The Internet Worked Together To Figure Out What This Mysterious Kitchen Tool Was

There’s no arguing that the internet is useful. It provides users with a wealth of knowledge and brings people together. Often both at the same time. There have been countless incidents when people on the internet come together to solve a crime, and even to save a life. For instance, a niche automotive group online solved a fatal hit-and-run by identifying a small piece of the vehicle. [1] In this case, the stakes are relatively low, but the mystery remains. A Reddit user posted a picture of a strange kitchen tool, and internet users put their heads together to figure out what it was.

“This item in our kitchen? We’re not quite sure what it is.”

The Reddit user posted this photo, explaining they had found it in their kitchen but they have no idea what the tool is for.

Soon enough, the right answer came along. It was a pastry cutter/blender. To use it, bakers grip the handle and press the blades into butter to slice it. Then they turn the cutter and keep slicing, effectively blending the butter into the flour. These two ingredients are the basis of every pastry crust. Keeping the butter and pastry cutter cold is key to a yummy, flaky crust, as well as keeping little lumps of butter incorporated in the flour. Some people use a fork or their hands instead of this kitchen tool to create the same effect, which could be why this unique tool has become more obscure for casual bakers. [1]

Other Uses for the Pastry Cutter

However, other people in the Reddit thread provided other uses for this kitchen tool. [2] “It has a lot of uses, including kneading dough and mashing stuff (like potatoes),” said one commenter, and another added, “Also works really well for avocados when making guac.”

Chicken and meat were popular suggestions as well. “Also works well when cooking ground beef in a skillet for taco meat, etc to get cooked ground beef into smaller pieces.”

The purpose of slicing eggs or making egg salad also came up frequently. “So you’re telling me I’ve been using it incorrectly all these years? My mom told me it’s for slicing boiled eggs.”

Several more commenters brought up what unique purpose their mothers had for this kitchen tool. “My mom uses hers to cut up strawberries for jelly. Drop and few handfuls in a bowl and mash.” Plus there was, “My mom used it to mash tofu,” and “My mom always thought it was for chopping walnuts. LOL.”

Perhaps best of all, one commenter included a delicious method for making slushy punch without an electric blender. “I also use it for a hand-making slushy punch on holidays. (Freeze a blend of your favorite juices, then use this to mash it up in a punch bowl, then slowly pour your favorite citrus soda on it and mix gently.) It’s heavenly.”

For how useful this kitchen could be, it’s relatively cheap and available on Amazon. So if you love baking pastries, or shredding chicken, or making guacamole, or egg salad, or mashed potatoes, this might be a worthwhile investment for you.

Other Uses For Tools You Already Have in Your Kitchen

Melon Baller/Ice Cream Scoop

Yes, melon ballers scoop up perfect little pieces of cantaloupe and honeydew. But it’s also perfect for scooping out cookie dough if you want to bake smaller cookies. Similarly, an ice cream scoop is ideal for baking larger cookies. Even more so, it’s fantastic for neatly filling muffin tins with batter.

Garlic Press-If you don’t have a nutcracker, or if you can’t find one, a garlic press would do great in a pinch. However, only use it for thin-shelled nuts like pistachios. Larger and harder shelled nut-like walnuts may break the press.

Strainer-This kitchen tool could become a steamer. Place it over boiling water in a saucepan and place the vegetables inside. However, make sure the strainer doesn’t dip into the water to avoid boiling the vegetables.

Pizza Cutter-Yes, it’s the best thing for slicing pizza but it’s also useful for cutting the crusts off a sandwich or slicing bread for French toast sticks. In fact, it’s helpful for many types kind of bread slicing, so don’t let it get pushed to the bottom of the kitchen drawer. [4]

Slotted Spoons

This simple kitchen tool is about to become your favorite. Separating egg yolks from whites is a challenge, even for seasoned bakers. Cut the difficulty by cracking the egg into a bowl as per usual then scooping out the yolk with the slotted spoon, leaving only the whites. Meringues just got so much easier!

Sources:-“8 times crimes were solved by the internet.” Insider. Janaki Jitchotvisut. May 11, 2018
“How to Cut Butter into Flour.” The Spruce Eats. Danilo Alfaro. March 25, 2020
“This item in our kitchen? we’re not quite sure what it is.” Reddit. February 2021
“10 Surprising Uses for Everyday Kitchen Tools.” Taste of Home. Cathryn Jakicic. March 20, 2019

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