Kitchen Utensils

A bit ago someone was visiting as I was getting lunch ready for the childcare kiddos.  Lunch time is a topsy-turvy time in my day.  The kids are hungry, tired and impatient.  I need to be as quick as I can.

On this particular day I was serving pancakes.  The fastest way I have discovered to cut them up is with a pizza cutter.  I use it often for cutting up more things than simply pizza.  Quesadillas, sandwiches, French toast, waffles, sausages…all sorts of things cut easy with a pizza cutter.  My visitor was surprised and had only used a pizza cutter for cutting pizza.

I went to explain that I used other things a little non-traditionally.  I have three different sizes of scoops.  The largest is technically an ice cream scoop.  I use that to scoop muffin batter into muffin tins all the time.  It’s my monster cookie scoop too.  (recipe for those here)  When I make pudding for the kiddos I use this scoop to fill their cups with pudding.

The middle scoop is for regular cookies and the smallest is for Waffle Cookies (recipe here)  I use some of these for serving food to the kiddos too.  If it’s a “new” food and I’m sure they might not like it.  I give them a “try” amount-the small scoop.

Here’s the big scoop in action….It’s PERFECT for filling muffins.  This is Anne’s Banana Muffins.  I make them ALL THE TIME.  Recipe here.

I use a kitchen scissors for lots of things too….cutting grill cheese sandwiches in half…cutting freeze pops in half….Cutting up frozen bacon to add to a pot of homemade baked beans…the list goes on.

So…I thought I’d ask all of you.  Is there a kitchen utensil that you use in a non-traditional way.  Is there a utensil that you wouldn’t live without?  I’d love to learn more uses for my utensils.

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20 thoughts on “Kitchen Utensils

  1. Joanne

    I use the round tea leaf holder (like two sieves together) to hold flour and sprinkle it to roll out piecrust, or to hold confectioner’s sugar to sift onto something.
    Cereal bags are strong plastic. I use them to roll out cookie dough and piecrust, and bread dough for cinnamon buns. It is easy to wash and roll back up, or you can pitch it. You can tape it to the counter. I also cut it up and use it between pizza slice layers and to fold around a spoonful of tomato paste which I put in a ziplock and freeze.
    I was going to donate the plastic ice cream scoop, which I never used for ice cream, until I realized that it looked a lot like the pumpkin tools. It is great for scooping the seeds out of winter squash.
    A melon baller does an easy job of removing seeds and membranes from jalapenos.
    Many decorative sprinkles will shake out of salt shakers. These are really good when children are helping. You still get sugar all over the floor, but no big clumps on your cookies or cupcakes! Even young children look like pros.

  2. Melanie

    I use “ice cream” scoopers for cookies, muffins, etc., pizza cutters from quesadillas, to cut up lettuce, waffles, grilled cheese, & so many other little things around my kitchen. Nothing has just one purpose or it goes bye bye.

  3. Linda l

    I use the waxy paper inserts from cereal boxes to put my chicken breasts in and pound them thin. It contains the mess and they’re more sturdy than plastics wrap,
    I use my pastry blender to mash bananas for banana bread or to mash hard boiled eggs for egg salad.

  4. Mary

    I buy chopped lettuce for salads but often it’s not chopped small enough for my liking. I’ll throw some lettuce in a bowl and use the kitchen scissors to chop it small. It’s easier than pulling out a knife and cutting board.

  5. J Breidinger

    I love this. I use pizza cutters in my class when we are doing cooking lab for everything. My aides were so surprised!

  6. Helen

    I use pizza cutter to cut fudge. Our family makes several varieties each Christmas. Line pan with heavy duty foil and cook thoroughly. Turn out onto cutting board, remove foil and slice with cutter. Be extra careful since fudge is thicker & a little harder to cut than pizza.

  7. Robby H.

    Not something non-traditional, but get yourself a bench scraper (or bench “knife”) as used by bakers. I use mine for so many things, scooping up chopped things on the cutting board, pressing things down evenly like my homemade granola bars. When I make bar cookies or brownies, I line the pan with foil, when cool, I lift them out and use the bench scraper to cut them as it’s easier than a knife. I can use that same scraper to lift 2-3 of them off the foil to place in a container. A friend who has arthritis says it hurts her hands and wrists less to cut with her bench scraper.

    Not a tool, but I buy tomato paste (and chipotle peppers) in a can and then measure what I need, the rest goes in a pint sized freezer bag and squished evenly in the bag before it gets frozen. I can just break off the amount I need and use that. So much cheaper than the tubes and faster than individually portioning. The chipotles I buzz in the blender before I freeze so I get both pepper and sauce. If you don’t like things that hot, use less or keep the peppers whole and put one in the pot, remove before you serve, the spiciness will still be there.

