Things have changed quite a bit in terms of basic tools over the past fifty or sixty years - and that includes kitchen gadgets. The things that could easily be found in any kitchen during your grandmother's time have become unrecognizable today. But the truth is that it's a shame - because some of those vintage appliances worked absolute magic when it came to cooking or baking. This is why we've compiled the best ones for a blast from the past that'll leave you wondering why we ever stopped using these products.
Cheese Grater Mill
It's almost hard to imagine that there was a time when almost everyone had one of these in their homes. Just from the looks of it, there is almost no way you would be able to figure out what this vintage kitchen gadget is. However, it's a nice one! This is a cheese grater. Although most people nowadays buy pre-grated cheese, there was a time when this was less popular and common.
Can you imagine how fresh those cheeses must have come out tasting? It's like the difference between preground coffee and coffee beans that are freshly ground.
A Comb to Cut Angel Food Cake
Okay, so you might be thinking that this one just looks like an extended version of a hair comb. However, it is a lot more than that. Well, maybe not a lot more, but it is different, even if it looks similar. However, this item was made to be used in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. It was used for one simple purpose: cutting angel food cake.
It may seem silly to have a tool just to cut angel food cake, but if you have ever eaten this delicious and delicate cake, you will understand the need for a special, delicate tool that will not cause the cake to flatten.
Have Room Temperature Butter Available at All Times
Now, this vintage kitchen gadget is greatly missed and should be reintroduced to the market. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the perfect, spreadable, room-temperature butter at all times? There would be no need to wait for it to melt slightly. It would always be spreadable and ready to consume. Well, leave it to the French to invent a gadget just for that.
You didn't even have to refrigerate the butter with these contraptions as they had a simple technology that kept it at the perfect temperature at all times. It was all done with the help of some water at the bottom of the container.
A Mold Just for Jell-O
One thing you can never doubt when it comes to kitchen tools in vintage times is whether they lacked something. It seems like back then, they had a tool for just about everything possibly imaginable, even more than today (if that is possible). They even had special flowery and ripple-shaped molds that were made for Jell-O. People would put the Jell-O in the mold, and voila.
They had these in all sorts of different sizes, and perhaps that just goes to show how important Jell-O was in vintage households. People hardly eat Jell-O now, so it is hard to imagine.
Slice Tomatoes Easily and Quickly
There is one vintage tool that was not quite as popular back in the day, although most people (AKA us) wish that it was. Tomatoes can be a pain to cut. So much so that people often use their knife's ability to cut tomatoes as a way to gauge if their blades are sharp enough. That is why they created the tomato slicer. Before they had electric choppers, they had this clever thing.
Sadly, this is one of the less functioning gadgets on the list. Instead of cutting through the tomato seamlessly, it ended up just turning the tomato into a big thing of mush. But if you like making shakshuka or homemade tomato sauce, this could be the perfect tool for you!
A Snazzy Serving Tray for Sauces
For people who host often, this is the perfect tool, and it is not immediately clear why these are no longer used or readily available. You can tell how wonderfully these were made. Just look at the size of the container versus the serving spoons. And the cream on top of this is that there is a dish underneath to make sure that all of the mistakes and spills are easily caught.
You can make sure your guests have easy access to all of the dips and sauces without having to worry about them spilling all over your nice tablecloth. Who wouldn't want one of these instead of having to bring a bunch of bottles around everywhere?
The Genius Double-Sided Cookie Mold or Waffle-Maker
If this wasn't a list of kitchen gadgets, your first guess as to what this item is would most like be a fly swatter or something to keep the fire in a fireplace going. However, since this is a list of strange kitchen items, you may have to change your thought process. This item is actually a cookie mold, even though that is probably the last thing that you would ever guess.
This was an easy way for people to make delicious cookies that were also massive and perfectly round. Seems like a win win, even though they look quite weird!
Why Stop at Cookie Molds? Your Butter Can Look Gorgeous, Too
When you first see these differently shaped little contraptions, you might be led to believe that they are cookie cutters of some sort. However, they are actually butter shapers. This concept is not really one that exists commonly in the modern world. However, it is one that they should consider bringing back! Everyone loves butter, but how much better would it taste when it is also in a cute little shape like this?
People really underestimate sometimes how much the shape or size of something affects the taste. Just like a warm mug of hot cocoa tastes better in a big mug than a glass cup.
An Egg White and Yolk Seperator
If you have ever had to make an angel food cake, a quiche, or a souffle, then this gadget would have been convenient. Although it just looks like a sort of saucer, and its use could never be guessed easily, if you asked your grandma, she would definitely know what this strange vintage kitchen utensil was. It is an egg separator that helps you easily separate the yolk and the white.
