Garlic Presses and 12 Other Kitchen Tools Chefs Never Use

Chefs aren't using these tools, so why are you?
11/21/2014 11:12 am ET Updated Jan 21, 2015

Pay a visit to any store that specializes in specialized kitchen devices, and you'll get to thinking that no kitchen is complete without a full stable of high-concept, highfalutin tools that end up being completely unnecessary in reality. We asked more than 15 professional chefs which kitchen tools they never use, and their answers might surprise you.

Restaurant kitchens and home kitchens are completely different animals in many ways, but for the most part, many of the essential tools of the trade remain the same. "Home kitchens tend to be more about form over function," Blue Ribbon chef Eric Bromberg told us, and Dinosaur BBQ founder John Stage agreed. "The difference in kitchens is usually efficiency, flow, and respect for knives," he added. "Professional kitchens are also free of crappy gadgets!"

If you're looking to run your home kitchen like a professional one, there are a few tips to keep in mind. "The best way to commercialize your home kitchen is to increase the counter space and blast the oven," Andrew Gruel, the chef/owner of Slapfish in Huntington Beach, Calif., told us. "Restaurant kitchens don't have trinkets everywhere and the stoves are blasting hot."

"Keep it simple, but be sure to have a few high-quality sharp knives, one or two cutting boards, and an assortment of measuring utensils," Cynthia Kallile, the owner of Chicago's The Meatloaf Bakery, added. "But sometimes, it's just too hard to resist a new gadget, even if it's never used!"

Which common kitchen tools do chefs consider completely extraneous? Read on to learn about the 13 gadgets no professional chefs actually use, and take the advice of chef Imran Ali of London's Michelin-starred Tamarind: the most important tool of all isn't even a physical one.

"There is no more essential a tool in any kitchen than knowledge," he told us. "You could have the best equipment and tools in the world's best kitchen, but if you don't know your food and you don't know your ingredients and how they come together, then you won't be able to make even the simplest of dishes."

  • Citrus Squeezer
    “While I think these are bright and cheery, they really aren't necessary. Slice the fruit in half. Put one half in your non-d
    “While I think these are bright and cheery, they really aren't necessary. Slice the fruit in half. Put one half in your non-dominant hand. Using your dominant hand, insert a fork and squeeze the fruit while gently turning the fork back and forth.” — Cynthia Kallile, The Meatloaf Bakery (Chicago) Photo Credit: Shutterstock Click Here to See More of Garlic Presses and 12 Other Kitchen Tools Chefs Never Use
  • Olive / Cherry Pitter
    “This can simply be done with your fingers, very easily!” — Steve Chiappetti, Marion Street Market (Oak Park, Ill.)

<em>Phot
    “This can simply be done with your fingers, very easily!” — Steve Chiappetti, Marion Street Market (Oak Park, Ill.) Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock
  • Pasta Portioner
    “No one really uses a pasta portioner,” Spiaggia chef/partner Tony Mantuano told us. It’s not that difficult to just eyeball
    “No one really uses a pasta portioner,” Spiaggia chef/partner Tony Mantuano told us. It’s not that difficult to just eyeball the amount of pasta you think you’re going to need. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock Click Here to See More of Garlic Presses and 12 Other Kitchen Tools Chefs Never Use
  • American-Style Peeler
    “An American-style peeler is the worst kitchen utensil I’ve ever encountered, and it’s unfortunately one of the most common h
    “An American-style peeler is the worst kitchen utensil I’ve ever encountered, and it’s unfortunately one of the most common household items. You have no leverage to actually peel anything, leaving you whittling away at a carrot like a little kid whittling a stick into a spear. Professionally we use Y-shaped peelers, which give you leverage to effectively peel items, and we replace them when they become dull.” — Erik Niel, Easy Bistro & Bar (Chattanooga, Tenn.) Photo Credit: jbprince.com
  • Crock Pot
    “We slow-cook things all the time at the restaurant, but never with a Crock Pot. Get rid of it.” — Braden Wages, Malai Kitche
    “We slow-cook things all the time at the restaurant, but never with a Crock Pot. Get rid of it.” — Braden Wages, Malai Kitchen (Dallas) Photo Credit: iStockphoto/ThinkstockClick Here to See More of Garlic Presses and 12 Other Kitchen Tools Chefs Never Use

-Dan Myers, The Daily Meal