We've all experienced the giddy anticipation of getting a new, handy dandy kitchen gadget that promises to make our culinary endeavors effortlessly easier. Oftentimes this initial excitement is derailed by the amount of manual labor it takes to clean the darn thing. Soaping, scrubbing, scraping; it requires more energy than a kickboxing class just to remove the food trappings from it. In the end, the amount of time and vigor you spent cleaning the gadget nearly negated the benefits that were gained in the beginning. Here is a list of our top 5 hardest to clean kitchen tools.
5. Food Processor We remember unwrapping our brand new Cuisinart just a few years ago. We were so excited to start using it; we thought it was going to change the way we cooked forever! Flash forward to present day where it only makes it out of the kitchen cabinet a few times a year. Don't get us wrong - it works wonders. It slices, dices, and purees in seconds. There are certain times when nothing else will quite do. But we dread cleaning it! For one thing, it has so many different parts, all of which seem to get equally sticky. Plus the way it works so well is by having razor sharp blades which have to be cleaned by hand. We are extremely lucky to still have all our fingers. Almost all of them anyway.
4. Rice Cooker We love our rice cooker. How could making rice, congri, or paella be easier? Simply throw in all your ingredients, flip it to cook, and a short time later you have a delicious dish ready for immediate consumption. The problem comes once you reach the bottom of the pan. Right below where the fluffy rice ends is a hard, stuck-on mass of crunchy burned rice goo that has really enmeshed itself with the pan. Get out the Brillo pad and get to scrubbing! And then keep scrubbing. And a little more scrubbing. There, you're...almost done.
3. Espresso Machine We thought we were so brilliant when we finally decided to purchase one of these yuppified kitchen essentials. No more daily $5 Starbucks runs for us! We were finally becoming the fiscally-responsible human beings we always wanted to be. And truly making the vanilla lattes and soy cappuccinos was not terribly hard. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for cleaning the damn machine. That milk foamer is clearly made to make our lives more difficult. Besides the fact that the foam loves shooting everywhere, it is quite a task to thoroughly remove the sticky hardened milk from the foamer. Who knew milk could dry up and turn to a tough glob that quickly? Plus the rich espresso stains everything it touches, turning the machine a dingy shade of brown that makes your morning coffee routine seem oh-so appetizing. Okay Starbucks - your evil empire wins again!
2. Grill Pan When we discovered that there was a way to have lusciously charred grill marks on food that was cooked on the skillet, we were deliriously happy. After fervently oiling and seasoning up our vegetables and meats, we carefully placed them on our grill and waited patiently for our imminent feast. The taste was divine and the fact that we could grill even when it was cold or rainy or we didn't feel like getting dressed made the flavors of the food that much better. All was well until it was cleaning time. We quickly discovered that all the oil and food juices had seeped down onto the pan and turned into a nasty burned mass of congealed onyx. We threw the thing away and bought ourselves a George Foreman Grill. But that's a whole other story...
1. Cheese Grater It's fantastic that they sell cheese that is already shredded, but from time to time we find ourselves wanting some that requires being grated by hand. And though the grating process itself is strangely soothing, and freshly grated cheese is shockingly tastier than the pre-packaged kind, the effort required to get all that cheddary residue off the gadget without shredding your fingers or cleaning instrument is insanely difficult. Quoting the late great Mitch Hedberg: "I think that they should call a cheese grater by its real name...a sponge ruiner." So true, Mitch, so true.