Unique Tools for the Kitchen

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Kitchen tools can be a super help to making good, cheap eats. Here are a few tools, you might not think belong in the kitchen, but they do.

Unique Tools for the Kitchen - Kitchen tools can be a super help to making good, cheap eats. Here are a few tools, you might not think belong in the kitchen, but they do.

If someone were to peer into my kitchen gadget drawers, they probably be first struck by the sheer immensity of the collection. It is sometimes hard to shut the drawer, I admit.

But, they also might be surprised by some of the unique “tools” that I keep in my bag of tricks. They come from the drug store, the hardware store, and the office supply store. Yes, really!

I use these on a regular basis and get a little miffed if I find that one of my minions has removed said tool from the kitchen. Allow me to introduce you.

1. a tape measure

Years ago I asked FishPapa to get me a small tape measure. (He works in the carpentry trades and finds himself in a hardware store at least once or twice a week. I never have to go there, and I love that!)

I love the little sizes he has found. They aren’t super long tapes, similar to this tape measure key chain, but they are great when I need to measure the size of a pan or if I want to verify a measurement of something in a recipe. My editors are always asking me what size was that, so this tool is super great for me.

Even if I wasn’t in the recipe development business, I like to be able to measure ingredients or methods when I’m following someone else’s recipe so I can make sure it turns out correctly.

Unique Tools for the Kitchen - Kitchen tools can be a super help to making good, cheap eats. Here are a few tools, you might not think belong in the kitchen, but they do.

2. binder clips

I use binder clips all the time to close bags and to keep parchment from sliding all over the place. Forget expensive chip clips, you can get binder clips by the truckloads at back to school sales, so stock up next time and solve all your bag closing, paper-sliding needs. (On Amazon, they are about ten cents a piece for this kind.)

3. dental floss

Thanks to Amy‘s tutorial on making cinnamon rolls for the freezer, I keep unflavored dental floss in the kitchen drawer at all times. It’s come in very handy for slicing cinnamon rolls, swirled garlic biscuits, and other doughs that I don’t want to squash.

Unique Tools for the Kitchen - Kitchen tools can be a super help to making good, cheap eats. Here are a few tools, you might not think belong in the kitchen, but they do.

4. sharpies

I’ve slowly been making the transition to using glass canning jars instead of ziploc bags or plastic containers. I’m not convinced about the purported healthy benefits of glass over plastic, but I do like the look.

I use a sharpie to label my containers, whatever kind I’m using. Eventually the sharpie washes off, but it’s a great way to remember what I have. (You can also use rubbing alcohol to remove the marker if it doesn’t wash off soon enough for you.)

So, they might not be your average kitchen utensils, but they sure do help me in the kitchen.

Do YOU have an odd gadget that helps you in the kitchen?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Lori R says

    Tweezers for removing bones in salmon. Love my sharpies, dental floss and funnels too! I agree…binder clips are the best bag clips.

  2. Kjane says

    I too love binder clips and have three sized in the kitchen. Bamboo tongs are another well used tool for getting toast and muffins out of the toaster. Also I have a nifty tape measure with a magnet on the back that I keep on the refrigerator.

    • I saw bamboo tongs at a friend’s house. I want some! Hers even had a magnet on them so you could store it on the side of the toaster.

      • Sandi says

        Oooh, I should put a little magnet on mine since my toaster is right next to the fridge. I got my tongs from Pampered Chef and they were something like $2 but when I just now went looking for them to verify the price, I found they seem to have been discontinued. I REALLY don’t want to lose mine now.

  3. A ruler for scoring bars and the like. I use clothespins for closing bags. Thread for cutting cinnamon rolls. Couldn’t live without my sharpies with all the cooking ahead I do!

  4. Elizabeth says

    We use clothespins to close all kinds of bags, from potato chips to bread to half-used bags of frozen vegetables and fruit in the freezer. They’re easier to use than a twist-tie or transferring something like frozen peas into a Ziplock. The only problem is when I’m trying to hang actual clothes on the line outside and find all of the clothespins have migrated into the kitchen drawers. 😉

  5. Melanie says

    I have most of these tools in my kitchen too! Love the binder clip idea; Much smaller than the clothespins I use now. Silly question- can you store the glass jars in the freezer?

    • I have not had good luck with glass for storing liquids. Several have cracked. But, it works fine to store the dry mixes.

      • Melanie says

        Thanks, will try for the dry mixes!

  6. erica says

    plastic knives- there is something magic about a plastic knife and cutting brownies (our go to treat). They don’t get gummy and tear up the warm brownies.

    • I’ve heard that, but never tried it. Thanks for the reminder. Now to make some brownies!

  7. Nia Hanna says

    Jessica I had been wondering if your family was effected by the fires that have been all over the news! It appears you are all okay, or are your blog posts set for automation? Anyhoo I love the tools you’ve listed here and began using the binder clips a few months back per your recommendation. I too love the look of my food in jars and Laura at Heavenly Homemakers passed her love of jars on to me (but I haven’t got the space she has) and I find I store less food this way. Also, when a disgusting little rodent decided to take up residency in our kitchen a couple weeks back, and chew through two containers of oats, I figured glass would protect our food supply since they can’t chew through it!

    • Thanks for asking, Nia. I’ve posted a lot about it on Twitter and my Life as MOM facebook page. We were about 5 miles from a fire on Wednesday. Thankfully, they got that under control, but we were prepared to evacuate. My husband works near the Cocos Fire, so he’s been home from work these past few days. It’s been a scary week! Update over on LAM: http://lifeasmom.com/2014/05/weekly-ramble.html

  8. Kelly says

    How about Scotch tape to reseal an open box of spaghetti? With a large family it’s probably not an issue, but there’s just 3 of us here.

  9. Deb says

    Whiteboard markers- I use these to label plastic containers. No more mixing up corn starch & icing sugar.

    Silicon cupcake liners- I use these in bento style lunches, to pre measure small amounts fot baking / cooking, & for personal dip containers. They are also good for freezing individual portions of left overs.

    • Kelly says

      I use wet erase marker for labeling jars and leftovers.

      • We splash a lot. The marking doesn’t come off before you need it to?

        • Kelly says

          Only the time we had to do an emergency defrost on the feezer! My husband took charge and when I came out to check progress there was colored water on the floor! Fortunately the only containers that had been marked that way all had soup in them, I just didn’t know what kind.

          We have dairy goats and this has been the best way to mark the date on the jars of milk. I mark the lid rather than the jar and that might make a difference. Dry erase was hard to get off if it got wet first, didn’t want sticky residue from tape or labels, so when I saw this idea I had to try.

          Sharpies work well on jars-and it comes off easily when washing.

    • Great tip about the cupcake liners. Thanks!

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