10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
Full confession: I love kitchen gadgets! Some (my husband) might say it’s an unhealthy obsession. If I were a choco-holic, it probably wouldn’t be wise for me to work at Godiva Chocolate. If shopping were my addiction, I probably need not work at The Mall of America. Well…if kitchen gadgets were your addiction, Williams-Sonoma might not be the best place for you to work…if you actually wanted to bring home a paycheck. While I did love working at Williams-Sonoma, my husband swears that our bottom line is greatly improved since I resigned from the store…go figure. And while, I’m not a medicine cabinet snoop, I am a kitchen gadget drawer snoop. It’s always eye-opening to see what gadgets my fellow kitchen-istas keep on hand and actively use.
It was really hard to narrow my list down to my ‘Top 10’, because I have more than 10 that I regularly use, but at the same time, didn’t think you really wanted to see my ‘Top 37’. So, I figure I’ll come back later with more that I tools that I find useful in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets, in no particular order:
The Smart Funnel. I use this handy gadget to get every last drop out of my syrup and oil bottles, as well as my lotion and shampoo bottles. It’s completely dishwasher safe.
An OXO Good Grips Wooden Reamer. When I worked at Williams-Sonoma, this was one of the items that we would sell out of quickly and when it came back in stock, would be bought in multiples. It’s so much more functional than many other lemon juicers out there, proving that simpler is often better.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many garlic press/crushers I’ve owned since I’ve had my own kitchen. I had many of the traditional hinged ones and some not so traditional ones. I found this one several years ago in a fantastic kitchen store in Charleston, SC and it is my hands-down favorite. My search for a garlic press is over. There’s nothing to break and it washes up great.
I really hemmed and hawed before I broke down and brought this Spiralizer home from Williams-Sonoma. It felt kinda gimmick-ey to me and I just wasn’t sure I’d use it. After owning it for a year, I’m glad I bought it. I don’t use it all the time, probably once a month (though my daughter probably uses more often than that), but since I’ve stopped eating traditional wheat pasta, it’s a great tool to make zucchini and sweet potato noodles. There’s a whole website, Inspiralized, dedicated to recipes using your Spiralizer.
I slowly phased out my plastic storage containers for two reasons; I wanted to avoid the chemicals that leach from the plastic into your food, whether microwaved or not and I don’t like having my fruit taste like the onion that was previously stored in the container. I started buying Anchor Hocking, but found that their lids didn’t hold up to being used in the freezer regularly. I’ve since become a Pyrex glass container girl. And…you probably knew this already, but the rectangular shaped storage is much more space-efficient than the round, so I’ve started just going rectangular.
Labels and a Sharpie are handy when labeling things that go in your freezer. I got tired of pulling out what I thought was plain tomato sauce only to find out it was spaghetti sauce, or when I needed that leftover frozen apple juice concentrate for a loaf of bread, but almost added the chicken stock instead. So now I label everything…most of the time…when I remember.
I’m not a frivolous gal. I like to think I’m rather utilitarian, with just a little side of bling. When it came time to replace my KitchenAid blender, I looked long at hard at my options. I kept coming back to THE Vitamix Blender, but the price tag was hard to swallow. Ultimately, we bit the bullet and are so glad we did. We LOVE our VitaMix. If you are a Costco member, they often have VitaMix events, which is when I got mine. Without exaggeration, this VitaMix is used at least once a day, usually twice. Making smoothies is a breeze. We’ve made (and heated) soup in our VitaMix. I make almond milk, coconut milk, almond butter, peanut butter. I haven’t tried grinding grains; I don’t have the container for that, but it’s on my wish list. From my Williams-Sonoma experience, I never heard or saw anyone ever complain about their VitaMix or return it to the store. It’s a good product.
My Cuisinart 12-Cup Food Processor, is another kitchen staple. I like the one I have because it has a smaller nesting bowl for when you need to process smaller amounts. The reversible shredding blade has a thin shred and a thick shred. My most recent uses for my food processor include, making Thai Basil Pesto, making the crust and crumb for my Cherry Oat Bars, slicing the cabbage for our Thai Black Rice Bowls and grinding eggshells for compost. The only downside is that it’s a heavy thing.
My 5″ Wusthof Serrated Utility Knife . Sometimes, when I’m feeling frivolous, I think I really need 2 of these knives as the one I have is always being used. But then, I settle back to ground and realize I could just wash it after every use so its always available. A very handy knife for cutting vegetables, fruits and meat.
What are your go-to kitchen gadgets? Like I said, I’m always drawer snooping, so I’d love to ‘virtual snoop’ in your kitchen drawer find the gadget that I just can’t live without!
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Until next time,
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