Get ready to move that tool from the back of the drawer to the front.

By Stacey Ballis
February 28, 2020
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We are a cheese-loving household. How much do we love cheese? We bought a mini wine fridge just to store it at the ideal temperature (about 12 degrees warmer and slightly more humid than a regular refrigerator). At any given moment we might be storing up to a dozen different cheeses, because you never know when someone might drop by in need of the world’s most comprehensive cheese board.

And where there’s cheese, there are gadgets. We have at various times owned an electric raclette tool, a twirly blade designed to make fluffy flowers out of a wheel of Tomme, and no fewer than four fondue pots. We have a whole section of a drawer devoted to cheese cutters, crumblers, spreaders, and slicers. We’ve got pointy sharp forks to pry jagged shards off of hard crumbly cheeses, and shavers that peel thin wisps of semi-soft cheeses.

But no cheese gadget gets more use in my kitchen than my wire slicers. But not for the reason you think. I use my wire slicers more for non-cheese tasks than I do for cheese-related ones.

I know. Weird.

I have three different wire-style slicers in my arsenal. One is literally just a long length of wire with two handles (literally called a cheese wire). One is a deep wide metal Y-shaped frame with a wire connecting the two arms, and one is a handled slicer with the wire set about a quarter inch from a roller. So how do I use these things in non-cheese ways? I am here to let you in on my secrets.

Non-Cheese Uses for a Cheese Wire

While great for taking a wedge off of a large wheel of cheese, and my preferred method for surgically removing a tough rind without losing too much cheese in the process, the wire slicer is also ideal for portioning out soft dough when baking, especially for cutting rolled things like cinnamon buns. Similar to tooth floss, the thin wire cuts through soft dough cleanly without dragging, and without smooshing your roll into a flat-bottomed semi-circle. You just use the wire to pre-mark your dough, and then place the wire where you want to make your cut and press swiftly downwards, pulling slightly towards you when you feel the wire hit the cutting board or counter. Neat and clean.

Non-Cheese Uses for a Y-Shaped Slicer

The Y-shaped wire can be really useful for this as well, especially with smaller batches of dough, but frankly, it is my go-to for cubing cold butter, shortening, or lard for recipes. If you have ever tried not to cut yourself while trying to slide a piece of cold butter that has cemented itself to the side of your knife, this is a godsend. It can also come in handy for cutting homemade confections like marshmallows, caramels, or fruit gels.

Non-Cheese Uses for a Roller-Style Slicer

In addition to slicing uniform little slabs of cheese, this tool creates a similarly uniform thickness for homemade crackers and cookies. Just use to cut those logs of dough, and you’ll see what I mean. Quick, easy, no eyeballing, no dough sticking to your knife. This tool can also pinch hit as a mandoline slicer if you need some perfectly identical slices of softer items (like cucumber).

Ready to add a cheese slicer to your kitchen?

Wire Cheese Slicer

Amazon

To buy: $7, amazon.com

Y-Shaped Wire Slicer

Amazon

To buy: $7, amazon.com

Wire Cheese Slicer with Handle

Amazon

To buy: $12, amazon.com

Mandoline Slicer

Amazon

To Buy: $30, amazon.com