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What is your most useful/best beloved non-mechanical device in your kitchen?

For me it's a tossup between my Japanese non-stick rice paddle (what a joy not to have to soak it) and my insulated coffee mug (can't drink cold/tepid coffee).

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  1. My apple corer! I like my pineapple corer, too.

    EDIT: actually, it's an apple wedger...

    ~TDQ

    1. I'm pretty impressed with my wooden lemon reamer - it's amazing what a good job such a simple, cheap instrument can do.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sivyaleah

        I just got one. How do you clean it? Just run plain water over it and dry? Thanks in advance.

        1. re: conniemcd

          Yep, that's all I do. Rinse it with hot water. I figure lemon juice itself is kind of antiseptic. I've had it for years and it still looks brand new.

        2. re: sivyaleah

          I have one too & it's true - it works great. I would never buy a different kind. I also love my microplane zester and my dough scraper.

          1. re: flourgirl

            I'll second the microplane - another one of those lowtech perfect items!

            1. re: sivyaleah

              I'll third the microplane. Once I got it, I started using it A LOT. I'm also fond of a simple plastic juicer that I got as a premium for something. Easy and quick for juicing an orange or lemon or lime or two.

        3. Funny, I was just going to post a similar question, as I've reading another thread of the "most useless kitchen gadgets":

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/356586

          Mine is actually a new item I just picked up, so maybe I'm still in the honeymoon period, but it's a $5 board scraper. I never thought I'd want to use one of these, as I don't need to divide dough, and I'd just my chef's knife to pick up chopped veggies and transfer them to the pan. But after picking up countless little bits of mirepoix off the counters and floors, I'd figured I'd give this a shot.

          So far, it's awesome. Last night I chopped a bunch of chocolate for hot chocolate, and used the scraper to get it to the scale, and then the pot of milk. I know that if I used my 10" chef's to do the same, I'd have 70% cocoa everywhere.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rocknrope

            Rocknrope;

            So did you like that- Microwave Splattered Eggs Interior maker? LOL!

            Anyway, I have several. Some plastic and some metal. Several kitchen uses for those other than just dough. Although I do use mine for dumpling making at times.

            I have one that is a heavy metal, deep drawn "T" shape that I consider a handle-less meat cleaver. I would say it is one of my G-G-fathers inventions.

            -----

          2. I love my dough scraper too, for a myriad of reasons, but my favourite non-gadgety tool is my Lee Valley microplane. I use it for everything from onions to garlic to citrus zest to cheese grating, I LOVE that thing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: WineWidow

              Wine Widow, I agree with the bench knife, but I would add my digital probe, and a silicone spatula.

            2. Mine's got to be my serrated vegetable peeler. It's sharp enough to peel tomatoes straight from the yard.