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kitchen utensil you have but never use and won't get rid of

rcburli Feb 3, 2010 04:11 AM

I have this slicer I never use. But I wouldn't think of getting rid of it.
What's in your kitchen cabinet or drawer collecting dust?

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: rcburli Feb 3, 2010 05:37 AM


    That almost looks like a two steps stool

    I have some kitchen utensils which I used a few times (~2 times) but no longer expect to use them anymore. I have two stainless steel steamers which look like this:

    and a small ($5-7) Dim Sum steamer like this:


    They have completely become obsoleted after I got my bamboo steamer. There is nothing really wrong with the stainless ones, just the bamboo ones work better for me. As such, I feel really bad about getting rid of.

    1. Sam Fujisaka RE: rcburli Feb 3, 2010 05:57 AM

      I have that exact same slicer, and use it for very thinly cut carrots and potatoes.

      I don't use some of my expensive, heavy knives anymore. Too slow.

      1. Soop RE: rcburli Feb 3, 2010 08:02 AM

        I have a rocking slicer thing I don't use much, you use it to chop herbs. I tend to rip them or pulp them in a pestle and mortar

        7 Replies
        1. re: Soop
          mtpaper RE: Soop Feb 3, 2010 09:48 AM

          I got rid of a lot of things.
          And I totally regret getting rid of most of them!

          1. re: Soop
            SusanaTheConqueress RE: Soop Feb 5, 2010 03:41 AM

            Mezza Luna? I have one and, though I totally expected to use the bejezzus out of it, never have. Still, I treasure it for the baleen handle with scrimshaw work showing the whale(s). For something I treasure so dearly, I'd think I'd know if it has 1, or more than 1 whale cut into it! :-)
            Not getting up to go check (repeat to self as needed until the moment passes!) '-)
            Have you tried snipping herbs ever-so-finely with the kitchen snips, yet? Lovely results doing a whole bunch of chives over a large pan of cheesy potatoes, last month + a whole bunch of cilantro into... what was it?... Ah! The finish of a pork, potato & chili verde stew! Tremendous results & no cutting board to scour the green off of '-)

            1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
              Sam Fujisaka RE: SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 07:07 AM

              Not meant to be rude, but green on your cutting board means that the knife is smashing the cilantro. A good sharp knife rocking back and forth over the cilantro will not leave green stains.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                c oliver RE: Sam Fujisaka Feb 5, 2010 07:31 AM

                Thanks for that. I'd wondered if I've been chopping wrong all these years. No green stains on my boards either.

                1. re: c oliver
                  SusanaTheConqueress RE: c oliver Feb 5, 2010 10:21 AM

                  OK, I admit it, I stand there and chop-chop-chop and yes, it's "ready"... in my heart of hearts, I _know_ 'it is ready", but, for the life of me I simply can't help myself from going back again & again to chop-chop-chop again - and again... Sometimes, I'll set whatever into the smaller of the you-know-the-ones-from-TV-cooking-shows-clear-glass-bowls, but still I'll find myself "busying my hands" by chop-chop-choping... What were they saying about me & OCD, again? '-)
                  I am _SO_ busted! '-)

                  1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                    Soop RE: SusanaTheConqueress Feb 8, 2010 07:56 AM

                    I think what they mean is your knife could do with a top-up sharpen - for example, when you chop onions, do they make you cry? Test it next time, and if so, that could be the case.

                    It's the same effect; instead of a clean cut, you're crushing the cells. Sometimes this isn't a bad thing, for instance, some chefs recommend tearing herbs like basil to release more aromatics. But you probably want your main knife to be as sharp as poss.

                    1. re: Soop
                      wonderfullyweird RE: Soop May 14, 2010 11:51 AM

                      ! I need a sharper knife! Onions make me tear up so bad... I'll admit I've done the goggles thing more than once. Glad to hear that a sharper knife will fix this problem!

          2. cowboyardee RE: rcburli Feb 3, 2010 10:21 AM

            Fire extinguisher.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee
              grnidkjun RE: cowboyardee Feb 3, 2010 10:40 AM

              lol.. thankfully you don't have to use that one!

              1. re: cowboyardee
                Soop RE: cowboyardee Feb 4, 2010 12:50 AM

                LMAO :D

                1. re: cowboyardee
                  shaogo RE: cowboyardee Feb 5, 2010 07:35 AM


                  We've put four fire extinguishers to use over the years. Four.

