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Most Useless Kitchen Items and Utensils


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I dearly loved my garlic "sleeve" peeler. Pickled garlic? YES! Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic? YES! Peeled garlic for garlic bread? Yes! I loved that sucker; it came free with some cooking club, plan or whatever, but I loved it!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Ar these the tongs to which you referred?  My wife has had these for many years and she insists that they simply predate the ubiquitous tongs found in every kitchen nowadays.

These little babies are weiner tongs. Used to remove hot weiners from their water bath before placing them in the bun. Haven't used mine in years. Now I use the ubiquitous tongs instead.

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Hehe, I just bought a pair of those forcep-like tongs last week (I already have several pairs of "normal" tongs in various lengths, but they don't work for picking up jars). I was trying preserving for the first time and couldn't find the proper rubberized tongs anywhere and didn't want to order them online, so I gave up and just bought those. Now we're ready for anything: canning, sauteeing, barbecuing, home birthing (okay, hopefully not that one. Ow). There is a tong for everything.

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These little babies are weiner tongs.  Used to remove hot weiners from their water bath before placing them in the bun.  Haven't used mine in years.  Now I use the ubiquitous tongs instead.

Steve, Kerry, is the joint rigid (holds its place) or loose? I'm sure this is a false memory, but those tongs look like something we may have used in the chemistry laboratory in college. I would use it to tong over (yuck... is that even a verb?) hot, dirty things, like pieces of coal or the entire grill. (Now that I think about it, that sounds less like a Chem lab and more like a barbecue)

I certainly wouldn't say any wooden spoon is useless! (Or maybe we just don't have fancy plastic spoons in my neck of the woods..) I don't even have a well-made one and I still think it's unbeatable for choux pastry and working with caramel.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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These little babies are weiner tongs.  Used to remove hot weiners from their water bath before placing them in the bun.  Haven't used mine in years.  Now I use the ubiquitous tongs instead.

Steve, Kerry, is the joint rigid (holds its place) or loose? I'm sure this is a false memory, but those tongs look like something we may have used in the chemistry laboratory in college. I would use it to tong over (yuck... is that even a verb?) hot, dirty things, like pieces of coal or the entire grill. (Now that I think about it, that sounds less like a Chem lab and more like a barbecue)

I certainly wouldn't say any wooden spoon is useless! (Or maybe we just don't have fancy plastic spoons in my neck of the woods..) I don't even have a well-made one and I still think it's unbeatable for choux pastry and working with caramel.

Fixed in place. The tongs in the chem lab were a bit different.

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My problem with the hot dog tongs is that they are 1) flimsy and 2) the shape of the end doesn't give you as much fine control as a good pair of "ubuiquitous" tongs for picking up small items. I think Cooks Illustrated did a tong comparison and came to a similar conclusion.

but yes they would probably be fine for pulling out eggs. I just use a skimmer - that way I can get more than one egg at a time...

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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I have bought the "As Seen on TV" Ove-Glove twice now. Each time, I returned it as it does a miserable job of protecting one against high temperatures, removing pans from the oven. The best glove that I have found to date is the Williams Sonoma glove that has the cloth exterior and the woven terry-cloth like interior.

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I have bought the "As Seen on TV" Ove-Glove twice now.  Each time, I returned it as it does a miserable job of protecting one against high temperatures, removing pans from the oven. 

I've been very happy with my Ove-Glove. :huh:

Just be careful not to get it wet! :shock:

SB (also likes the fact that it's bi-handed :wink: )

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Bagel slicer is a really good one. But I feel like my garlic press is pretty useless. In the time it takes me to get it from the drawer, use it, clean it and put it back, I can always mince as many cloves as I need, put my knife blade on there sideways and give it a couple whacks. It's easier and much more fun this way.

Also, my mom has these "tongs" that supposedly multitask as tongs, a whisk, and a strainer, but doesn't do any of them particularly well.

"In a perfect world, cooks who abuse fine cutlery would be locked in a pillory and pelted with McNuggets."

- Anthony Bourdain

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Re. silly spring-like whisks: utterly unnecessary for whisking, but excellent for the spontaneous fun of WhiskDrop Tournaments! A group of people gathers in a circle, one person drops the whisk onto the counter so that it bounces up, and the next person tries to catch it before it hits the counter a second time. And so on. First person to have allowed the whisk to hit the counter (beyond the one bounce necessary between persons) gets a letter, like in "horse"; first person to have enough letters to spell "whisk" is out. If you want to up the ante, you can play Non-Dominant Hand WhiskDrop.

Perhaps other useless kitchen items could be similarly repurposed for frivolity.

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Those rubber garlic skinning tubes. Just use the back of your knife. If you don't want it smashed use lighter pressure.

Slicing Guides. They make one for everything I think.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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I'm amused by the juicers I keep seeing: an orange one to juice oranges (presumably), a yellow one for lemons, and a lime green one for, well, guess. The orange is the largest, the yellow a bit smaller, the green is the smallest. Very cute and all, but are three different sized (never mind colored) juicers really necessary? What would happen if I juiced an orange on the yellow juicer? :unsure::huh::biggrin:

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. . .

What would happen if I juiced an orange on the yellow juicer?  :unsure:  :huh:  :biggrin:

Your kitchen god would be highly offended and for a whole week you wouldn't be able to make even a decent sandwich! Don't do it! :biggrin:

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

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plk, go the extra mile and order the canning tongs. You can use the other kind, but the risk of dropping a jar is much higher.

