Every reasonably stocked kitchen has a toaster, coffee maker, blender and decent chef’s knife. Some people make it a point not to have any kitchen utensil or appliance that only has one, very specific purpose such as an egg slicer or a mango corer. But there are some more obscure kitchen tools that are surprisingly useful, and once you have them, you may wonder how you ever got along without them. Here are a few.
Cherry Pitter OH, the sweet deliciousness of cherries! The problem? The pits! Cherries are great to eat by the handful, but just try cutting them up to make a cobbler, a cake or (more on this below) cherry-vanilla ice cream. This ingenious device lets you pit cherries in no time. Simply pull off the stem; put the cherry in the chamber, and squeeze the handles together. A rod presses through the cherry (it does make a somewhat alarming noise), dropping the pit out the other side. You’re left with a whole, pitted cherry. Bonus: also useful for olives.
Ice Cream Maker You wouldn’t necessarily think you’d want an ice cream maker: ice cream is easy to obtain in all flavors and styles. But there’s something special about fresh ice cream that you made in your kitchen with hand-picked ingredients. Basic ice cream is easy to make: mix sugar with milk; add cream; pour into the bowl of the ice cream maker, and wait. You can add vanilla, chocolate, strawberries (or cherries!), fudge swirl, cookie crumbles…almost anything. When you get more advanced, you can try custard ice creams, which contain egg and have a thicker, richer flavor. Beware: you may have a new hobby on your hands! Sandwich Press What’s the one thing that can make an excellent sandwich even better? Heat and pressure.
A sandwich press (or panini press) takes an ordinary sandwich and makes the bread crisp, the cheese melty, the meat hot and the world a little bit more delicious. If you cared to, you could put a sandwich on a cast-iron pan and stick another cast iron pan on top of it. But the ridges of a panini press give sandwiches a grilled effect, and pressing down on the handle is just so satisfying.
Rice Cooker Who doesn’t know how to cook rice? It is fairly self-explanatory. But how many times have you gone to answer a phone call or tend to another part of the meal, only to find you’ve forgotten the rice and it is now burned solid and stuck to the bottom of the pan? Rice cookers are excellent if you serve rice or other grains (like quinoa, millet, buckwheat or even oats) frequently, especially if the remainder of the meal is more complex. Just put the right proportions of grain and water into the rice cooker; press the button, and forget it. By the time you’ve cooked the rest of your meal, you have perfectly cooked rice (the device shuts itself off when it’s finished).
Kitchen Scale Many volume measurements are imprecise: flour compacts; brown sugar packs; grains come in different sizes; liquids measure differently than solids. So many recipes can be made more precisely, and with less cleanup, if you have a digital kitchen scale. Particularly useful for making bread and other baked goods, this handy tool lets you measure everything into one bowl, add up the ounces or grams, and voila: a better recipe and fewer dishes to wash.
So maybe these devices will clutter your cupboards just a bit more. But what’s a little extra storage for easier cherries, better ice cream, perfect sandwiches, fool-proof rice and perfect pastries? Here’s to enjoying your kitchen and your cooking more! This article was written by Billy Dunham, a home improvement expert who looks forward to helping you have an even better home. He recommends checking out Berker Sales Service and their great bread slicer when looking for a more efficient way to slice bread. Check out their site today and see what they have for you!