                  1. re: shaogo
                    c oliver RE: shaogo Feb 5, 2010 07:36 AM

                    In your HOME? Holy moley! I used to want to be invited to your house. Maybe not :)

                2. BobB RE: rcburli Feb 3, 2010 10:39 AM

                  The huge, heavy (42 oz) cleaver I inherited from my grandfather, who was a professional meat-cutter (the word butcher was NEVER uttered in the house) for most of his adult life. Mainly because every time I pick it up I think of those missing fingertips of his...

                  On the other hand, I also have his long, curved, scimitar-like carving knife, which I love to use, especially when we have company, if only to watch their reactions when I take it out and wave it around!

                  1. hobbybaker RE: rcburli Feb 4, 2010 07:54 AM

                    Definitely a Garlic peeler like below. Just pressing firmly with a chef's knife works better, but since it is a gift, I cannot get rid of.


                    8 Replies
                    1. re: hobbybaker
                      rcburli RE: hobbybaker Feb 4, 2010 09:53 AM

                      never see something like that..what the heck. those tools are funny to me when smashing with a knife really work well.

                      1. re: rcburli
                        Chemicalkinetics RE: rcburli Feb 4, 2010 10:02 AM

                        I found those tools useless -- to me, but I suppose it is useful for people who want to peel a whole garlic bulb without crashing the bulb, say making a bottle of pickled garlic.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          hobbybaker RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 4, 2010 10:56 AM

                          Totally agree with you guys. Mine is a part of "Martha Stewart Everyday" line by Macy's. It was a gift from my in-law, so I cannot get rid of it. If I do, I will be in a big trouble:)
                          For your info:

                          1. re: c oliver
                            hobbybaker RE: c oliver Feb 4, 2010 01:22 PM

                            Yap. Martha Stewart is a diva fo her. So it is something special. Good thing of Martha:)

                            1. re: hobbybaker
                              grnidkjun RE: hobbybaker Feb 4, 2010 12:45 PM

                              lol.. thanks for posting that. I have the egg rings and clam or oyster knife.
                              I tried the egg rings recently and they were awkward.
                              they came with a pan.

                              I have the oyster knife and the only thing I use it for is chipping ice if they get stuck together.

                              1. re: grnidkjun
                                hobbybaker RE: grnidkjun Feb 4, 2010 01:29 PM

                                I guess these egg rings are not supposed to use in non-stick pan as it is metal. your way to say they came with a pan made me laugh. I personally find "Mashroom Slicer" and "Strawberry huller" really helpless. Who needs those??? Oyster knife sounds more reasonable to me than those two at least:)

                                1. re: hobbybaker
                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: hobbybaker Feb 4, 2010 02:14 PM

                                  Well, I have never used an oyster knife, but I suspect they are actually useful because they are sold in many restaurant equipment stores.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    BobB RE: Chemicalkinetics Feb 5, 2010 03:40 AM

                                    Indeed they are - try shucking an oyster with any standard kitchen knife and you'll be in the emergency room before you can say "Wellfleet."

                      2. Pata_Negra RE: rcburli Feb 4, 2010 11:10 AM

                        my rolling pin. the UK version, without handles at both ends. i got it years ago thinking i'd one day try baking something. actually i have a cupboard full of baking things and am still waiting for that day.

                        1. tanuki soup RE: rcburli Feb 4, 2010 05:17 PM

                          I have quite a few, mainly utensils that I somehow feel should be found in any kitchen because they are ideal (or necessary) for certain specialized tasks -- but tasks that I have never actually needed to perform in real life.

                          1. A nutcracker
                          2. A meat hammer (the kind with pyramidal bumps on it)
                          3. A cheese knife (the kind with the cut-out blade and those little pointy things on the end)
                          4. A mortar and pestle
                          5. A garlic press
                          6. A glass lemon juicer
                          7. A tea infuser
                          8. A set of ceramic slicers
                          9. A sifter

                          They're all small things (and some people might not be able to live without them), so having them in the kitchen isn't a big deal.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: tanuki soup
                            c oliver RE: tanuki soup Feb 4, 2010 05:24 PM

                            I have and use most of those things but what are ceramic slicers? Actually I should probably get rid of the garlic press cause I never use it. Should ask my husband if he does. My nutcrackers (yes plural) are used on Dungeness crabs.