  8. Sue

    I roll out my feather dumplings on a pastry sheet then slice them with my pizza cutter. Very fast. It’s my main use for the pizza cutter as I don’t even eat pizza, lol. But I won’t be without my pizza cutter.

  9. Shasta

    I have a big slotted spoon – I think it is for taking fried foods out of the oil. It is like a big round cup made out of rows of metal with a handle. I use it to rinse and drain the canned beans before using. It holds the whole can at a time and it is easier to wash than a colander.

  10. Paulette

    I use my cookie dough scooper (about your medium-sized one) as a measuring spoon. Mine is about 1.5 Tablespoons, so when I’m making my small batch recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies, it’s 3 scoops of packed brown sugar and 3 scoops of gluten-free flour. No need to use another measuring utensil when I’m going to be using the scoop anyway to put the cookie dough on the baking sheet.

  11. Diane in WA

    My mom shared with me a few years ago, that she uses a plastic knife to cut chewy fresh brownies. The brownies don’t stick to the plastic knife like it does a metal knife. I will have to start using my pizza cutter and kitchen scissors as suggested by others.

  12. Catherine Snyder

    I use a melon baller to remove the seed part of apple & pears after cutting them in half vertically.

  13. Betty Woodlee

    I use my pizza cutter to cut up my dumplings when I make chicken and dumplings. Thanks for sharing uses for your kitchen utensils.

  14. Bobi

    We like thin crust crispy pizza and I actually use kitchen shears to cut it into slices. I’m also in love with plastic spreaders from the restaurant supply store. They are the quickest way to get peanut butter, butter, frosting or anything spread out.

  15. Rhonda L Russell

    I use a bench scrapper for just about anything that I cut up ever since I read that scraping your knife across the board dulls it. It’s perfect for scraping off or scooping up off of the cutting board. I also have some English muffin rings that I use to fry eggs in to make homemade sausage egg “McMuffins.” My sons loved them every morning for breakfast and it was a whole lot cheaper that going to McDonald’s every morning! Also, when the sugar gets lumps in my canister, I just take a whisk to it and I have granulated sugar again. The one non-kitchen tool that I use is a big drum stick with cork on the end (it looks like it’s for a bass drum). I use it to break up frozen veggies and hash browns that have clumped together in the freezer. The cork is soft enough so the package doesn’t tear open. I also use ice cream scoopers when making cookies as well. Lastly, I’ve used my meat slicer to slice lettuce and tomatoes when I wanted them thinly sliced.

    I never thought to use my pizza cutter to cut up anything other than pizza but I will now!

  16. Jannette B.

    I use my ice cube tray for freezing small quantities of food. If I open a can of tomato paste, but only need a Tbsp. or two, the rest goes into the ice cube tray – one Tbsp. worth into each “cup”. Once they’re frozen, I pop the cubes into a freezer weight plastic bag. Fresh herbs get divided up into portions in the ice cube tray – add a bit of water, and freeze. When you need a flavour boost, pop a cube or 2 into whatever you’re cooking – and the little bit of water isn’t enough to dilute your recipe.
    Did you know that the shaker lid on grated parmesan cheese fits on a standard Mason canning jar? It turns any size jar into a shaker jar!

  17. Candy

    I assume everyone here is a quilter, so this is for all of you. I see lots of pretty beaded metal stilettos advertised to use when sewing/quilting. Your sewing machine needle could so easily hit it, since you’re using it to ‘steer’ the fabric under the needle. Yikes … that would break the needle, sending the broken tip flying into your face or who knows where, not mention putting your machine ‘out of kilter’. Soooo … to make a long story short, I always use your basic/cheap bamboo skewers from the kitchen. They work great, last ‘forever’ and if your needle were to hit the skewer it would go into the skewer. Even if the needle breaks, it will be stuck in the skewer, not in your eye! Love all the tips!

  18. Dian

    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I use scissors(inexpensive ones) many times a day. After a neighbor girl poked her eye with a knife while opening a packaged item, I put scissors in several different drawers and encourage everyone to use a knife as intended and scissors for everything else. It makes for quick cutting of meat (frozen or thawed) when doing stir fry, chopping bacon or ham for scrambled eyes, dividing soft doughs, chopping chives and other herbs etc. The child size scissors with blunt end work great too when children want to help prepping food. Into the dishwasher they go whereas I hand wash my expensive knives.

  19. Sally

    I work with produce a lot and have had days when I cut up 50 cantaloupes and honeydews. We use a plastic ice cream scoop to get the seeds out. Best tool for the job!

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