The most useless kitchen item that I own

Ed from over at Tomatom has started an interesting thread on the least useful kitchen items that one owns. I tend to veer away from any single-use item – I wrote about this in Cambodia as a rare victory over acquisitiveness. Buying kitchen gear does not make you a better cook. Spend your hard-earned cash on better ingredients and travel.

Having been reunited with my lifetime collection of kitchen-related paraphernalia that had been in storage after returning from Cambodia, I realised that in the packing process, all of the useless items had already been discarded. I was a little horrified that I wasn’t horrified at the amount of crap that I own. That is except for one item that for some reason I can’t bear to throw away

tortilla press

This is the most useless kitchen device I own. It’s a Mexican tortilla press (tortilladora in Spanish), cast from iron. It weighs enough to be used to anchor a respectable dinghy. I’d like to spin a tale about how I picked it up from a little tortilleria in San Jose del Cabo on the Baja peninsula and carried it lovingly back to Australia but that would be a bald-faced lie.

Like much of my kitchen gear, I found it at the Savers thrift store on Sydney Road in Brunswick, Melbourne and was lucky enough to be one of the few people who knew what the hell it was. I think that I’ve used it less than ten times, simply because I rarely need to make more than about six tortillas in a single hit and by the time I get started rolling them flat with a rolling pin, I’ve forgotten that I own the damn thing.

Where to buy a tortilla press in Australia

If you’re not in a hurry and can wait for postage, tortilla presses are ~$15 on Amazon.

Otherwise, if you’re in looking for a tortilla press in Melbourne, La Tortilleria at 72 Stubbs St, Kensington has them for sale.

12 Comments The most useless kitchen item that I own

  1. Phil Lees

    Maybe we should set up some sort of trading post for useless (or rarely used) kitchen items – I could trade you, Robyn, for some heavy brass baulu (?) molds that I’m still ambivalent about not buying in Malaysia.

  2. Ed

    That actually isn’t a bad idea although the tortilla press has far too much charm to trade and I’ll hold that image of Baja even though I now know the truth.

  3. Jorgebob

    I use mine to make mini-pizzas. It’s not just for pressing tortillas. Makes small pizzas that bake in about 7-8 minutes. You can slam them out for a party, baking 2 or 3 at a time on a pizza stone. You can also make a bunch of calzone shells and let partygoers fill them with what they want and take turns baking them. Another use is to press the Chinese Scallion Cakes after you’ve made the spiral of dough.

  4. Yadira

    hi !!!!!!! If you don’t use it, give it or sell it to me !!!! I am a mexican living in melbourne and I haven’t found one of those here. A tortilla press is very useful for me. my mail is

    1. Alice

      Try Casa Iberica. It is on Johnston Street in Fitzroy. Grew up a Hispanic neighborhood in Chicago, lived in Phoenix for years and it is my go to for chipotle in adobo sauce and other items such as tortilla presses and paella pans.

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  6. Lulu

    Phil, if you still have the tortilla press, I’d like to buy it from you (or trade for something else?) You wrote that over 2 years ago so maybe I missed out. Anyway, hope to hear from you

  7. Luis

    Lol you are hilarious mate! what’s useless to some of us is a blessing for others. I own a tortilla press myself and it’s the single most used item in my kitchen, that’s not saying much lately because I haven’t really cooked much at all recently, but there was a time when I couldn’t live with it.


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