Trust me on this. I know.

I do use the "weiner tongs" to fish the lids out of the hot water, if I can't find my magnet-on-a-stick.

sparrowgrass
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gallery_50527_4885_64496.jpg

Ar these the tongs to which you referred?  My wife has had these for many years and she insists that they simply predate the ubiquitous tongs found in every kitchen nowadays.

Those are indeed the exact tongs of which I speak! :biggrin:

I find this design lots easier to use than the ubiquitous kind. I often have to use my teeth to pull the little tab out and release these when my other hand is unavailable. :angry:

SB--Zyliss makes locking tongs that are one-handed. The locking mechanism is on the side of the tongs and it slides up and down with one finger. I love them!

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SB--Zyliss makes locking tongs that are one-handed. The locking mechanism is on the side of the tongs and it slides up and down with one finger. I love them!

Nery nice, but I notice that while they're offered in red or black, they only come in a right handed model?

SB :sad:

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Weiner tongs?! I still have a pair -- those were the only type of tongs in my mom's kitchen.

Amen to several sets of measuring cups. I finally got another set this year. I have no idea why it took me so long. Having several sets of measuring spoons is a relief, too.

I confess that I almost bought a tomato knife until the Williams Sonoma sales lady told me I didn't need it. It was so pretty, though, and red just like a tomato. I love looking through the catalogue, but, yeah, some of those new items they come up with -- avocado pitter indeed.

My garlic peeler used to get a lot of use, but not so much anymore. If I had to peel a bunch of cloves, I'd probably pull in out of the drawer again.

Canning tongs are definitely a necessity. I learned that the hard way.

Most useless item I can remember buying is the corn zipper. It made me very angry.

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I must admit to being an unrepentant gadget lover. I saw this today but didn't buy it ($19 @ bloomies). I want to find some use for it but even the usefulness of this garlic crusher rolling pin eludes me. Anyone? I know there must be some additional untapped potential to it. *note that the ad copy also touts the garlic scent removing properties as a bonus of handwashing said device. Take that hunk o'steel scent remover!

http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/Produ...15_11521_null__

Also, why do all these labor saving devices always have so many nooks and crannies they would seem a major pain to clean thereby reducing the labor saving quotient? :hmmm:

Growing up, we had a pair of those scissor tongs and I can only remember using them when frying lumpia.

N.

proud owner of chocolate chipper, mozzarella slicer, mango pitter and other gadgets of varying usefulness...

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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How about the hunk o' plain stainless steel that is sold as a miracle product to get the smell of garlic and onion off of your hands?  Saw one in a kitchen store last year for ten or twelve bucks.

I must admit to being an unrepentant gadget lover. I saw this today but didn't buy it ($19 @ bloomies). I want to find some use for it but even the usefulness of this garlic crusher rolling pin eludes me. Anyone? I know there must be some additional untapped potential to it. *note that the ad copy also touts the garlic scent removing properties as a bonus of handwashing said device. Take that hunk o'steel scent remover!

http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/Produ...15_11521_null__

I too am an enthusiastic gadget collector, although my enthusiasm is starting to decline as my drawers get more crammed.

I've stayed out of the discussion about the stainless steel odor remover until now, because I personally haven't tried it. However, Fifi - may she rest in peace - thought it worked. Read about her stainless steel mushroom here. Hard-headed materials scientist and empiricist that she was, I've always thought there must be something to it after all. She even came up with a plausible explanation.

Still...that roller looks like it would send bits of garlic shooting out in every direction. Nah...not for $19, not for $1.90.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I saw an avocado scoop in a recent Williams & Sonoma catalog, but I can't find it on their site now.

here it is!

That's actually not it -- the scoop was long like that, but had a spoon at the bottom, for scooping. I really need to find this...

It wasn't this one was it? I just saw it and was slightly shocked by it. I may have nightmares now - it looks like one of Uri Geller's spoons!

"Vegetables aren't food. Vegetables are what food eats."

--

food.craft.life.

The Lunch Crunch - Our daily struggle to avoid boring lunches

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1) electric can opener

2) my mom's rotary cheese grater (had a hopper on top, a flat thing at the end of an arm that you'd use to press the cheese into the hopper, and a horizontal, round grating drum that you turned with a handle with your other hand). It disassembled into many parts. I have no idea what advantages it offers over a simple grater with no moving parts, but I thought it was a fun toy when I was little.

3) ... maybe the greatest of all. Never seen with my own eyes, but it's As Seen On TV: the Ronco Inside-the-Egg Egg Scrambler.

Notes from the underbelly

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2) my mom's rotary cheese grater (had a hopper on top, a flat thing at the end of an arm that you'd use to press the cheese into the hopper, and a horizontal, round grating drum that you turned with a handle with your other hand). It disassembled into many parts. I have no idea what advantages it offers over a simple grater with no moving parts, but I thought it was a fun toy when I was little.

There is a safety element do it. You aren't goign to accidently grate your knukcles of finger tip or finger nail with it. Also, t here is a "sanitary" issue. You don't have to touch the cheese, So, if you want to have it on the table for people to use on their own, people won't all be touching the cheese. Some people are weird like that. :smile:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Don't forget about the olive/pickle pluckers. Push the button on the top and four retractable prongs came out to snare the unsuspecting prey.

Cheers

poorsh

These work great for snaring small nuts/bolts/screws that fall into awkward spots when you're working on cars though!

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