My Sharpie: the greatest kitchen gadget of all

Earlier this week as I wrote about avoiding food waste to save money and to help the environment, I realized that I have unintentionally been holding out on you, dear readers.

Although I’ve written about some of my favourite gadgets before, the truth is, I haven’t shared information about one of my #1 essential kitchen tools: the Sharpie. Although its name may trick you into thinking this tool is a knife, Sharpies aren’t used for cutting and they aren’t sold at Williams Sonoma or a restaurant supply store. In fact, the best place to buy a Sharpie is at Staples or Walmart.

The Sharpie is a fine point tip, permanent marker. The reason it’s one of the most essential kitchen tools you can own is that any lettering applied to freezer bags, lids and labels will last in the freezer and the dishwasher when applied using a Sharpie.

As a result, I grab a Sharpie when I need to write in the label window on a freezer bag; when I need to jot the date on a plastic container filled with tomato paste to be stashed and forgotten in the refrigerator door; and, I even use my Sharpie to jot directions down on the lids of the plastic containers I use to store ingredients such as rice or wheat berries that I buy in bulk.

So, if you don’t keep a Sharpie in your utensil drawer, consider starting. They’re very handy!

Do you have an unconventional kitchen tool that you can’t cook without? If so, tell us about it below.

16 Responses to My Sharpie: the greatest kitchen gadget of all

  1. Funny. I actually find myself using a dry-erase marker on plastic containers more than sharpies. I just need temporary notes, so it works well. But I do love me some sharpies!

  2. Candace says:

    I love my shapies! I also label my baking powder when I open a new can and my open chicken stock cartons that are in the fridge. It definitely helps avoid waste!

  3. danamccauley says:

    No way I’m responsible enough for dry erase markers – I’m rather ham handed and would smudge that stuff like crazy.

  4. Sharpies also come with a fine point, which is nice when you want to write a novel on your bag of peas.

    A few cautions are in order…when writing on a plastic bag, give the ink a few moments to dry before you handle the bag, or you may find a lot of it on your hands. The packaging must be clean, dry, and room temperature to write on. Sharpies don’t write as well on warm or cold surfaces. They also don’t like some of the #4 recyclable bags where the dry ink can rub off. But all these problems are easy to overcome.

    I keep my Sharpies in the same draw as my Stretch-Tite, foil, and plastic bags. When I’m working in a kitchen, there’s always a Sharpie in my sleeve pocket.

  5. danamccauley says:

    Sounds like we are kindred spirits when it comes to sharpie love, Peter!

    Thanks for those additional tips for 100% satisfactory sharpie usage.

  6. Kitt says:

    I put a strip of masking tape on my containers and write on that with the Sharpie. Easy to peel off and relabel the next time.

    As for best-loved gadget, I heart my OXO salad spinners, big and small.

  7. danamccauley says:

    Kitt, I find masking tape falls off in the freezer – what’s your secret?

  8. Christine says:

    I love sharpies! Perfect for labeling all the cups at parties! The one thing I can’t live with out are my Pampered Chef twixit clip combos pack! It is perfect for closing all of my bags and I don’t have to worry about it falling off like a bag clip it just snaps right on!

  9. megan says:

    I date everything. From the salad dressing to the chai tea box, I never remember how old ianything is otherwise. Saves me money cause I know when I have to use something up, reducing waste. Love a pretty sharpie!

  10. Cheryl says:

    I know this is probably terrible, but I write on the shells of my hard-boiled eggs. How else could I tell them from the fresh? So far it hasn’t permanently addled my brain, or so I like to believe.

  11. danamccauley says:

    Hmm…I wonder if long term exposure to sharpie ink through eggshells have been studied? interesting question.

    Christine, I label kids cups with a sharpie all the time – especially this time of year when I have a driveway full of little water swilling boys playing basketball.

    What are these twixits of which you speak? Do share a link or something.

  12. Aran says:

    oh yes, dana… you hit the nail in the head. i always have a sharpie handy and when i worked in professional kitchens, sharpies were part of our uniform!

  13. Christine says:

    Dana- Here is the link I love these things! http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=16752&categoryCode=KW only $5.00 for 2 giant, 4 large and 4 small. I use them on bread, the bird’s food, on chips etc!

  14. Debyi says:

    I use sharpies to mark the date on everything that comes out of my shopping bag before I put it away. I also use it to label contents and dates of things in my pantry. For plastic containers, basically whatever I put leftovers in, I use a grease pencil because it rubs off and I can reuse the lid over and over. It works great and no more looking at containers thinking, “What is this!?! When did I make that?!”

  15. giz says:

    I’m so with you on the Sharpie – mine is blue and came from Staples and has been a good friend for a very long time without running dry.

  16. This is a whole lotta sharpie love. Oh yeah, and some great tips, too. Thanks for sharing everyone!

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