New Uses for One-Trick-Pony Gadgets

Help space-hogging kitchen tools earn their keep with these off-label applications.

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Hidden Uses for Common Items

In life, each of us wears multiple hats — cook, chauffeur, accountant, laundry folder, friend. Yet we fill our kitchen drawers with items that are designed to do just one thing. It's time our tools picked up the slack, starting right now with these hidden uses for nine of your most-common items.

 

Photography by Heather Ramsdell 

Tongs

No bottle opener? Metal tongs have an inside edge that’s great for prying off beer caps.

Ice Cream Scoop

An ice cream scoop won't bend under pressure like a regular spoon, so it's perfect for jobs requiring a little muscle — like scooping out seeds from a winter squash or making giant melon balls for a fruity punch. The large capacity also comes in handy for portioning out mac and cheese, meatballs and pancake batter.

Mason Jar Lid

A round shape and defined edges make this an ideal cookie cutter and scone mold. Dip the rim in flour first for an unsticky release from the dough.

Pizza Wheel

Think of this as a circular knife and you'll reach for it multiple times daily. Divide pitas into wedges for dip; shred a pile of lettuce leaves for tacos; portion cookie dough for freezing; slice pie pastry into strips for a lattice crust and more.

Box Grater

Impulse bakers and impatient cooks, take note: When you need room-temperature butter but haven't taken it out of the fridge in advance, you can grate a stick on the large holes of a box grater and it will soften in a flash.

Egg Slicer

The taut wires of this classic will power through strawberries, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella when you need nice uniform slices. It's a great alternative to a knife if you have pint-size helpers in the kitchen.

Potato Ricer

Watery spinach will kill a creamy dip or casserole. Squeeze out every last drop from cooked or frozen leaves with the help of a potato ricer (but don't try to press the leaves through).

Biscuit Cutter

Revolutionize after-school snacking with circle sandwiches made with this seldom-used tool.

Egg Holder

Corral roly-poly sprinkles, chocolate chips and toppings for an ice cream dessert bar or cookie decorating project by putting a different variety in each cup of an egg holder. Egg holders are also handy for serving olives, pickles and relishes on an hors d'oeuvres table, or condiments and spreads on a sandwich board.

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