Whether you are used to using your hands or the eggshell to complete the separation process normally, you have to admit that this is a better option.
The Tool to Make Perfect Escargot
When you first look at this item, it may be hard to figure out what on earth it could be for. Is it to make little chocolates in the perfect shape? Is it to poach multiple eggs at once? None of the answers seem to be right until you hear that it is an escargot pan. It is made just for escargot so that you can cook six perfectly and all at once.
Although you might not think that this pan is a particularly necessary tool, especially outside of France, you have to keep in mind that this is actually a popular dish in many places around the world.
A Massive Slicer For Herbs
If you were to see this savage-looking blade sitting around someone's kitchen, there is almost no chance that you would believe them if they told you that it was used to cut herbs. After all, it looks far too large to make sense as something to use for that purpose. However, they could be quite useful in cutting a set of herbs easily and simply in just one go.
They most likely came in many different shapes and sizes. However, this one was one of the popular shapes and sizes that was available.
Iron Trivets for Your Hot Pans
Although you probably won't find iron trivets sitting around people's houses these days, trivets are no mystery items in most kitchens. The majority of people have at least one or two of these lying around so that they don't ruin their nice tables or countertops. Nowadays, trivets are usually made out of clay, ceramics, or just plain fabric. However, it would be rare for you to find an iron one anywhere except in your grandparent's kitchen.
It seems like iron is a strange choice for these trivets. Although it would certainly protect the table and countertops, they are quite heavy to move around.
Medieval Torture Device? No, Just a Useful Meat Tenderizer
If you were to see this item all by itself sitting in someone's house, you might be slightly concerned for your safety. After all, to most people, it just looks like something that came straight out of a history book on medieval torture. However, this scary looking item actually has a much simpler and more innocent purpose. It is used to tenderize meat, make it cook more evenly, and absorb marinades and flavoring better.
If you do choose to copy your grandparents and have one of these lying around your house, maybe don't have it in plain view to scare everyone who walks into your kitchen.
Have You Ever Heard of a Potato Ricer?
If you are a lover of mashed potatoes, especially the very creamy and delicious ones, then this gadget is for you. Instead of wasting your time and energy mashing potatoes with a potato masher, all you have to do is run the boiled and cooked potato through one of these babies, and you will have the smoothest, lump-free mashed potatoes that you have ever eaten. And it's so fast and easy.
Although the world has electric hand mixers and food processors now, this was the much better alternative back in the day when you wanted to have delicious mashed potatoes.
Everyone Needs a French Fry Potato Cutter in the House
If you make your own french fries at least once or twice a year, then trying to track down one of these vintage french frie cutters would probably be worth your time. Although they do not make them anymore (at least make and sell them in most stores), they really should! After all, who doesn't love to eat french fries that are all cut in the exact same perfect shape?
This not only saves you time but also lots of energy. You don't have to worry about making sure your potatoes line up; you just put the potato in this machine, and it does the work for you.
Make Juice Without an Electric Juicer
It's funny to think that there was a time when people did not have fancy and electric juicers. They couldn't just easily whip up a glass of juice or some puree. It was quite a process, and it required a strange-looking tool like this one. You would probably never have any idea what this tool was supposed to be if you didn't have an explanation. However, it used to be an essential.
There was a sieve to catch all of the big pieces of pulp and the seeds while letting the juice fall through without a problem. However, it was a lot more work than the current juicers available.
For Straining Pots While Cooking Alone
Now, this is a tool that would prove useful even today. Who doesn't hate to be in the middle of cooking and then realize that you have no way to strain your food? There is no one around to help, and you are stuck trying to manage it all by yourself. Not only is it nearly impossible to hold the strainer and the heavy pot by the hot handles, but it is just too complicated.
This handy dandy gadget makes it so that the solo cooks of the world have assistance. It is a support to push pressure against the food and still let the water spill out.
A Hand Grinder for a Nut Chopper
It might be hard to imagine that there were some people who ate so many nuts that they felt the need to get a nut chopper and grinder to have in their house. You would think that they would just be able to chop the nuts using a knife and a cutting board, but for some people, that apparently was not enough, and they needed an entirely separate gadget for the process.
Well, for those who needed it, this item existed and could be found in kitchens across the vintage world. It did make nut chopping easier, so for those who love nuts, this was a handy tool!
Never Underestimate the Power of a Bread Box
You might think that the bread box is not a necessary kitchen contraption and that it is for the best that it is no longer used regularly by people around the world. However, it is quite sad that people stopped using these, and it is even sadder that they don't even realize how much they are lacking without them. These bread boxes ensure that your bread lasts longer and tastes fresh and not moldy in the process.
