Kitchen gadgets

I’m a big proponent of simplifying and decluttering in the kitchen (well, really, everywhere, but we’re talking about the kitchen today!), and so I rarely keep specialty tools around. The truth is I went a little overboard when my husband and I first got married and set up our home. Between a Pampered Chef bridal shower and actually working as a consultant for a while, I had just about every gadget imaginable.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Pampered Chef products. I think they make high quality, thoughtful and useful tools. But it’s important to choose the ones that are most useful to you based on the amount of space you have to store them and how often you’ll really use them.

One rule I’ve set for myself is to try to avoid specialty items that can only be used for one task because I end up storing them 99% of the time for the 1% that I actually use them. It’s much easier for me to justify my favorite tools when I find ways to use them for a variety of things.

With that in mind, here are my favorite double-duty items:

Pizza Cutter

Pizza Night is a regular occurrence around here, and I probably don’t need to justify owning a pizza cutter, but it’s always fun to find extra uses for common items as well. Use your pizza cutter to:

  • quickly cut up french toast or pancakes
  • create your own break-apart cookie dough
  • cut the dough for pastries (try these homemade pop tarts!)

Orange Peeler

The orange peeler is one of those kitchen tools
that I would make an exception to my double-duty rule for because it
does make peeling an orange so much easier and it only takes up a little
bit of space. But the good news is I don’t have to make an exception
because I use it all the time in another way as well…to help loosen my
muffins from the pan. The long skinny end is perfect for sliding around
the edge of the muffins so that they’ll lift out easily from the pan.
The truth is we use it more often for this purpose than for actually
peeling oranges!

Melon Baller

The melon baller is an underutilized kitchen tool that often gets
forgotten and only used for summer fruit salads. Don’t limit yourself to
scooping melon balls, though. Try some of these ideas to turn your melon baller into a versatile kitchen tool:

  • make perfectly sized cookies every time, using your melon baller
    to scoop the dough
  • serve tiny scoops of icecream for a fancy dessert
  • scoop out the seeds from tomatoes, peppers and winter squashes

What are your favorite double-duty kitchen tools?

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