Kitchen gadgets I don’t regret

image Is there any richer mine of innovation than the kitchen? Is there any more prodigious fount of useless stuff than a kitchen gadget blog?

And why do I have to have it all?

In the spirit of giving, I present some purchases that actually worked out:

Garlic Press

image I’ve tried everything. Then at the local Cash & Carry I found the Browne-Halco (1777WP) Heavy-Duty Garlic Press. Huge capacity, plenty of leverage, and the self-cleaning works. Yes, it’s bulky, but it just works, and handles almost any recipe in one press. Under $10. (Just don’t put it in the dishwasher. The aluminum turns nasty.)


imageI used to hate sharpening my knives. I didn’t have the confidence to do it manually (maintaining a perfect angle), and my electric sharpener was heavy and bulky and a pain to get out. So I kept looking for knives that held an edge. My favorite solution was a Kyocera ceramic knife. It stayed sharp, but the fine ceramic edge needed to be protected in a case, and I only used it for delicate slicing.

imageThen my dad put me on to the inexpensive  Forschner (by Victorinox) knives, also at the local Cash & Carry, and Amazon. An 8-inch chef’s knife for $21.99. It’s not heavy, it’s not fancy, and it’s not even forged. But this stamped blade will serve you well for almost everything if you keep it sharp. imageWhich I was too lazy to do until I got a Fiskars Knife Sharpener. No fussy angles, no heavy equipment. Just run the blade though a few times, straight up and down. (I then wipe it with a damp paper towel to remove fine metal dust.) It’s light weight and tiny.

While on my ceramic sharpening kick I found the $6.99 Wüsthof Pocket Sharpener. The small size makes it possible to sharpen the blades on my Swiss Army knife.


Yes, I can juice a lemon by hand. But when I’m facing a whole bag of citrus (fresh limeade!), it’s worth pulling out the Black & Decker CitrusMate Plus. Easy to use, easy to clean, and ingenious right down to the way you can wrap the cord right into the base. At $18, I haven’t regretted it once.

 Vita-Mix Blender

imageEven after both my parents and my in-laws got a Vita-Mix, I couldn’t understand why anyone would spend $400 on a blender. “It doesn’t matter how great a blender it is, I just don’t blend enough to be worth it.”

Turns out I didn’t blend much because I had a stirrer, not a blender. Once I succumbed and bought the Vita-Mix, everything changed. Expensive, yes. Regrets, none.

image Pickle Fork

I had to get a deal on something at the Linens-N-Things bankruptcy. The super-thin prongs make it easy to spear a pickle, and having the fork on the jar with its own drip-catcher promotes pickles from a “needs utensils and cleanup” snack to an “eat standing at the fridge” snack. A surprisingly important distinction.


3 thoughts on “Kitchen gadgets I don’t regret”

  1. We just got a Vita-Mix. LOVE it. If you have any good recipe’s send them my way. Alex says I need to make something other then smoothies to justify my purchase 🙂

  2. You forgot to mention your salt pig, your induction burner, your butter pan, and — hello! — the cheese wheel. Or do you have regrets about those? 🙂

  3. We love our Vita-Mix blender!
    We have found our best kitchen stuff at Cash & Carry. My favorite purchases there are a giant(I mean GIANT) cutting board and a really large wood rolling pin.

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