With a bread box, you can spend less money on bread and always have tasty and fresh bread in the house. It is worth the loss of counter space!
Hand Crank Flour Sifter
If you have ever baked, then you are probably quite familiar with the fact that many recipes call for flour to be sifted before you mix it together with all of the other ingredients. Although most people are too lazy and just skip this part and hope for the best, in vintage times, they wouldn't dare. Flour sifting was so important that they didn't use a regular fine sieve for the job; they had an entire gadget for it.
They were complete with a hand crank on the side and an opening at the bottom to let the flour fall into the bowl. And to top it off, they were usually covered in beautiful designs!
Portable Fondue Sets
Who doesn't love a good fondue? With a little bit of chocoalte or a little bit of cheese and a few things to dip in it, you will bring happiness with every bite. And if you love fondue then you will definetly love these cute little portable fondue makers. You can bring them with you on camping trips or even over to a friend's house and you will have the perfect little party.
It even comes with a set of serving plates and the little skewers so that you can dip fruits or bread into the melted goodness.
The Simple Green Bean Slicer
Although most people probably do not eat quite enough green beans on a regular basis for this type of tool to be considered a necessity, if green beans are a regular part of your diet, you might be wishing this contraption was still around and available to purchase. After all, no one likes the hassle of trying to slice green beans, so why not have a simple tool that does it for you in seconds?
If you know anyone whose favorite food is green beans then you might want to give them this gadget as a gift. They will certainly be quite grateful.
The Pretty Vintage Version of Pyrex
When you think of Pyrex today you probably think of glass stacking containers that are used to store items in the kitchen. You wouldn't be wrong, however, you are also missing out on one key thing. The original Pyrex, something was invented and became popular in the 60s looked a lot different than the Pyrex people know today. It was much prettier and usually covered in cute little flowers and designs.
It's quite sad that this is something that has been replaced with plain and boring glass containers with simply colored lids. There is nothing quite like the cute vintage ones!
Aluminum Ice Makers
You might be able to easily understand how ice trays in general have more or less become a thing of the past. Most fridges are equipped with automatic ice makers that will enable you to have ice on command at any given time. It would be unnecessary work to make your own ice cubes with technology like that. However, these are pretty snazzy as they come with a lever that releases the ice easily.
Although plastic quickly took over the world and things like aluminum and metal and more expensive materials became a thing of the past, this is one of the main ones that should have been kept metal as the ice freezes much faster than with plastic!
Decorated Butter Dishes
This isn't the first time that something related to butter has made it onto this list. After all, butter was an extremely important part of the cooking culture of vintage times (and even still is until today). However, nowadays people don't really put as much effort into making things looks pretty as they used to - key in these pretty butter dishes. Most people just leave their butter in the containers now.
These butter dishes were so pretty and nicely decorated that you would want to leave them around the house for people to see. It just makes people love butter even more!
The Original Food Processor
Although food processors have been around for a while now and they have made their way into just about every kitchen, there was a time when the work of a food processor had to be done manually. In vintage times, that work was done by a tool that looked like this and hard labor from whoever was cooking in the kitchen. You would put the food that you needed to grind in this contraption and then crank until it was processed.
This would take some time, especially if it was a harder item to grind up, so you should be thankful that food processors were invented when they were!
It's Not a Party Without a Punch Bowl
There was a time when it was nearly impossible for anyone to even consider throwing a party if they did not have one of these beautiful and intricate punch bowls. It was almost as if the party never started until the punch bowls came out. And it couldn't be just any old punch bowl. It had to be a punch bowl with a matching ladle and matching cups as well.
No beverage could ever taste as good as the punch that came out of one of these babies. Unless you have tried it, you just will never understand.
Make Your Own Snow Cones All Year Round
Who doesn't love a good snow cone? There is something so delicious and appealing about the famous treat of shaved ice with some syrup on top. Many people are used to using actual snow in the winter and then adding grenadine or other syrups to the snow to make for a flavored and yummy homemade snow cone, however, in the 1960s, it was possible (and common) to make these at home also in the summer!
All you needed was this handy dandy ice shaver that made shaved ice snow cones. It was a simple tool with great benefits for everyone in the family.
When the Hand Mixer Was Actually by Hand
Although this item is still called a hand mixer to this day by some people, others have upgraded the term to be an electric mixer, as that is more appropriate. However, back in the day, it was quite literally a hand mixer. You had a crank that you would spin around in order to whip or mix your ingredients. It took quite the effort to make some mashed potatoes or whipped cream with one of these.
