Cooktop Cove: These 7 kitchen tools are just taking up space. See why you don't really need them
By Kate Elliott
If you cook, particularly if you cook a lot, there's a good chance you're going to spend money on kitchen supplies. With an endless supply of cooking gadgets and tools out there — some necessary and some not so much— the costs can really add up. And soon your kitchen will begin to clutter up.
It's true that all home kitchens should include a few key tools, like a cutting board or two, a set of good, sharp knives, plates and essential utensils. But manufacturers have capitalized on the home cook, offering a never-ending assortment of tempting new products. In reality, most of these are a waste of money and space. Read on to discover the seven kitchen tools you don't need.
1. Garlic peeler
These little gadgets consist of a short, hollow tube that's typically made of flexible plastic or silicone. The idea is that you place a clove of garlic inside and rub it together so the garlic's skin falls right off. But this is actually a lot more work than peeling garlic needs to be. To peel garlic easily, just smash it with the flat side of a knife and guaranteed, it will come right off. Alternatively, you can slice off the top of the clove and peel the rest of it.
2. Garlic press
Speaking of garlic gadgets, let's take a look at garlic presses. This apparatus resembles a nutcracker, but it has a square head that opens, a flat surface and a surface with small holes. The idea is that you place a garlic clove into that square top and squeeze until the pressed garlic extrudes in little strands through the holes. The problem with these presses is that most of the garlic doesn't come through the holes. While garlic does get pressed, much remains stuck to the metal sides and is wasted. The easiest way to chop garlic is to peel it with a knife, and then use that same knife to chop it.
3. Slicers
Bagel slicers, avocado slicers, strawberry slicers, egg slicers, and more. If you have any of these in your kitchen right now, throw them out and rejoice in all the extra room you now have! Why do people need an individual gadget for slicing any one ingredient in their kitchen? Do away with them and use the one and only slicer any cook needs — a knife.
4. Egg separators
These gadgets range in how they work, and certainly the market is flooded with an array of them. You can get one that looks like the nasal bulbs moms use on their new babies, or you can find one that looks like a measuring cup with holes on the bottom. Either way, they're unnecessary and in some cases, can even be somewhat gross. You already have perfectly good egg separators. Just crack an egg into your hand and let the whites fall through your fingers while the yolk remains sitting pretty in your hand.
5. Olive oil misters
Olive oil misters are such a weird gadget, we really have to pause and think about who invented them and why. Olive oil misters are meant to spray delicate greens such as arugula and leaf lettuce with a fine mist of olive oil, sometimes flavored with things like lemon peel or mint. But you can get the same result by simply combining the ingredients needed to make a vinaigrette and then applying it lightly to your salad or your greens. If it's not a dressing you're looking for, just lightly drizzle olive oil onto your food. You don't need a mister, you just need to use a lighter hand.
6. Hamburger press
These devices are meant to be filled with ground meat and then pressed, shaping your meat into the perfect burger shape. But like any gadget that's specific for one thing, it's something you just don't need. Once you've mixed all your ingredients together, use two hands to roll that meat up into a large ball, and then flatten it and shape it. No press required!
7. Knife block
Haven't we spent much of this post telling you that knives can take the place of many different kitchen gadgets? So why are we telling you to get rid of your knife block? While knife blocks are designed to keep your knives safe and dry, they take up a lot of room on the counter and often end up being dirty and grimy. Instead, store your knives the best possible way by hanging a magnetic strip in the kitchen and placing your knives on that instead. They'll be out of the way and will always be clean, as there's no space for dirt to get trapped.
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