by Rochelle Bilow
In the midst of cooking, have you ever realized you were missing the necessary tools for the job? Hey, it's happened to the best of us. If you're scrappy, you've no doubt hacked a kitchen tool here or there, so you get it: Sometimes, the best kitchen tools aren't from the kitchen at all. Here are some creative -- and culinary! -- uses for everything from dental floss and irons to screwdrivers.
If, someday, you find yourself in the odd predicament of being in the possession of an ironing board but not a stovetop (hotel room, perhaps?), rest assured that you can indeed make a grilled cheese with just an iron and a flat surface.
2. Dental Floss
Never gum up a knife with creamy fresh cheese again. When precision slices are required, take a tip from cheesemongers and cut cheese like chèvre and mozzarella with unflavored dental floss.
3. Magazine Racks
Now don't go tossing all your old issues of Bon Appétit or anything, but if you have extra magazine racks lying around, they're brilliant storage for canned goods.
4. Clothes Hanger
If you're the creative type, a little elbow grease will transform wooden hangers into a dish drying rack. If you're not up for the challenge, you can always use the grip portion from cheap plastic skirt hangers as chip clips.
5. Tic Tac Containers
If your spice quantities are small, old Tic Tac containers are great for storage. Make sure to thoroughly wash them first, lest your Aleppo pepper has tinges of "fruit adventure."
Don't you dare invite your grandmother over for dinner until you've polished the silver she gave you years ago. In a pinch, toothpaste will work to get your flatware sparkling clean.
7. Tension Rods
Not just for curtains -- tension rods will separate cutting boards or baking sheets, keeping them organized.
8. Chalkboard Paint
Paint a wall or cupboard's exterior with black chalkboard paint, and use it to write shopping lists, menus (if you have your act together well enough to write daily menus), or just to entertain the kiddos while you cook.
A little hard work and determination will allow you to open a bottle of wine with a shoe. We're not sure why you'd have a surplus of shoes and no wine keys in your kitchen, but in the case...
A meat mallet is essentially a heavy hammer, so if you've got a toolkit lying around it oughta do the trick. Just be sure to cover the meat with plastic wrap or parchment paper first.
SEE MORE: 22 Ridiculous Pieces of Grilling Gear
11. Heating Pads
Kitchen ninja Alton Brown uses heating pads to incubate homemade yogurt and help raise bread dough.
12. Hair Dryer
Before you start cooking dinner, make sure your hair is perfectly styled. A blow dryer is an unexpectedly awesome tool for stoking coals on your grill. Just be wary, as Instructables.com explains, "of all the sparks that will start to shoot out of your hot coals."
13. Bobby Pins
If you've got cherries to pit and not a cherry pitter in sight, clean, unused metal hair pins will do the trick. Bend them open slightly and poke both ends into the fruit, gripping the pit with either side, Pull back slowly, and the pit'll come along with it. Now, about that pie...
14. Plastic Bottle
An empty water or soda bottle will expertly separate egg yolks from whites. It's kind of hypnotizing, actually.
The (clean, obviously!) slot bit of your screwdriver can help gently coax apart frozen foods, like sausages.
What have we learned here? Clearly the possibilities are endless when it comes to kitchen hacks -- so don't let this list restrict your culinary creativity. And hey -- if you do come up with the next genius non-kitchen kitchen tool, let us know. We're all for learning.
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