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Oct 3, 2012 07:12 PM

Kitchen Tool you had an 'a ha' moment with ......

I am not the head cook in the family, but I LOVE gadgets.....I can't believe that I have lived these ## years without a cherry pitter- OMG I totally enjoy fresh cherries so much more when I can pit them in bulk and then eat (or GLOM) them easily!! Yeah Wegmans for using them in a sampling demonstration that was to showcase the cherries and NOT the tool.

What kitchen tool can't you live without or changed your kitchen life??


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  1. My immersion blender. I didn't understand its awesomeness until i used one. i can't imagine a kitchen without one now.

    29 Replies
      1. re: ahuva

        Unlike, many here, I still don't understand the awesomeness of one. I had one, didn't find anything I could do with it I couldn't do with something else, gave it away.

        1. re: al b. darned

          Just being able to puree soup in the pot it was cooked in without having to transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender or a food processer or whatever, makes it worth the price of admission alone.

          1. re: flourgirl

            Good point. Less work and less to wash.

            1. re: flourgirl

              For so many things, so much easier than dealing w/ the blender.

              1. re: flourgirl

                I don't think I have ever made a soup that needed to be pureed. I don't even use the regular blender that much.

                1. re: al b. darned

                  That will save me alot of time in work and clean up when I make applebutter and plumbutter.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Agh, DON"T puree your pumpkin, just mash it with a potato masher. Try it, you won't go back to puree.

                      One of the main comments I get on my scratch pies is that they like the texture mine have compared to store pies. BTW, I only use Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins for my pies.

                      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                        I agree! Don't puree the pumpkin. I love that stringy texture in a fresh pumpkin pie.
                        I pureed mine only one time, and it just felt like canned pumpkin.

                        1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                          hated it.
                          We like a smooth, velvety texture with a pronounced pumpkin flavor.

                          I find jack o'lantern pumpkins to produce a watery, weak-flavored, stringy pie. I won't use them, ever. If it came down to that or no pie, there'd be no pie.

                          Jack o'lantern pumpkins are also only available in October where I live -- for a kings' ransom.

                          Potiron - the Cinderella-looking pumpkin -- has velvety stringless flesh, a fabulous flavor, and is dirt cheap where I live

                          Potiron it is.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Not watery at all if drained first. I also don't have strings, just bigger texture. My friends love the flavor, and spice mix I use-maybe a different variety of pumpkin then your Jack-O-Lanterns ? Price wise , I get them for around 5 cents a pound after Halloween, and buy upwards of 100# of them since they keep several months.

                      2. re: suzigirl

                        applebutter and plumbutter
                        Never made either. Never eaten either, and not currently on my radar.

                        Pumpkin puree for pies.
                        CI said canned pumpkin is fine.That's what we use for the few times a decade we make a pumpkin pie.

                        1. re: al b. darned

                          Okay. You don't use one.

                          (you'd find a way to make pureed pumpkin if canned pumpkin wasn't available where you live AND pumpkin pie is a family favorite, even made when it's not a holiday)

                          Also makes nice smooth bolognaise for lasagne.

                      3. re: al b. darned

                        See that, and I make puréed soups all the time. That's not the only thing I use my immersion blender for, I use it for almost anything I could put in the blender, it just depends on which appliance makes more sense at the time. But the primary reason I bought mine was for soup.

                    2. re: al b. darned

                      Geez, al, no one here claimed that EVERYONE should run out and buy an immersion blender. If you don't need one, you don't need one. The point is, that for those of us who often make stuff that would normally go in the blender, they can save a lot of time, and streamline prep, especially if pureeing would involve a transfer of the food from the vessel they were prepared in, into the blender.

                      1. re: al b. darned

                        I love to make my Italian salad dressing with it! It is the perfect tool to emulsify a dressing!

                      2. re: ahuva

                        I use mine almost every day to make my breakfast smoothie

                        1. re: ahuva

                          Ditto on the immersion blender. Never understood how easy it is to make smooth soup until I owned one.

                          1. re: bdachow

                            without splashing/spilling boiling hot soup trying to get it into/out of the blender. Yay.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Exactly. And then there is my microplane, from zest to nutmeg to cheese, so nice and easy to do now instead of grating my knuckles on an old box type one.

                          2. re: ahuva

                            I really have to get one of those things. Anybody have a favorite brand/model they would recommend?

                            1. re: aching

                              I've only ever bought one and I love it. I got my Bamix at the local annual fair/exhibition and really love the interchangeable blades for pureeing, frothing/foaming and grinding/chopping. Very easy to clean as well and I use it in the Le Creuset and it doesn't scratch the bottom.

                              1. re: bdachow

                                Gads! I had no idea you can get one with interchangeable parts! How much was it, may I pry?

                                1. re: Awwshucks

                                  Mine isn't a Bamix, but it also has those multi-blades. It was under $30.

                                2. re: bdachow

                                  Love my Bamix as well. It is many tools in one and I'm constantly pureeing in my le crueset too!

                                3. re: aching

                                  Got my Cuisinart at JC Penney in the catalog department and one for a wedding gift! Very reasonable pricing! You can order online.

                                  1. re: aching

                                    I picked up a KitchenAid SmartStick at BBB a few weeks ago, and you guys were right - it's fantastic! (I would have liked to have gotten a Bamix, but couldn't justify the $$$.) I'll probably never use my regular blender ever again!

                                  2. re: ahuva


                                    I am ashamed to admit that my mother gave me one I-don't-remember-how-many-years-ago, but it sat waaay up in a cabinet til late last year. I finally used it and felt terrible that I never truly appreciated what a thoughtful gift it was. There is one sauce/condiment I make all the time and it truly is a godsend to blend it so easily.

                                  3. Actually, I must join you as a member of the bulk cherry pitter fan club. I love mine. I can freeze and can pounds and pounds of cherries in no time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                      OMG...It never occurred to me to look for a bulk cherry pitter! I just added one to my wish list.

                                    2. I'm really in love with the new can opener I just bought. I hate electric can openers, and have been on a search for a good manual one for years - I keep getting crappy ones. I just spent $18 on one, and it is wonderful. So easy to use and smooth. Hopefully I will still feel the same about it in a few years.

                                      I don't know if this qualifies as a gadget, but I love my slow cooker. I have chronic illness, and on days that I feel totally crappy, I can have it make dinner for me and my family. Last week did a turkey breast and Italian beef sandwiches in the slow cooker. Used my smaller slow cooker to caramelize some onions overnight. Friday I'll be doing a whole chicken in the slow cooker, and next week, corned beef and homemade chicken tortilla soup.

                                      14 Replies
                                        1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                          It's an OXO one - had good reviews on Amazon, so hopefully it will last.

                                          1. re: jw615

                                            I've had my OXO for 14 years. No complaints!

                                            1. re: dmjordan

                                              Awesome! I've been having to get a new one nearly every 6 months until now. I don't even open that many cans.

                                              My mother has had the same can opener since I was born. Clearly they don't make them like they used to. I have made it clear to my brother that I have dibs on the can opener.

                                              1. re: jw615

                                                Vintage Swing A Way can openers are great. They last for decades. Ours is probably from the 1960s and still going strong.

                                                1. re: jw615

                                                  I had a revelation that I didn't need a whole ice cream maker, just a freezer bowl. It's faster, easier to clean, and doesn't create kitchen clutter. Here's a video of making ice cream just in a freezer bowl (and the well-loved immersion blender makes an appearance, too--that was another Aha! moment for me):

                                          2. re: jw615

                                            I love caramelized onions.... can you tell me how you do this in a slow cooker? Pretty please.

                                            1. re: debbypo

                                              Pretty simple. Slice up a whole mess of onions, throw into the slow cooker, add some melted butter and salt and stir. Run on low for as long as it takes - when I'm doing a huge batch it can take around 12 hours or so. Stir every 3 or 4 hours - though I've left it going overnight without stirring, and they have been fine, a few in the hotter spots got a little darker. If you have too much liquid, prop the lid on the slow cooker open a crack with a chopstick or a skewer so that it can evaporate.

                                              One of my big slow cookers does have a hot spot, so if I'm using that one to do a big batch I try to stir a bit more often.

                                              1. re: jw615

                                                Thanks much. I'm going to drag out the crockpot and go to town. Looking forward to the results.

