HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Embarrassing gadget you love?

Isolda Feb 26, 2011 10:35 AM

I'm sure this has been done before--because there is nothing new under the sun--but on this site you can either resurrect an old thread if you can find it, and be reminded that "this thread is 30 years old. I'm sure the OP is dead by now" OR you can start a new thread and be given 25 links to older threads just like it. I choose the latter.

What embarrassing gadget (perhaps something you ordered off the TV or bought in Bed Bath and Beyond) do you find indispensable in your kitchen?

I gave my son a bagel guillotine for Christmas because I didn't want him chopping his hands up trying to slice his bagel each morning and we all LOVE it. Best gadget I've bought in a long time. It doesn't get washed enough because someone always needs it dry to slice a roll or bagel.

My experience with this kitschy device has been so positive that I'm considering buying a George Foreman grill. How about you?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ipsedixit RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 10:43 AM

    George Foreman Grill is awesome.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      DuchessNukem RE: ipsedixit Feb 28, 2011 01:20 PM

      Agreed. I'm on my fourth Foreman (I'm a lot kinder to ol' George now than I was to the first two). Does what it says it will, quickly, easily.

    2. f
      ferret RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 11:11 AM

      Who considers a bagel slicer to be kitschy? It does what it was designed to do and it does it very well.

      6 Replies
      1. re: ferret
        ipsedixit RE: ferret Feb 26, 2011 11:16 AM

        ... and more often than not saves you a trip to the emergency room.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Jay F RE: ipsedixit Mar 1, 2011 10:54 AM

          ...on a Sunday morning.

        2. re: ferret
          Isolda RE: ferret Feb 27, 2011 01:07 PM

          Glad to hear this. I bought it on a whim, mainly because it had "guillotine" in the name, btu after using it a few months, I can't believe we risked our lives (or at least our fingers) for so long.

          1. re: Isolda
            runwestierun RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 01:58 PM

            I have a friend who is a hand surgeon and he says people who slice bagels in their hands are his bread and buttah.

            1. re: runwestierun
              Pedr0 RE: runwestierun Jan 17, 2012 10:47 PM

              I've heard the same from a hand surgeon. The accidents tend to happen when it's a frozen bagel that someone is trying to separate before toasting.

          2. re: ferret
            eamcd RE: ferret Feb 27, 2011 06:25 PM

            I agree. Ours is the "Bagel Biter" -- and we love it. We gave one to friends one year and they were thrilled. If you like bagels, even if you don't have them often, it's so handy. Once the kids are old enough to keep their hands out of the blade area, it allows them to slice their own too.

            Funny just coming across this thread now -- we had our "Biter" out just yesterday for the first time in a while. (Just haven't had as many bagels recently.)

          3. j
            Jeri L RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 11:21 AM

            Fasta Pasta. It's a plastic box, for heaven's sake! But it's quick, there's less clean up (drain using the lid, no colander needed) and it's dishwasher safe.


            1. 0
              02putt RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 06:30 PM

              I bought a mini decorative broom and dustpan that match the one I have for the kitchen floor. It hangs on a suction cup on the side of the cupboard with a suction cup. It is great for sweeping up crumbs after dinner off the table and counter tops (especially under the toaster oven) before wiping down. The kids have no excuse for missing or letting crumbs fall to the floor. The best part $1.00 at the buck store.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 02putt
                Isolda RE: 02putt Feb 27, 2011 01:08 PM

                That sounds excellent and quite possibly, fun to use.

              2. Quine RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 06:43 PM

                Things that making opening cans EASY! The CanDo (was that the Seen on TV name) as simple place on can, press on and it rolls around the can. Such a GREAT help when my Mom broke her wrist, does such a great job, it is now the one can-opener in the kitchen.
                Then there is this thing that makes those pop up the pull off can lids easy. Got it at a thrift store, no idea of name/maker.
                Finally, "as seen on TV" now sold in Dollar store, a closed band with teeth on the inside (sort looks like a gear band) can get a grip on my size lid top and get that sucker off!

                1. l
                  luvsummer RE: Isolda Feb 26, 2011 07:55 PM

                  My onion glasses.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: luvsummer
                    02putt RE: luvsummer Feb 26, 2011 09:27 PM

                    would love to see a pic of that one. Do you wear rubber gloves as well? Dexter comes to mind! :)

                    1. re: 02putt
                      luvsummer RE: 02putt Feb 27, 2011 11:54 AM

                      Mine are pink, thank you very much! See http://www.amazon.com/RSVP-Internatio...

