8 Common Kitchen Gadgets You Can Do Without

Updated: Nov. 10, 2023

There's enough stuff in your drawers—skip these gadgets and declutter your kitchen.

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Female hands separate egg white from yolk for whipped cream. Step by step recipe of meringue with ingredients and utensils. Flat lay.; Shutterstock ID 1019679694; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): -
Olga Dubravina/Shutterstock

In any kitchen, space is at a premium. Get rid of the one trick ponies so you can stay streamlined and organized while cooking. You’d be surprised what you can do with a sharp pair of kitchen shears, a paring blade and a chef’s knife.

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Woman taking off lemon peel with zester over table; Shutterstock ID 691820386; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Shutterstock/Africa Studio

Citrus zester

A typical citrus zester is good for only one thing: removing tiny strips of peel from oranges, lemons and limes. But a good vegetable peeler does a better job and is more versatile. Use a peeler to gently and quickly remove the top layer of skin from a citrus fruit. Use as is for a cocktail garnish or mince to add flavor to a baked good.

Give citrus a savory twist with these recipes.

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Garlic press and garlic; Shutterstock ID 154261304; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home

Garlic press

Garlic presses are difficult to clean and give you little control. To make quick work of garlic, simply smash with the side of a chef’s knife. The peel pops off and the clove is quickly minced. Alternatively, use a microplane to turn a piece of garlic into a finely minced paste, perfect for stews and sautees.

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A cored and sliced gala apple with a corer and slicer in the background; Shutterstock ID 328132535
Shutterstock / timages

Apple corer

Why take up valuable kitchen drawer real estate with an apple corer or slicer? A chef’s knife gives you more control and allows you to account for misshapen apples and determine whether you want thick wedges or paper-thin slices. Apple corers are difficult to use and even harder to clean.

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Butter in bowl with flour and handheld pastry blender.; Shutterstock ID 210190156
Shutterstock / Charlote Lake

Pastry cutter

Many biscuit and pie dough recipes ask you to “cut in the butter.” Basically, you are merging cold butter and flour until you have small pea-sized pieces of butter mixed into flour. Instead of using a pastry cutter, try two forks or a food processor for larger jobs, or simply cube the cold butter and rub in with your fingers.

Curious what makes the best pie crust—butter, shortening or lard? Check it out!

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Pizza cutter (wheel) slicing ham pizza with capsicum and olives on wooden board on table; Shutterstock ID 249370456; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Shutterstock / DR Travel Photo and Video

Pizza cutter

Why invest in a tool that only cuts a single food and is a pain to clean? And if you are ordering takeout, the pizza is already cut! When you go the homemade route, simply cut the pizza with a large chef’s knife or kitchen shears.

Combine the best of homemade and takeout with these Pizza Hut copycat recipes.

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Shutterstock / Igor Normann

Citrus juicer

When you need juice from an orange, lemon or lime, try gently rolling the fruit first, then slicing it into wedges and squeezing. Alternatively, cut in half and use a fork or spoon as a reamer to extract the juice. If juicing a larger orange or grapefruit, put a small teacup upside down in a shallow bowl and press the cut fruit half down over the teacup. Or you can use this genius trick.

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Separating egg white and yolk on wooden table and broken egg shells are at background; Shutterstock ID 1120967897; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home

Egg separator

The easiest way to separate an egg yolk from its white is with your own hand. Simply crack the egg into your palm, and let the slippery whites slide through your fingers. You will be left with the intact yolk you can place in a separate dish.

Don’t want to get messy? We’ve got a few other methods to try!

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Shutterstock / Audrey Saracco

Pasta server

Those long-handled pasta servers with the hole in the middle and curved spines to grab pasta from your cooking water barely work. For long pasta, like spaghetti, use kitchen tongs. For shorter cuts, use a small strainer or spider to quickly scoop cooked pasta from the water into your sauce or onto your plate.

If you already have a pasta server, did you know the hole in the middle has a secret use?