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What's your favorite uni-tasker?

Jaz Cooks Nov 27, 2012 10:26 AM

Last week I bought a uni-tasker, and I am so happy with it! I got an electric egg cooker, and I think it may be up there as my favorite kitchen tool ever!

So, I can not make good eggs. I have tried every "perfect" recipe, from putting vinegar in the water, to making them in the electric water kettle (a'la Alton Brown). My sister has her no-fail recipe which like other methods, only worked occasionally for me. I didn't have trouble with green rings, my problem was always peeling, with the pock-marked eggs looking like they lost a serious battle.

My husband, who is German, suggested that I get an egg cooker. They are a mainstay in German kitchens and even the drugstores there carry them. I finally found one in the US http://www.cuisinart.com/products/spe... and bought it. My life has CHANGED!

Seriously, this is the coolest thing ever! You just add the number of eggs you want, add the correct amount of water, pierce the top of the eggs, and start it. It adjusts (by the amount of water) to soft, medium or hard eggs, and up to 7 eggs at once. It's like magic! And the eggs are perfectly cooked - no hassle, and they peel like a DREAM! I can't believe how much I love this thing!

The only drawback is that there is a scale left on the bottom after making the eggs, but I immediately poured in a spoonful of white vinegar. By the time it cooled, I just wiped it out and the scale was gone.

So, what's YOUR favorite uni-tasker?

  1. juliejulez Nov 27, 2012 10:35 AM

    My garlic press. http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Epic...

    1. f
      foodieX2 Nov 27, 2012 10:43 AM

      My electric kettle. Boils water in what seems like seconds, has adjustable temp control too if I just need hot.

      julie- I used to swear by my garlic press too (actually it was mom's, so well over 40 years old) but these days I use my micro-plane. Fast and so much easier for me to clean.

      8 Replies
      1. re: foodieX2
        juliejulez Nov 27, 2012 10:52 AM

        That's what I used before I got this press. My old press was a PITA to clean, but this one is super easy.... the "holey" part swings out so you just have to rinse it off pretty much, versus having to dig in there to get all the bits out. You also don't have to pre-peel the garlic, which is my least favorite kitchen task.

        1. re: foodieX2
          Jaz Cooks Nov 27, 2012 10:57 AM

          That reminded me - I not only have my mom's garlic press, I also have her 50-year old egg slicer. I have gone through one about every 6 months, minimum, since I usually use them to slice mushrooms, and the wires just go "sproong" eventually. But hers has hung in through years of use. They just don't make 'em like that anymore!

          1. re: Jaz Cooks
            f
            foodieX2 Nov 27, 2012 11:02 AM

            So true! I have my moms english muffin slicer (yet another uni-tasker I love!), and a number of her other gadgets that still work great and can not seem to be replaced if I ever had too.

          2. re: foodieX2
            l
            limoen Nov 27, 2012 01:41 PM

            I had to laugh at the comment about the kettle, just because it's such a basic piece of kitchen kit in Britain. If someone DIDN'T have a kettle, that would be weird. Your comment suggests it's a bit more novelty where you are.

            1. re: limoen
              f
              foodieX2 Nov 27, 2012 02:45 PM

              That it is. Most people mock it as just another stupid/expensive/extraneous item that takes up counter space.

              And usually they are end up buying one themselves after spending the weekend!

              1. re: foodieX2
                Jaz Cooks Nov 27, 2012 07:27 PM

                I have an electric kettle instead of a microwave. Heating water was about 90% of what I used a microwave for, so I ditched it. After years of using the MW, I found out that leftovers taste better when they are heated on the stove anyway! So it was a total win-win!

                1. re: foodieX2
                  l
                  limoen Nov 29, 2012 04:13 PM

                  I guess we just drink that much more tea! Speeds up cooking pasta and blanching, etc - anything where water needs to be boiling first - too.

