What is your favorite kitchen gadget under $25?

rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7February 22, 2014

My husband is the culprit for buying gadgets in this household, lol. I keep a box in the garage for many of them.

However, two that I use on a regular basis are the 'strap wrench ' for opening jar lids and my trusty pineapple corer/slicer.

Both are so simple in their design yet extremely useful in my life. I'm especially impressed with the pineapple thingie! I use more than one pineapple a week and this contraption cores, slices, and husks in a few twists. Sheesh, I love that thing!

What's in your gadget drawer?

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nelles_gw

Not much of a "gadget", but I have a cheap serrated (sp?) knife I use for everything! DH eats English muffins every morning, and I use the knife to split the muffin.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:34AM
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arkansas_girl

A digital scale, I use it at least once a day.

OH I use those cheap dollar store knives too! I have a whole "set" that I've collected. They are the kind with the tiny teeth. They cut tomatoes the best of any knife I've found!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:08AM
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sweet_betsy No AL Z7

A mini plastic colander that I found on a notions table at the drugstore for a dollar. Everyone must like them--they are not priced as cheaply now. My large colander was just too big.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:40AM
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phyllis__mn

That little plastic gizmo that you use to remove lids. I also love the dollar store bread knife, magnetic clips, twist ties, little whatever that sits on the edge of a kettle and holds the spoon.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:48AM
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gazania_gw

My garlic peeler, a 6 inch long tube of silicone. Insert garlic clove and firmly roll it on the counter. That papery skin is removed or greatly loosened for easy removal. About as simple as any gadget can get.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:49AM
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grandma_bonnie

I love the PC Drainer. It drains everything large and small and is flat (I hang it on my wall) I've had it for over 10 years.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:43AM
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jannie

I have a jar lid opener that belonged to my Grandmother. Probably cost 25 cents new, but it's priceless to me.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:07AM
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yayagal

A potato peeler called Speedy Peeler, it's ergonomically correct and you don't have to use your thumb or fingers. Picture a computer mouse but smaller and there's a solid rubber look on the top where you put you middle finger, the blade is under the "mouse" and horizontal, you just move your hand up and down or back and forth without closing your hand. It's like wiping a table. It's soooo easy and quick. It was under 5 dollars at Home Goods. You can google the name.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:17AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Bonnie, what's a PC Drainer? You've got me on that one!

I have a couple of those serrated knives. As a matter of fact, even though I have some wonderful high quality knives, I seem to rummage in the drawer for old favorites.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:52AM
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nicole__

A potato ricer. Mines red. Purchased @ the ARC thrift store for $6. The new one I purchased broke the first time I used it..:0)

This post was edited by nicole__ on Sat, Feb 22, 14 at 11:08

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:06AM
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patti43

My favorite is at the high end of the cost line for this post and it is the Valdalia food chopper. I've had mine since they were a "As seen on TV" gadgets. I paid $19.98 for mine but I see they've gone up in price on some sites so if you're interested, shop around.

It comes with two chop sizes. One is larger for soups, etc. and the other is when you want a smaller chop. You still have to slice the vegetables but it makes all of them the same size so cooking time is easy.

I also like my microplanes. So handy!

Thanks for starting this thread, Rhizo. I keep the things I don't use often (rolling pin, for instance) in a plastic container on the floor of my pantry. I got it out and purged a lot of stuff. Who needs 3 nutcrackers? Or 3 strawberry hullers??

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:31AM
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arkansas_girl

OH strawberry huller...I love that thing. The one I have looks like a tiny spoon with sharp teeth. I was hurting my thumb digging them off with my thumb nail...HAHA! Anyway, when strawberries are in season, I use it daily!

Something else that I love for the kitchen, I have a sprayer that attaches to the faucet (in lieu of the aerator) you pull it down to make a sprayer or push it back up to be just a regular faucet flow. I got it from the flea market for about $10. You can buy them at a plumbing store BUT and here's the difference, the one from the flea market can be a sprayer even at a very low water flow so you can turn the water to a very slow spray. The hardware store ones automatically go back to typical faucet as soon as you turn the water off or if the flow is too low. I will always have one on my faucet from now on.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:09PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

I love my mother's long cake tester. I also like a cooking spoon that has a big bowl and can be used to stir and to serve soups and sauces because the angle of the bowl is so nice. I bought it from a group of parents selling them at the grocery store for their swim team.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:25PM
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fran1523

