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Jan 6, 2011 09:22 AM

What's Your Most Useful Gadget--under $10?

I used to work in a kitchen/cooking store and when anyone asked about garlic presses, I always showed them a Garlic Slicer/Shredder for about $8. It lets you slice garlic very thin for recipes like sauteed spinach and shreded garlic for dressings and sauces. And because it has a good size hopper, you can do 3 or 4 cloves at a time.

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  1. thong....though it may be slightly over $10.

    I also love 4 cup glass measuring cup. It's perfect size to do everything from making salad dressing to baking to measuring to melting chocolate...I especially like it when i make waffles and pancakes.

    1. I love my apple corer. I always thought they were stupid but now that I have a 3 year old I use it almost daily for apples, pears, etc.

      1. It might be more like $13, but my micro-plane is invaluable. I use it all the time and there really isn't another gadget or method that gives the same results for zesting etc.

        8 Replies
        1. re: theamusedbouche

          Found one online for $8....though shipping brought it to $15!

          1. re: theamusedbouche

            Every time I use a micro plane grater, I end up grating my fingers instead. I must be doing something wrong. I am probably the only one who hates using micro plane grater. lol

            1. re: Monica

              Me, too. The popularity of the microplane eludes me. I have to hold it in such a tense position when I grate p-r, so I won't cut my knuckles, I use the thing as little as possible. I like how it grates p-r into such a fine, powdery substance, but it's just too much trouble. I've cut myself a number of times.

              1. re: Jay F

                the microplane is essentially a wood rasp.... woodworking tool that that suddenly became hugely popular in the kitchen... first time I came across it was in a woodworking catalogue that suggested it was also good for zesting

                1. re: Jay F

                  I have four microplanes but my favourite actually stands up itself and has a thingy to put the cheese or whatever inside (sort of like a mandoline has) so you don't grate something other than what you WANT to grate!

                  1. re: chefathome

                    Oh, that looks nice, like something I'd get more use out of. Thanks.

              2. re: theamusedbouche

                I was actually about to post definitely micro-plane I not only use it for zesting but if you want to make something with superfine garlic or garlic paste love using microplane.

                1. re: theamusedbouche

                  Microplane zesters are pretty wonderful, but try the Palm Zester by Chef'n! It's got a built in collector for the zest to fall into, and it works like a charm :)

                2. My microplanes are all well over $10 but still couldn't do without them.

                  I love my citrus press and use it OFTEN.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chefathome

                    +1 on both counts. i *finally* just bought a lemon/citrus squeezer at Bed Bath & Beyond a few weeks ago, and i ca't believe i went all these years without one!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I know what you mean. I sort of thought it would be an unnecessary luxury but now I go wild with that thing! It works SO well.

                  2. My tongs, which I bought at a hardware store 20 years ago for under $5. The catch that opens and closes them works with a flick of the wrist, as opposed other more expensive models that force me to use my other hand, which is almost always busy when I'm doing something that requires tongs.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Jay F

                      I have tongs like that I bought at a discount cookware outlet that was going out of business about 10 yrs ago for under $5. I love them, and when they went missing a couple of months ago I was REALLY bummed. (And I just knew that my husband forgot to bring them in when he was using them out by the grill, which he vigorously denied - until we finally found them weeks later under the deck, right by the grill....) Anyway, I thought they were gone forever so I went out and bought another pair, and yes, it's a two handed operation & they are super annoying. I can't tell you how happy I was when my old tongs turned up.

                      1. re: flourgirl

                        I know. I've tried to find them any chance I get, so I can give them to friends. You'd think OXO would make one, but no. I've e-mailed them about it numerous times, but they have no interest.

                        1. re: flourgirl

                          I have the metal tongs that have no lock at all. We have half a dozen of them, including an extra long pair, in the ceramic container that holds all the wooden spoons and stirrers.