                      I buy rubber gloves, but can't seem to remember to use them--and my hands show it. I *did* just buy some pinkish-red silicone potholders.

                      1. re: luvsummer
                        Isolda RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 01:16 PM

                        Those lsilicone potholders are among my favorite daily-use things. You either love them or hate them (they're less flexible than cloth). I have a hinged one that compensates for the inflexibility a bit. What I love is that you can use them even while they, or your hands, are wet.

                        1. re: luvsummer
                          clint1245 RE: luvsummer Mar 9, 2011 10:49 AM

                          Not to make fun of you but I am crying with laughter imagining people wearing these.

                          1. re: clint1245
                            Candy RE: clint1245 Mar 9, 2011 11:43 AM

                            The would not look as silly, as one of my customer told me, as he was delightedly purchasing them, as he did when wearing a diving mask and snorkel to chop onions. It is too bad that they won't fit over glasses. Most of us who wear contact lenses don't need the Onion Goggles.

                            1. re: Candy
                              Quine RE: Candy Mar 10, 2011 05:07 PM

                              So true about the contact wearers, since such little is covered and works so well, makes me wonder about all those other "methods". But after a good many years of wearing contacts then going back to glasses, the first time I chopped onions I was so agast! that I thought something was wrong with me, then I remembered, *sob*

                              1. re: Quine
                                buttertart RE: Quine Mar 11, 2011 10:06 AM

                                I find if I keep my mouth open a little when chopping them I don't suffer, even w/o contacts. It's a rare onion that bothers me in the least.
                                A Benriner or similar slicer also works, I suppose because it's very sharp and fewer cells are crushed.

                              2. re: Candy
                                Robin Joy RE: Candy May 26, 2011 02:00 PM

                                The mask and snorkel works well. I just find the fins a little clumsy.

                              3. re: clint1245
                                goodhealthgourmet RE: clint1245 Mar 9, 2011 05:26 PM

                                Not to make fun of you but I am crying with laughter imagining people wearing these.
                                ahh, but the people wearing them *aren't* crying from onions.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  Candy RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 10, 2011 08:32 AM

                                  They are very odd looking and are laughable.

                              4. re: luvsummer
                                mkatieq RE: luvsummer Oct 21, 2012 11:48 AM

                                I just ordered the pink onion glasses. I must admit, I have been using my swim goggles for as long as I can remember. These will be much kinder to my hair. Thanks for the link.

                            2. re: luvsummer
                              winstars RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 12:19 AM

                              I second the onion glasses, I love my bright green ones!!!!!!!

                              1. re: luvsummer
                                Isolda RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 01:09 PM

                                My daughter would LOVE those! She likes to cook, but has to ask me to chop the onions because she tears up so much, it's actually blinding. I don't get it--I sneeze when I chop onions and cry when I grind pepper.

                                1. re: Isolda
                                  Jay F RE: Isolda Mar 1, 2011 10:56 AM

                                  I've taken to using sweet onions only. They don't do the number on my eyes that red onions, my decades-long favorites, do.

                                2. re: luvsummer
                                  jkling17 RE: luvsummer Jan 20, 2012 07:18 PM

                                  LOL .... OMG I am sorry but that is just too much. :-) So while I am having a good laugh at your expense, may I please also offer a suggestion to help?

                                  Use a thin-bladed knife and get it REALLY sharp. This way, the cells of the onion are cleanly cut instead of crushed, which will dramatically reduce those nasty gases and their undesirable after-effects. I hope this helps!

                                3. b
                                  Breezychow RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 12:28 PM

                                  It slices, it dices, it halves, it quarters, it pierces!!!

                                  I don't consider this embarrassing at all, but I do know lots of folks who think they're a waste - an "egg slicer". Mine has the micro-thin wires for making perfect thin slices of hardboiled eggs, as well as halve them, quarter them, dice them, & even has a sharp "pin" to pierce raw eggshells before hardboiling.

                                  Even if I don't make hardboiled eggs all the time, when I do, I definitely find this tool invaluable to process them the way I need them for whatever I'm using them for.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Breezychow
                                    eclecticsynergy RE: Breezychow Feb 27, 2011 02:32 PM

                                    Love my egg slicer!
                                    BTW, it's also handy for slicing fresh mozzarella, too soft for the knife.

