HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Other uses for a spaetzle maker other than spaetzle?

I am on a serious comfort food jag and I am craving spaetzle. Though the scraping technique off a plate or board or pressing through a colander would be just as efficient, I fear my inherent lack of coordination and a $10 spaetzle maker is calling my name. What else can I use a spaetzle maker for? thanks

spaetzle maker:

http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-3128-Spa...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I don't know of any other use.

    I have switched to using a perforated grill plate with similar size holes. I press the batter through the holes with a spatula. It still is single use (I don't grill enough), but it stores more compactly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paulj

      Great idea to use the grill plate!

    2. While I am sure that some odd alternative use could be claimed for the spaetzle maker, I doubt that it would be practical or that it would fit any meaningful culinary need. I use my spaetzle maker exclusively for spaetzle and I prefer it to any other method chiefly because it is easier to control over a pan of hot liquid and provides greater uniformity in the finished dumplings.
      Bite the bullet; place the order. It doesn't take up that much space.

      1. I use a thick styrofoam tray on which a family-size bunch of chicken thighs were wrapped. I punched a couple of dozen holes about 1/4" in diameter on end of the tray, and pour the batter onto the unpunctured side. Then I squeegee the batter over the holes with a bench scraper (another piece of styrofoam would work). If the holes start to clog, rapping the tray on the rim of the pot of boiling water clears them. Works perfectly and easily, takes no room to store, and is FREE.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          Free and a good way to recycle, grey. I'm stuck on the colander method myself. BUT... it's nice to buy new toys.

          To the OP: No, I can't think of alternate use for a spaetzle maker, but after reading the amazon reviews, I would consider spending a little more money and purchasing the Norpro 3129, all steel:

          http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Spaetzle...

        2. Spaetzle is my daughters' favorite breakfast and part of my SO's and my favorite meal. I own a spaetzle maker after growing up watching my Mom use her colander to make it...... what a mess. The spaetzle maker pays for itself in ease of use and clean up. I would recommend getting the all stainless version.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rhoneranger

            Have you tried apple spaetzle? The batter is similar, except it incorporates a generous amount of grated apple. I believe it is a regional Swiss specialty.

            On the matter of cleanup, the simple grill plate is simpler than the sliding hopper maker. There's just one surface to clean, no tracks or hopper.

            I was inspired to switch to the grill plate by this simple design:
            http://www.amazon.com/Kuchenprofi-Spa...
            which is a round perforated plate that fits like a lid over pot.

            1. re: paulj

              That's an expensive version of another Chowhound's inspiration, which I read about and tried - punch holes in a disposable foil pie pan. I tried that but found it uncomfortable to hold the pie pan rim, which got very hot very fast. Had to put on an oven mitt, which then got batter on it. The other problem, which could occur with any metal utensil used as a spaetzle maker, was that the steam rising from the simmering water quickly cooks the batter, plugging up the holes. This is far less of a problem with the styrofoam tray, which does a good job of insulating the batter and is comfortable to handle without hand protection.

          2. I tried using a spaetzle maker and could NOT get the hang of it! Made a big mess, and I'm generally proficient in the kitchen....oh well

            I now "pipe" the dough, using a ziplock bag with a tip cut off. That way I can vary the size every time, too.

            1. OMG I love my spaetzle maker! You must get the Cuisipro. It's pricy, but it is awesome. It has a huge barrel to hold a lot of dough at one time, and three different size inserts for different size spaetzle dumplings. It also has grooves that allow you to attach it to different size pots, so you're not having to hold the tool while you're filling it. You just hook it on the pot, then you have both hands free to deal with filling it, right over the boiling water.

              It also makes the BEST mashed potatoes. Here's the trick: Buy Yukon gold potatoes (they taste sort of buttery, but without the calories of added butter), boil them WHOLE and UNPEELED. Then press the whole potatoes through the spaetzle maker -- the skin will amazingly slide off and stay in the spaetzle maker, and the fluffy potato insides slide into the bowl. Add some whole milk or cream, salt and pepper, and you will have the fluffiest mashed potatoes you have ever had.

              1. The model you're looking at is the one I have. It works geat; but since I purchased it I've come to favor over mine is a combination potato ricer/spaetzle maker. Looks to me like it would be easier to use, even though you'd have to cut the dough from the bottom with a knife.

                http://www.amazon.com/Potato-Ricer-Sp...

                1. Thanks for all the great responses, I don't feel so bad about my fear of being a clutz with this project. I think your experiences will save me from scalding. You have all given me some suoer ideas. BTW, a coworker who went to chef school told me about his experience making spaetzle, he used a slotted spoon, which he said made it very easy, but it involved teacher supervision and a classmate helping with the scraping part. Thank you again.

                  1. I love my spaetzle maker even though I only use it a couple of times a year. Sometimes it's worth having a specialized tool that makes a job easy. Also, it's so much faster and easier than the knife/board method that it's not even comparable. Kudos to those who are happy with their inexpensive, low-tech method, but as for me, I'm never going back.

                    Make sure that your dough is soft enough to 'drip' through the holes. The first recipe I made (which came with the maker!) was too stiff, and I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                      You can control the stiffness of the dough by how many eggs you use. For a 1 cup flour recipe, 1 egg will yield a softer dumpling, and 2 eggs will be firmer.

                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                        And if you add some melted butter to the dough, it will slide through the holes easier.

                      2. Hey, couldn't you use a potato ricer? Or are those holes too small?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: pdxgastro

                          The holes on a my spaetzle maker are 5/16" in diameter.

                          1. re: paulj

                            There's also the food mill - just put in the right disc for the use and do in batches.

                            1. re: Budser1228

                              I never thought of doing that. That's a good idea.

                          2. re: pdxgastro

                            The Cuisipro I recommended is called a ricer. It's this one: http://www.amazon.com/Browne-Cuisipro...

                            I actually like the small or medium hole size best, because the spaetzle plumps up when it cooks.

                            1. re: starbucksbrew

                              The three disk option makes this ricer very versatile. Wish I had seen this before I bought mine, although it's twice the price (maybe twice as nice!)

                          3. We have a spaetzle maker that looks like a food mill but is a dedicated spaetzle maker. The ones with the sliding contraption are difficult to use, IMO, and now they seem to be making food mills with a spaetzle plate, and I'd definitely go that route.

                            1. Thanks to all for the great responses. What a wealth of information. Storage is at a premium in my house so a unitasker wasn't very appealing both budget and storage wise. Ultimately, I will invest in a food mill; but I am getting ready to go on vacation so I need to pinch my pennies. For the meantime I bought a rectangular grater, sort of similar to the grill pan and the "homemade" spaetzle maker. I also bought a small off set spatula. It worked very well and the spaetzles were so good. I put a little pesto in the batter (mine doesn't have parmesan or lots of oil), once they were cooked I added them to some steamed peas, drizzled a little oil on the peas and spaetzles and added grated parmesan on the top. I am looking forward to making some in the future to have with roasts.

                              1. My family loves spaetzle and my Irish inlaws clamour over my riced potatoes.

                                I most often use my ricer to make speedy guacamole. It sure beats mashing that green stuff up with a fork !

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: leaving_jupiter

                                  Thanks for unearthing this thread. I have some left over pork roast and green beans in the freezer.

                                  1. I use a very large slotted spoon and a rubber spatula instead of my spaetzle maker. The spaetzle maker is good when you are cooking for a crowd but it is an absolute PITA to clean.

                                    1. I have been scraping it off the edge of the mixing bowl for 40 years....and my mother,grandmother, etc ....back to Germany.in 1902....seems to work fine...one dirty bowl and a dirty knife....