If you’re familiar with Alton Brown of the Food Network, you probably know about his stance on single-use kitchen tools and appliances. He argues that the “unitaskers” you have in your kitchen clog up your drawers and cupboards with junk you’ll rarely use, and he has a good point!
Many of the handy tools and home appliances you see in stores today perform simplistic tasks that can usually be done just as easily with more basic tools. But on the other hand, there are more ways to use some supposed single-use tools and appliances than you might think.
I scoured the web for interesting and surprising uses for the tools and appliances you already have at home, and found 15 to share that will make your life easier. If you have a novel use for a tool or appliance that isn’t listed here, I’d love to hear about it—share your brilliant ideas with us in the comments below.
15 Unexpected Uses For Your Home Appliances
1. Use A Pizza Cutter To Chop Herbs
Use your pizza cutter to quickly chop or mince fresh herbs. This is a great option for people who don’t have a spice grinder or something similar.
2. Use A Microwave Before Juicing Citrus
To make sure you get the most juice possible out of your fresh citrus, pop your lime, lemon, or orange into your microwave for about 10 seconds before cutting into it. This will soften the pith and makes it much easier to get all the juice out of it.
3. Use A Coffee Grinder To Make Toppings
Your coffee grinder is the perfect tool for making powdered or crushed toppings. Put a handful of nuts, crackers, or cookies into your coffee grinder and pulse it a few times to achieve the perfect crumbly consistency.
Use it for breaking down graham crackers for pie crusts, to break up crackers for topping casseroles, or just to make chopped nuts for an ice cream sundae.
4. Use A Rice Cooker To Warm Towels
When you’re having a spa day at home, there’s a way to keep warm, steamed towels at the ready—just like at your favorite spa! Saturate a few hand towels with warm water, roll them up, and place them in your rice cooker. Turn the rice cooker on, and in a few minutes your towels will be perfectly warm and steamy. Ahhh…
5. Use A French Press To Rinse Grains
You can easily rinse all sorts of grains using your french press coffee maker. Just place your quinoa, rice, or other grain inside and pour in enough warm water to cover it, then press the plunger down as far as it will go and pour out the water.
Remove the plunger and use a spoon or spatula to scoop the rinsed grains out. It’s easier and cleaner than using a sieve or colander!
6 Use A Microwave To Disinfect Sponges
Sponges are useful tools, but they’re also a magnet for bacteria. Disinfect your sponges regularly by microwaving them! Just get the sponge wet (but not dripping) and microwave it for 1-2 minutes—simple as that.
7. Use A Stand Mixer To Shred Meat
Shredding meat can be a time consuming task, but it’s a lot faster when you do it in a stand mixer. After cooking your meat (and while it’s still warm), drop it into the bowl of your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment on a low or medium speed. The meat will fall apart before your eyes! Use this tip for shredding brisket, pork, and chicken.
8. Use A Dishwasher To Cook Food
Did you know your dishwasher can clean your dishes and cook food at the same time? Vacuum seal some fish or vegetables and toss the bag in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, and then a delicious, steamy meal will be ready for you.
9. Use A Hair Dryer To Remove Stickers
The easiest way (by far!) to remove stubborn stickers is to heat it up with a hair dryer first. It may sound strange, but the heat from the hair dryer makes the adhesive warm and pliable, so the sticker is more likely to peel away easily without leaving sticker residue behind.
10. Use A Waffle Maker To Cook (Almost) Anything
You can cook just about anything in your waffle maker, including brownies, grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, cinnamon rolls, quesadillas, cornbread, and even pizza. Everything cooks quickly, and it’s easy to clean up after yourself afterward.
11. Use Molds To Freeze Single Servings
Freeze foods in handy single-serving portions by freezing them in ice cube trays or silicone molds. Make frozen cubes of pesto, fresh herbs, or even baby food, and once the cubes are frozen, you can remove them from the tray or mold and store them in a freezer bag. (I love being able to grab a cube or two of frozen pesto to add flavor to sauces and soups!)
Read More: 13 Super Smart Frugal Food Tips
12. Use An Egg Slicer To Slice Soft Foods
You know that slicing tool you use to slice hardboiled eggs? You can use it with a variety of other soft foods too, like mushrooms, soft cheeses, strawberries, and avocados, to get perfect slices in seconds.
Read More: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part One
13. Use A Steam Mop To Steam Clean Everything
Your steam cleaner can do more than just clean your hardwood floors. Use it to clean your windows, curtains, upholstery, shower doors, grills, and more.
Read More: 30 Creative Uses For Your Steam Cleaner
14. Use A Blender To Make Paper
Read More: How To Make Beautiful Handmade Paper
15. Use A Crockpot To Make Your Home Smell Great
Your crockpot can double as a potpourri warmer. Fill it with fruits, flowers, herbs, or spices to fill your home with the scents of the season! You can also use a mini crockpot so it takes up less counter space.
Do you use any of your kitchen items in untraditional ways?