We all have our quirks, and our favourite shops. It seems bloggers mostly like stationery (can’t beat a good notebook, even if they’re just to look good in photos), but one of my favourites is Lakeland. Mostly for the fun, weird and non-essential kitchen gadgets they sell. The arrival of the Lakeland catalogue through the door sees me get some quiet time and enjoy looking at what I would buy if I had more room in my kitchen drawers.
Quirky kitchen gadgets was a fun conversation we would often have with my mum. She was notorious for being weak and not being able to open jam jars. Until I found the jam pot opener and gave it to her for a birthday present one year. After that, it was always the thing to find a (usually cheap) quirky kitchen gadget to add to her Christmas present for a bit of fun.
Some gadgets are brilliant, others sit in the drawer unused after a couple of times, but I thought I’d reminisce on some of the clever, helpful (and useless, ‘you do what with that’) gadgets that I have or have been intrigued about.
Quirky kitchen gadgets – the useful ones
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I love mine. It was a request last year on my present list, and the OH got me one. I use it mostly to make courgetti, and occasionally carrots although it’s not as good for that. My theory is, see them in action first, because the really small cheap ones are rubbish, but there’s no point buying an expensive one if you’re not going to use it that often.
Again, a wish list gift, and I use this all the time. It takes 7 eggs, I can soft or hard boil them. And pre-Easter it’s good for making hard boiled eggs for N’s school egg roll competition. The only downside is how hard it is to clean the metal which tends to go a bit ‘rusty’ from the evaporated water.
You may laugh at this 70s invention, but melon just tastes nicer in little balls, than in chunky uneven cuts. And it means N can prep his own. You do have to be careful not to waste much of the melon though, so we do make sure to get all the flesh out. Now all I need is a melon de-seeder.
Pumpkin carving set
I used to use N’s toddler kiddycutter knife to carve pumpkins until it broke. So now, just a cheap pumpkin carving kit does the job fine.
I don’t have my own one, but they’re just a rubber mat that you use over the lid to grip it and open. So handy and easier than finding a decent elastic band in our house. I usually just bash the side of the lid on the worksurface to give it a start before opening, but if you’ve weaker hands, the mat version are easier.
Yes I could just peel and chop cloves of garlic, but the crush is so much easier and fun. Well, until you need to get the peel out to clean it. I do chop sometimes, but other times crushing is less hassle.
This is a really odd thing (a bit like a UFO shape), but you can store the spare whole nutmegs, with one being used in the powder/grating area. Then just turn the handle over your pan and the dusting of nutmeg comes out. So easy for over rice pudding etc.
Quirky kitchen gadgets that look cool but really aren’t great
I got one of these for my mum. The theory is great but I didn’t get on with it myself. She quite liked it.
Strawberry huller – Like plastic pincers, but they’re not dainty enough to not damage the strawberry. It’s easier just to get a knife out and de-hull the stalk
Egg slicer = I do love hard boiled eggs, and seem to have acquired an egg slicer. It looks pretty cool (if you always wish you could use one of the wire cheese cutters in delis, you might like this). But I’ve never used it. And the wire part always falls off in the drawer. A sharp knife does the job fine.
Apple divider – The theory on these are great – de-core and slice at the same time. But they take so much pressure, that they’re just too much pressure.
Avocado scoop and slicer – I loved the idea of this, but it’s unwieldy, plastic, and doesn’t allow for the fact that an avocado can be shaped differently so can turn it a bit mushy. Much better just using a large spoon and knife.
I also asked other bloggers what their favourites and worst kitchen gadgets are.
Bloggers’ loves and dislikes with gadgets
It seems egg gadgets are everywhere and are favourites. Rachael of Lukeosaurus and me loves her egg slicer, saying she bought it as a joke, but loves it. Sophie from Soph Obsessed loves her egg topper – it takes the top off boiled eggs without smashing the shell
Sara-Jayne of Keep up with the Jones Family loves how her garlic peeler and mincer means she doesn’t have to fiddle with garlic prep like before. Supposedly one looks like a yoyo and the other like rubver tubing. Interesting
Sometimes simple is best – Debbie from My Boys Club is a fan of her julienne vegetable peeler (I have my eye on one of these too, a bargain at only a couple of pounds.
Make onion slicing easier with an onion slicer. Nikki from Riding Boots for Boo was inspired to buy one after working in a Californian diner where it was an essential tool.
Gadgets that have been left languishing in cupboards include an avocado knife which Hannah from Devon Mama explains is cross between a spoon and knife but doesn’t see why you’d need one (especially if you’re allergic to avocados – her mum bought her one!)
Another Hannah, this time from Hannah Tasker ponders her ice cube tongs. She still gets the mickey taken out of her for buying those.
Finally pizza cones. Yes, Helen from Treasure Every Moment was disappointed to find that cooking pizza in a cone and filling it with cheese and toppings doesn’t really work when you actually try to eat it.
What kitchen gadgets do you swear by or hate?