7 ingenious ways to use common kitchen tools
There's a gadget for everything these days. But there's no rule that says you have to use it for its intended purpose.
There's no shame in using a kitchen tool for a purpose other than intended. It can even make for some of the most inventive dishes you've ever made. What's more, it can save you money by not having to buy another gadget!
It's in that spirit that we bring you our seven favorite kitchen tool hacks.
Use your coffee grinder to make fresh spice blends.
Making your own spice blends is always a fun project and a great way to experiment with your cooking ingredients. But if you really want to achieve peak spice flavor, you absolutely must grind your spices yourself. That means buying the leaves whole – parsley, basil and coriander are good ones to start – roasting them, breaking them into smaller pieces and putting them through a grinder. And you can do it all with the coffee grinder that's been collecting dust on your shelf since you upgraded to a Keurig. From there, you can blend your homemade spices every which way.
Use your potato masher to make guacamole.
This is one of those times when the name of the product grossly understates its versatility. You can use your potato masher to make all kinds of fun foods, from guacamole to salsa to fresh tomato sauce. This is especially handy for those who are cooking small quantities or just don't feel like using their food processor (or don't own one).
Use your SodaStream to make cocktails.
A crafty sparkling libation need not come from some stuffy high-brow bar and cost as much as a takeaway pizza. You can create your own carbonated concoctions at home with your SodaStream! Yes, this Israel-produced home appliance has more uses than just making soft drinks; you can make delicious cocktails like the Sex and the City Sparkler, the Bourbon Fizzy Lemonade and the Grapefruit Margarita Fizz with this handy recipe rundown courtesy of Vinepair.
Use a wine bottle as a rolling pin.
This is a great trick for those times when the rolling pin is in the dishwasher or otherwise out of commission. Because we know you have a bottle of wine around there somewhere. We recommend an empty one, though, for worry-free rolling. So consider that an excuse to imbibe, and roll away (after you've sobered up, of course).
Use dental floss to cut cheese.
Fancy knives are for amateurs. Real cooks get creative with their cutlery. Using a piece of dental floss to cut soft cheese instead of getting one of your knives dirty and (oh, the horror) having to handwash it. Easy disposal, easy slicing.
Use a waffle iron to make eggs or hash browns.
We love this because the waffle maker does the work for you, and the nonstick surface means you're not scraping egg crumbs (if that wasn't a thing, we made it one) off the bottom of the pan. Just pour the beaten egg into the iron, wait a minute, flip, open. You can do this to make scrambled eggs by stirring after you've poured. Or you can make a lovely omelet. For perfectly crispy hash browns, it really is as easy as it looks, especially if you use this video from Robin Miller Cooks:
Use an egg slicer to make beautiful fruit platters.
Slicing fruit by hand is cumbersome and time-consuming. But with an egg slicer, you can mass-slice with ease. Strawberries work very well here, since they're small like an egg, but you can also slice avocado, banana, kiwi and grapes using this handy, cute tool. This way, you're not only accelerating your prep time; you're also reducing the likelihood of injury. And next time there's a salad in your future, try the egg slicer on mushrooms, cucumbers and carrots, too!
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