A garlic roller. I think it may have been the first month of real employment, and I wanted to buy something useful but also novel.
It’s novel, sure, but a real pain in the arse to get the garlic out and also to clean. I just use a knife to chop garlic now. I should probably get one of those garlic presser things, which are easy to clean and ensure all the garlic juices go in the pan, not on the chopping board and my hands.
We’ve also used our George Foreman grill a total of one time, but that was an appliance from my girlfriend’s university days when she didn’t have an oven or hob, so it got a fair bit of use then, I think.
For me it’s a silicone baking dish. It works, it’s nonstick, heat resistant, all that. But it’s a non-standard size, something like 10x10, so it’s too full with recipes that call for a 9x13, and recipes that are meant for an 8x8 come out pancake thin. So it’s not useful for baking, and ends up being used for freeform casseroles. Or refrigerator cinnamon rolls.
It’s also too floppy to be used on its own, so I end up having to stick a cookie sheet or something underneath it. Sometimes I grab the baking pan that came with my toaster oven.
It’s not something I’ve bought, but so far my mother has bought either colanders or strainers for me at least 6 times. She’ll be cooking while she’s visiting, try to use one, see I don’t have one, call me, I handle it, but the next time she sees one in a store she’ll buy it.
They’ve all ended up being given away unused. I know what they’re for, but after all those years of decanting chemicals I don’t use either one. Straining spaguetti is child’s play compared with decanting sulphuric acid off some teeny weeny little crystals.
Cook’s Illustrated recommended the Kuhn Rikon Easy-Squeeze Garlic Press, so I bought it and agree, it’s very nice. Only a thin “skin” of garlic is left behind in the little bin, and that part swings out on a hinge for easy cleaning.
I think a full-on mandoline was my worst purchase; it’s never come out of the box. At least it was a cheaper plastic model and not a pricey stainless one. I’ve ended up using a simpler model that just has a couple of switches to adjust cutting thickness and to go from slice to julienne. Instead of having a stand to set it up, it just gets laid across the top of a bowl.
I don’t think anyone is going to top the EZ-Cracker Egg Cracker of the OP.
Pizza stone? I love mine, use it regularly. I’m considering buying a second.
I guess my contribution is a George Foreman grill that was given to me over a year ago. I have never used it because it seems like a PITA, so it sits in its box in the basement. Should I break it out?
I have to jump in with my daughter’s banana slicer. She was so excited because she loves her bananas sliced, but the slicer is curved differently than the actual bananas. She never found a banana to fit.
I put lemon juice in mine. My husband likes to spray lemon juice on fish. It works fine for that.
I got a gift card for a wedding present and used it to get a food processor. The only thing I ever use the food processor for is to make graham cracker crumbs for cheesecake crust, about 4-5 times a year. So it’s good for that. I got a blender for a shower gift and that thing hasn’t been used in at least 10 years and probably closer to 15. But at least I didn’t buy it.
The Miracle Thaw. I blame it on the funny looking cigarettes from my college days. Not sure how it worked…just remember how the infomercial said it was “made from a space age polymer”. Hearing that, my roommates and I just had to get it.
Really? I see a huge difference in homemade pizza baked on a pizza stone versus a pan (or whatever you use instead). But still, pizza stones are old-school. The new cool way to cook pizza is to put a big ol’ thick sheet of metal under the broiler and it supposedly cooks a pizza in less than 2 minutes.
Oh yeah, I forgot about the George Foreman grill. I had one ten years ago or so, and the damn thing did nothing but make a mess and dry out food. A pan is much easier to clean and produces better food.
I don’t get those, either. I had a silicone muffin tin once; it was incredibly difficult to use, and didn’t do anything a standard muffin tin doesn’t do. Plus it was about 3x as expensive.
Dunno about you, but heck if I can get teeny tiny slices of just the rind with no white very easily with a knife. Sure, if I took a lot of time and was very, very careful I probably could. But a zester does the same thing in a quarter of the time. In all honesty, though, I rarely use an actual zester anymore - that’s another thing that the microplane does better.
And I don’t get the hate for colanders. I need something to not only drain pasta, but also to rinse vegetables, beans, herbs, etc. They’re handy. Sure, I could dummy up something else to do all those things, but colanders are cheap and easy, why would I not want to use them?
Heck, I not only have normal colanders, but a bevy of mini-colanders, and a china cap. But that’s getting into the “I have the best colander” territory so I’m just going to smile nicely and back out of the room now.
You’re talking about one of these things? My GF brought one home a couple weeks ago. She got it at the dollar store on a whim. I’ve actually found it useful for chopping up onions (after I’ve quartered them, of course). Other than that it’s fucking worthless. Had she paid more than a buck for it I would have been upset.
I hate my garlic press. It doesn’t really seem to work and is a bitch to clean.
You can pry my pizza stone from my cold, dead hands, though. It single-handedly took us from making limp, crappy pizza to crispy delicious pizza. We have homemade pizza all the time now and hardly ever get it delivered.