                                    1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                      iyc_nyc RE: eclecticsynergy Feb 27, 2011 02:46 PM

                                      Which ones do you all have, and is yours durable and easy to clean? Can't find one without reviews complaining about it being hard to clean, easy to break, etc.

                                      1. re: iyc_nyc
                                        JEN10 RE: iyc_nyc Feb 27, 2011 04:28 PM

                                        I have sliced mushrooms in mine, I would never be without one.

                                        1. re: iyc_nyc
                                          pericolosa RE: iyc_nyc Feb 27, 2011 05:05 PM

                                          Amco makes a pretty sturdy egg slicer. My version has two hinged parts strung with wire so it can do both thin cross-sectional slices as well as sectioning into six slices. One of the rubber footpads on mine was missing when I bought it, so I removed the other two and replaced them with little 3M half-sphere bumpers which give even better traction.

                                        2. re: eclecticsynergy
                                          Candy RE: eclecticsynergy Mar 9, 2011 11:57 AM

                                          There is a large version of an egg slicer made for cutting soft cheeses. It does a great job. Last month when I was making some sandwich cookies, inspiration struck. The cookied dough was to be rolled and sliced. I measured the width of the slicer 4" and cut the dough logs into that length and proceeded to slice them with the slicer. Perfect cookies that were perfectly even in depth and size

                                      2. p
                                        pine time RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 01:15 PM

                                        I've been looking at that TV ad for something called the Chef's Basket. Went to the website, but you have to pay processing for 2, which raised the price crazily. Would like to see something similar in a real store and give it a try.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: pine time
                                          I used to know how to cook... RE: pine time Feb 27, 2011 01:30 PM

                                          Hi Pine Time,

                                          I saw those wire baskets at Bed Bath & Beyond. They remind me of the tiered baskets, held together by lightweight chain, that were sold decades ago to hold produce in the kitchen. Which, by the way, weren't strong enough to be particularly useful.


                                          1. re: pine time
                                            Quine RE: pine time Feb 27, 2011 01:35 PM

                                            Target sells them.

                                            1. re: pine time
                                              eamcd RE: pine time Feb 27, 2011 06:28 PM

                                              I hadn't seen the ad, so I was curious and looked it up. If it helps, here's a little "review" on a consumer news item:


                                              1. re: eamcd
                                                pine time RE: eamcd Feb 28, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                Thanks for the review link, eamcd. Part of its appeal for me is the foldability. May use my Bed Bath & Beyond discount coupon and give it a try. Altho' the deal with hubby is that for every new gadget I haul into the house, one must go out to Salvation Army!

                                                1. re: pine time
                                                  Quine RE: pine time Feb 28, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                  I was going to say that the chef's basket is an old item, rediscovered (and big bucks for it too) by the ShamWow crowd, Was going to say, look in thrift stores. You could get a win won! You find it in a thrift store it's ain' t "new" and you will pay alot less.

                                                  Those slam chop thingies have been around since about when I was born in the 50's!

                                                  Thrift stores are the way I see if the product really works, if it starts showing up in thrift stores fast and often, step away from the TV remote. :-)

                                            2. l
                                              luvsummer RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 01:32 PM

                                              I'm curious about hotly marketed gadgets of yore, the things that were EVERYWHERE--until they weren't, or at least until they turn up at yard sales. One I never tried, but was always skeptical about, was that miracle defroster that was supposed to defrost food quickly. What ever happened to that, and did it really work?

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: luvsummer
                                                Breezychow RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                Oh my God - talk about a blast from the past! I HAD one of those tv-advertised defroster plates way back when, & amazingly enough, it did work. It came in very handy before we had a microwave. Don't know what happened to it, but I'm sure it's stored away somewhere around here.

                                                1. re: luvsummer
                                                  Isolda RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 02:45 PM

                                                  Don't know anything about the miracle defroster, but one heavily advertised utensil I love is the Perfect Beaker, an awesome measuring cup that I adore. I buy one every time I see it at a yard sale because I use them all the time and the markings eventually wear off.

                                                  1. re: Isolda
                                                    nofunlatte RE: Isolda Mar 1, 2011 06:52 AM

                                                    I have had one of these for 10 years and was so impressed that I bought one for my sister as a gift. Very handy, as I sometimes cook from German cookbooks (in addition to my American ones).

