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5 Ways to Use a Drill to Speed Up Food Prep

Whether you're short on time or just want to have some fun with your power tools in the kitchen, here are five ways to use a cordless drill to peel apples, quickly open cans, grate cheese, grind pepper and stir hard-to-handle jars of food.

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Peel Apples with a Drill

Peel Apples with a Drill

If you have a bunch of apples to peel for a pie, crisp or tart, a drill and a spade bit really speed up the process.

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First, chuck the spade bit into your drill. Make sure it’s held in tight because you’ll be applying pressure to it. Then, insert the spade bit into the center of the bottom of the apple. To peel, simply run your peeler over the edge of the apple while you hold down the drill’s trigger. As the apple rotates, the peel is quickly cut off.

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DIY Electric Can Opener

DIY Electric Can Opener

Do you have lots of cans to open? Are you tired of using a manual can opener? You can make your own electric can opener with your drill!

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Carefully remove the can opener’s crank handle. We clamped ours into a vise and ground out the pin holding the handle in with a grinder, but a combination of pliers and twisting would accomplish the same thing.

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Then, chuck the remaining crankshaft into your drill. Holding the drill in one hand, attach the can opener to the can and hold the opener closed with your other hand. Give the drill a little juice and watch how easily the can opens!

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Drill-Powered Cheese Grater

Drill-Powered Cheese Grater

Maybe you’re preparing a mountain of spaghetti or need to add fresh Parmesan to 100 salads. By simply modifying a run-of-the-mill rotary cheese grater, you grate cheese as fast as you’d like!

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First remove the plastic rotary handle. Most just thread off if you hold the grating barrel and rotate the handle in reverse. Then remove the grating barrel from the cheese grater. Insert a ¼” bolt into the threaded hole in the bottom of the grating barrel. Secure it in place with a flat washer, a lock washer, and a nut. If you can’t get enough tightening pressure by just holding the bolt inside the grating barrel, you can use two sets of pliers (one to tighten and one to hold the bolt in place).

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Insert the grating barrel back into the cheese grater and tighten the bolt in your chuck. Add your cheese and start grinding. Depending on the grater, you may need to run your drill in reverse.

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Powered Pepper Mill

Powered Pepper Mill

Are you tired of slowly cranking your pepper mill and getting just a few flakes out? Adding a cordless drill to the process speeds things up! All you need is a drill and a socket.

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First, unscrew the top of the grinding mechanism. Remove the top from the grinder, making sure to keep it upright to avoid spilling the peppercorns inside. Then, place a socket, sized roughly for the opening of the grinder, over the mechanism. The socket will help keep the mechanism centered in the grinder and allow you to add enough force to grind fine particles of pepper.

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Chuck the top of the grinding mechanism into your drill. Because the top of the socket is open, you only need a ¼” or so of the mechanism sticking out of the top to grab with the drill chuck. Once it’s tight, start grinding away! You’ll be able to quickly add pepper to your mashed potatoes or anything else at the dinner table. If the ground pepper comes out too big, tighten your drill chuck farther down the mechanism. Most grinders change the size of the grind by how tight the top of the mechanism is screwed on.

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Cordless Kitchen Drill Mixer

Cordless Kitchen Drill Mixer

Sometimes we find it tough to mix stuff in a small jar by hand. Like old-fashioned oily peanut butter, for instance. It’s not uncommon for us to reach for a power tool to solve a problem, so out to the garage we went. As it turns out, the handle of a mixing spoon fits perfectly in the chuck of our cordless drill!