My pampered chef garlic press. I've had it for about 15 years and it's still great.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:07PM
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pkramer60

My favorites are:
mandolin slicer from Aldi's
garlic press w/trap door for cleaning from Ikea
julienne veggie peeler from Kuhn-Ricon at Williams Sonoma
silicon brushes from Aldi for coating a frying pan with less oil

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:07PM
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threejs

My braun hand blender which died after Christmas and couldn't be replaced. The stories that friend could have told. We hid a multitude of sins when cooking. When it was new the box said 16.99, and I bought it years and years ago at a yard sale for two dollars. I bought five different rasps at the dollar store. All are very well made and have covers for the faces. They cut everything great from chocolate shavings to a block of ice.

Oh strawberry huller got tossed in the big "junk" drawer. I use a large straw and push up through the bottom of the berry to the green stem. It just slides through and takes it all including the hard core that some of the berries have. Try it, you'll like it. Just google strawberry hulling with a straw.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:48PM
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lisa_fla

threejs-try Ebay and if you don't see it, check back periodically,

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:00PM
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Shelgal

A "lid-flipper" that I bought from Beechnut baby food with 2 labels and 25 cents when my son was an infant (many, many years ago) which was made by Ecko and is no longer made. It opens any jar by letting in air. Love it.
Also, wooden tongs for the toaster; only 2 bucks at Bed, bath and beyond, but prevents getting electrocuted when I want to fish for an English muffin that can't pop up.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:04PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I have a lot of the gadgets for opening jars but my absolute fave is one that looks like a church key can opener and just causes the lid to burp and release the seal, Works wonderfully.
JARKEY JARPOP GLASS JAR OPENER RED KEY POP

My sponge on a stick, well that's what I call it. It is for washing dishes and especially great for getting into glasses and cleaning them. No need to cram my hand deep in the glass. It has a scrubbing pad on the end to get any residue in the bottom. These come in various qualities and price ranges, I have one I got at HEB that is top notch.
Bottle & Glass Sponge Cleaning Brush Round Plastic Handle

Good kitchen shears! I have probably 10 pair of various shapes and sizes and quality, you just can not beat a good pair of shears. I like the ones that come apart for good cleaning.

My hand held cordless Black and Decker ergonomic can opener I have had for years.
Black & Decker Ergo Cordles Can Opener

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:09PM
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marie_ndcal

Two things I really like:
A Swing-Away jar opener, is adjustable and works great. Got it at a RV place and another opener to open flip top lids. Just put it under the ring, open, turn it around and then peal the can opened, Sure saves on fingernails. No name on opener, but got it at the local gourmet shop. Wish I knew how to post a picture

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:23PM
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susie53_gw

I have one of the jar pop things and they are really great. My cutco potato peeler is the best ever. I have had it for over 20 years and it is still as sharp as ever. My big set of cutco knives. I use some of them everyday. My niece sold them one summer when she was in college. It has been one of the best items I ever bought.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Fun2BHere

Rhizo_1, I'm guessing that PC = Pampered Chef.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:27PM
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phyllis__mn

oh, yes, the kitchen shears........I have the Fiskars that I bought many years ago at a sidewalk sale. The owner said, "I don't know what they are, but they are the only ones left, so how about 50 cents?"

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:32PM
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arkansas_girl

The link below is like my potato peeler that I got in a bag of junk from the thrift shop that had one thing in that I really wanted. The bag was a dollar for everything. This is, hand's down, THE.BEST.POTATO.PEELER.EVER! HAHA! But it is and I have about 8 different peelers looking for one that actually peels worth a darn. And to think that it almost got thrown in the trash because it looked like trash.

Here is a link that might be useful: best potato peeler EVER

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 3:47PM
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joyfulguy

Serrated paring /utility knife ... great for cutting tomatoers that resist a straight blade, also for taking eyes and assorted ulcerated lacerations from potatoes. Also good for cutting half way through a slice of bread to ease folding a slice over to make a PB & J half-sandwich.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:45PM
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marilyn_sue

I like my electric Black and Decker jar opener. I bought it at a garage sale for $3.00. There are some things that are very hard for me to open and that has not failed. For the pop open lids I have a white plastic opener that came free with Ragu. I also like my hot pot that heats up around 7 cups of water. Use it almost daily.