                                                1. re: debbypo

                                                  it works well. mine didn't get quite dark enough for me, but finishing them on the stovetop was so much easier than doing them that way from scratch. they can also be done on a sheet pan in the oven. i just wish i could remember where I have that link saved.

                                              2. re: debbypo

                                                In the slow cooker, you are likely to get something more like smothered onions than caramelized, since it's all moist heat unless you are using a very small amount, or fiddle with it a lot, stirring and uncovering. At that point you may as well just use a pan on the stove.
                                                Easier, if you don't want to monitor the process much, is JoanN's method for caramelizing onions in the oven on a sheet pan.

                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                  Disagree vehemently! I do caramelized onions in the slowcooker all the time and they are perfect. I use a technique developed by CI, where they get a little head start in the microwave and then a quick drain to eliminate excess moisture. Perfect every time.

                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    I've never had a problem. If I have a lot of moisture, then I prop the lid with a skewer or a chopstick, and keep going. I stir every once in a while. Sure, it takes some time, but they turn out delicious in the crockpot for me, and it makes things much easier as a chronically ill person.

                                                    1. re: jw615

                                                      Wow I can't wait to try this!

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I love my mortar and pestle. I have a very large granite one I bought for a song at Marshall's, and it's awesome. I've recently immersed myself into Mexican cooking and my mortar and pestle has been getting a great workout. I actually bought a molcajete a long time ago that I never got around to seasoing properly, and I realized, after all the reading I just did, that I bought a crappy one anyway that will always be gritty no matter what I do. Than it dawned on me that the granite mortar and pestle I had would work just fine and I had no need for a molcajete any way. (Can't believe I didn't realize that earlier.) The molcajete is going into the garage sale pile and now I love my mortar and peslte even more than I already did.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    I had a recipe that called for 2 tablespoons of ground pepper. I could not see twisting my pepper mill for that long (or attaching a drill to it, like Alton showed). So I dragged out my stone M&P. :o)

                                                  2. Garlic press and a good sharp knife. Once I discovered the knife, I tossed the garlic press.

                                                    57 Replies
                                                    1. re: topbanana

                                                      + 100 on sharp knives! Drives me nuts when I have to cook at someone's house and they do not have a set sharp ones.

                                                      Also - don't laugh - kitchen towel to dry off my hands after washing them a gazillion of times during the dinner prep.

                                                      1. re: Marusik

                                                        I also do the gazillion times washing during puep. I have two towels because one is not enough.

                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                          Question is how many sets of towels do you have? I think I have 3 different sets - plus I have them in different drawers. I have a couple that I use only for baking - the type that goes directly over foods like bread dough.

                                                          I have the set that's used to clean pots, bowls, etc.

                                                          Then the final set that's used for hands and another for counter-top. This is the bastard pile that's interchangeable.

                                                          If me or a guest happens to use set 1 for set 2 or 3 purposes, that towel is demoted to bastard pile. LOL

                                                          And I don't wash my kitchen towels in the washer because you know... underwear is washed there.

                                                          Trust me, I'm not as neurotic as this appears. :)

                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                            I have about eight or so. But none have specific tasks. I am not that particular. :-)

                                                            1. re: nikkib99

                                                              Just curious, but where do you wash your kitchen towels?

                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                I'm guessing dishwasher. Am I right?!

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                    I have an 8qt mixing bowl that I use to watch kitchen towels with. The kitchen towel used to clean the counter-top is washed directly in the sink. The towels that touch food are washed in a bowl.

                                                                    And I wash them with dish soap.

                                                                  2. re: nikkib99

                                                                    I'm with you on the washing machine.... after taking microbiology this summer and being regaled with a lovely story about testing the inside of the washing machine, no more kitchen towels in there, EVER!!! AND periodic bleaching of the inside of it.

                                                                    1. re: kubasd

                                                                      Ah, but that's when the Magic House Theory kicks in! I don't doubt your knowledge of microbiology, but figure that generations of us have been exposed to heaven knows what and we're still here. In fact, I hope such exposure has improved my immune system....

                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                        Oh, for sure my house is magic most of the time, and my washer paranoia will pass. I'm all for exposure to bolster immune systems :)

                                                                      2. re: kubasd

                                                                        I was told by a repair man to run mine once a month empty on its highest heat setting. This apparently kills all (?) the bacteria and disolves all the human (sorry!) grease which does not happen during modern lower temperature cycles.

