The world of food and cooking is filled with gimmicky gadgets that are easy to scoff at. But what if we told you that some of those laugable items may actually become one of your favorite kitchen tools? In our Splendid Table's Homemade Holidays with America's Test Kitchen Holiday episode, ATK's Lisa McManus explained how these four items from "silly" to "essential" in her kitchen.

Oxo Good Grips Ratcheting Pineapple Slicer -- remarkably quick and effective.

Lisa says: "Takes down a big thorny whole pineapple in mere seconds. Cores, slices, and turns it into rings. Bonus: it leaves you a big hollow pineapple that just begs to be filled with a pina colada."

Get Crackin' Nutcracker -- perfect for holidays.

Lisa says: "This big hunk of bent metal may look crazy, but it really works. Cracks every kind of nut, remarkably quickly, and doesn't take a ton of strength like some crackers. Even wimps like me can work it."

Swing-A-Way and JarPop -- conquer jar lids once and for all.

Lisa says: "I admit it. I am weak and can never open jars. Just the other day a bottle of ginger ale with a plastic twist top defeated me until I grabbed my secret weapon. The Amco Swing-A-Way doesn't look like much--a couple of odd strips of metal with a sort of handle--but it swiftly grabs and overcomes any jar or bottle lid. And the Original JarPop by Jar Key is nothing short of magic on metal jar lids--like you find on jars of salsa. The JarPop is almost hard to demonstrate because it works so fast!"

Recipe Rock -- totally silly but really useful.

Lisa says: "A weird little rock with magnetic ball that holds recipes while you cook. Seems dumb, but works great. Holds up to 10 pages at once."


America's Test Kitchen
The Splendid Table frequently visits with the test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen to discuss a wide range of topics including recipes, ingredients, techniques and kitchen equipment.