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The kitchen appliances you're using wrong & don't even know it

From the humble potato peeler to the state of the art blender

By Sacha van Niekerk | November 26, 2021 | Kitchen

Over the years we accumulate a lot of gadgets and gizmos in our kitchen.

But how often do we read the user manual?

From things as basic as potato peelers to state of the art blenders, when it comes to kitchen appliances and products there are many we are misusing without even knowing it.

Here are 7 kitchen appliances you might be using wrong:

Potato peeler

Potato peelers are a lot more versatile than you may think.

From slicing off the perfect sliver of cheese from a block to peeling apples for a pie and even shredding the perfect carrot ribbons for a salad, the options are truly endless.

But, what a lot of people also do not know is that the half-circle-shaped loops on either side of the peeler are for scooping out the growths protruding out from potatoes.

With a little pressure, the sharp metal cutter digs into the flesh of the potatoes and removes all those knobbly bits nobody wants to eat.

This method is efficient and saves you from working with a knife and a peeler at once.

The oven's lower “drawer”

We are all guilty of storing random baking trays, cooling racks and pans at the bottom drawer of the oven.

With all your baking equipment at your disposal, it’s really the more convenient option.

However, tossing this actually was not the original purpose of these lower drawers.

In fact, they aren’t even for the storage of bakeware, but rather baked goods.

After cooking a roast, you may want to keep the meat warm and succulent while you wait for the rest of the sides to finish or for guests to arrive.

No more microwaving food as guests arrive.

Toaster setting

When last did you adjust your toaster setting?

And, how often do you end up having to scrape charred crumbs off of a blackened piece of toast?

This is likely because you haven’t yet realised that different bread types require different settings.

Bagged supermarket bread of the shelf toast rapidly because they have higher sugar content, whereas heavier bread such as rye or sourdough takes a little longer.

Even after a few days, slices from the same bag may require adjustments to the settings.

The basic rule of thumb is that as bread dries out and becomes slightly staler, it requires less time in the toaster.


How often do you open the dishwasher only to unearth grimy looking silverware, dishes and pots?

It’s probably because you’ve been loading your dishwasher wrong and you don’t even know it.

The heaviest water spray comes from the dishwasher's centre section, which is perfect for starchy foods like pasta and caked-on rice.

The detergent, on the other hand, is at its highest intensity near the machine's back, where it cascades down like a waterfall.

Greasy, baked in protein, such as sausage fat and eggs will benefit from being loaded in this section because they require more of a soak.

Plastic wrap

So much plastic wrap goes to waste because it simply can’t help but get stuck together and unsticking it is never an option.

Instead, you wind up throwing the entire sheet away.

A nifty hack to try at home is storing your lunch wrap in the bottom freezer drawer.

This reduces the static helping the wrap become less sticky and more manageable.

So, even if you do make a mistake, you can easily lift up the wrapping and try again.


From soups to smoothies and delicious pasta sauces, when it comes to using a blender, your goal is probably to achieve a silky smooth consistency.

However if you aren’t following a particular order you’re probably ending with chunky, frozen bits that are texturally unpleasant.

The correct order is liquids, powders, fresh fruits and veggies, creamy ingredients and then finally frozen.

The liquid at the bottom helps create a “vortex”, which sucks the other ingredients piled above it downwards to be processed.

You won’t have to stop and start the blender or scrape off the thick frozen smoothie off the blades to re-blend.

Slow cooker

Toss in some wine, broth, dried herbs and seasoning along with slabs of meat and leave to cook for a few hours.

The end result is deliciously tender and succulent meat that’s packed with flavour.

However, people have a habit of opening their pressure cookers to check on their cooking progress.

While it may be tempting, this releases steam from the appliance and will interfere with the cooking process.

This article originally appeared on IOL.