It’s winter cleaning time in the Southern Living Test Kitchen, and we’ve de-cluttered our drawers full of useless cooking paraphernalia. Enough with the frivolous kitchen gadgets that serve only one purpose! With our kitchen cleanse in mind, here are the 10 kitchen tools we can all live without.
1. Shrimp Deveiner
Lose it. A paring knife is more effective.
2. Avocado Slicer
Toss it. Halve the avocado lengthwise. Pit it. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh out onto a cutting board. Then use a sharp knife to make thin slices instead.
3. Egg Poachers
Why use something that looks like a 2-year-old’s toy? Here’s how to poach the perfect egg: Bring a tall saucepan of water to a simmer, season it with salt, and add a splash of vinegar. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Whisk the water to create a whirlpool, then slip the egg into the swirling water. Once the white turns opaque, the egg is done. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to paper towel and snip off any frilly edges with scissors. Repeat.
4. Hamburger Press
See number 3. You shouldn’t be packing ground meat into tight hockey puck anyways. A loosely packed 4–6 oz. burger (made with coarse, freshly ground good quality 80-20 beef) shaped by hand is a better, more tender burger.
5. Asparagus Basket
Useless. Do you really want to poach a nice bundle of asparagus so they stand up vertically in the boiling water? Simply tie the bunch together with kitchentwine and lower them into the pot.
6. Giant Plastic Spatula
Kid’s play. If you can’t fit it into the pan to flip a pancake or a filet of salmon, it’s too big. We like smaller metal and plastic spatulas that do the job right.
7. Pasta Measure
You don’t need it. A 4-oz. portion of dried spaghetti (a normal portion in the U.S., and the equivalent of super-sized for Italian cooks) is about the diameter of a nickel.
8. Serrated Lettuce Knife
Recycle it. These things are just silly. Don’t cut the lettuce until you’re ready to use it and use a sharp knife instead.
9. Corn Stripper
Not versatile enough. A knife works just as well, plus you can scrape more cornmilk off the cob with a knife.
10. Knife Block
A waste of precious counter space. Get a fancy new set of knives for Christmas? Install a simple knife magnet (Ikea makes great ones) on the kitchen wall to keep your knives organized, safe, and within hand’s reach.