                                                  2. re: luvsummer
                                                    Sydneyeats RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 04:33 PM

                                                    I purchased the Miracle Thaw years ago for my mom. She swears by it and still uses it to this day.

                                                    1. re: luvsummer
                                                      ThreeGigs RE: luvsummer Mar 1, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                      I turn my copper saute pan upside down and use that as my 'miracle defroster'. All you need is something that'll conduct heat from the air into your food, kind of like a radiator in reverse.

                                                      1. re: ThreeGigs
                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: ThreeGigs Mar 9, 2011 05:27 PM

                                                        yep. my granite countertop works like a charm!

                                                        1. re: ThreeGigs
                                                          ratgirlagogo RE: ThreeGigs Mar 11, 2011 02:00 PM

                                                          Huh. Will the bottom of a Revereware saute pan work? Or is that not enough copper?

                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                            John E. RE: ratgirlagogo May 24, 2011 08:07 PM

                                                            I just noticed this thread. The miracle defroster is simply an aluminum tray. I bought one from a catalog years ago (I was layed up after back surgery and went nuts with a catalog. This was in the early stages of the WWW and there was not yet much in the way of commerce on the internet, thank goodness). Anyway, I don't know what happened to it, but to speed up defrosting of meat we just put it on a half-sheet pan. The aluminum conducts the cold from the meat and too the pan. I flip the meat onto a warm part of the pan a couple of times as the meat thaws.

                                                            1. re: John E.
                                                              scubadoo97 RE: John E. May 26, 2011 03:29 PM

                                                              A granite counter top also works quite well for defrosting food.

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97
                                                                jkling17 RE: scubadoo97 Jan 20, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                True but if one has the time, it's best to slowly defrost meat in the fridge. It's not always an option though.

                                                              2. re: John E.
                                                                ratgirlagogo RE: John E. May 27, 2011 05:08 PM

                                                                Thanks so much for answering. It's disheartening to ask a question here (especially a naive one like mine) and never get an answer! I do understand the principle now.

                                                        2. eclecticsynergy RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                          I have a Slap Chop and it's been more useful than I expected.

                                                          Many of us will have seen the ad, with Vince the ShamWow guy. A DJ put a dance beat behind it and used Autotune to give the voice musical pitch; it's kitschy but kinda catchy.


                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                            iyc_nyc RE: eclecticsynergy Feb 27, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                            The Slap Chop got 2 stars on Amazon reviews, with 59 1-star ratings as compared with 14 5-star ratings. Just curious - what do you like so much about it and do you have thoughts on why the reviews are so consistently negative?

                                                            1. re: iyc_nyc
                                                              eclecticsynergy RE: iyc_nyc May 23, 2011 11:56 PM

                                                              Hiya- just revisited this thread after long absence. I've found the SlapChop is handy for small quantities and really easy to rinse clean.

                                                              Make no mistake, this is a cheap gadget. Certainly not high quality manufacture and the blade isn't particularly sharp- these two factors earned its low approval ratings, I'm sure. No good at all for ripe tomatoes, for instance, or fresh parsley. And its capacity is quite small.

                                                              But I'm often cooking for one and prefer minimal cleanup. There are better choppers out there; if and when mine breaks I'll probably get one of those. I was just saying that it's an embarrassing gadget that's been more useful than expected.

                                                              1. re: eclecticsynergy
                                                                Isolda RE: eclecticsynergy May 24, 2011 05:41 AM

                                                                I have a similar gadget from Pampered Chef. Yes, I went to one of those gadget parties and bought this thing. However, I've had it at least 10 years, and it is in very good shape. I don't use it every week, maybe twice a month, so perhaps that accounts for its longevity. But when I need it, it works.

                                                              2. re: iyc_nyc
                                                                cowboyardee RE: iyc_nyc Jan 18, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                i've heard that it's actually useful for chopping up nuts.

                                                                Not that i'd have any personal experience.

                                                            2. caseyjo RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                              My mom has a magic bullet, and we were all obsessed with it. Margaritas made to order! Smoothies made to order! Alcoholic smoothies! It really was pretty great, until it stopped working. Although I should know better by now, I'd really like to get one for myself.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: caseyjo
                                                                caliking RE: caseyjo Feb 27, 2011 05:07 PM

                                                                My impulse buy was the Thunder Stick which I bought many years ago after watching many infomercial at 2am. Turned out to be an invaluable tool. About 1/3rd the price of other fancy immersion blenders. The motor was so strong, I added a $10 dimmer switch and then it became a variable speed immersion blender. Absolutely wonderful tool - came with a food pro like attachment, a dry spice grinder, and 4 blades to use as an immersion blender. Love it.

                                                                1. re: caliking
                                                                  pine time RE: caliking Feb 28, 2011 10:44 AM

                                                                  Oh, I had completely forgot that I bought the Thunder Stick, too. Problem was, the button was defective and I got a mild shock every time I used it--not a good thing when blending wet ingredients. I superglued the danged button back together, and have used it regularly every since. However, the ad showed how simple it was to make peanut butter--no way, did NOT work for that. Otherwise, a cheap, good basic immersion blender.

                                                                  1. re: caliking
                                                                    scubadoo97 RE: caliking Mar 1, 2011 05:06 PM

                                                                    I bought a Thunder Stick as well. The design is very much a copy of the Bamix IB. I have a Bamix now but the Thunder Stick worked well for me for nearly 10 yrs before falling apart. The blades fit the Bamix as well as the other accessories.

                                                                2. 0
                                                                  02putt RE: Isolda Feb 27, 2011 04:58 PM

                                                                  This isn't really a cooking device rather a storage device. My mother-in-law had pie wedge savers from Tupperware. They fit individual pie pieces (triangular) for freezing. She has since past and my father-in-law still goes on about them as he cannot find them. I tried Tupperware and they don't seem to carry them or anyone there is too young to remember them. I have searched the internet to no avail and dollar stores. Although they do carry pizza wedge containers. (Fantastic for freezing pizza slices but to wide and shallow for pie pieces)

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: 02putt
                                                                    luvsummer RE: 02putt Feb 27, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                                    There are a bunch of used ones on eBay. Lots in purple!

                                                                    1. re: luvsummer
                                                                      02putt RE: luvsummer Feb 27, 2011 07:11 PM

                                                                      thanks I'll check it out.

                                                                    2. re: 02putt
                                                                      ThreeGigs RE: 02putt Mar 1, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                      Tupperware also had hamburger patty maker/storage thingamabobs. The base of one was the lid for the next. Mom bought a bunch at a yard sale ages back, and I used them regularly back in my bachelor days. Yeah, I could have just formed patties and frozen them, but the Tupperware forms were too convenient, and made a well sized burger to boot.

                                                                    3. k
                                                                      KitchenGeek RE: Isolda Feb 28, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                      I have 2 things I use a LOT:

                                                                      The Ove-Glove. It looks like a gimmick, but it is darned handy. But, don't get it wet then pick up a hot pan, the water will quickly transfer the heat to your fingers.

                                                                      A cordless BBQ thermometer. We use it for cooking just about everything in the oven or on the grille. This is the one I bought:


                                                                      I tried several other brands, they were all junk. This one never fails to work. Turn it on, wait a minute, it syncs. Select your meat type, stick the probe in, go back to cooking the side dishes. It starts squawking when "it's almost done!", which I discovered by accident that you can silence. I feel like I'm cheating when I use it, but the thing has never let me down with overcooked food on the grille.

                                                                      1. i
                                                                        iyc_nyc RE: Isolda Feb 28, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                        This was also a few CHer's nomination for 'most useless gadget' on that board, but I love it: banana slicer (available at WS). It slices a banana into clean, perfect, beautiful slices in two movements, w/o getting your hands all covered in banana (mush).

                                                                        1. I used to know how to cook... RE: Isolda Mar 1, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                                          Hi all,

                                                                          The recent Tupperware posts reminded me of this.

                                                                          My Tupperware powdered sugar storage/sifter with the little handle on top. You rotate the handle and the sugar sifts out the bottom. I've had it since the late '60s. Don't know if they still make them.



                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: I used to know how to cook...
                                                                            02putt RE: I used to know how to cook... Mar 1, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                            thanks to chowhound I just won the pie wedge savers from Ebay I was talking about. And I do have the hamburger thingy's. I use them for all types of patties. Falafels, sausage, potato pankcakes etc.