                                                                        1. re: kubasd

                                                                          I stopped using detergent for the most part and just use plain old white vinegar for most of my laundry. (My washer kept getting mildew-y... ick!) I can't believe how clean and fresh the clothes are, and my washer is sparkling too. Plus no lab-created chemicals. Try it - I swear you will feel better about washing your kitchen towels in there, LOL!

                                                                          1. re: Jaz Cooks

                                                                            Jaz Cooks. Will give distilled white vinegar a try. Have heard good for fancy bath towels. Do you use for everything? How much should I put in a load of wash? Also curious if you have noticed any faster deterioration of fabrics or colors?

                                                                            1. re: smaki

                                                                              Hey Smaki, I use about 1 cup per load, and I do use it for almost everything, but I add a little detergent to jeans. The laundry smells really nice - not at all vinegary, just clean and fresh, and the lint in my dryer seems lighter (quantity) too, so I am guessing it is better for the fabric.

                                                                              I am a late-comer to white vinegar, but I am learning to LOVE it - I have replaced probably half my cleaning products with it!

                                                                              1. re: Jaz Cooks

                                                                                Jaz Cooks, Thank you will give it a try. Appreciate the tips on use. And timing is good I just happen to be low on laundry soap with several gallons of extra vinegar (from pickle season).

                                                                                1. re: Jaz Cooks

                                                                                  Do you just put it in the normal holder in which you add the detergent or just pour it on the clothes and leave the detergent container empty?

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    Personally I put a little in both the detergent and the fabric softener spaces, and then pour the rest just over the laundry. But I don't think it matters! Smaki: let me know what you think after you run a load. I really hope you are as happy as I was!

                                                                                    1. re: Jaz Cooks

                                                                                      I make homemade detergent. I have for a few years now, and wouldn't go back. It is SO much cheaper, and works better. I grate and then process one bar of soap ( I use fels naphtha, but a lot of people use a regular body soap), to one cup of borax, and one cup of arm and hammer washing soda.

                                                                                      I use vinegar in bleach loads, or for natural fabric softener.

                                                                                      1. re: Jaz Cooks

                                                                                        Jaz Cooks, Will do. Plan on running a couple loads this week. I think you are on to something as was given some expensive towels once and recall their instructions said to wash multiple times with vinegar in the wash water before use (no soap) to make soft and absorbent - has anyone else ever seen this?

                                                                                        1. re: smaki

                                                                                          I have been adding 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar a load for a week now (with a regular dose of laundry soap). I add the vinegar to first wash when washer is full of water. Have read vinegar can make soap more effective is why I use both. It does seem to make my mostly-cotton clothes softer and cleaner. Seems to better bring out the colors. Have not noticed it breaking fabrics down, but watching for that. Works great on making my towels soft, clean, and absorbent.


                                                                                          1) Do not combine vinegar with bleach. The fumes that arise from this mixture can be hazardous to your health.

                                                                                          2) The overuse of white, distilled vinegar in laundry can lead to a breakdown of clothes made of natural fibers. Articles made out of silk, rayon, acetate, and triacetate can be especially sensitive to white, distilled vinegar.

                                                                        2. re: Marusik

                                                                          I wash my hands so many times while cooking, I feel like I'm neurotic about it.
                                                                          * Take meat out of plastic, wash hands so I don't get meaty hands on spice jars.
                                                                          * Grab spice jars and apply to meat. oops, forgot to grab plate to put spiced meat on.
                                                                          * Wash hands, grab plate.
                                                                          * If I only use one hand, use clean hand to return jars.
                                                                          * Wash hands and knives, chopping board.
                                                                          * Place meat in cooking vessel
                                                                          * wash hands.
                                                                          On and on it goes. I'm surprised I eat before midnight.

                                                                          I can't wait to re-do my kitchen so I can get those built-in soap receptacles with the pump attachment. I find myself washing the dish soap body so many times because by touching the bottle with meaty/fishy/chickeny hands to get some soap, you're contaminating the bottle.

                                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                                            Were we separated at birth? To save myself a step or two, I put my hand in one of those cheapie small baggies (not ziplock kind - that would get expensive) to grab chicken or cuts of meat to turn them for seasoning and use my other hand for sprinkling the seasonings. Then I can save a washing or two, or three, or four....

