10 Surprising Uses for Everyday Kitchen Tools

Surprise! Your well-worn kitchen tools have hidden talents.

With unlimited resources (and space!) I’d have a tool for every task in the kitchen. But who ever has enough of either? Fortunately, we all have some genius multi-tasking kitchen gadgets at our fingertips. We just need to think a little outside the box…

Melon Baller

A melon baller is perfect for scooping up uniform portions of cookie dough—especially if you’re like me and prefer smaller, one-bite-and-they’re-gone cookies. On the other hand, an ice cream scoop is tailor-made for giant cookies—or even better—to neatly fill muffin times for evenly-sized baked goods.

Muffin Tin

Don’t put that muffin tin away yet! In my perfect world, every meal would include warm popovers, so buying a popover pan would be a good investment. But in real life, a muffin tin will do the trick for those too-rare popover days. Your muffin tins also provide the ideal mold for big, pitcher-sized ice cubes in fresh lemonade. (You can freeze a slice of lemon or lime right in the “cube.”)

Empty Condiment Bottles

Fill a (thoroughly cleaned) condiment squeeze bottle with pancake batter and you’ll make perfectly round pancakes every time. One caveat: If you’re craving chocolate chip pancakes, you’ll have to add the chips post-squeeze.

Garlic Press

A garlic press (again, thoroughly cleaned) can step in if you don’t have a nutcracker or can’t find it in the Christmas decorations. You’ll only want to use it for thinner shelled ones like pistachios. A harder shell might break the press—so don’t go nuts!


A metal colander or strainer over a saucepan with an inch or so of boiling water makes a great impromptu steamer for vegetables (like this zesty garlic broccoli). Just make sure the colander is large enough compared to the saucepan to keep your broccoli from dipping into the water.

Cooling Rack

A roasting pan can take up a lot of storage space. Pop a cookie cooling rack into a 13×9 pan and you’re ready to tackle that gorgeous new roasted chicken recipe.

Pizza Cutter

Your pizza cutter doesn’t have to sit in the drawer between pizza nights. Bust it out to quickly roll off PB & J crusts or turn French toast into “sticks.”


Grandma’s peanut butter cookies would not be the same without the crossed fork marks, right? Not necessarily. A whisk makes a pretty (and quick) starburst on any cookies that need a little extra flair.

Mason Jar

A canning jar’s job is not over once the homemade pickles or jam are gone. Wash out the jar and flatten a cupcake liner over the top. Screw on the rim over the paper and poke some holes. Ta-dah! You have a shaker to put parmesan cheese on pizza or dust powdered sugar on cookies.

Vegetable Peeler

Spiralizing is a great way to get creative about adding more veggies into your family’s diet. (Here’s our best ideas!) But before you invest in a new spiralizer, think about making your carrot or zucchini curls with a vegetable peeler.

If you can’t resist the latest kitchen gadgets, well, let’s just say you’re not alone. But we recommend investing in these quirky kitchen gadgets you might actually use!

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Cathryn Jakicic
Cathy Jakicic has written about everything from business and bacteria to beads and baking in her career —but she greatly prefers the last two. She is a baker and a crafter and loves to try new recipes for both.