Sue

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:49PM
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grandma_bonnie

Rhizo_1 PC is pampered chef drainer... Here it is in use...
http://www.expotv.com/Drainer/2d-1207/203966

Here is a link that might be useful: drainer

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:57PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Oh yeah I have fallen in love with my new ceramic blade knives. But they are so sharp I have cut myself a couple of times. My cleaning lady cut herself washing one the other day, luckily it was just a nick. She asked what they were, she didn't know what ceramic knives were, but she was going to buy one.
I accidentally put one in the dishwasher which you are not supposed to do and it broke at the handle joint. I have bought several nice ones at Tuesday morning store.

I also have this really long wire thing that has a brush around the bottom, has a plastic handle. It is specifically for cleaning those big straws that have the bendable neck and the straw is ridged. They are sold with Tervis tumblers. I love my Tervis tumblers but those straws are a pain to clean. I soak them in a bleach and detergent water solution but that brush does a pretty good idea of cleaning those grooves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Straws

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:18PM
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countrycottageklutz

I have two favourites in my small kitchen.

1) I was searching for ages for a replacement pizza stone, and a friend gifted me a box of hers! I now use unglazed quarry floor tiles. The first use resulted in a couple of stuck on bits, but not a problems since. The whole box of 6 cost her around $10.

2)This handy dandy orange peeler..had one as a kid from Tupperware, but the one I have was a dollar store find. Hubby eats plenty of citrus, and my slightly arthritic fingers hate the peeling process, or at least the start of it.

Oh..I guess one other thing I use daily, gadgetwise, is a stainless steel bar of soap LOL..for removing the smell of garlic and onions from my fingers. There is no soap involved, just a bar of stainless. works like a charm! Called the Rub Away Bar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orange Peeler

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:48PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Grandma bonnie, that drainer looks really useful. I keep my colanders and sieves pretty handy, though.

I do not have a ceramic knife. Yet. Those of you who do really like yours, it seems. I really appreciate good knives, that's for sure!

Raven, I have a couple of brushes like that and use them to clean my hummingbird feeders, lol.

If I went through my drawer and got rid of just his knife sharpeners (all but the sharpening steel), I'd have a lot more room for new stuff. :-)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 5:59PM
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kayjones

I have a bread/slicing knife from Subway, which I use daily, for anything I can use it for.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 6:05PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Countrycottage....I am going to buy one of those bars! That sounds like the coolest thing ever.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 8:27PM
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jasdip

Rhizo, any stainless steel item will work to rid your hands of garlic and onion.

A spoon, dinner knife etc etc. I always run my hand along the blade under water after chopping the garlic, and it gets rid of the smell. Need I say, I run my fingers along the back of the blade? :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:23PM
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marilyn_c

Hands down, it is this Kwik Cut chopper. I use it to chop vegetables, or like when I am making tuna salad, to chop and mix at once. I use it to chop up corn bread when I make dressing. I love it so much that when I see one at a yard sale, I buy it. I have about four on hand at all times and I have given many away. I pay anything from a quarter to a couple of dollars for one. I keep them in a clear glass jar on my counter.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 9:58PM
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lydia1959

I love my whisks... my favorite is a Kitchenaid one with a pretty blue handle.
I also use my can drainer quite a bit.. fits right over the can, then you turn it upside down to drain all the water out.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 10:35PM
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arkansas_girl

kayjones, what's this Subway knife you speak of? I might need one. Do you have a link to what it is? Is it by any chance the Fixwell knife? I googled it and that's what it came up with but that may not be the right one.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:00PM
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cheryl_ok

Kitchen shears, couldn't manage without it. I just started using one a year or so ago, I wonder why it took so long to get such a valuable item!

My old SS measuring cups

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:05AM
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gazania_gw

Just remembered another item in my kitchen that I love besides the garlic peeler. My salad spinner! Bought it in the mid 70's when they first came out. It sure has spun a lot of greens.

That orange peeler that countrycottageklutz mentioned is a handy dandy tool also.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:09AM
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jemdandy

Manually operated can opener.

