I’ll be honest: very few places excite me more than the Home Section of any retail store. I love being surrounded by beautiful and useful things. It makes me giddy to go around the House ware Department to fulfill my curiosity for the newest gadgets and wares available. I get a real knack out of browsing through pans of different sizes, a sexy wine carafe that would look good on my dining table or a color coded chopping board with a matching knife set. Forget the Shoe Section, the Home Section is the place to lose myself in hours and hours of window shopping. But despite the curiosity, the truth is that I hardly buy anything unless I feel it’s absolutely necessary. The pragmatic person in me argues against purchasing kitchen tools and gadgets that do the work that a regular knife, some elbow grease and a little more patience can pull off. I always think it’s an unnecessary expense to purchase another tool to throw in my kitchen drawer only for me to forget about and never use.
Ah, but fate must have plans to debunk my beliefs about kitchen tools because I have just recently gotten hold of a JOSEPH JOSEPH GADGETS GIFT SET and I couldn’t wait to play with them in my kitchen. My daughter, who is an avid home cook, was just as excited when I showed her the box of green tools that seemed to hold so much promise, especially since that evening’s menu was Lemon Garlic Scampi, we could use all three tools in one go.
Let me give you an honest breakdown of how things went with our experience.
This Catcher is basically a citrus squeezer with a built-in mini catch basin for the seeds to fall into while the juices fall out of the little holes. We cut our lemons in halves and twisted the lemons into the juicer head and we were done. There was an immediate “that’s it?!” reaction afterwards because there was no extra step; no need to fish for the seeds from the bowl of fresh lemon juice (which I hate doing because collecting those slippery little seeds makes me so suddenly aware of any little nicks or cuts that I have on my fingers.)
I just tapped the collected seeds from the catcher onto my waste bowl on the counter and we were done. The catcher handle was easy to grip, even for my 9-year old and you don’t need a lot of pressure to pierce and twist the citrus to gather the juice. Just don’t get confused with which hand to twist because wiggling the catcher instead of the lemon will make the seeds fall out. The softer, tinier pulps might slip through the holes as well, but I don’t find it to be a big deal because I actually like pulp. Overall, the catcher gets rid of the biggest hassle in juicing which is fishing out for seeds and it does a fine job in getting the most juice out of the fruit compared to squeezing by hand.
I was very excited to try this tool because I have issues with chopping garlic. While I don’t mind chopping vegetables in general, garlic leaves my fingers with a nasty smell. Also, because of the variation in sizes in cloves, it takes more time to chop garlic evenly.
I am very happy to say that the rocker did not disappoint. No matter what size of garlic clove you have on hand, the size of the chopped garlic is consistent, which is what we want for even cooking. I initially thought that I had to press the tool down on the clove to chop it and found it quite hard to do but as the title so obviously suggests, all you need is to move the tool in a “rocking” motion with even pressure to get the job done. After rocking the garlic side to side, just turn the tool over to scrape out the chopped garlic. The curved handle is ergonomic and doubles as a slide for the chopped garlic to slide out of. Just use a teaspoon (and not your fingers) for easier collection. Why do I like this tool so much? Because for minimal effort, it gives me evenly chopped garlic and fresh smelling fingers.
Another thing I noticed is that even though the cloves are pressed through the tiny holes, the metal blade is sharp enough to cut through without juicing the garlic out. I used to own a garlic chopper that blitzed the poor garlic so much, it also the wrung out the juices, which of course, carries the flavor of the garlic. You will need to cut out the hard, woody ends of the garlic cloves that attach them to the bulb because they will not pass through the holes. I tried pressing a garlic clove with its skin still on and it also did the job of separating the skin off (Just get the woody ends off first).
A word of fair warning though: Some garlic bits might get caught into the holes. They will get pressed out as you continuously chop garlic through but at the end of your chopping extravaganza, there will be bits stuck. I just ran the tool in running water and it cleaned out fairly easily.
THE ROTARY PEELER
This was, to me, the surprise hero in the set. The sleek, compact design houses three different peelers that you can access by rotating the coin knob at the center. I’ll admit, it was quite fun turning that dial around to change blades in an instant. The design is fantastic. Three useful blade settings in one gadget eliminates multiple peelers from the kitchen drawer. The plastic casing is easy to grip even with wet hands and the blades were so sharp, I didn’t need to press on to the fruit’s skin so hard, it peeled so easily! Even my little girl had a go at it and got wonderful peels right off.
Another surprise feature of the product is the little metal eye on the outer edge of the tool (No, it’s not for hanging!). The little eye can be used to dig out hard dents from the surface of the vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. It’s such a pleasant bonus to have, we won’t have to run the tip of our knives around the little bumps or dents on the skin of our fruits and veggies.
All in all, all three gadgets delivered the work they promised with efficiency and ease. Yes, it’s still true that a sharp chef’s knife can do all that they do, BUT the tools get their respective jobs done so easily and efficiently, it saved us so much prep time during our cook. I will also be remiss not to mention that the juicing, chopping and peeling process was a safer task to hand over to my 9-year old because the tools are much easier to use. Truthfully, testing these bad boys out made me rethink my belief about having such devices with very specific purposes in my kitchen. Cutting my prep time really does make for more free time and reliable results mean that I can concentrate more on the cooking rather than the set up and clean up, which, let’s be honest, is less fun.
Would I be ecstatic to receive the Joseph Joseph Gadget Gift Set as a present? Absolutely. Would I buy it for myself given what I know now after having tried them out? A resounding yes. Even my daughter found joy in utilizing these very handy devices. Easy to use, Reliable in output and very fun to play around with in the kitchen: I was left not wanting more.
P.S. The Lemon Garlic Scampi was delicious.
Shop the Joseph Joseph Gadgets Gift Set here. Use code CHANTAL10 upon checkout and receive a 10% discount on your purchase. Promo code is valid until Dec 31, 2019.