                  1. re: limoen
                    sunshine842 Nov 29, 2012 10:35 PM

                    I do that a lot if I'm short on time -- boiling the water in the kettle gives you a substantial headstart. (also uses less energy, for the green-minded folks)

            2. MGZ Nov 27, 2012 11:02 AM

              My oyster knife.

              1. Hank Hanover Nov 27, 2012 11:31 AM

                The dirtiest inch in the kitchen... my electric can opener.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hank Hanover
                  k
                  Kontxesi Nov 27, 2012 11:35 AM

                  I have to admit, I miss having one of those things. Never got around to buying one when I moved out of Mom's house.

                2. s
                  sweetpotater Nov 27, 2012 11:48 AM

                  I have the same issue (and cannot stand one more person giving me a failproof method that somehow isn't failproof for me). I LOVE my egg cooker too.

                  1. eperdu Nov 27, 2012 12:17 PM

                    I also love my tea kettle and garlic press .. but the most used for COOKING is my onion chopper:

                    http://www.amazon.com/Vidalia-Chop-Wi...

                    It's a crazy "as seen on tv" thing but it's sturdy and works flawlessly. I get uniform sized chopped onions and I use them more often because it's so painless. I admit I have tried some other veggies in it and some worked ... most didn't. That said, I love this onion chopper. I'm just too slow with a knife. I keep practicing with it and while I'm better than ever, I like the speed of the chopper.

                    1. inaplasticcup Nov 27, 2012 12:18 PM

                      If it counts as a unitasker, my microplane. :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: inaplasticcup
                        chefathome Nov 27, 2012 12:32 PM

                        This is what I was going to say.

                        If I am squeezing a lot of citrus fruit my juicer comes in very handy.

                        My ginger grater - love it. I used to use a microplane but prefer the ceramic grater.

                        1. re: inaplasticcup
                          scubadoo97 Nov 27, 2012 05:08 PM

                          This was my first thought.
                          But then thought of my knife. It does one thing. It cuts. Just cuts a lot of things

                        2. iluvcookies Nov 27, 2012 12:41 PM

                          Corkscrew. It's only job is to open the wine, and nothing else in the kitchen can do the job as well.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: iluvcookies
                            fldhkybnva Nov 27, 2012 12:47 PM

                            Is there something else that works? I have been challenged to open a wine bottle many times when either I can't find the corkscrew or it broke and resigned to drink something else. I would love to know a good solution for these situations

                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                              sunshine842 Nov 27, 2012 12:54 PM

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnLpXmS4GUk ('cuz this guy NEEDS a little more wine...

                              )

                              or with tools:

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0E6Ok...

                              1. re: sunshine842
                                MGZ Nov 27, 2012 01:04 PM

                                The second method is ostensibly feasible, but be very careful when applying the hammer to pull out the screw - otherwise, you might break the glass at the top of the bottle.

                                1. re: MGZ
                                  sunshine842 Nov 27, 2012 01:21 PM

                                  exactly -- I thought about adding that I think I'd prefer to use a pair of pliers, if I were fortunate enough to have a toolbox at my disposal when I needed to open a bottle of wine.

                                  I actually carry corkscrew in my purse on a regular basis to avoid exactly this situation.

                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                    MGZ Nov 27, 2012 01:50 PM

                                    Well, I don't carry a purse, but I do have a tool box in my truck. I agree that a three inch screw twisted two-thirds of the way into a cork and wrestled out with a pair of pliers or a vice grip would be better that the "hammer pull". If all else fails, breaking off the neck of the bottle and straining the wine through cheesecloth will work too.

                                    1. re: MGZ
                                      sunshine842 Nov 27, 2012 02:41 PM

                                      I have yet to need a glass of wine badly enough to risk drinking glass shards. I think I'm proud of that.

                                      I have, however, had to strain wine when the cork got broken up in little tiny pieces (but cork particles are unpleasant, not harmful)

                              2. re: fldhkybnva
                                MGZ Nov 27, 2012 12:58 PM

                                Two desperate measures. First a long nosed tweezers can be slid down the sides of the cork - inside the bottle - and squeezed & turned to pull out the cork (I based this idea on a "French corkscrew" someone once gave me). Second, a flat headed screwdriver can be gently "hammered" down into the cork so that the cork enters the bottle permitting you to pour. Clearly, the first method is preferable, but the second works in a tight spot.

                                1. re: MGZ
                                  j
                                  jujuthomas Nov 29, 2012 10:59 AM

                                  in absence of a screwdriver, I've used a chopstick (desparate times, desparate mesaures, right?) to pop a broken cork into the bottle.

                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                    MGZ Nov 29, 2012 11:52 AM

                                    I've done that, basically, with a 3/8 inch wood dowel. Then again, I have also opened a bottle of wine by pushing a serrated car key into a cork with the palm of my, admittedly, callous hand and twisting/pulling it out. Then again, I've been opening beer bottles with keys since long before I was "permitted" to drink (Hell, I still do it when the situation demands it).

                              3. re: iluvcookies
                                j
                                jujuthomas Nov 29, 2012 10:53 AM

                                i have one of those "Rabbit" wine openers - the corkscrew on steroids. it takes up WAY too much space. I never mastered the more traditional style of corkscrew, so this one is great for me.

                                1. re: jujuthomas
                                  sunshine842 Nov 29, 2012 11:24 AM

                                  the rabbit-type is also very good if you have any kind of dexterity issues (carpal tunnel, arthritis, etc)

                                  1. re: sunshine842
                                    j
                                    jujuthomas Nov 29, 2012 12:51 PM

                                    yep - i've suffered from tendonitis in my wrist - fortunately it's good now, but I won't give up that rabbit for anything! :)

                              4. TheEnigmaFacade Nov 27, 2012 12:50 PM

                                My nut chopper. Old school crank style like my great grandmother had. No dust, no nuts going everywhere, when thai (peanuts in everything!) and baking are your mainstays, the coarse grind is perfect.

                                1. r
                                  rasputina Nov 27, 2012 04:21 PM

                                  Berkey water filter system
                                  Verona Assistent mixer

                                  1. i
                                    INDIANRIVERFL Nov 27, 2012 04:35 PM

                                    Old aluminum citrus juicer. Keeps the pips out and you don't lose as much juice as using a towel.

                                    1. e
                                      escondido123 Nov 27, 2012 04:40 PM

                                      My garlic slicer.

                                      1. e
                                        ellabee Nov 29, 2012 09:52 AM

                                        Plain old vegetable peeler -- the kind with the not-particularly-comfortable metal handle. Seems to be as sharp as it ever was, so I have a lot more turnips to go through before I can get one of those comfy OXO ones...

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: ellabee
                                          sunshine842 Nov 29, 2012 10:43 AM

                                          Go ahead and get yourself an Oxo -- they're cheap ($10-ish), last forever (I'm going on 15 years with mine) and there's really no comparison for comfort.

                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                            e
                                            ellabee Dec 2, 2012 10:00 AM

                                            You're convincing! I may give in while Christmas shopping...

                                        2. k
                                          Kontxesi Nov 29, 2012 12:01 PM

                                          Does anyone have a negi cutter? I'm pretty anti-unitasker, generally. But I can't get a handle on slicing scallions nice and thin. Carrots? For sure. Ginger? No problem. But those damn onions....

                                          So, if anyone has experience with them, are negi cutters a boon or a PITA?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Kontxesi
                                            s
                                            sharonj Dec 1, 2012 05:58 PM

                                            I like the final product but it takes me too long to get it done with the negi cutter.

                                          2. p
                                            pine time Dec 2, 2012 10:14 AM

                                            The prosaic coffee maker. Without it, I wouldn't be sentient enough to type this post.

                                            1. t
                                              taos Dec 6, 2012 03:56 PM

                                              An old clear glass manual citrus juicer that I got at a yard sale a long time ago.

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