Kitchen appliances are supposed to make your life easier, but most of them just end up claiming vital counter space. There is nowhere to plug in the coffee maker because the toaster and can opener need their spaces, and then there’s the blender for a delicious healthy midday smoothie. One day, you’ll actually make that smoothie.
Many of the must-have gadgets you think you need for your kitchen are unnecessary. A pan or elbow grease may provide the solution you need, freeing up space and making room to experiment with more delicious recipes:
Does it really toast the bread evenly on all sides? While there is something satisfying about the click and pop of the toaster, your grilled cheese is made even better in the oven or seared in a cast iron frying pan on the stovetop.
Spread your oil or butter over both sides and bake or sear them. Did you know you can bake French toast in the oven, and that there are all kinds of easy recipes for perfect toast in the oven or on the stovetop?
Your microwave is probably one of the most convenient items out there, especially when it comes to nuking your coffee after it’s grown cold. For family members late to dinner, all they need to do is pop the plate in the microwave for a few minutes, and it’s hot!
You may notice that the microwave doesn’t always heat items evenly, and any crispy foods will have lost their special crunch. Some foods come out tasting strange. The microwave is huge, and the door opens into a weird space.
It takes a few extra minutes, but it’s easy to heat up items on the stovetop or in the oven. The oven will keep your pizza crunchy, especially if it was frozen — the best taste is kept by reheating leftovers by using the same preparation method. Alternatives for speed include heating up items in a toaster oven or in a cast iron pan.
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- Pastry Cutter
It makes you feel like a fancy baker, but you really don’t need a pastry cutter. The job of cutting in the fat can be done with your fingers, two butter knives or a mixer.
Your grandparents would tell you to just use your fingers. All you have to do is gently squeeze the butter into the flour, but you have to work quickly to avoid the butter melting. A mixer with a paddle will do the same thing within a minute, and two butter knives will literally cut the butter.
If you’ve two hands, why not use them?
Zester is a fun word to say, and many of the designs for the tool that takes a bit of color off the rind are ridiculously cute, but they can be cumbersome and take up valuable space. Instead, zest away with a cheese grater, and pick the grate width for how fine or thick you want your pieces to be. A knife also works, and a little chopping will get the pieces to a fine width.
- Rice Cooker
For many people, a rice cooker is an essential item that not only cooks rice but steams the vegetables for your meal, too. It acts like a slow cooker, which is very cool. So, why not use the slow cooker?
It can be used for even more things, making delicious, fresh and hot homemade bread and making chicken stock from scratch, for example. In the battle between rice cooker vs. slow cooker, your slow cooker will win every time.
The dishwasher is the one item most people claim they’d never do without since it saves them so much time. Yet, it’s completely unnecessary. Dishwashers have only become popular in recent years, and, before then, people used their own two hands.
All you need is elbow grease, soap and a sponge. Heating up water in pans with stubborn stains get those stains unstuck. A paste of salt and baking soda also helps. With a simple routine and rotating duties, the dishes are quickly eliminated from the to-do list.
Many of the items you have in your kitchen are actually unnecessary. Get rid of the gadgets and appliances you use infrequently, such as a zester or rice cooker.
Keep your coffee maker for luxury, but toss the toaster. You’ll love the buttery crispness the pan adds to the bread and the ability to customize just how cheesy you want your grilled cheese sandwich to be. Your food will be even tastier without the gear.