Nobody's Perfect: One Food Writer on the Terrible Kitchen Tools We Put Up With

Nobody's Perfect: One Food Writer on the Terrible Kitchen Tools We Put Up With

Anjali Prasertong
Jul 17, 2012

We all have them: The tongs with the peeling handle. The pot holder with a hole in just the wrong place. They are the kitchen tools that don't quite work right, the ones we haven't yet gotten around to fixing or replacing, and even the professionals struggle with them. On her personal blog, writer T. Susan Chang gives an honest glimpse into her kitchen through the infuriatingly ineffective kitchen tools she uses, curses at, but just can't seem to toss. It's a list any cook can sympathize with.

Chang, a cookbook reviewer for The Boston Globe and contributor to NPR's Kitchen Window, has five "kitchen things I can do without," including a pair of tongs with peeling rubber handles that she used for three years despite their problems and which she is replacing with an identical new pair "in the hopes that the Tongs from Hell were simply a flawed instance of a basically sound product. I believe this is called 'optimism.'"

Other irritations in her kitchen include a magnetic timer that mysteriously resets whenever the oven gets too hot, a poorly-designed cornstarch box that spills all over the counter every time it is opened, a split oven mitt, and a temperamental stove igniter. Yes, some of them could be easily fixed, but her reasons for holding onto these items are relatable and often funny, leaving us nodding our heads in recognition.

Check it out: 5 Kitchen Things I Can Do Without at Cookbooks for Dinner

Are there any kitchen tools that drive you nuts that you can't quite seem to replace?

Related: The Kitchn's Guide to Essential Cooking Tools & Utensils

(Image: T. Susan Chang)

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