Most and Least Used Kitchen Items

Posted 2 September, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 25 Comments

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kitchen stuff

 

Lately I’ve been trying to purge my house of extra clutter. Last year I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I still think about Marie Kondo’s credo of keeping the things that bring joy and letting go of the rest.

I was able to apply this principle to my closet and drawers fairly easily and now maybe have too few items to wear? But when it comes to my kitchen, I have a tougher time letting things go. Sure my melon baller doesn’t really bring me joy, but I use it. So even though it is joyless, it stays.

Because the principle of JOY is tough to apply to my kitchen items, instead I’ve been relying on the good old “do I use this” system. Except I’m really good at talking myself into believing that I’ll need an item one day. I know I’m not alone…raise your hand if you’ve kept something around for one day.

Scott and I have been married for ten years and many of the items in our kitchen date back to wedding gifts from our registry. You know, when two twenty-something kids still in college go into the big box store with a laser gun tagging all of the things they think they might need for their lives together.

 

Least Used Kitchen Items

martini glasses

For some reason I needed a Martini set with pretty swirly patterns. Nevermind that I don’t drink martinis and have had an unopened bottle of vodka in my pantry since the day I found out I was pregnant with Elle (six years ago). I keep thinking that I’ll use these one day for ice cream desserts?

The Shake Maker, used once in ten years, has recently gone to Salvation Army. Ok, truthfully it’s still in my cupboard while I type this but I’m going to get it right now…

My China. But I’m not getting rid of it and refuse to feel guilty about it. Now…I’m not sure why I thought I needed ALL of those fancy wine and champagne glasses.

The Blender. I’m thinking about ditching this in favor of my immersion blender. Please tell me why I would regret getting rid of my big bulky blender that I use maybe once a year.

Basically any piece of entertaining-ware in my cupboards. The cheese tray/knife set that I’ve never used. The buffet pieces. My Arthur Court collection. I don’t entertain at my house (ahem, three kids who have destroyed it!), but maybe one day? One day. We eat buffet style, so I don’t even use serving bowls/plates unless we have company.

 

Sometimes Used Kitchen Items

fondue

The Fondue Pot. This is used exclusively for queso. Except that one time I made chocolate fondue the day after Valentine’s Day this year.

Our George Foreman Grill is falling apart, though these days we go through phases where we use it a lot and then don’t use it for months. I love cooking pork chops on it and we recently discovered it’s the best way to cook fajita chicken without it charring on the grill. We aren’t big grillers.

The Immersion Blender is growing on me. It’s been too hot to eat soup lately, but I’m hoping it will get more use in the winter. I’ve also heard it’s great for scrambled eggs! I tried whipped cream, but still prefer the hand-mixer for this.

While we don’t use it often, the Ice Cream Maker is so much fun. I’d probably use it more often if I didn’t love custard based ice creams so much and could whip up a frozen treat more quickly!

 

Most Used Kitchen Items

le creuset dutch oven

Even if they don’t get used all the time, I love my crockpot, waffle maker, Le Creuset dutch oven, and Kitchenaid Mixer. I couldn’t live without my liquid measuring cups and cutting boards (I have three of each in varying sizes).

After 10 years, I still adore our everyday plates, though I do wonder if I would regret getting rid of all those tea cups and saucers. Why do plateware sets still come with those extras? On the other hand, where do all the spoons go? I’m missing about 4 from our original collection and have no idea where they disappeared to.

And there’s the list of non-essential kitchen essentials–the stuff that you wouldn’t think you need but that I use all the time. Yes, I cannot live without a meat thermometer.

 

Kitchen Items I Wish I Used More

Instant Pot

Number 1–the Instant Pot. I know this pressure cooker could do wonders for my busy schedule but I’m still so very intimidated by it. My favorite ways to use it so far are to make a family favorite bean dish (no more babysitting my dutch oven) and to make chicken stock.

When I was looking into pressure cookers, Scott decided we had to have a deep fryer and bought one. We’ve never used it. I keep thinking that something like egg rolls would be fun to make, but otherwise I need at least one thing to cook in the deep fryer!

Our dehydrator could use some love as well but I wonder if I even need this item or if I could ditch it in favor of a low heat setting in the oven.

 

hearts

Sitting down to write this post ended up being a good exercise in evaluating my kitchen things. I said goodbye to the swirly martini glasses. Surely someone else could love them more than I can. I also ditched the sandwich maker that was Scott’s college roommate’s and a couple other extras that I don’t need.

