We have the greatest respect for OXO Good Grips. They, and other manufacturers, produce kitchen gadgets that make food preparation easier.
But some work better than others. We had great hopes for the mango splitter we purchased; it didn’t work and was promptly donated to Goodwill. While peeling mangoes is a pain, it’s still easier to use a knife and a vegetable peeler.
Then, starting with the guacamole masher—a device made by Amco and other companies—as well as the separate OXO avocado slicer, without the mashing component, we began to wonder what was going on in the invention of new kitchen gadgets.
They seemed to be unnecessary—drawer-clutterers that didn’t do any better job than the standard gadgets we already have. Yet, manufacturers won’t make these gadgets unless consumers will buy them.
With the Caprese salad maker—a tomato and mozzarella slicer from Jed Mart, and another from Rösle—we noticed that things were getting out of hand. If you can’t evenly slice a mozzarella cheese or a tomato, you simply need to practice with a knife.
The Basics Work Best
We can’t imagine who would buy gadgets like these, because everyone we know who prepares food at home knows how to hold a knife and slice.
And that’s all you need: a good knife and a cutting board. So today’s tip is: Please, save your money!
The gadget that inspired today’s tip is the OXO Good Grips Grape and Small Tomato Slicing Guide (photo above).
You fill the Guide (the container) with up to 1 cup of grapes, grape tomatoes, or other small fruits like kumquats, pitted cherries or pitted olives.
Seriously: one cup of grapes or tomatoes? That’s not very much to slice by hand. A sharp kitchen knife will slice them faster and better.
While we haven’t tried it (we’ve tried too many new-fangled gadgets, with no success), we opine that in the time it takes to load, slice, remove and clean the container, you can slice the grapes on a cutting board with your kitchen knife.
Stop The Insanity
The next time you’re tempted by a nifty-looking kitchen gadget, ask yourself:
Will a sharp knife do as well? Then sharpen your knives, or treat yourself to a new paring knife if you must buy something.
And don’t buy cheap knives: The edge isn’t great to start with, and will dull quickly. It’s no bargain.
A couple of months ago we received this pitch: “Nik of Time, Inc., introduces PantryChic™—a sleek and modern kitchen appliance line designed for precise ingredient measuring and simplified food preparation through its intuitive and innovative engineering. PantryChic promises to re-introduce families to the joy of baking, cooking and sharing a meal by addressing some of the tedious preparation steps to save time and allow for better more consistent results.”
As you can see in the photo, this comprises a canister on a stand, that you place over a base with a mixing bowl. You dial the amount of flour or other ingredient and it is dispensed into the bowl.
Seriously once more: Is this an improvement over a conventional canister and a measuring cup? Have we gotten to the point where we can’t scoop and measure with a spatula and achieve “consistent results?”
And, as the company claims, will this “re-introduce families to the joy of baking?”
Perhaps we just don’t get it, but you can find out more at PantryChic.com.
MORE KITCHEN GADGETS TO AVOID.