I try a lot of gadgets in my kitchen. I cook a lot, and I find that if I run across a good gadget or tool, I enjoy the process of cooking more. I’ve tried a few not-so-great tools too, and so it is worth sharing my ten favorites as a year-end wrap-up. I mean, people love a good year-end wrap-up, right?
Regular readers of this blog know that I truly believe in having great tools in the kitchen. When you have the right tools at your fingertips, not only can you achieve more in the time you spend cooking, but it will be more enjoyable, easier to clean up, and you’ll get better results.
I considered the following features important when compiling this list:*
- Time Saving
- Assists in Cleanliness
- Smart Design
- Smart Storage
- Daily Use
- Price & Value
- Fun & Clever
Here are my ten favorites of 2016:
- Potato Masher
This year I made mashed potatoes for 24 guests at a Thanksgiving dinner. I decided it was time to replace my old plastic masher that I never really loved to use. Cooking struggles need some consideration. When faced with the job of making 15 pounds of potatoes, I considered why it sounded so daunting. Enter: my new potato masher. This is the one I added to my kitchen collection, and I will never go back! Purchase Here.
- Garlic Peeler
I don’t mind peeling garlic, but sometimes I need a lot, or I don’t have time, or I’d prefer to avoid having garlicky fingers. I have tried all kinds of tricks and techniques for removing skins from garlic over the years. Some work, some don’t. But until I found this inexpensive little gadget, I never felt compelled to sing the praises of any given method of peeling garlic. This little tool is an excellent value and the price is nominal so you can get one for every cook you know! Purchase a 2-Pack Here.
- Non-Slip Prep Bowls with Multi-Function Lids
For many years I’ve had a set of nice nesting metal prep bowls. I bought them when I lived in a small apartment and needed space-efficient kitchen tools. I love these bowls, but over time I’ve noted that if they had lids they would be that much more useful for storing and stacking prepared foods in the fridge. This year I decided to upgrade. When researching these bowls, I found this set with lids and rubber bottoms. I love this feature, as I have granite counter tops and aside from the slipping, metal and granite make quite a racket. Some of the lids feature an interchangeable center with a grater and a slicer insert. Grating cheese straight into a bowl that can go right into the fridge is not only clever, but it eliminates the aggravation of cleaning up rogue bits of cheese. Win/Win/Win. Purchase the set here.
- Joyce Chen Scissors
I have several pairs of these in my home. One for the kitchen, one for gardening & herbs, and one for sewing and crafts. They are sharp, last a million years, and have a comfy grip and handle. These scissors will prove their worth, and you’ll notice the difference between these and other kitchen-worthy scissors. Cut through raw meat, slice pizza…these are by leaps and bounds the best scissors I own. Purchase Here.
- Nesting Measuring Cups
A gift from my husband, I was immediately impressed with the nesting design of this set of cups. There are even teaspoon and tablespoon-sized cups in this set. I love having lots of measuring cups at my disposal, and this years Christmas baking and cooking put these to the test. There are many options for different measurements, so if one is in use or dirty, you’re golden because each cup has clearly marked measurements…and they’re clear so great for both dry and liquid ingredients. Even Karo syrup and mollassas are a snap (see item #3 from this list)! Get your set here.
- Narrow Silicone Spatula
When I find a gadget or tool that addresses a pet-peeve successfully I feel compelled to tell everybody I can. The cheap thrill of knowing I’m done with some irritation in life brings such satisfaction. This narrow spatula set has new uses every time I turn around. It gets the last bit of anything out of a jar (mayo, mustard etc). It reaches into narrow places where normal rubber spatulas or spoons won’t go, and to boot it works like a charm for icing cakes. Simple, smart. Purchase a set of three here.
- Herb Stripper
This herb stripper removes leaves from stems and deposits them neatly into a measuring cup, making the work of fresh herbs a snap. This is not the first time I’ve sung the praises of this little item, but I couldn’t leave it off this list because my readers went crazy over it. This makes a great gift, and for anyone who uses fresh herbs (or avoids doing so due to the work involved) this little work-horse will save you time and hassle. Get one here.
- Spice Spoons
Speaking of narrow places, spice spoons fit neatly into spice jars and canisters where regular measuring spoons can’t go. On top of that, I love having a set of measuring spoons designated for dry ingredients when I cook and bake. Spice spoons for dry, and regular measuring spoons for liquids. Problem solved. Set of five here.
- Long-Spout Measuring Cup
Clever design rides again. How many times have you wished you had a pour spout that would reach into odd spots? This is awesome for a couple of non-kitchen purposes that I must mention. Watering the Christmas tree and hanging plants have never been easier. This measuring cup works great for liquids, batters and grainy dry ingredients like salt rubs or sugar. Great for transferring liquids and sauces to narrow-neck bottles. Get yours here (3.5 cups).
- Cast Iron Pizza Stone & Griddle
I love cast iron. I have a regular pizza stone. I have a cast-iron griddle. This little two-for-one functioning pizza griddle makes it to my stove top and grill more than either of the others. Great for pizza, searing meat, grilled sandwiches, proofing rustic breads, and so much more. The price is incredible for the amount of use you’ll get from this cast iron piece. Get your pre-seasoned cast iron pizza griddle here.
I’d love to hear from you about what are your top tools and gadgets. Comment here or join the conversation over on facebook and instagram (@mdelishboutique).