All I have to say is thank goodness I took the hot dog roaster off the registry when Scott wasn’t looking. Can you imagine an Operation Use My Kitchen Stuff for that?!

Update: Scott noticed the shake maker in the SalArmy box. “We have a shake maker?!” Me: “yes, one that hasn’t been used in ten years.” Him: “Because I didn’t know we had one!” Me: “Well, we won’t after today.” Him: “But that was the one thing that I really wanted when we got married. Besides you.” (I am not making this up. I did not mention the hot dog roaster).

 

What are your most beloved and least loved kitchen items?

 

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25 Responses to “Most and Least Used Kitchen Items”

  1. I always enjoy these posts, Trish! Like you, after reading Mari Kondo’s book, I went through my house like a Tazmanian devil, tossing stuff in bags to haul to the Goodwill. The kitchen was the most difficult, but then I got brutal. We were about to have a garage sale, so I purged my drawers and cupboards of all those silly little kitchen gadgets that I never used. Strawberry huller? Use a knife. Avocado slicer? Use a knife. Really, so many of the gadgets could easily be replaced with a sharp knife. As far as the larger items, I got rid of a waffle iron (we’re pancake fans around here), a second crock pot, an extra coffee machine, and yes, my china (from my first marriage). I pretty much gave it away (12 place settings!) after hauling it out of the basement for our garage sale three or four years in a row. When a young woman showed interest, I took her very low offer. I figured someone should use it and be happy to hand wash each piece. :) Now, as we are in the final year of prep before packing up and moving to Oregon, I will re-evaluate everything I own and get rid of more “stuff/junk.” Do I really need a large Cuisanart food processor? Or a trifle dish?

  2. Blender — I go back and forth. Yet I used mine 4 times recently to make ice pops. I don’t think the immersion blender totally replaces the regular blender. We ditched our Forman for a griddle pan (Cuisnart), which comes with two plates & opens up flat. Serving dishes, etc.: hold on to them for a while. You may not be having many ppl over now (young kids) but you might be happy to have the buffet stuff when you have to host the girl scout parents or you take over a family holiday dinner.

    China: use it! (or in a couple of years when the girls are bigger) We use it on birthdays, holidays, the first dinner home when one of us has been away. We do this when there’s only the two of us. We like the china, it’s pretty, we own it — why not enjoy it.

    Pressure cooker: I use mine once or twice every week. It’s just a matter of getting in the habit.

    • China: What I meant to say is that we do this EVEN when it’s the two of us. We use the dishes for company too. LOL

      • I try and remember to use the linen napkins I have, rather than buying paper ones that get used only the once. Seems a waste of both otherwise

  3. The funny thing on my list for hardly used is our toaster. It is in the cupboard and has been for about 3 years. lol I keep it because you never know… But, I hardly use anything in my kitchen. I have lots of things to play with, but I work weird hours and ‘play with kitchen things’ never makes my to do list. I have done a lot of purging this year, but not in the kitchen. I just have no idea where to even start in there… There is a lot of stuff I really want to use and just need to make an effort to do so!

  4. ha! the only thing I havent used AT ALL since I got it is the pasta maker – at the time I really really wanted it, but now it’s sitting in the cupboard, never having gotten out the box.

    The Ice making part of my fridge has never worked and I’ve never needed it enough to get it fixed. The steam oven gets used once in a while, but then again I’m rarely cooking at all at the moment…..

    • Oh I know NOTHING about needing something right now but then not using it. Nothing at all. ;) I’ve been eyeing a pasta maker but think I need to hold off a few years. I could live without our ice maker as well.

  5. Honestly, I use everything I have. I have two crockpots that get used whenever we have get-togethers. I never asked for or received china many moons ago when registering for wedding gifts, so I don’t have to worry about that. I have never been a big gadget fan – using my knife for pretty much everything. The one thing I do have a lot of is 1 L beer glasses, but we got them all in Germany so there is some sentimental value to them. And we do use them for parties.