                                                                          2. h
                                                                            hamboney RE: Isolda Mar 9, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                                            -Tupperware pickle keeper.
                                                                            -Ginsu knife set, got as a wedding gift in 1988 (great gag gift-we laughed). Ummm...I still use the steak knives 24 yrs. later, the rest are still around...somewhere.
                                                                            -Pro V mandoline slicer, very sturdy and a good variety of blades.

                                                                            1. Candy RE: Isolda Mar 9, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                              A Chop and Stir. When we got those in I was dubious. Yeah another gadget. After selling a bunch of them I finally broke down and bought one for myself. It is a gadget with a long handle and X blades at the bottom. It is made of (I think) nylon, so safe on all pan surfaces. Put ground beef, or what ever, in a pan or skillet and use the C&S to break whatever it is you are cooking apart. If works very efficiently and quickly.

                                                                              1. FoodChic RE: Isolda Mar 9, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                                                My FIL has the Ronco Rotisserie..you know, Set it and forget it! He loves it.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: FoodChic
                                                                                  luvsummer RE: FoodChic Mar 9, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                                  Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fascinating piece about the rotisserie and other gadgets by Ron Popeil. It's at http://www.gladwell.com/2000/2000_10_....

                                                                                  1. re: luvsummer
                                                                                    FoodChic RE: luvsummer Mar 10, 2011 07:29 AM

                                                                                    Good article. Thank you for sharing.

                                                                                    I could never bring myself to by one of those things. I saw my FIL's and it is incredibly cheap in construction. He loves it and has used it for years.

                                                                                2. anonymoose RE: Isolda Mar 11, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                                  Tupperware orange peeler. I love that thing so much that I have a whole stack of them. My parents keep coming to my house and stealing them from me.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: anonymoose
                                                                                    Jeri L RE: anonymoose Mar 11, 2011 07:49 PM

                                                                                    Oh yeah! Those are great!

                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                    ratgirlagogo RE: Isolda Mar 11, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                    A nonstick box grater. When we lost our first one years ago I actually appealed to this board to help me find a new one (eventually found one at Zabar's).

                                                                                    And my sister-in-law loves a tiny (thimble-sized) box grater she got as a gag gift many years ago - it turns out it's perfect for slicing and grating garlic.

                                                                                    1. KansasKate RE: Isolda Mar 11, 2011 02:14 PM

                                                                                      My three most embarrassing-but-beloved kitchen items were stolen when our other home was burglarized.

                                                                                      1, Ginsu knife. Bought c. 1981, it stayed sharp for 25+ years.
                                                                                      2. Popeil pasta machine. We used it weekly for years and never got anything but perfect pasta.
                                                                                      3. Zac E-Z-Rol garlic peeler. Little rubber tube. Worked well. Sure sign of absolute laziness and kitchen gadget addiction.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: KansasKate
                                                                                        SuperGrover RE: KansasKate Mar 12, 2011 03:33 AM

                                                                                        My Breville Muffin Magic. It makes three perfect little muffins at a time. One Betty Crocker muffin packet is the perfect size to fill them up. I really do need to find a good recipe for it though.

                                                                                        1. re: KansasKate
                                                                                          JasFoodie RE: KansasKate Jan 17, 2012 12:34 AM

                                                                                          I got suckered in by a demo back when I was in college for one of those amazing knives that will cut everything, including a brick or a sneaker but still manage to slice a tomato. They offered not one but TWO for $10 and if we promised to give it to a friend so they could try it out, we got a third one as well as a filleting knife and 6 steak knives. Seeing that I was a broke college student at the time with just one incredibly dull knife to my name, I took the deal. I never expected the knives to last long, but I figured for 10 bucks hopefully between the three of them they'd last me till I graduated college and I could afford better knives.

                                                                                          I've been out of college for 12 years now and while I don't remember when exactly I bought these, it was fairly early in my college career. I still have one of the knives and use it almost as often as my henkles chefs knife. And its not that only one remains out of the original 3 I got. I gave one to a friend as promised, and eventually gave another to my mom. She still uses hers to this day. In fact she helps out in the community kitchen of the temple she belongs to regularly and takes it with her because she can't stand to use their knives. And she refuses to let anyone else even touch it! So it sees very heavy usage as does almost all the chopping and dicing for 150 people a week. The one I gave to my friend is still in use at his house too - in fact it carved the thanksgiving turkey last year.

                                                                                          Amazing how far that $10 has stretched!

