Matthias Wandel is a clever improviser whose YouTube channel is full of good ideas. Our favorite: a kitchen hammer, something you rarely see on any “kitchen essentials” list. We use ours — a rubber mallet— for variety of general household whacks, where a hammer would be too harsh. We hadn’t thought of Wandal’s great use, done with his unique homemade hammer…

A very efficient way of splitting things from the freezer into portions without having to thaw the whole thing.  (Video link here.)

A friend sent us our mallet with some other tools when we took possession of the unrenovated Laboratory. Initially, we used to bust holes in the sheet rock walls to see what was behind them, and explore the possibilities.

scott exploring

It’s proven endlessly useful. It’s just right to dislodge a stuck window without leaving a mark, and to gently knock a chair leg back into place.

But it’s the kitchen is where it shines.  We use it often, for breaking up ice cubes that have melted together, and for cracking hard-shell crabs we buy from Crab Man Mike. The mallet’s wide surface and slight give make for perfect splitting, not crushing of the shells, to make them easy to open…

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

The heft of our mallet seems about perfect. So we weighed it — 18 ounces — is not too heavy not too light with a 11.5 inch handle. This Stanley looks about right. This gray Estwing is pretty compelling…

mallet Estwing

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2 replies on “The Many Surprising Uses of a Kitchen Hammer

  1. I use my mallet to break up chocolate for melting.

  2. YESSS! THANK YOU for reminding me of that great use. There are so many, I couldn’t remember them all!

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