  6. Love the idea of this post! I think probably my least-used item in the kitchen are the lovely set of crystal sherry glasses that a friend gave me when she moved (they were her grandmother’s). They look lovely on the shelf but I never use them…

    And most-used item? Probably my KitchenAid or my immersion blender. I’ve been eyeing an ice cream making attachment for the KitchenAid…

  7. SarahBeth

    What an awesome post! I have to say, my husband is more of the kitchen gadget/nerd/cook than I am but the immersion blender definitely keep it – don’t get rid of it. we use it for mashed potatoes and it takes them to a whole new level. Also, soups, sauces, etc. I’m pretty sure my husband finds a reason to pull it out.

    We just acquired some china from my grandmother. I really want to pull it out when we have friends over for dinner even though I love our every day dishes too. I also have a crock pot problem (we have I think 3 now) but we use them all the time. I also have a ton of serving platters, etc and my dad keeps trying to hoist more onto me. But we also entertain and throw parties a lot so they get pulled out pretty often.

  8. So, Kitchenaid mixer, waffle iron, Griddler, and rice cooker get used near weekly. And I used the ice cream maker like five times this summer (after not using it for years) so it gets to stay. Also, I’m keeping my china because it’s from my grandma (but I never use it because I hate hand-washing dishes).
    I do have a belgian waffle maker though that I’ve used like three times ever. And like Kelly, I put my toaster in a cabinet some months ago and haven’t missed it. My blender sucks and if I actually got rid of it, I might look for something better. Hmm … I think I’m ready to start cleaning my kitchen cupboards out!

  9. Are y’all drinking shakes tonight? lol I really don’t use many kitchen tools anymore but still use our dishes and we have a lot of different sets. I’m sad to say our wedding china is boxed up in the garage. I would get rid of it if someone wanted it.

  10. We have both a blender and an immersion blender. Both have their uses. The immersion blender doesn’t take up much space. The blender does but I love it so it stays.

  11. Loved this post! I have a 1 cup blender type thing that gets used much more regular than the big blender. It saves space – and I love it so much I have one at home and one at work.

  12. I absolutely guarantee that you will entertain more once the girls get bigger – of course, this means storing some of those items for another 15 years with very little use! My blender sucks so it doesn’t get much use these days – I did used to use it to make ice cream shakes for the troops when I used to have a houseful of kids all of the time. Now we just use our Ninja or food processor for most things we used to use the blender for. Once my kids became teenagers, we started pulling out the china and wine glasses and things like your Arthur Court collection for special dinners – and we’ve found a lot of occasions to call it a “special” dinner.

  13. Ditch your blender. I got a good immersion blender a few years ago and tossed my blender and have not once regretted it. I use it for smoothies, soups, sauces, milkshakes – everything – and it works just as well as a blender. Well actually better because I never got the blender completely sealed and something always leaked so I normally ended up with a giant mess to clean up. If you make a lot of smoothies or milkshakes I do recommend getting a pitcher with straight sides to make them with as that does seem to be easier. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is terrified of a pressure cooker. I’ve looked at one a bunch of times but always chicken out!

  14. Good job with the kitchen sort. On my to-do list for awhile now is to go room by room and rid myself of accumulated STUFF. It will happen. Yes.

  15. Nan

    I so loved reading this!!! I bought a shake maker (we call them frappes up here) years ago, and didn’t use it. I threw it out and kept the cup for my water glass. This year I missed it, and bought a new one, and have happily made frappes all summer! We have owned and thrown out two deep fryers. We could.not.resist homemade French fries, so realized the last time that we couldn’t own one. But, that the memory of that taste lingers on… maybe if I made them just once a month???

  16. Every few years I splurge on something new for the kitchen but usually end up getting rid of it – I got a blow torch almost a year ago now and still haven’t used it. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter

  17. Our blender isn’t used much but I always think about it for smoothies. Whipping eggs to a froth does by well In the blender. Now, I can’t use the immersion blender exclusively ease we prefer the texture of potatoes whipped in the mixer. It’s too chunky using the immersion. AND I am a little afraid, or respectful, or that immersion blender after almost cutting the entire top of my finger off one evening.

    One thing I can’t do without is the food processor – it always deserves counter space.

  18. I don’t have any, literally zero, decent serving dishes. We host dinner every other Tuesday and I am always embarrassed by my crappy plastic stuff or chipped stuff.

    Can you make margaritas without a blender?

    We never use the food processor. We have a tiny 2cup one that we default to every time.

  19. I think everybody gets cute martini glasses when they are first married. We never used ours either!
    Wine glasses-give them time they will get used! Waffle maker-tossing Food processor -definite yes
    I would love a dutch oven…i see tons of recipes I could try.