                                                                            1. re: breadchick

                                                                              You can get a big box of disposable gloves pretty cheap. I'm neurotic about raw chicken, in particular; I cook it a lot more since I discovered the gloves.

                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                I buy my disposable latex gloves for the kitchen at Costco. You are not alone :)

                                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                  I keep a small packet of gloves in the kitchen for cake decorating (keeps you from having technicolor fingers for a few days....) and for chopping hot peppers.

                                                                                  I also throw one on if I have a wound on my hands or fingers -- saves on the squick out, but also keeps you from going through the roof if you get lemon/onion/garlic in an open wound.

                                                                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                    Sam's Club sells boxes of very thin disposable gloves that are pretty much like a baggie, but shaped like a glove and quite large. Theyre perfect - I can put them on and take them off with one hand. I use them constantly and sometimes change them many, many times whenmaking a big meal if I'm multitasking and moving between fooling around with garlic or onions, then pleeling and slicing apples for pie, and then fooling around with a raw chicken.

                                                                                  2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                    Yeah, good idea. I'll probably go out and get some of the disposable gloves. In response to helou here, I'll see if there's a Sam's Club nearby - that sounds like the perfect solution! Thanks to all!

                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                      I also use them for making meatballs, meatloaf, and tossing any chicken/potato/pasta salads. I only make those kinds of things in large quantities and the spoon just doesn't get down there without catapulting ingredients all over the kitchen.

                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                        Ah, but NonnieMuss, if you have fur-bearing creatures hanging about they would just LOVE those bits flying about!

                                                                                        1. re: breadchick

                                                                                          That's part of the reason why. I have two opposing beasts who would tear each other up over a flying chicken shred. When I'm done, the kitty gets a bit in her bowl, and the dog gets to lick my gloved hands.

                                                                                          I am gross.

                                                                                    2. re: breadchick

                                                                                      My twin. I shop at which is an online restaurant supply store open to all. I currently have a pack (1,000) of disposable kitchen gloves in my cart - only $5. That should last a while.

                                                                                      1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                        (Slaps her forehead...) I LOVE the webstaurantstore - I have the site in my favorites. Never thought to look for prep gloves. That price is great, and will add them to my current shopping cart. Thank you, nikkib99!

                                                                                        1. re: breadchick

                                                                                          You're welcome. That site has so many goodies so what I generally do is shop patiently.... so hard. Put a few items in your cart and wait a few days in case something comes to mind to average the shipping costs.

                                                                                          Great place to buy cling film and foil - the price might seem high, but it's about 20x what you get from the store.
                                                                                          Don't forget parchment sheets - 100 sheets for about $4. KAF sells it for $20.

                                                                                          And cake tins - after spending $20 on non-stick calphalon, I bought a few cake tins from them for under $4. Could not be any more perfect - releases eaily.

                                                                                          1. re: nikkib99

                                                                                            Also great prices on 1/2 sheet pans! I bought 10 of them for less than $50. Besides all the other thousand things I use them for, I use them as cookie sheets, with parchment liners. It's so nice to be able to load up pans without having to wait for them to cool.

                                                                                    3. re: nikkib99

                                                                                      2 suggestions: tongs and a stable soap dispenser with a big pump top (which you can push down with an uncontaminated part of your hand/wrist/forearm) or a touch-free one with sensor. I do all my meat prep on the board, wash hands (w/o contaminating the soap dispenser). Then for seasoning and transfer to the cooking vessel, handle the meat only with the tongs that I will cook with anyway, while my hands stay clean. (Someone else then washes the dirty knives, board etc. That's the deal in my house.)

                                                                                    4. re: Marusik

                                                                                      Another fan of stacks and stacks of clean white kitchen towels!
                                                                                      Mine are super cheap ( I think many have come from the Dollar Store?) and can be tossed in the (HE) washer with hot hot hot (it steams) water and bleach. When they get "icky" (threadbare) they live the rest of their short lives as cleaning rags.

                                                                                      And of course, sharp knives are a must-have. It's always weird to cook in someone else's kitchen and they have dull knives...and pretty, but useless, dish towels.

