic acid to start off some red wine vinegar. Let's hear a few medicinal/molecular gastronomy tales?!

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Old (clean) tube socks for putting bottles of wine in for transporting, so the bottles don't knock together.

(Husband asked the other day why I was keeping my socks in the wine rack. I admit, it does look rather odd like that.)

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andiesenji - I have a wonderful mental image of you living amongst giant vegetables! Thanks for sharing everyone.

Nobody has come up with anything too scientfic yet - any liquid nitrogen people out there? I had some good advice on baking with spelt to add vitamin C and I myself have used ascorbic acid to start off some red wine vinegar. Let's hear a few medicinal/molecular gastronomy tales?!

I bring liquid nitrogen home to play with. I have a storage cabinet full of specimen bottles too that I use for storage containers.

Two other things I realized I have today while at Lee Valley - I had one of the original microplanes that were used in the woodshop before they started marketing them for kitchen use, and I have a really neat japanese varnish brush I use to remove marks from molded chocolate.

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andiesenji - I have a wonderful mental image of you living amongst giant vegetables! Thanks for sharing everyone.

Nobody has come up with anything too scientfic yet - any liquid nitrogen people out there? I had some good advice on baking with spelt to add vitamin C and I myself have used ascorbic acid to start off some red wine vinegar. Let's hear a few medicinal/molecular gastronomy tales?!

I bring liquid nitrogen home to play with. I have a storage cabinet full of specimen bottles too that I use for storage containers.

Two other things I realized I have today while at Lee Valley - I had one of the original microplanes that were used in the woodshop before they started marketing them for kitchen use, and I have a really neat japanese varnish brush I use to remove marks from molded chocolate.

I also began using a microplane before they were a kitchen tool. I mentioned earlier that I use a coarse rasp quite often. Last used it to grate some dried galangal root.

I used to make my own picture frames and had a lot of woodworking tools that, from time to time, found their way into the kitchen. There was a time that I used to eye my Shopsmith, with an eye to using it in the kitchen, but other than turning some smallish rolling pins and little wood bowls on the lathe, I really wasn't using it that much - mostly wasting time with it, so I sold it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I use a scalpel to slash my bread loaves.

A metal flower frog to dock dough, a 1" tiny frog to dock homemade crackers.

I use the base of a small telephone pole insulator to create a pattern on cookies.

A coke bottle to beat round steak for chicken fried steak. I've also used a 3# sledge hammer to tenderize and flatten meat.

To store onions I tie them off in panty hose and hang them in a closet.

I use 6 clay tiles in the oven to bake bread on.

I almost forgot.... kniting needles to turn aebelskivers.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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