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What is your most useful kitchen utensil or appliance?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on May 24, 2006

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Photo of Lisa Jones

“The coffee maker, because it’s something I use every day. I’d rather it be something more healthy, but that’s what I use the most.”

Photo of Adam Murphy

“A grilled cheese sandwich maker. It costs $8, and it only takes 60 seconds to make a delicious meal of grilled cheese sandwich.”

Photo of Becca Kellerman

“I would say a skillet, because you can make a wide variety of foods with it - breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

Photo of Jim Adams

“The coffee maker. It’s the only way to start the day.”

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H_Lecter 11 years, 9 months ago

The knife sharpener comes in pretty handy. I'd love to have you all for dinner sometime.

neopolss 11 years, 9 months ago

The Flip n' Grip! Although the lady that sells it in the infomercial scares me...

paladin 11 years, 9 months ago

The electric refrigerator, because the iceman stopped coming some time back, not sure why. But, some of the food was going bad. Its much less fuss and muss than the old icebox and it does seem to keep the foodstuffs a bit fresher. Also, the can opener, because its allot easier and faster to open my beans, when I'm really hungry, than having to do it with my teeth. Oh, and my kitty, because she cleans up the spills when I trip over her while trying to fix something to eat.

average 11 years, 9 months ago

My good heavy seasoned cast iron skillet. No teflon junk for me.

paladin 11 years, 9 months ago

I had a wife once who was pretty handy in the kitchen, but she was too expensive to operate. And, she was troublesome in other areas. Now, I fry my own Spam and open my own beans. Everything, in Life, is a trade-off, I guess.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 9 months ago

I agree, Bob. I didn't think anyone would say it.

KSChick1 11 years, 9 months ago

I don't have a most useful kitchen kitchen utensil or appliance but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

ku_law 11 years, 9 months ago

It's only 8:42am, but I am impressed with everyone's ability to stay on topic today.

thunderbuns 11 years, 9 months ago


Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

The microwave. Couldn't do without it.

Hey, guys, get off your lazy butts and go get your own food, instead of expecting the wife to do it.

I used to cook all the time, because some man expected me to. Now that he's no longer in my life, food is easy. If I can't nuke it, throw it in a sandwich or make it into a salad, I don't eat it.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey, wait, ku could name an appliance, too.

Let's hear it for Kitchenaid mixers.

enochville 11 years, 9 months ago

crazyks - Let couples work out their own division of labor. If both are happy with the arrangements, it is all good, even if an outside observer thinks it is unfair.

The problem some couples get into is that they have expectations that are never discussed which breed discontent and resentment. But, if a couple has found their groove, it is not our place to shame one partner or the other for not doing their job, etc.

southerngirl 11 years, 9 months ago

I'm with average-cast iron skillet although the microwave is a close second. Reticent if you get back East (DC area in particular) look for a beer called Smithwicks (pronounced Schmidt-icks). Very, very good stuff...

beatrice 11 years, 9 months ago

The fire alarm. How else would I know when the food is ready?

Janet Lowther 11 years, 9 months ago

The gas range has to top the list. I don't know how people manage to get by cooking with electricity: The lag is excruciating.

The fridge is important, but it's kinda invisible. . .

The chef's knife (Wusthof) and its essential counterpart, the cutting board rates right up there.

Of course, I've hardly gone anywhere without a can opener in my pocket (on a Swiss Army knife or multitool) in thirty-five years. . .

sgtwolverine 11 years, 9 months ago

jrlii, you are the macgyver of the kitchen.

ms_canada 11 years, 9 months ago

Appliance? well I guess that would have to be the stove. Utensil? gee now? for coffee - my french press and since I eat mostly veggies, I guess my mezzaluna would be real important for chopping all those veggies. And then my wooden salad bowl, couldn't do without that. And the cast iron skillet. That's about it in my kitchen.

angelofmine 11 years, 9 months ago

blue73-I'm with you. My fiancee is the best "appliance" in my kitchen! And he does dishes, too! I'll reach for the dishes after he's cooked a wonderful dinner, and he'll tell me to go sit down and relax...wonderful man that he is!!! And its funny, you wouldn't expect this big, tough, law enforcement guy to "don the apron" so to speak!

Don't get me wrong, I'm a good cook and he likes the things I prepare. I'll volunteer on my days off, and some work nights. I just get home three hours after he does so if he cooks, we eat earlier. Usually, dinner is cooking and my house smells great when I walk through the door.

I'd say my 2nd favorite appliance would be the dishwasher. I hate dishes.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 9 months ago

Militant, any surface will do.

I agree with everybody...'cept I don't have a wife. I would much rather do the cooking than have the hubby cook. 2 reasons: (1) I like to cook, (2) I like my food to be edible.

Things I can't live without: French Press: awesome coffee at 1/10th the price Microwave: remember re-heating in a pan on the stove? Dishwasher: enough said! Cast iron skillet: German pancakes, baked beans! Oven: COOKIES! Plastic twisty garlic crusher: awesome gadget!!! Stovetop: Hello? Good heavy pans: they don't burn the food easily Yogurt maker: I eat lots of yogurt! vege chopper: saves tons of time salad spinner: who likes to wash lettuce? Kitchenaid mixer: just required! Bread machine: good for busy evenings And the #1 item I simply could not do without...drumroll My humble crockpot!!! I have many nights when I can't be home to cook and this allows me to feed people at different times. I can also make just about anything in one. Yes, gotta have a crockpot!