                                                                                        2. k
                                                                                          Kirsten163 RE: Isolda May 24, 2011 01:10 AM

                                                                                          well its a bit big for a "gadget" but i do get odd looks for having one... i put a 22 ft restaurant buffet outside my kitchen door for entertaining :) no more having to haul out the fold up tables lol life is much easier :)

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Kirsten163
                                                                                            FoodChic RE: Kirsten163 May 24, 2011 05:20 AM

                                                                                            What? And where did you get it?

                                                                                            1. re: FoodChic
                                                                                              Kirsten163 RE: FoodChic May 24, 2011 08:55 AM

                                                                                              lol actually just kind of stumbled on to it at a hotel salvage store .... couldnt pass the deal up..had an upper area all in brass which i removed because i wasnt going to try to keep up brass exposed to the outdoors.... by the time i scrapped the brass...buffet was almost free :)

                                                                                              1. re: Kirsten163
                                                                                                scubadoo97 RE: Kirsten163 May 26, 2011 03:30 PM

                                                                                                That's awesome Kristen

                                                                                          2. 0
                                                                                            02putt RE: Isolda May 24, 2011 05:35 AM

                                                                                            Don't waste your money on a George Foreman grill. There useless. Ditto for the Acti-Fry. Complete waste of money!

                                                                                            1. PeeWeesMom RE: Isolda Jun 6, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                                              An electric rice steamer!

                                                                                              1. t
                                                                                                teresakendrick RE: Isolda Jan 18, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                                                                I love my magic bullet...we use it almost every day in the summer for milkshakes and frozen drinks. Not that great for chopping/blending other items but it is well used. Also love the NINJA. Great for ice and I found that it makes the kids homemade playdoh really smooth. (Not that I make playdoh very often...)

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: teresakendrick
                                                                                                  exvaxman RE: teresakendrick Jan 20, 2012 04:06 PM

                                                                                                  I wish that the baby food magic bullet maker was available years ago. I ended up getting a vitamix :)

                                                                                                2. cellophane_star RE: Isolda Jan 18, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                                                                  I enjoy my mango pitter, which I received as a joke wedding gift from our registry, and my avocado spoon (works better than a regular spoon!), both from Crate & Barrel.

                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                    suburban_mom RE: Isolda Jan 20, 2012 05:08 PM

                                                                                                    Shoot some slices, shoot some shreads, shoot some salad - SALAD SHOOTER.

                                                                                                    Got my first one when I got married in 1989. Am on my 2nd right now. Ordered a replacement shredding cone within the last month. I use it mainly for shredding cheese and LOVE it. I will get a new one when this one dies.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                                      John E. RE: suburban_mom Jan 20, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                                                                      How much of a hassle is it to wash and keep clean?

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.
                                                                                                        suburban_mom RE: John E. Jan 20, 2012 05:20 PM

                                                                                                        Top rack of the dishwasher. Part of it's charm.

                                                                                                        1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                                          buttertart RE: suburban_mom Jan 21, 2012 06:54 AM

                                                                                                          My MIL has been a happy user for ages too.

                                                                                                    2. s
                                                                                                      Sparklebright RE: Isolda Jul 15, 2012 07:04 PM

                                                                                                      I have one of those cute little cutters that cuts the crusts off a sandwich and cuts the sandwich in half at the same time.
                                                                                                      Some of them are dinosaur shaped but mine makes a heart shape.

                                                                                                      I love bread toasted with lots of buttah and I always eat the soft parts first--- i. e. not crust.
                                                                                                      And then dip the crusts in my coffee or eat them with Nutella.

                                                                                                      I used to carve out the middle part of my toast so I could eat that rich soft buttery part while it was still warm. And yes, people thought I was weird.
                                                                                                      Now I can get to the best part of the toast even quicker.

                                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                                        exvaxman RE: Isolda Oct 21, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                                                        I have a couple of the sushi bazookas. Due to a hand injury, my rolling skills are not good.
                                                                                                        However, for putting rolls into the kid's lunch, it works well.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: exvaxman
                                                                                                          cowboyardee RE: exvaxman Oct 21, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                                          Lucky kid.

