As those of us with a knack for making frequent Chinese takeout orders can attest, a surplus stock of disposable chopsticks can pile up in no time, getting bigger and bigger with each new order of Kung Pao chicken. Luckily, these useful wooden utensils have far wider potential beyond lifting noodles and sharing orders of Crab Rangoon.
Whether you’re in need of an extra kitchen tool, a handy cleaning device, or a random household helper, these creative uses for disposable chopsticks will help you use up that excess chopstick pile in no time—and feel a little less guilty about your delivery habits in the process.
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No cherry pitter, no problem. Whether you’re making a pie or eating them straight from the bag, a chopstick can help you quickly get rid of that hard seed. Simply push a chopstick through the stem end of a cherry and the pit will pop out like magic.
Stirring Dishes and Drinks
Chopsticks make for an incredibly versatile kitchen tool, and can be used to stir pots of food on the stove, mix drinks, whisk eggs for scrambling, and more. The main benefit of using disposable chopsticks for these everyday tasks is the ability to toss your cooking tool when you’re finished, cutting down on the amount of dishes you have to do at the end of the meal.
While roasting marshmallows over a campfire will likely require a slightly sturdier toasting contraption, if you’re in the mood for s’mores at home look no further than chopsticks. Simply skewer your marshmallows with the sharp end of the chopstick and hold them over a low flame, like a grill or stovetop, until toasted to perfection.
Leveling off Ingredients
When measuring cups of flour, sugar, and other powdery ingredients for baking and cooking, chopsticks are the perfect flat-edge tool for leveling off the top of the measuring cup with complete precision.
Whether you’re planting an outdoor garden or tending to some indoor foliage, chopsticks can help to keep your plants organized and healthy. Staple or glue the dull end of a chopstick to your seed packets and stick it in the dirt to keep track of where each plant is growing in your garden. Or, make a plant care instruction card to stick into your indoor planter, so that you or your plant sitter can keep track of the watering schedule for each pot.
Rather than making a trip to the store for popsicle sticks, make one of our favorite popsicle recipes with chopsticks instead. You can also opt to cut the chopsticks in half to double your popsicle stick yield.
Cleaning Narrow Spaces
For hard-to-reach crevices, from air vents to the spaces between your keyboard keys, chopsticks can be the perfect cleaning assistant. Simply wrap a cleaning cloth around the top of the chopstick and use the narrow stick to remove dust, dirt, and grime from any tricky space.
Propping Up Seedlings
As plants grow upward, they need some kind of support to cling to. Chopsticks can act as the perfect garden stake for small plants and seedlings as they first begin to grow. Simply dig one into the dirt next to your growing greenery and let your plant instinctively do the rest.
Freezing Individual Portions of Meat
When freezing and defrosting ground meat, it can be frustrating to have to cook an entire package at a time even when cooking for one or two. Luckily, a chopstick can help you fix this common kitchen problem. Simply place your ground meat in a freezer proof plastic bag and use the chopstick to indent a crosshatch pattern into your meat, dividing it into either four or nine individually sized pieces. The next time you need to cook a small portion of ground meat, simply pop out as many pieces as you need and seal the rest back in the bag.
Drying Dishes Without a Rack
If you’re running low on space on your dish rack, chopsticks can act as a great temporary rack in a pinch. Simply rest your plate or bowl on two chopsticks, which will keep it lifted away from the counter to dry most effectively.
If you’re mixing up a fresh can of paint but forgot to grab stir sticks from the hardware store, chopsticks are the perfect substitution for this messy home task.
Making BBQ Skewers
It’s easy to recreate a classic grilled skewer recipe with your leftover chopsticks. For the best result, soak your chopsticks in water for 15 minutes prior to skewering your meats and vegetables and adding them to the grill.
Decrease the amount of dirt and mud being tracked into the house by keeping a set of chopsticks readily available by the door. The sharp, narrow end is the perfect tool for scraping dirt out of the crevices of shoes before they’re brought into your home.
Unclogging Bottle Tips
The shape of disposable chopsticks also make them perfect for unclogging the tips of bottles— from glue, to caulk, to condiments—that need a little clearing out before their next use.
Starting a Fire
Wooden chopsticks work perfectly well as kindling for indoor fireplaces or small outdoor fire pits. This technique will work best if you’ve accumulated a number of extra chopsticks to increase your burning potential.
Making DIY Knitting Needles
In a pinch, chopsticks can be used as a replacement to standard knitting needles. So, if you’ve misplaced yours around the house or need to find a temporary replacement, just open up a sleeve of chopsticks and get to knitting.
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