                                                                                      1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                        I am with you on the white towels. I must have at least 75 white kitchen towels. I over wash my hands when I cook...I keep boxes of gloves from Sam's around at all times. I have a small laundry basket that I keep in the kitchen when I am cooking. I use a new towel almost every time I wipe counters, dry a pot, or wash my hands. At the end of my cooking, it all goes in the washing machine with a ton of bleach. I do not have one dish towel in my house that isn't white...every one of them gets bleach.

                                                                                        1. re: PanFreak

                                                                                          This is almost exactly my routine! Minus the disposable gloves - I do have some, but I only use those for hot peppers after an unfortunate experience last year after I cut up a basket of mystery peppers from the farmer's market that turned out to be unbelievably hot and my hands burned for a day and a half, despite milk/yogurt/ice/hydrocortisone cream - never again.

                                                                                          But I'm all about the constantly washing my hands and using up every white kitchen towel. I think I bought a pack of about 50 from Sam's Club and I love them. I can't imagine how I grew up with, like, two kitchen towels.

                                                                                        2. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                          I am another white kitchen towel addict. I have two deep drawers full. They go into bleach loads (which I do a couple of times a week, all our sheets and towels are white) on the sanitize cycle.

                                                                                          1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                            Where is the best place to buy white kitchen towels? Inexpensive is good. No Sam's Club here.

                                                                                        3. re: Marusik

                                                                                          My dad was always the one who cared about sharpening our knives, so after my parents split I just kind of got used to dull knives.

                                                                                          When I moved out, I got all of Dad's knives he'd left for me when he moved across the country, and I was in heaven! I have such a hard time when I go to Mom's to cook now. I actually cut myself last time because a super-dull knife slipped off an onion....

                                                                                          Sharp knives and a gas stove are my number one necessities now. (And a good wok!)

                                                                                          1. re: Marusik

                                                                                            In addition to knives at other's house, never realized how much I rely on rubber spatula/spoonula/squeegees whatever you call them. Friend only owned wooden spoons that she used for everything. So much food went to waste! No wonder the cakes at her house are dry, half the batter is on the side of the bowl!

                                                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                                                              I love my silicon spoonulas. No question about it, the right tools can make just as much of a difference to an outcome in the kitchen as the ingredients and the technique.

                                                                                              1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                                I have recently noticed the spoonula/spatula obsession. Is there some benefit of a spoonula vs a silicone spatula?

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  I have both, and they just do different jobs. I use silicone spatulas for folding etc., but nothing beats a silicone spoonula for scraping down a bowl while using a stand mixer and really scraping every drop of batter out of the bowl into a pan. Spatulas can do those jobs - but spoonulas just do it that much better.

                                                                                            2. re: Marusik

                                                                                              I also have to have lotion by the sink. I have dry hands, and I can't stand to wash my hands and not have lotion.

                                                                                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                Oh wow, everyday now in the winter I am finding new cuts on my hands...ouchies.

                                                                                            3. re: topbanana

                                                                                              I think I am getting rid of the garlic press in this move. And the garlic peeler which I never use either!

                                                                                              1. re: melpy

                                                                                                I use my garlic peeler (the silicone tube type) all the time - a much-loved addition to my kitchen.

                                                                                                Busted my garlic press in a move 20+ years ago, never replaced it, and have never pined for another one. I have a knife, a microplane, and a mortar and pestle -- no reason to own a press.

                                                                                                1. re: melpy

                                                                                                  I've always hated my garlic press. I hate that thing! I hate using it, it doesn't work well when I do use it, and I hate cleaning it afterwards. I'm throwing it out.

                                                                                                  I always just use cut up fresh garlic anyway, or if I need it smooshed I've been buying these little frozen cubes from Trader Joes.

                                                                                                  1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                    <I've always hated my garlic press. I hate that thing! I hate using it, it doesn't work >

                                                                                                    Get yerself a microplane..stat! :D

                                                                                                    1. re: petek

                                                                                                      I love my microplane, but for minced garlic this little gadget is great.

                                                                                                      1. re: grampart

                                                                                                        petek and grampart, thanks for the recommendations! I'm getting both! They'll be gifts from the Great Pumpkin.

                                                                                                        1. re: petek

                                                                                                          I've had my pampered chef garlic press for years and love it. No need to peel the garlic beforehand, easy to use, and very sturdy.