Smart New Uses for These 14 Kitchen Gadgets
Have a kitchen full of gizmos, gadgets, and utensils? We all do, but we may not be using them to their full potential. Here are some new ways to repurpose your old wares that would make mama proud.
1. Food Processor
Make homemade ice cream without the pricey, space-stealing, limited-use ice cream maker. Just pour your prepared ice cream base into ice cube trays to set in the freezer, and then churn them to creamy perfection in the food processor.
What goes great with ice cream? Pizza, of course. Whip up fresh pizza dough using your food processor for a from-scratch, primo pie.
2. Waffle Iron
You'll get more mileage from your waffle iron — outside of holiday brunches, of course — now that you know it's great for cooking brownies, hash browns, falafel, banana bread, quesadillas, French toast, chocolate chip cookies, grilled cheese, and more.
3. Popcorn Machine
If you're a fan of fresh-roasted coffee in the morning, without the sting of a Starbucks price tag, put the beans in your air popper for a superior cup of joe.
Your popcorn machine also can be used to warm nuts — including almonds, peanuts, and cashews — when you put them in the machine for five to 10 minutes.
4. Coffee Maker
What can your coffee maker do besides drip-brew your morning pick-me-up? A number of things, in fact — like make tea and instant oatmeal, melt coconut oil, boil eggs and hot dogs, mull wine, and steam broccoli. Could come in handy the next time you're stuck in a hotel.
5. French Press
WonderHowTo offers a few alternative uses for your French press, such as seasoning and serving milk, washing grains, and steeping tea.
If you have a penchant for homemade liqueurs infused with other edibles, you can use the French press to strain it.
6. Immersion Blender
Your immersion blender has more tricks up its proverbial sleeve than blending soup. Use it to churn up guacamole, mashed potatoes, banana "ice cream," salsa, hollandaise sauce, mousse, and butter.
Personally, I like to use my immersion blender to make malt-shop quality milkshakes. Just make sure you put your ingredients (milk and premium ice cream are all you need), in a large enough container — like a large cocktail shaker — and start slow so your delicious treat doesn't end up all over your shirt.
7. Ice Trays
BuzzFeed has compiled a list of clever uses for an ice tray, the most interesting (and mouth-watering) of which include chocolate-covered cheesecake bites, Jell-O shots, peanut butter cups, and fro-yo.
Outside the kitchen, you can use ice trays for more practical purposes, like separating and storing jewelry neatly; making homemade dishwasher detergent tablets; and starting seedlings before replanting in larger pots.
8. Muffin Tins
The innocuous muffin tin wears many hats, including as a tray for individual servings of oysters, a drawer organizer, a planter for herbs and small plants, and freezing single servings of soup.
9. Slow Cooker
Your slow cooker is just as ideal for making soups and stews as it is for baking bread — which is totally legit — but Humorous Homemaking has compiled a great list of non-food uses for the Crock-Pot, including keeping heating bags warm, making soap, dyeing Easter eggs using water and Kool-Aid, concocting an air freshener, and more.
10. Rice Cooker
I didn't grow up with a rice cooker in my house — it was strictly instant 'round those parts — but if I did, I probably would've tried my hand at making mac and cheese (because duh!), chocolate lava cake (because OMG!), and tofu and asparagus (because my mom would've wanted me to eat my veggies!).
Curious about how else to use your microplane besides zesting citrus? Epicurious has a few ideas, such as grating hard cheeses, garlic, fibrous root vegetables, like beets and carrots; chocolate, lemongrass, ginger, and horseradish.
12. Bundt Pan
If you don't have a traditional roasting pan on hand, break out the Bundt and use it as a vertical roaster for your winner-winner chicken dinner.
Braces-wearers know the perils of eating corn-on-the-cob — I should know, I used to be one of them — so to make it easier on them and whomever needs to remove it from the cob, use the Bundt pan as a convenient corn catcher.
An old Bundt pan for which you no longer have any kitchen use, can be turned into a shabby-chic planter.
13. Egg Slicer
Slice mushrooms, olives, and strawberries in a flash by using that old egg slicer. One and done.
14. Turkey Baster
If you think turkey basters only have two uses, you're wrong. According to Reader's Digest, your turkey baster is suited for a myriad of jobs, including removing the grease at the bottom of a pan of ground meat that you're frying, changing plant water, separating eggs, changing brake fluid, and winding yarn.
How do you use your old kitchen gadgets in new ways? Let me know in the comments below.
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