Kitchen Tool Talk: Three (More) of My Favorite Things

Gentle readers, this post is dedicated to my fellow left-handed cooks. The Practical Cook is a proud southpaw, but much like Ned Flanders, has found this to be a challenge in the kitchen from time to time. Today’s Kitchen Tool Talk focuses on openers of all stripes, which help overcome challenges being left-handed sometimes present.

I will try to refrain from standing on my leftie soapbox, bemoaning the root of words like “leftovers” or “left out.” The advantage for the left-hander in the kitchen, we tend to be more ambidextrous (often more by force than choice). And we are in our right minds. Am I resentful at having been made to use those green-rubber coated blunted scissors in grade school? Nooooo.

If you are right-dominant, don’t worry, there’s something here for you, too. These tools are great for anyone who needs a bit more hand strength in the kitchen, and they are easily used by anyone of any hand persuasion.

Three More of My Favorite Things: The Openers

Can Opener, Jar Opener, Wine Opener (aka Corkscrew)

Can Opener, Jar Opener, Wine Opener (aka Corkscrew)

1. OXO Good Grips Can Opener
Accept no imitation. If you’re left-handed, and don’t want to buy an electric can opener, this is the one for you.

2. OXO Good Grips Jar Opener
Nothing is worse than not being able to get into a jar when you’re in the middle of a cooking frenzy. Torque is your friend, put physics to work for you. Buy one of these.

3. Wine Opener (aka Corkscrew)
This may not be about being left-handed, but about being averse to cork bits and delay of game in wine-opening. I don’t claim to be a skilled waiter, so I stand by this corkscrew.

What are your favorite kitchen opening tools? Send a picture to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog: Thanks to all who have liked, I still need a few more “likes” to get the official page name. Please “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up tomorrow, Reader Mailbag! Answers to your questions.



Filed under Kitchen Tool Talk

9 responses to “Kitchen Tool Talk: Three (More) of My Favorite Things

  1. Heather

    Waiter’s wine key, kitchen scissors, same sort of can opener. (OXO has some great designs, but I do have a gripe against how breakable some of plastic elements are. I had a grater of theirs and the housing just cracked off.) For the jars I use the “100’s of uses” little flexible gripper that our neighborhood real estate agent left one year, along with the perennial apple butter jar with his face stuck to the lid. Failing that, my DH’s upper body strength.

    • The Practical Cook

      Kitchen scissors, they are priceless! Love your list, and though I have tried those free grippers myself (why realtors insist on them, I’ll never know), but vote for the torque of hard plastic toothy jar opener.

  2. I don’t have a jar opener per se, because I like to think that I’m super strong! Sometimes that backfires, though, so I always reach for my trusty dishwashing gloves – that ribbed grip can open anything, I swear. DIY jar opener!

    • The Practical Cook

      I’m loving the jar opening methods coming out here, and glad it’s not just a weakness of my left-handed condition. Rubber gloves are a great suggestion to get a grip. As long as you make that “jar opening” face to go with it. (Distant relative of “mascara applying face.”)

      It’s not just me, right? We all make those faces?

  3. Anne

    On jar opening, my husband is a restaurant manager and says that most of his bartenders/cooks will “hammer” all the way around the lid with the dull edge of a butter knife. This usually works for me.

    • The Practical Cook

      That is fascinating–I have done that out of desperation. Good to know that’s what the pros do on purpose!

      Still curious if there’s a divide between lefties and righties here. Is it harder for lefties to open jars? I vote yes!

      • Do you hold the jar with your left hand or your right hand? I’m confused because I think I might be opening it the way a lefty does…

        SIL, when do I not make a face? I make a face while standing still. And, obviously, I use “escape psych patient” face whilst sleeping.

      • The Practical Cook

        I hold the jar with my right, the lid with my left, and turn counterclockwise. I feel a videoblog coming on to document “jar face.”

  4. Yep, I’m apparently a lefty when it comes to certain things. That is exactly how I open a jar. I do remember being weirdly ambidextrous when I was younger, and writing with both hands as well as using my fork and knife with both hands interchangeably. Some vestiges of that earlier dexterity still remains!

    Please, PLEASE make a jar face vlog!

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