                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                                                            exvaxman RE: cowboyardee Oct 21, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                                                                            You should see what he does with them. "Slim Jim" rolls. Mine are usually healthier than that. :)

                                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                                          ellabee RE: Isolda Oct 22, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                                                                          Bacon Wave - for cooking bacon in microwave. Have just run through our second one (eventually they warp and crack, even in our low-powered 500-watt microwave), and have replaced with the not-quite-as-high-capacity-but-possibly-longer-lasting Bacon Tree (aka Bacon Genie).

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: ellabee
                                                                                                            exvaxman RE: ellabee Oct 22, 2012 05:46 PM

                                                                                                            Actually I kept a baconwave at my father's assisted living place. My favorite thing for cooking bacon (and sandwich press) is an old mirromatic speed grill. Tilted like a forman grill but flat grilling surface. 5# crisp bacon for sandwiches in 30 minutes.

                                                                                                            1. re: ellabee
                                                                                                              ellabee RE: ellabee Oct 25, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                                                                              Am happy to report that Bacon Tree has same timing as Bacon Wave (# of minutes on high = # of bacon strips + 2), and produces equally good results. And will do up to 14 slices, which is pretty much the same capacity. True, the ends that hang down tend to stick to each other, but it tastes the same in the sandwich no matter whether it's a bit crumbled or in long flat slices.

                                                                                                              And it's easier to load up, drain the fat afterward, and MUCH easier to clean. Switching loyalties from one embarrassing gadget to another.

                                                                                                            2. CindyJ RE: Isolda Oct 24, 2012 06:36 AM

                                                                                                              I don't even remember where or when I bought this, but I have a wooden, mushroom-shaped garlic peeler that I really do love. The rounded top fits comfortably in the palm of my hand and the flat bottom is perfect for smashing one or two cloves of garlic at a time. Sure, it's a totally unnecessary gadget -- the flat side of a chef's knife works just as well, but I really do like it. http://owgd3.onewebgroup.net/Merchant...

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                tcamp RE: CindyJ Nov 1, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                Cute. I have a rock that fits perfectly in my palm, flat on one side, rounded on the other, that serves the exact same function. My (non-cooking) spouse constantly tries to get rid of it.

                                                                                                                1. re: CindyJ
                                                                                                                  wonderwoman RE: CindyJ Nov 1, 2012 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                  when i want peeled, whole cloves of garlic to slice thin and saute in evoo until crisp. and for that i depend on my "cannoli," a piece of rubber tube that looks like a cannoli shell. put the garlic in the tube and roll around. skin comes right off.

                                                                                                                  otherwise, the blade of my chef's knife does the job.

                                                                                                                2. tim irvine RE: Isolda Oct 24, 2012 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                  Would anyone really spend (fill in large unreasonable sum) for something you put water into and heat to steam things?!?! Not if it were money but with a gift certificate I actually would get a copper pomme vapeur because they are so cute. In fact I did. I use it a lot and love it. Plus I am eating more steamed new potatoes.

                                                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                                                    GibsonGirl55 RE: Isolda Oct 25, 2012 05:00 AM

                                                                                                                    We have a George Foreman grill, which does a great job. I don't use it that often, but when I do, I'm never disappointed.

                                                                                                                    1. fldhkybnva RE: Isolda Oct 25, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                      Garlic press

                                                                                                                      1. liu RE: Isolda Oct 26, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                        Perfect Tortilla Maker..."As seen on!"

                                                                                                                        I even upgraded to the "better" non-stick metal and it works really well!

                                                                                                                        Although the Perfect Tortilla Maker can't slice and dice, it did come with a Cut 'n Cup that does slice and dice. I haven't used it yet, but it looks useful.

                                                                                                                        1. grampart RE: Isolda Nov 1, 2012 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                          The "purists" think the Super-Peel is an abomination, but I wouldn't be without it. Heck, even Cook's Illustrated and The Baker's Catalog give it top ratings.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: grampart
                                                                                                                            ellabee RE: grampart Nov 1, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                            Not an abomination at all! I'm in the market for a peel, and am pretty much sold after seeing the videos. Multipurpose, effective, non-fossil-fuels-consuming (okay, a few plastic pieces), and not substantially more difficult to store than any peel.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ellabee
                                                                                                                              grampart RE: ellabee Nov 2, 2012 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                              They offer a nice canvas bag for the peel. I hang mine on the wall...in the bag. Also, it eliminates the need for corn meal on the peel which, in my experience, creates a mess plus a gritty bottom crust. You will love it!

                                                                                                                          Show Hidden Posts