H_L, you should try the crockpot for your tougher cuts of meat. It will make them nice and tender.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 9 months ago

The storm woke Katie Horner last night. She was being crabby on our movie thread. I guess being chronically pregnant can do that do you.

GreenEyedBlues 11 years, 9 months ago

We have this ~sweet~ microwave by LG that is a combination microwave/toaster. It saves a lot of counter space, and it's totally space-age. :D

sgtwolverine 11 years, 9 months ago

Is it still a French press, or did it get renamed to Freedom press a few years ago, too?

beatrice 11 years, 9 months ago

Whirly Pop popcorn popper! Little oil, wonderfully popped corn, and standing there turning the handle gives a nice illusion of actually cooking. Since we got that a couple years ago as a gift I can't stand to eat microwave popcorn anymore.

Related question -- do you "spy" on other people when in the grocery store to see what is in their baskets? It always amazes me how many people don't buy things to cook, but rather things that you just heat up. (obviously, my answer is "yes I do.")

ms_c: french press!!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 9 months ago

Bea, I always spy at the checkout. You would have been proud of me today. Nothing but apples, watermelon, strawberries, and bottled water. (pool snacks) Oh, and some gorgonzola to go on my salad that I'm having for lunch. Also, although I make it in a pot on the stove, my kids prefer that popcorn to the microwave stuff. Back to spying: I always get upset when I see that person who uses food stamps to buy stuff like hamburger helper and canned soup and then pays cash for their pop, candy, and cigs. Pet peeve!!!

RI, If you're really lucky, the neighbor brings the food to your house!

beatrice 11 years, 9 months ago

well, RI, at least you didn't say "in the car and for a price"

Ceallach 11 years, 9 months ago

Most useful appliance would be stove.

ms_c: I don't know nuthin bout no French press -- although I once had to share a small, cramped, slow-moving elevator with a short, rude Frenchman in Montpellier. Most gentlemen would have turned their back toward a woman, he did not -- I was a full head taller than him :-\

Redzilla 11 years, 9 months ago

Um, hands down--the refrigerator. I can cook over an open flame in my backyard with the food skewered on a stick, or I can eat stuff raw with my bare hands, but I'm thrilled not to be eating rotten food. In fact, the refrigerator is maybe in second place for the greatest invention of all time. (The printing press is STILL holding its own at the number one slot.)

sgtwolverine 11 years, 9 months ago

And here I thought the greatest invention of all time was the short, rude Frenchman! I've been living a lie for so long.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, gee, I didn't mean to offend you, enochville. Get off your soapbox. Didn't mean to hit a nerve. My response was tongue-in-cheek. I guess I thought my attempt at humor would be just as appreciated as the ones from the guys were. I didn't take them totally seriously. I guess you did.

My bad.

Ceallach 11 years, 9 months ago

When I think of it, I still want to smack that silly smile off his face! In a fair fight I probably could have beaten him -- but I thought he might have enjoyed that too!! Had I been ona Mericun soil -- watch out :)

kcwarpony 11 years, 9 months ago

The phone. "Hello, do you deliver?..."

sunflower_sue 11 years, 9 months ago

Prospector, I don't need to go to the link. I still have that image of Loraine Newman (sp?) drinking bass-in-a-glass emblazoned on my brain. pukes a bit

Bea, that was too funny!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 9 months ago

Now I have images of Ceal beating up small Frenchmen. Too much fun!

ms_canada 11 years, 9 months ago

Hey guys, don't forget we have two official languages in this country o' mine. If you would prefer I could call the appliance un pressor francais. Does that sound better? Wish I could have seen our ceallach avec quel l'homme francais. Le comedie francais! Ce bon!

ms_canada 11 years, 9 months ago

Oh oh , think I need to go back to l'ecole. That should be avec quel'homme francais. Just incase there are some critical readers of french on this board.

loving_life 11 years, 9 months ago

The can opener and my husband. I cook and he cleans up!

Ceallach 11 years, 9 months ago

ms_c, sue, it is funny now, certainly not then!. His weasel face pressed against my bosom while my sister-in-law (fearing we would end up in a French jail :) standing beside me whispering, "Ceallach, just ignore him, we are not at home!!" Ignore him! Hah, easy for HER to say:)

Linda Aikins 11 years, 9 months ago

Yes C1! I have gone through two of those grills. They are great!!!

grimpeur 11 years, 9 months ago

Gotta be the coffeemaker (french press, espresso, drip, as long as it's coffee, I use 'em all), followed closely by the knife, corkscrew, and the wok.

Mmmm, canada has zee certain, how do you say...

salve wafer.

ms_canada 11 years, 9 months ago

grimpeur - zees canadienne is not familiar avec zee salve wafer. :o) pardone moi

stargazer 11 years, 9 months ago

boogeyman---thats not a utensil, thats a play toy......

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