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Review of the Kitchamajig: A Useful Vintage Utensil

Yvonne has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from world travel to crafts and recipes.

The Kitchamajig is a vintage utensil that is still very useful in my kitchen.

The Kitchamajig is a vintage utensil that is still very useful in my kitchen.

What Is a Kitchamajig?

You may well ask. This is a kitchen tool that almost defies explanation, but I shall do my best!

The picture above is of my Kitchamajig. It looks old because it is. My mother gave it to me many years ago. I don't know where she got it from, and, since I don't remember us having it when I was a child, I don't know exactly how old it is. (Actually, I don't know even roughly how old it is!)

One of the Most Useful Kitchen Tools Imaginable

Whew! That's a lot I don't know. However, what I do know is that, in spite of not being the prettiest kitchen utensil around, it is definitely one of the most useful.

In fact, for someone starting out, such as a student leaving home for the first time, this would be just about the most useful kitchen tool imaginable. It truly is a multipurpose utensil, doing the jobs of at least 4 tools.

What Does It Do?

Mine even has its uses engraved into it, along with its name. According to the Kitchamajig itself, it:

  • crushes
  • strains
  • whips
  • lifts

It's a good job it had all those engraved on it, because otherwise I may well have just looked at it and at my mother and thought both were a little mad—and then I would have thrown it away. It just doesn't look like the most useful kitchen tool you could ever imagine, does it? And yet, I would not be without mine.

A Multipurpose Kitchen Utensil

Below are some examples of the many ways it is possible to use this tool:

  1. Mashing Potatoes
  2. Serving Food
  3. Straining Vegetables (and Other Foods)
  4. Beating Eggs
The Kitchamajig can mash vegetables such as potatoes.

The Kitchamajig can mash vegetables such as potatoes.

1. Mashing Potatoes

The Kitchamajig is great for mashing potatoes or other vegetables.

In the photo above and in the video at the end of this article, you can see how easily it deals with potatoes. My version of this has a metal handle, but most come with a solid handle made of either wood or plastic, which would make them easier to grip for mashing—although I don't really find my one's handle difficult at all.

The Kitchamajig can lift food for serving.

The Kitchamajig can lift food for serving.

2. Serving Food

If I use an ordinary masher for potatoes, I generally then switch to a spoon for serving. The shape of the Kithamajig means I don't need to do that. With its curved shape, it's just as good a server as a tablespoon. You might think that, since it is slotted, the food would fall through it, but for solid food like potatoes it's absolutely fine. (I wouldn't use it to serve soup or pasta sauce, though!)

We also use it as a server in its own right, for anything from French fries to cooked vegetables.

The Kitchamajig can strain vegetables as small as peas.

The Kitchamajig can strain vegetables as small as peas.

3. Straining Vegetables (and Other Foods)

This photo shows the Kitchamajig being used as a strainer to serve peas. I use mine daily for this purpose.

Because of the narrow slots, it can strain food as small as peas. Again, the curved shape is a boon, because it holds the food in place, whether small pieces or much larger items. It can even handle the vegetarian frankfurters we love to cook. (And it would cope just fine with non-veggie ones, too!)

A few days ago when we'd cooked some frankfurters for lunch, my daughter was standing at the sink with a heavy pan, about to attempt to pour off the water and looking a little worried. I handed her our Kitchamajig instead. It's so much easier, and the frankfurters end up on the plates instead of in the sink! It's also great for lifting poached eggs.

The Kitchamajig makes frothy eggs.

The Kitchamajig makes frothy eggs.

4. Beating Eggs

If you aren't poaching eggs, but beating them, the Kitchamajig is once again able to handle it. In fact, the first time I used mine, it was to beat eggs. It is somewhat like an oversized fork in its action, so you wouldn't use it to whip egg whites till stiff. (Although, to be honest, I have never tried, preferring to whip egg whites the lazy way with an electric beater, so I could be wrong on this.)

But for beating eggs for omelettes or for adding to muffin or cake mixes, the Kitchamajig does a perfectly good job of creating frothy eggs. (You can see the results in the video at the end.)

Downside of the Kitchamajig

To be honest, the only downside I know of the Kitchamajig is its name! It doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, and we generally call ours "the thing." (As in: "Use the thing to serve those frankfurters." Or: "Could you get the thing out of the drawer for these potatoes?")

Kitchamajig is equally tricky to type. Each time, I have had to think very carefully how to spell it, and generally it's taken 2 attempts at least! So, it's a very useful utensil, but not such a useful name. That's not a huge drawback, really.

Okay, So Where Can I Buy This Great Multipurpose Utensil?

Ah, perhaps there is another drawback to this extremely useful utensil. Mine, as you can see, is a vintage Kitchamajig. That's a fancy way of saying it's somewhat old, and a quick trawl through the internet shows that although Amazon and Buzzillions both advertise Kitchamajigs for sale, they aren't able to fulfill their promises.

Click on their links, and Buzzillions has nothing to offer us while Amazon has similar tools, but not the real thing. (Should we be worried that Amazon also offers us an "Ethical Chrome Litter Scoop with Plastic Handle"?)

Consider a Modern Alternative

However, all is not lost! A review on Amazon of the Chef Craft Select Skimmer by a satisfied Kitchamajig fan suggests it's just as good, so you could opt for that. This comes with a black plastic handle and is dishwasher safe.

For an Authentic Model, It's eBay to the Rescue

Or, if you want to be authentic and find a vintage model, eBay is the best place to look. Sadly (for me), the Kitchamajig is not so rare that it commands high prices, but for you that's good news, of course! If the version I own were a car, it would be the basic model, whereas those on eBay are the sports models, complete with fancy handles for extra mashing ease and speed!

Watch the Video of the Tool in Action

Finally, since it's one thing to tell you about something and quite another to show you it, I have made a short video to show how truly versatile this utensil is. So if you want to see the Kitchamajig in action, just click on the video below!

I Love My Kitchamajig!

Comments

Dave A. on February 04, 2020:

Very familiar with the Kitchamajig. Also known as the fry daddy in the 60's-70's! Another great use is for scooping cat litter! Nowadays you can find them in places like Pet Pantry in the litter care section! I know because I have been using one for the past 7 years for my cats litter waste. It has been the most reliable cat scoop I have ever had. No breaking,no rust,strong enough to scrape the bottom of the pan!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on September 09, 2017:

HI Janet, I'm not sure if your Kitchamajig's metal being scratched would be a health hazard, but it seems unlikely. Plastic can sometimes off-gas chemicals when scratched but as far as I know, metal doesn't. Mine certainly isn't shiny any more and it's fine! Sorry I can't be clearer, but I don't know for sure.

Janet Williams on September 08, 2017:

I have a vintage Kitchamajic with black plastic handle.Is the metal safe? It s a bit scratched. Had a lot if use. I didnt believe they still existed . Inherited mine from an elderly friend Im just beginning to fall in love with it and decided to search web for new one.

Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 03, 2017:

This looks handy. The new version looks like it might not be as sturdy; I worry that mashing with it would just bend the handle. I'll keep my eyes out for a vintage one!

debra on July 06, 2015:

I found a second-hand Kitchamajig today at value village. I didn't know what it was when I bought it but I could tell it was something cool because it had "Strains, Drains, Beats, Blends, Whips, Mixes" engraved right on it! The cherry on top was I only paid a dollar for it!

Nan. on July 14, 2014:

I am amazed that this tool has a name.

I got mine as part of an engagement gift 54 years ago and use it constantly.

Often thought I don't know what I'd do if it ever broke.

So happy they are still making this utensil. I will now buy one just in case.

Got mine in the UK but have lived in Canada for 48 years now.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on October 21, 2013:

Hi Peachbud, thanks for your comment. I haven't been on Hubpages much so sorry for the late reply. Good to meet another kitchamajig fan!

Peachbud on September 18, 2013:

We've always owned a kitchamajig in our family and I've always known the name of it. Perfect name if you ask me. Reminds me of a combo slotted spoon and slotted spatula. Most are kind of a standard size but I inherited a smaller one along with a smaller meat turning fork from my great aunt and I use both of them all the time. Useful and great memories all in one.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 09, 2013:

JayeWisdom - you do wonder - did someone make the kitchamjig first and then think, "this would be a great kitty litter scooper!" Or did they make the scooper first and then think, "Hey, let's use this as an all-round kitchen tool?"

Thanks for popping by!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 09, 2013:

Summerberrie, you made me laugh! Glad to hear you didn't use it for anything else afterwards!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on May 09, 2013:

Ha, ha Marcy - yes it's an um gadget! I love the story of your family gadget too - love that it's a "thingy" too! It sounds like a gadget I could do with at times too, I do a lot of vegetable chopping and it could save some time. We actually bought a thing for making chips (chunky French fries) but it was plastic and poor quality and it took more effort to push potatoes through it than it did to chop them the old fashioned way. So it went.

Thanks for sharing your story and this hub! :)

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on May 03, 2013:

My mother had one of the old ones, and she used it when she made french fries. I have several of her vintage housewares, but don't know what happened to that piece.

I clicked on the Amazon link and, at the bottom of the screen, there are TWO kitty litter chrome scoops alternating with the kitchen utensils. A bit confusing as they all look alike! Funny!

Jaye

summerberrie on May 03, 2013:

Great uses. I must say I've been guilty of using mine as a kitty litter scooper! I don't use it for anything else afterwards though. Did not know it had a name.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on May 03, 2013:

Just the look of this, um, gadget, brings back memories. We didn't use it in our home, but I think we had one. However, I am certain I saw it in every kitchen I ever entered. We did have our own family gadget, though. It was a wire grid-like screen (hard to describe) that you could push cooked potatoes or boiled eggs through & they would come out in square chunks, which were perfect for potato salad. I don't recall ever using it for anything else, but potato salad wasn't 'perfect' if it wasn't made with that.

The original thingy got lost during one of my mother's moves, which broke her heart and mine, too. I searched antique shops for years, though, and finally found one for each of us. She was so happy to get it, and I was, too. They were shaped a tad differently than our cherished original, but we loved being able to make our authentic potato salad recipe. And to this day, I'm the only one who makes it the way she did. Or so my brothers say. Now I want one of your kitchenmajigs!

Voted up & shared.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 04, 2012:

Yes, Sharon, it has a name (though it took me a while to work it out too!) It's interesting that yours also came from your mother. My mother is still alive, but I don't live near her so don't see her all that often and it's nice to think of her when I use it. I imagine it must feel special for you to use yours. I'm glad I've been able to give you some more ideas for how to use it.

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on December 04, 2012:

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan, you are right - it is definitely handy. The utensil you got from your mother sounds intriguing. Hope you write a hub on it! Thanks for your comment.

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on December 02, 2012:

Well gosh, I never knew it had a name:) I have the exact utensil and love it. It used to be my mothers. The main thing I use it for is taking dumplings out of boiling water. But now I have many more ideas! Great hub, enjoyed it Yvonne!

Claudia Mitchell on December 01, 2012:

I love kitchen things like this. This one looks really handy. I have something from my mother that is wooden with a star shaped top and I end up using it all the time. Fun hub.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

A r F

I guess this is a gadget, though quite a low tech one! Hope you manage to get one for your dad and thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

randomcreative, I believe you would because I do use mine all the time!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

Thanks Nettlemere.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

collegatariat, I love your mother's name for the kitchamajig, far easier to pronounce! Loved the story of how it got that name too. Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

RTalloni, Do you have one too then? Ours still gets called the thing even though we know it's name. Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

leah, that's exactly it - it saves a ton of drawer space. Thanks for your comment.

And I read that you've been ill, so I hope you are doing okay now, take care.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on November 29, 2012:

Carol, I hope you enjoy your kitchamajig as much as we enjoy ours, and thanks for your comment.

Allison on November 28, 2012:

Weird kitchen tools never fail to entertain me. My dad and I always exchange the latest in kitchen gadgetry for holiday gifts. He might need one of these this year.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 27, 2012:

What a neat kitchen tool! If I had one, I would use it all the time.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on November 27, 2012:

Never come across one of these, but enjoyed the review.

collegatariat on November 27, 2012:

I love those things! My mom always called it a Fry Daddy, because she originally got hers with a deep fryer. But it has so many uses that I'm glad to see they are still available. Nice list of uses-- it gave me some ideas!

RTalloni on November 27, 2012:

So that's what its called--kitchamajig! Much better than thingy.

Neat review--thanks! :)

Leah Lefler from Western New York on November 27, 2012:

What a cool kitchen tool! I had never heard of a kitchamajig - I suddenly feel like I need one. It serves as a spatula, strainer, masher, and whisk - that could save a LOT of drawer space!

carol stanley from Arizona on November 27, 2012:

This looks pretty cool, and I like manual appliances in the kitchen. Outside of my vitamix I cut and blend etc. manually. I am going to buy one of these. Thanks for sharing. Voting UP++++