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Thrifty Chef's Tools

Category Cooking Tips
Many of the tools needs to be a successful chef may be lying around right in front of you or can be had very inexpensively. This is a guide about thrifty chef's tools.
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October 27, 2016

I've been looking for a better carrot scraper. I was using a serrated knife. It was slow and left a mess in the sink. I saw this paint scraper at Dollar Tree and decided to try it. It is the best thing I've ever found. It is dishwasher safe. The bristles appear to be steel wire. They don't rust. Best of all, scraping carrots with this brush is a breeze. The bristles are so sharp and hard, I can scrape a carrot in half the time it use to take. I scrape them under running water and there's almost no mess, at all.

While not as efficient at scraping white russet potatoes, it still was faster than peeling. I've a feeling it would be much faster on other potatoes. I didn't have any on hand for testing.

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This new, one dollar paint scraper now resides in my kitchen utensil drawer.

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March 3, 20090 found this helpful

I love to salivate over the goodies in the cooking catalog like Williams-Sonoma, but some of the things are just plain unnecessary, or you can make them yourself. I saw two such things in the latest one, and I've been doing both things for years.

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The first one was these little metal rods that you run through the center of potatoes you're going to bake in the (regular) oven. I believe a set of about six was something like $35. I have a couple of really long nails that I bought just for this. I believe I paid about two dollars for them. The principle is right, it helps radiate heat through the spud and speeds up the cooking, but you don't need to buy something special for it. Or you can thread a few on skewers, too.

The other thing was pretty, and a nice thing to have, especially if you host big family meals and like fish, but you can make them yourself for nearly nothing. If you order fish in an upscale restaurant, they'll often give you half a lemon to squeeze over it, wrapped in green nylon net. It looks pretty and keeps the seeds from squeezing out onto your fish. This catalog was selling six or eight squares of green nylon net to wrap around your lemon halves for a hideous price like $20. But nylon net costs nearly nothing, and is 72 inches wide! You can make a ton of these for just pennies.
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I once found myself stranded with corn-on-the-cob, but no holders, so I stabbed in some golf tees, and they worked great - cute, too.

And those stainless steel rods they sell for removing pungent smells from the hands, you don't need one. Just use a stainless steel spoon, it really does work!

Source: The Source was just little ol' brilliant me. :)

By Savannah from north AL

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