                            1. re: c oliver
                              tanuki soup RE: c oliver Feb 4, 2010 05:32 PM

                              The ceramic slicers look like the attached picture -- a set of 4 or 5 stacked on top of a rectangular glass bowl, made by Kyocera. Maybe I could have described them more clearly as a set of small mandolines with ceramic blades.

                              1. re: tanuki soup
                                c oliver RE: tanuki soup Feb 4, 2010 05:37 PM

                                Wow, those look seriously cool. Try slicing some potatoes with one.

                                1. re: tanuki soup
                                  buttertart RE: tanuki soup Feb 5, 2010 05:40 AM

                                  I'll take it off your hands - I love my Kyocera ceramic slicer, use it all the time.

                              2. re: tanuki soup
                                Soop RE: tanuki soup Feb 5, 2010 01:41 AM

                                I think a lot of those things could be accomplished without a specialised device

                                1. A nutcracker - useful, but not essential
                                2. A meat hammer - could use fist/rolling pin
                                3. A cheese knife - nice, but could just use a regular knife
                                4. A mortar and pestle - irreplaceable
                                5. A garlic press - use a knife (the flat of the blade)
                                6. A glass lemon juicer - squeeze by hand
                                7. A tea infuser - irreplacable
                                8. A set of ceramic slicers - could use a knife/mandolin/speed peeler, but not quite the same
                                9. A sifter - a sieve? Definitely an essential.

                                1. re: Soop
                                  BobB RE: Soop Feb 5, 2010 04:11 AM

                                  A sifter is a specialized form of sieve - it's used for sifting dry ingredients, mainly flour, when baking, to even out the consistency and remove any stray pebbles and bugs. If you don't bake you have no need for one.

                                  1. re: BobB
                                    Soop RE: BobB Feb 5, 2010 04:33 AM

                                    I'd say you don't even need one if you do bake! I've never seen one. Does look pretty neat though.

                                    1. re: BobB
                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: BobB Feb 5, 2010 04:43 AM

                                      I actually use that like once a month on average, closer to once a week these days, but I bake though.

                                2. Soop RE: rcburli Feb 5, 2010 01:29 AM

                                  Oh, I forgot; I was given 2 mini salt/pepper pigs as a gift for xmas. They're useless, as I can barely get 2 fingers in them in the first place.

                                  1. SusanaTheConqueress RE: rcburli Feb 5, 2010 05:44 AM

                                    I have the wire cheese slicers and always say - after cutting the cheese - that'll be the way I cut the cheese, _next time_ ~ "next time" has yet to arrive.

                                    I am embarrassed to admit I have (2) of these, and use neither: http://www.miufrance.com/Mandoline.htm

                                    I have only use this one afternoon a year, when harvesting Meyer Lemons and bagging the juice for summer lemonade stand consumption:

                                    I have this cutie & can't think of parting company with her. She gets hauled out and tried every first-of-the-strawberry-season, then, put back away until next year. I have mastered the art of tidily lifting all green parts of the berry's crown and artfully excising the "core" of the berry, leaving a perfect void for filling, or leaving the berry the better for having the other-texture absent without any help from: http://www.amazon.com/Gourmac-Strawbe...

                                    I am ashamed to admit I purchased both the onion slicer guide + the tomato slicer in a fit on stupidity a quarter century ago. Neither work as well as my unassisted hands and 20 year-old treasured "main kitchen knife" SEE: http://www.kitchencontraptions.com/ar... and http://www.2dayblog.com/images/2007/a...

                                    A hand-held ripple cutter with sturdy wooden handle across the length - not the one with the handle at the end / off to the side (SUCH poor engineering in that thing! Mine's excellent!) '-) Too bad I never use it anymore.

                                    All the garlic presses up until c.1985, when Frugal Gourmet (R.I.P.), sold me on ZYLISS - Still, added a Kitchen Aide red to the collection - doesn't work as good as the ZYLISS & no, the smashed garlic under the flat of a knife's blade is not at all the same as pressed (see many entries here).

                                    The wooden citrus reamer Frugal Gourmet also sold me on c. 1985

                                    Most of my hundreds of pastry bag tips... (((sigh))) The beauty I could create...

                                    The ginormous box of "garnishing tools" I simply had to have, and have yet to unpack from the box after years & years.

                                    The cast iron apple peeler I had to have and have yet to use after years & years.