This vintage kitchen gadget was definitely handy at the time, however, the electric version of it is most definitely a better and easier alternative, even if you won't leave with the same wrist muscles.
The Original Version of a Toaster
You probably never gave much thought to how the toaster may or may not have developed over the years. However, here is what a toaster looked like when it was first invented and distributed to the public. As you can see there are lots of different things seemingly just hanging out everywhere and it makes it hard to understand how this item could be used safely. It seems like a risk.
This is one item that you can be grateful was improved over the years. At least now you don't thave to worry about electrocuting yourself every time you want some toast.
In-House Coffee Bean Grinder
Ok so everyone knows that freshly ground coffee is just so much better than the bagged alternative. Even if you don't want to be hassled with grinding your coffee beans each and every day, it may just be worth it if you want a quality cup of goodness. However, in vintage times, the coffee grinding options were minimal. They didn't have fancy coffee makers and they had to hand grind with one of these babies.
These gadgets were heavy, difficult to move, and could be slightly tiring to operate. You had to crank and manually grind the beans with the blade and sieve in the machine.
Funky and Swirly Potato Mashers
A potato masher is definitely not a particularly new contraption to you. It is unlikely that you have never seen one of these fun and swirly gadgets before at someone's house, even if not at your grandparents. After all, not everyone has an electric mixer, and some people still use the old fashioned tools to get the job done. This is somewhere in between a fork and an electric mixer when it comes to usefulness.
Just looking at these funny tools would make anyone happy though. People should have them around the house just for the fun of it.
The Perfectly Sliced Egg
Have you noticed that many of the items on this list are there to ensure that people are able to do things perfectly? For example, this little gadget with weird grooves was created to help people slice their eggs perfectly. Although you might think that this is sort of useless, who doesn't love thin slices that are all even and perfect? It's something that is loved by just about everyone.
This makes sandwiches involving eggs super easy to make and there is no doubt that all of the slices will be consistent and even, making everything even more tasty! It's a win win for everyone even if there is one more dish to clean.
Hand Crocheted Hot Pads
There was a time when many of the people in the family would know how to crochet or knit various items. You would often see the grandmas of the household sitting in their rocking chairs knitting away the latest socks or sweaters for her grandchildren. But she also made items for the kitchen such as these hot pads. Not only were they great to save countertops from hot pans and dishes, but they are super cute.
These were made by each person individually and they could be customized based on different kitchen and designs.
Good Old Fashion Balance
Can you imagine the days of trying to measure the ingredients for your recipe only to realize that you would have to use a balance like this one instead of an electric scale like the ones that are available today. Although this also does the trick and you would be able to successfully measure things, it is much harder to get an accurate reading with something like this.
You not only have to make sure that the item you are using as your gauge is correct, but you also have to make sure that they are perfectly even each and every time.
Every Shape of Cookie Cutter
Now why make cookies in the plain and basic circular shapes when you could make them in any shape that is possible? Well, it seems like grandma knew what she was doing. There was never any shortage of cookie cutters lying around the house, especially if there were kids who would want to help out and make the cookies into interesting shapes. You have to have options when you have kids!
There were never just two or three different cookie cutter shapes either. There were always at least four or five to choose from.
Milk Glass Is High Fashion
Although most people have a picture of clear and somewhat shiny when they hear the word glass, there is a different type of glass that was extremely popular in the 1950s and is even making a bit of a comeback today. Milk glass was a special material that was used in many vintage kitchens to kitchenware, bowls, and so much more. It was textured white that was delicate and beautiful.
You could quite literally get any and every kitchen gadget in milk glass if you wanted to. There was no limit. From cups to bowls to cutlery to vases, they made everything out of milk glass.
Matching Sets of Labeled Containers
Whatever happened to the days of having complete clarity whenever you walked into your grandmother's kitchen? There was never any mystery of where different items were stored since everything was labeled clearly. People used to buy matching sets of storage containers that would be clearly labeled with all of the frequently used items. No need to open five different jars in order to find the tea, it is clearly labeled!
It's nearly impossible to find matching sets like this nowadays. You might be able to find a coffee, tea, and sugar set, but that would be about it. Don't expect to find a matching labeled set with ten pieces like in vintage times.
Portal Into Grandma's Recipes
Although people are now used to having all of their favorite recipes saved on their bookmarks or screenshots on their phones, there was a time when grandma's famous recipes were stored in precious recipe boxes like these ones. If you have ever opened one of these boxes, you can almost definitely smell the wood with the paper combined to make wonderful memories. A box of delicious memories on paper.
There was nothing more precious, or safely guarded, as these recipe boxes in some families. People valued their recipes and they didn't want just anyone to have access to them.