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15 new uses for your kitchen gadgets

Your kitchen tools, gadgets and appliances have some surprise uses that make them even more useful.

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Alina Bradford
Frigidaire Professional
1 of 15 Frigidaire

Slow cooker

Everyone has the best intentions when they buy a slow cooker. They think it will save them tons of time, when in reality it sits unused while the pizza guy is knocking on the front door. Here are five non-food ideas that will get your slow cooker up and running.

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2 of 15 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Dishwasher

OK, you probably use your dishwasher on the regular, but you can make it even more useful, and who doesn't want that? Here are 25 unusual things you can wash in your dishwasher.

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3 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Peppermill

If you've realized that you prefer preground pepper to turning a peppermill every time you cook, don't let your mill languish. You can use your peppermill to make candy sprinkles for ice cream and other sweet delights.

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4 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Cooling racks

Cooling racks aren't just for, well, cooling. They can be used during baking to double your oven's capacity. Here's how.

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5 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Pizza cutter

No doubt your pizza cutter gets a workout. When it's not in use on a cheesy pie, though, use it to chop up herbs in a snap.

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6 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Egg slicer

An egg slicer is a very specific tool that probably doesn't get enough use to justify its place in the kitchen. The good news is you can use it for more than just eggs. For example, it cuts strawberries and kiwis into perfect slices. It's also a handy tool for slicing avocado halves for sandwiches.

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7 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Apple slicer

An apple slicer can double as a potato wedge maker. It works best on fresh potatoes, though. Potatoes that are a little squishy will get stuck in the blades.

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8 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Water purifying pitcher

If you've upgraded to an on-tap purification system, you may not use your filtering pitcher as much as you once did. Give it new life and use your pitcher to make cheap vodka taste great. Yes, it really works.

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9 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Hand mixer

Since I got a stand mixer, I don't use my hand mixer nearly as much. Hand mixers can do more than the expected. This little trick turns a hand mixer into a pet hair remover, for example.

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10 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Can opener

You know that awful clear plastic packaging that is nearly impossible to open? Clamp your manual can opener on the edge of the packaging and open it like you would a can.

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11 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Kitchen tongs

Use kitchen tongs to squeeze citrus fruits. They work just as well as a manual juicer.

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12 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

Bonus tip

Before you juice that citrus, cut it in half and stick it in the microwave first. 10 seconds of nuke time will soften the fruit and make it easier to juice.

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13 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Rolling pin

Rolling pins are good for more than just smoothing out dough. They are also great grinders. Just throw whatever you want to crush into a sealable plastic bag and roll it. This makes crushing graham crackers for pie crusts or croutons for breadcrumbs super easy and a great task to give one of the kids.

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14 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

Muffin tin

Bake your cookies in muffin tins instead of on a cookie sheet. It makes them thicker and chewier and they don't stick together. Here's the details.

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15 of 15 Alina Bradford/CNET

​Melon baller

Use a melon baller to scoop seeds out of tomatoes. It's a lot less messy than using a knife.

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