Kitchen tools

Every good cook has their own personal ‘toolset’, sometimes honed for years, containing all of their ‘go-to’ gadgets for putting together their favorite dishes. The key to a great set of tools is that its contents are defined by what you cook…often.

That being said, many of us, have loads of garbage in our kitchens. Unnecessary tools and appliances are cluttering up our drawers and cabinets. Many were purchased because they seemed ‘useful’ at the time for that one special task, and were never used again. Or perhaps some friend thought that a cherry pitter was the one thing missing from your kitchen. Perhaps you should pay them back next Christmas with an avocado slicer.

Your kitchen tool set doesn’t need to be big, and should only contain a few choice tools that can be used for a multitude of uses, not just one. To illustrate this point, here is a list of some waste-of-space items, and some very useful ones.

Get rid of your…

Popcorn Maker

This is big, clunky, irritating to clean and you don’t need it. Instead, pour a bit of vegetable oil in a large soup pot along with the kern kernels. Put on the lid and pop away.

Ever-growing collection of Tupperware

These take up a tremendous amount of space. Like socks, the lids and containers never seem to match, yet we continue to hang on to those stray pieces hoping that one day their companion will materialize. Plus, the affordable ones stain, absorbing smells and colors from the food. And the biggest reason to trash your Tupperware: it’s not an ideal storing solution.

When storing food, air is the enemy. With Tupperware, it can’t be eliminated, causing your food to spoil faster. Use zip top bags instead. You can easily press most, if not all, of the air out of the bags, especially when storing liquids. Plus they are disposable and take up a lot less space.

Egg Separator

Seriously useless. There are a number of other ways to separate eggs without buying a $6 gadget to help you. Here’s just a couple:

  1. Your Mom’s Method – Gently crack the egg, and split open. Over a bowl, gently pour the yolk back and forth between each half of the shell until all of the whites have spilled over into the bowl.
  2. Fastest (and my fav) Method – Crack all the eggs you need into a large bowl WITHOUT breaking the yolks in the process. By hand, gently pull the yolks out of the whites.

What to keep…

Kitchen Shears

I use them for cutting pizza, snipping herbs, deboning birds, portioning bread dough, trimming vegetable plants and cutting of the fruit, opening bags (of anything!), cutting quesadillas, and I’m always finding new uses. Pizza cutter is no longer in my vocabulary.


Head over heels for tongs. Tongs can replace spatulas, pasta spoons, salad tongs, that obnoxious meat fork (which you shouldn’t be using anyways), amongst others. Use it for tossing, flipping, poking, stirring, turning and kitchen dueling. The spring-loaded metal ones with heat-resistant rubber tips are best for the largest number of tasks.

And a small handful of others. But we can discuss those at a later date while I keep you in suspense.┬áSo open your drawers and cabinets, and get rid of most of it. I smell a garage sale.So I promised you a contest…and there’s a prize! At the top of this post is a picture of a tool drawer owned by someone who will go unnamed. There are 18 identifiable tools in this drawer. The first person to name all 18 of them in a comment on this post will win a Microplane Premium Zester.

This is one of my absolute can’t-do-without tools. Not just for zesting, I also use it to grate nutmeg, garlic, ginger and onions. For the serious over-achievers, there are 3 tools that are mostly out of sight. If you can also name these, you’ll get a bonus prize. So get to it!

4 thoughts on “a tool rant…and a contest!

  1. I can't tell you what all of those tools are, but I have a real good idea of whose drawer they came from. Clue: she is a fan of oatmeal because it's A. Forgiving B. Quick C. Can be mixed with anything that grows on a stem. and D. She has never successfully been able to cook rice.

  2. This was more of an undertaking than I thought it was going to be, and hopefully every tool is named.Here goes:metal spatula/turnerwooden spoonrulersmall ladletempura basketegg slicerscalepastry brush (3)salad tongesplastic bowl spatulapotato mashermeasuring cupwooden holed spatuladough scrapericing spreaderice cream/cookie dough scoopplastic pancake turnerslotted plastic spoonsieve

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