                                    The cast iron hand grinder I had to have, found won't work with my kitchen counters edge (No advice needed; I know it would work on a table's edge - that's not the point - no counter attaching/no mojo) '-) and have yet to use - still in the ancient box, waiting.

                                    More implements for stirring than I care to admit - or count!

                                    A pair of syringes for inserting flavor into the meat. In fairness, these were purchased in preparation for my brother to use during some future visit - or, so I say - One, truly was for me, but I simply don't care for the concept.

                                    More pots & pans than I'll ever confess to...

                                    Which brings me to my copper, tin & old aluminum jelly mold collection... (sigh


                                    Which reminds me of my aluminum & copper cookie press...

                                    Which reminds me of my (3) shortbread pottery pans...

                                    Which reminds me of the hundreds of cookie cutters, many in 3sies - with plans us 3 gals will all cut out cookies one day... (Then, bake them & ice them with oodles of bags of colored icings and frostings and bowls upon bowls of jimmies & sprinkles & oh, MY! I really SHOULD use the cookie cutters, next year '-)

                                    The basting brush that looses bristles - replaced last month with a silicone one (As yet also unused,,,)

                                    The red clay covered dish for French roasted chicken - (The one that must be soaked first... too much to ask of me... is it "worth it"? My chicken's already stellar in every permutation on the theme... '-)

                                    On that note, I'll stop, far from done by any measure! '-)

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                      iL Divo RE: SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 07:07 AM

                                      I buy things for the pure fun of it, if I don't have one or have it, then it's almost a must. If I do have it or one of them, that doesn't matter either. I'll buy another just because.

                                      I don't use most of the kitchen utensils I have, but won't get rid of them.
                                      I have a garlic slicer, hard to use, tiny and small, and really, just dumb.
                                      Also a curvy cheese slicer that I use, but not for cheese. I make indents in my shortbread cookies using it. Won't chuck tho. Most or many of my heavy cast iron enamel plated cookware, I don't use, but I love looking at it no matter how old it is.

                                      1. re: SusanaTheConqueress
                                        dmd_kc RE: SusanaTheConqueress Feb 5, 2010 08:49 AM

                                        Not to encourage ANOTHER purchase (heh), but those old-fashioned flat tweezer-type strawberry hullers really are head and shoulders above the model you use -- at least in my hands. I can make incredibly fast work of berries with them, and the tool takes almost no room in a drawer.

                                        1. re: dmd_kc
                                          SusanaTheConqueress RE: dmd_kc Feb 5, 2010 10:41 AM

                                          LOL! Actually, something like that is my "secret" for getting the hulling done so tidily. I use (OK - just measured them - because they "live" on my plaid converted square planter-turned-pen-holder's side facing me on the desk here '-) - 5.5" medical forceps - the length is handy-dandy for leverage from the fleshy part of my right hand as the left holds the green tops all gathered together to "show me the way" to gain access to just the right spot to insert & kind of double-twist-grasp&pull all in one motion.
                                          These are the ones, but mine are very many years old and have much wider spaces along the midline grooves (and don't look so tiny in person (They've never been held of to 12" in my presence, as in this photo '-)
                                          SOURCE: http://www.indigo.com/tools/gphtools/...
                                          There's something satisfying for me about the surgical precision & total economy these provide, The cutie pie "scoop" can't compare, but I always take her out for first spin of the season and leave her laying about for a week, or 2 - or 3, untouched again - and finally, put back where she belongs - to wait another year.
                                          As an aside: I never realized how nuts I am until noticing all these cooking-related quirks of mine since I started posting on CHOW a couple of weeks ago! '-)

                                      2. shaogo RE: rcburli Feb 5, 2010 07:43 AM

                                        I inherited my mom's hand-cranked meat slicer. It sticks to the counter with suction cups. She used it to slice home-roasted beef for summer parties when I was a kid. I've never used it but can't bring myself to chuck it.

                                        I haven't used my melon baller in four years.

                                        Little plastic mandoline devices with horrendously sharp little blades that I buy at Japanese stores and then never use. Or use once to make fancy, thin shreds of something, then I put it away and can't find it the next time I want the same type of cut.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: shaogo
                                          BobB RE: shaogo Feb 5, 2010 08:10 AM

                                          My mom had one of those hand-cranked meat slicers as well. Now you've got me wondering what happened to it...

                                          Of similar vintage, I inherited my grandmother's Farberware electric rotisserie, but I still use that from time to time. It roasts a nicely tender duck!

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