TODAY   |  March 27, 2013

Double-duty kitchen: New uses for tongs, bundt pans

If you’re using mugs only for coffee and bundt pans solely for baking cakes, you’re missing out. Christopher Kimball, host of “America’s Test Kitchen,” shows how you can get multiple uses out of common kitchen gear.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the series is to arm you with useful multifunction gadgets to make life easier. we're starting in the kitchen. christopher kimble is the host of "america's test kitchen " and editor of "cooks illustrated." good to see you. good morning.

>> good to see you, matt.

>> this is a great idea. if you're on a budget or in a pinch around the house, you can use gadgets for many purposes. we're starting with simple tongs.

>> or if you're unorganized like me you can't find what you need, if you want a lime or electric lemon and juice, it take tongs and go like this. it works well like a reamer.

>> all right. this is in decision to using it to flip the steak or grab pasta out of a pot.

>> or open beer.

>> opening the bottle of beer, you've got to have sturdy tongs. you have cheap tongs, it's going to break.

>> me?

>> perfect.

>> this is the best reason to have quality tongs.

>> all right. three uses for the tongs. by the way, you were telling me this doesn't work as well opening the bottle with a thong. just the tongs. okay. let's move on --

>> the new matt lauer .

>> let's move to crushing spices. a lot of people at home your a mortar and pestle.

>> or whack it on the counter. if you want a few, you can take a coffee cup , take the actual bottle that the peppercorns came in. go like that and do your own mortar and pestle.

>> second use for your coffee mug .

>> there you go. clean it out before you fill it up.

>> this next one -- a lot of people -- people come over unexpectedly. you have wine that's warm, you need to chill it. most people pop it in the freezer.

>> takes an hour in the freezer. this takes a half-hour. water and ice gets to 32 degrees, obviously -- why don't you hold this?

>> thermometer?

>> yeah.

>> and angle maybe a little bit. if you add salt to this, what's going to happen is the water temperatures going to go down to 32 to 25, 26, fairly quickly.

>> why does that happen? i failed junior high school chemistry.

>> it's complicated, but the basic concept is the ice melts, it's drawing energy out of the water, energy means heat. the temperature goes down as the temperature of the ice goes up.

>> then to follow your logic, you popped that bottle of wine in that water with the salt in it, it's going to chill faster than in the freezer?

>> like 25 degrees, a half-hour instead of an hour in the freezer. salt takes it from 32 to 24.

>> a great idea. really good. and bunt pan, most people make a take with a bundt pan .

>> i'm making a chicken because sometimes you don't have a vertical roaster. a great way to roast a chicken. you don't have to flip it in the oven. it's nice and aevent. there you go. -- and even. there you go. don't do it with a live chicken.

>> you see? i know --

>> all right. pasta, pasta. problem is you need a cake tester or maybe a toothpick to figure out when a cake is done. you can take spaghetti if you don't have that and see if it comes out clean.

>> and if it's sticky, it's not done.

>> yeah. if you have a few crumbs with chocolate, but not too many.

>> that same piece of spaghetti can be multipurposed into --

>> into a way of covering up a cream pie or cake with -- instead of using toothpicks. i'm dropping them here.

>> that's all right. you would take this, create a canopy. put the cover --

>> okay.

>> finally, what do we call these? beer cozies?

>> a beer -- someone said cuzzy. i do hiking or hunting. i have a knapsack, i put it in, it keeps them fresh. they don't get bruised. or going to the office.

>> there you go. chris kimble. thank you very much.

>>> coming up, affordable spring break trips for adults.

>>> first --

>>> kate edwards, we know her as john and elizabeth's daughter. friday she opens up about her family and her mother's legacy in her first interview