Double-Duty Gadgets in the Kitchen

by in Shows, February 14th, 2012

erica weidner
Even though we’re only one episode into the new season of Worst Cooks in America, there’s one contestant in particular that’s caught my eye: Erica Weidner. Playing for Team Bobby, she’s quirky, ready to learn and hilarious.

For the Baseline Skill Challenge, the contestants were asked to cook a dish that would “explain who they were.” Erica, whose family has dubbed her an impractical cook, thinks she’s just resourceful. We saw this come to play when she used scissors to cut up a bell pepper. In the past, she’s also used disposable razors to peel turnips and plyers to remove giblets from a frozen chicken.

This got me thinking: What other gadgets have people used to cook up a dish in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below. The person with the most unique double-duty gadget technique will be featured in an FN Dish post next week.

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Comments (103)

  1. Peg Shambo says:

    Back in the “olden days,” my mother used a glass ginger ale bottle, partially filled with very cold water, and one of those rubber plunger type stoppers to roll pie dough. It kept the dough cold while working it. Later Tupperware came out with something similar that you could fill with cold water and had a screw top on one end.

    (Anybody remember that far back when soda bottles were glass and the largest size was a quart?)

    • jeri says:

      Yes, I remember those days! My brother and I would save the bottles, take them to the store and collect our cash, then use that money to buy penny candy!!! (when you could actually buy candy for a penny!)

  2. Erica Weidner says:

    Hi, Everyone–This is Erica from the competition of WCAs. All of your comments have "vindicated" me to my family/friends. I always knew there had to be others out there who were "inventive" when it came to getting the cooking job done!!!! I, too, have used a hammer (sanitized) to flatten out thick chicken breasts.
    Best of luck to the person who sends in the most "unique technique"; I will be sure to use it!

  3. Home body says:

    I saved a large tuna fish can and removed both ends to cutout biscuits. I'm thinking I've had it now for over 15 years. I use it for mini pizza crusts and other foods. Would miss it if it was gone.

  4. FanFare57 says:

    There are some very clever ideas here. However, I do hope that everyone (including the Scissors Lady) sanitizes the make shift – double duty tools / utensils after each use.

    • jeri says:

      Hey FanFare57. All my double duty tools are designated for kitchen use only. They are clean and sanitary, just like my pots, pans, and other kitchen "stuff" I use. If I'm using a garage tool we have duplicates, one for garage and one for kitchen. No need to worry about cross contamination, or motor oil in your chicken!!!

  5. Diane says:

    besides using my turkey baster to baste my turkey and various other things roasting in the oven, I also use it to take the grease out of the frying pan after I have fried hamburger loose and want to use the meat in the same pan to cook something. I put the grease into an empty veggie can and put it in the freezer to harden to make it easier to dispose of.

  6. acko says:

    Pizza cutter to cut dessert bars, like brownies….learned this from Alton Brown. Thanks, Alton!

  7. 14yroldchef says:

    ive used ice water to measure what temperature my sugar is at when im making candy. ive placed a smaller bowl in a larger bowl, filled with salt water- froze it . then i poured my ice cream base in the smaller bowl and stirred slowly to make ice cream. ive used a glass cup to cut out biscuits. used a garbage bag as a piping bag.

  8. 14yroldchef says:

    thats hilarious!! you use scissors to cut your pizza?

  9. azannie71 says:

    i also use whatever is clean and handy to cook with [within reason] but i have seen several of the different chefs on both the food network and the cooking channel use scissors to cut different things up-i use a rubber mallet from my crafting tool box to whack at stuff [after i place the "stuff" into a ziploc bag] but what i really wanted to comment on was just how much i'm going to miss both sherrill and erika now that they have both been sent packing. although i really enjoyed watching and listening to them i'm not as brave as anne and bobbie i don't think i could put anything they [or some of the others] into my mouth unless i'd seen them prepare it from shopping at the store/market until it ended up more or less on the plate] i really am surprised that erika's family hasn't ended up in the hospital with her lack of concern in dealing with the "suggestions" of expiration dates. and sherrill honey, if your husband drags you down to a cooking show called the "worst cooks in america" it does not mean that you are as culinarily talented/gifted as you think you are. please, open up your horizons and sign up for a cooking school. i just wish that we could revisit those they've sent packing a year or so down the road and find out if their "cooking skills" have improved or stayed the same. oh and please someone with an official "chef" or better yet "fireman" attached to their name, tell erika that you never sprinkle FLOUR over a kitchen fire cuz flour dust can and does explode. if you can't place a lid over the fire to choke off it's air, or if you don't have alton's only uni-tasker a "kitchen fire extinguisher" handy sprinkle baking soda over it generously. [you girl are really scary, but i loved watching you and will miss both you and sherrill-good luck…

  10. Jean says:

    how funny was erica she made the show i think bobby should have kept her just for the laugh factor she can use whatever gadgets she pleases wake up bobby call her back

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