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The best and worst kitchen gadgets

Consumer Reports News: January 03, 2012 09:08 AM

A new “must have” kitchen gadget seems to emerge each week, especially on TV infomercials. We asked our Facebook fans what basic gadgets they actually use, then tested several variations—some 40 products in all. More often than not, old reliable designs pleased most of our testers. We did, however, discover some clever twists on the tried-and-true, as well as a few brave new variations that could warrant a spot in your kitchen drawer.

Our testers liked the Oxo Good Grips garlic press ($16) and box grater ($18) as well as Oxo's magnetic locking can opener ($20). Other winners were the Kyocera ceramic peeler ($18) and the Better Blade ZestNest ($15). But three gadgets made us scratch our heads, when we weren’t worrying about scraping our knuckles.

1) The Joseph 3-in-1 Design Rotary Peeler ($12) offers a straight, serrated, or julienne blade with a twist of the dial. Unfortunately, holding the 2½-inch diameter tool was awkward for larger handed testers, and peels collected in the blades.

2) The Chef’n GarlicZoom XL ($15) has spinning blades that mince cloves with a few easy rolls. But testers had trouble removing all the garlic from the chopping chamber and had to avoid pointy blades.

3) KitchenAid’s Cup Grater ($15) has grating blades that don’t lock onto the base, so you have to hold both parts with one hand or they can separate.

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