One-use kitchen tools are often considered a huge waste of space. But some of these little gadgets are super handy, especially if you’re in love with a specific ingredient (an egg clacker is a wonderful thing if you eat soft-boiled eggs every day). While avocado slicers and strawberry stem removers have no place in the Chatelaine Kitchen, there are some uni-tools our staffers swear by. Here are the tools that are worth making room for in your cutlery drawer.
Love it or hate it, the garlic press can save tons of time in the kitchen if you have to mince multiple cloves for a recipe. It’ll also save you from stinky garlic fingers. If you buy a small one, like this $8 number from Ikea, it won’t take up too much space in your kitchen.
It’s hard to transform veggies into noodles without investing in a spiralizer. But you don’t need to spend a ton—you can find spiralizers for less than $10. Usually, these inexpensive models work best for making zucchini noodles, but higher-quality ones will help you make healthier noodles out of celeriac, sweet potatoes and even beets. Bonus: You can also use your spiralizer to make curly fries.
Cherry season comes but once a year, so make this time extra special with a pitter to make snacking (and pie baking!) even easier. Best of all, you can put this tool to work for the rest of the year because it’s perfect for pitting olives, too.
Sparkling wine stopper
Make a bottle of sparkling wine last more than a day with this easy-to-use $6 stopper that keeps the bubbles in.
Say goodbye to soggy lettuce once and for all. But even if you prefer a lettuce-free salad, you can still use your salad spinner. It’s great for removing moisture from all sort of veggies, from grated potatoes to zucchinis.
Nothing says brunch quite like a plate of waffles, and you can’t make waffles without a waffle iron. For a savoury alternative, you can make hash browns in your iron, as well as frittatas. If you have a super small kitchen, consider the Dash miniature waffle iron that can fit in even the smallest of studio apartments. (It works well, too!)
Cookbook author Tara O’Brady swears by the cookie scoop—it’s pretty much the same as an ice cream scoop, but smaller (they’re basically interchangeable). It’s perfect for portioning out cookie dough and in a pinch, you can use it to top cupcakes with frosting.
Pineapples are a pain to prepare, but if you love this spiky, sweet fruit, you might want to consider bringing a pineapple corer into your life. This is a true one-use tool, but it’s a must-have if you find yourself buying fresh pineapple on the reg.
An air popper is the healthiest, cheapest and easiest way to make popcorn at home. The countertop device runs between $20 and up, and kernels come cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk. Best of all, you don’t need any oil when popping this way, which means you’re left with a blank canvas to flavour. I recommend a drizzle of olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.