Kitchen scissors.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:58AM
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patti43

How could I forget my measuring cups. They are stainless steel and besides the usual sizes I also have a 2/3 c., 3/4 c.., 1-1/2 c., and 2 cup. Have odd sized spoons, too. They sure are handy.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:46AM
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arkansas_girl

OH yeah, those are the handiest measuring cups with the odd sizes. I'm constantly needing those odd sizes too. Why in the world don't they put them in all sets? If you ask me (an no one did!) they are just as necessary. Of course you can use 1/2 + 1/4 cup to make 3/4 but that's an extra step and who needs that! HAHA! And in fact, just this morning, I was wishing I had a 2 cup dry measure scoop. I don't believe I've ever even seen one! I will now have to have this...I mean I only have 5 sets of measuring cups....HA! Add that to needing the Subway knife. This is an enabler thread :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:51AM
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kayjones

I have 2 - they are made by Isoflex, an Italian company. I bought them at the church thrift store for fifty cents each.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Marigene

My bench scraper is right up at the top of the list, but my very favorite is a 5.5" ceramic santoku knife that I use all the time, but that was double $25! I have had it for several years and use it far more than any other knife I own.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:46PM
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jasdip

I've been trying to think of a favourite tool. When I use something that I particularly like, that will jog my memory.

I have never seen odd-sized measuring cups. What a great idea! I've often wondered "who" sets the bar at the proper sizing of measuring cups. Is 1 cup made in China, the same as a 1-cup measure made in the US? Is there a regulation??

I thought this because I bought some handy-dandy measuring spoons.....1/4 cup, 1/2 cup and 1/8 cup. Too much flour in my bread, and it was tough to knead.
I measured the 1/2 cup spoon and it was more than 3/4 of a cup. Hmmmm. So now I keep it in my four canister just to scoop flour out with, not to measure.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:56PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I've found the best baking recipes (whether for bread or pastry items) state flour quantities in both volume and weight. Why there can be a difference in volume from one time to another can depend upon how densely or loosely packed the flour is in the bag AND in the measuring cup.

Weight is weight. Electronic kitchen scales are accurate and inexpensive.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:10PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I print out recipes from on line all the time, but any drop of water will make the ink from the inkjet run and make a total mess of the recipe. So then it dawned on me. I have a clear plastic clipboard from staples. I clip the recipe wrong side down on the clipboard. Then I flip it over. I can read the recipe through the clear plastic, the plastic protects the paper and is easy to clean, and the clipper part holds the recipe up at an angle so it's easier to read. I love it when things work out like that!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 9:24AM
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monica_pa

My little stainless steel cookie spatula.
I use it as a serving piece for things like cutlets- because it has a short handle.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 10:03AM
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nicole__

Marilyn sent me a chopper.....and I've just got to say WOW! It's quick and fast to get the job done. I had diced potatoes that I was making into soup and this was a joy to use!

I also have now discovered smooth edge can openers. I have a krups electric one and an Oxo! Hooked!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 11:23AM
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bob_cville

The Ninja Blender set that I got at a yard sale for $15.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 1:27PM
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joann_fl

These are the very best peelers I've ever found. "Titian Peeler" got mine at the flea market for just $3.00 new. They will peel the hardest of vegetables, quick & easy

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 2:12PM
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oldfixer

Perhaps an old $1 small knife. The other typical junk is handy, but seldom used.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 6:30PM
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blfenton

A small whisk that I probably use everyday. It fits into a measuring cup and I use it to whisk up marinades, salad dressings, sauces, etc.

A lemon juicer that I got probably 35 years ago as a hostess gift when I hosted a Tupperware party. It fits right over my glass measuring cup and I squeeze the lemon right into it. I use lemons a lot in (see above) marinades, salad dressings and baking. And I don't like using the pre-squeezed lemon juice that you can buy in the stores.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 6:59PM
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grandma_bonnie

Has anyone else tried using a straw to remove the leaves from a strawberry - I did and will not use anything else! Being in California, we have strawberries year 'round...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2014 at 8:15PM
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FlamingO in AR

Love my $4 jar popper and my garlic rock, which was free, picked it up in CO. Fits my hand perfectly and I use it to smash garlic to make it easier to peel.

Question, if you use a straw to take out the stem of the strawberry, aren't you losing a lot of precious berry from the bottom/middle of the berry, just to take out the top? I'm too cheap, I just trim off the top piece and then slice the red parts off of that and add them back to the bowl of cut berries.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 7:51AM
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