Not every gadget deserves a place in crowded kitchen drawers: Two Real Simple editors put a kale and herb stripper to the test to see if it merits the honor.
When it’s time to start cooking, there are fun kitchen prep tasks—juicing a lemon, grating cheese—and then there are the tedious ones—chopping potatoes, stripping herbs or kale. What’s fun and what’s tedious will vary from home chef to home chef, but every chef (amateur or otherwise) will have those cooking tasks that just seem to take longer and be more obnoxious than others.
Fortunately, the clever minds of the kitchen products world have come up with a slew of smart kitchen gadgets to make the savory (and unsavory) kitchen tasks of the world a little easier. Unfortunately, these gadgets aren’t one size fits all. If you’re lactose intolerant, for example, a high-end cheese grater isn’t going to do much for you; someone who hates salads isn’t going to pick up a salad spinner. And if you use a particular gadget none-too-often, dedicating precious kitchen storage space to it isn’t the smartest move. Some gadgets are worth the space, though—especially if they take up almost none of it.
Take the Chef’n LooseLeaf Stripper. This gadget can fit into the palm of a hand, and it works on a range of greens—kale, chard, collards, and herbs. But is it worth buying? In this week’s episode of Like it or Leave it, two Real Simple editors put this herb stripper to the test.
To buy: Chef’n LooseLeaf Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper, $8; amazon.com.
The gadget does its work well, neatly pulling leaves from stems on a range of ingredients. The cutting side is also useful for chopping, without being too sharp, which means kids can use it to help out on dinner prep. If you struggle (or hate) to pick leaves from an herb stem or yank collard greens from their stems, it might be a smart purchase—and it’s definitely an affordable one. But if you don’t cook often, don’t typically cook with ingredients you’d use with the tool, or have your own tricks for separating leaf and stem, you might want to skip it. At the end of the day, this gadget is so small and so affordable that there’s no wrong decision.
Previously on Like It or Leave It: