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10 Ordinary Kitchen Tools and Their Brilliant Uses You Never Thought Of

Use your kitchen tools smarter: Many of them make cooking quicker and easier in more than one way.

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Adam Voorhes for Reader's Digest

Vegetable peelers shave cheese

For thin, long slices of cheese, shave the block with a vegetable peeler. Serve on a Caesar salad or pasta. Also use a vegetable peeler to slice hard, cold butter; the thin strips melt quickly on warm toast.

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Grapefruit spoons remove pulp

Use this jagged spoon to scoop melons and winter squash: Its rough edges neatly remove slippery pulp and seeds. If you’re baking, use it to remove eggshells from egg whites; the pointed edges cut through slimy eggs far easier than a regular spoon.

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Ice cream scoops measure cookie dough

Portion dough with an ice cream scoop for large, uniform cookies and clean hands. For smaller cookies, use a melon scooper.

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Bundt pans help cut corn

To remove corn from the cob quickly, stand the cob upright in the center of a Bundt pan. Holding the top of the cob steady, stroke a chef’s knife downward along the sides to remove kernels. Scrape the cob with the back of the knife to release juices. Kernels and juice collect in the Bundt pan—meaning one less mess for you to clean up.

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French presses rinse quinoa

If tiny quinoa grains slip through your colander, use a French press. The fine mesh strains quinoa, keeping it contained. Pour water onto dry quinoa, plunge, and drain; repeat until the water strains clear.

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Peng Li/iStock

Turkey basters shape pancakes

Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to break out the turkey baster; you can use it for breakfast all year long. Fill a baster with pancake batter, and squeeze out custom shapes on a griddle. For artistic shading, first draw the outline of your desired shape (say, an autumn leaf). Let it brown before filling in the rest.

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Lauri Patterson/iStock

Egg slicers chop strawberries

Use an egg slicer to quickly chop strawberries for fruit salads and desserts. Or cut avocados for sandwiches and uniform mozzarella slices for salads and pizza.

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Coffee grinders crush nuts

Pour nuts or seeds into a coffee bean grinder for a chopped breakfast or dessert topping. This works particularly well with soft nuts like walnuts, pecans, and pine nuts (but keep an eye on the consistency; grind for too long, and you may end up with nut butter). Clean after each use.

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Waffle makers cook eggs

For scrambled eggs on the go, use a waffle iron. Whisk eggs, and mix in chopped vegetables and a dash of milk. Spritz both sides of the waffle iron with cooking spray, and pour in egg mixture. Cook two to three minutes and place in a bagel for a breakfast you can munch on with one hand.

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Pizza wheels chop herbs

Turn in the chopping knife: Instead, roll over herbs like parsley and cilantro with a pizza wheel for quick and safe slicing. A pizza wheel also effortlessly chops foods like pancakes and pasta for small children.

Sources: Catherine Pantsios, director of culinary education at San Francisco Cooking School;;;;;;;; Scott Steiner, chef instructor at Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest