12 Kitchen Hacks Hiding in the Hardware Store

Transform a hammer, nails, pliers and more into handy cooking tools with these toolbox tricks.

 

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Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell

Grab That Toolbox

Maybe you can't find your offset spatula, but you have a cake to frost. Or maybe you're having trouble deboning some salmon. Don’t give up when you are so close to a delicious bite! Instead, consider taking a trip to the hardware store. One of the items there could help solve your kitchen problem tonight (just be sure to wash anything you buy before you use it — nobody likes hardware-store dust in their food).

Joint Knife Scraper

Back to our dilemma: If you don't have an offset spatula, the similar shape and wide surface area of a scraper does a beautiful job smoothing icing over the top and sides of your cake. The thin metal and flat edge of the scraper also functions just as well as a knife to cut through the layers of the cake and deliver a delicious slice. 

Saw

Facing off against frozen bread? When slicing through a particularly hard, crusty loaf, a saw can be sturdier than a knife. But make sure to protect your cutting board or counter because, well, it's a saw. 

Pliers

No tweezers? No problem! We found that pliers, though blunt at the end, have a better grip when pulling out pin bones.  

Rasp

If you can't find your microplane, a rasp can be used to pulverize ginger while also keeping fibers out of the mix. 

Clamp

A regular clamp will help stabilize a slipping pasta roller and make the whole cranking experience more pleasant.

Paint Brush

A freshly washed, new paintbrush is a good way to spread soft butter or BBQ sauce.

Hammer

A hammer is a great tool for opening a coconut. Hold it in your hand and knock it against the equator until there is a slight crack. Pull the shells apart with your hand. 

Flat Head Screwdriver

You have a delicious oyster that you desperately want to open, but you don't have an oyster knife on hand. Grab a flat head screwdriver and a kitchen towel to protect your hand. 

Almost There...

Find the oyster seam with the sharp corner of the screwdriver and twist up to separate the hinge.

Aw, Shucks!

Run your screwdriver down the length of the oyster to remove the top shell.

Marble Tile Sample

Searching for a smooth surface? A floor tile sample is a great tool for chilling and rolling out dough for cookies and crusts.

Sanded Closet Rod

A section of a closet rod sanded for extra smoothness can be used in place of a rolling pin.

Chisel

This tool is the unsung Donatello of your kitchen. Just grab a chisel to whittle some chocolate shavings from a block of chocolate. And maybe unearth a chocolate masterpiece while you’re at it.

Aluminum Nails

The jury is out, but some people swear by it: Inserting a clean, new aluminum nail through your potato might help it bake faster. The idea here is that the heat-conducting nail will cook your potato from the inside, while the oven bakes the outside.  

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