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A Guide To The Kitchen Tools And Gadgets We Love

Sorry folks, you don’t need a lot of really expensive toys.

You don’t need ceramic knives, copper mixing bowls, and enameled Dutch ovens. You can do just fine with a few inexpensive toys.

What exactly do you need? We went through our cabinets and drawers and made a list of all our favorite tools and what you should look for when shopping. All the tools below are items we have tested personally and merit our Gold Medal Best Buy Award. Here’s an idea: Sign up for Amazon’s Gift and Wish Registry and link to the products you’d love to get.

Click Here To Search Our Reviews And Ratings Of Tools, Toys, And Accessories

Breville Joule Sous Vide Review and Rating

By:

Clint Cantwell

While there are countless sous vide immersion circulators currently available, one of our favorites is the Breville Joule, a sleek unit that not only performs extremely well, its compact shape fits easily in a kitchen drawer. WiFi and Bluetooth enabled, the Joule works in conjunction with the Breville/ChefSteps app.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Review

By:

Clint Cantwell

Join the sous vide revolution with the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, a Bluetooth enabled self-contained heating and circulation unit that enables you to produce results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. Here is our full review of this handy and compact immersion circulator.

Simply Works Sous Vide Lid for Anova Precision Sous Vide Review

By:

Clint Cantwell

For owners of the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker the Simply Works Sous Vide Lid for Anova is a must own. This silicone lid designed to cover an 11-inch stock pot and features a cutout specifically sized to fit the Joule. The lid also features a hook and handle for opening.

Simply Works Sous Vide Lid for Joule Sous Vide Review

By:

Clint Cantwell

If you’re a frequent user of the popular ChefSteps Joule sous vide immersion circulator, then the Simply Works Sous Vide Lid for Joule is a must own. This silicone lid designed to cover an 11-inch stock pot and features a cutout specifically sized to fit the Joule. The lid also features a hook and handle for opening.

Stasher 10-Inch Reusable Silicone Sous Vide Bag Review

By:

Clint Cantwell

Made of 100% pure platinum silicone, the Stasher re-usable sous vide bag is a great way to cut down on unnecessary plastic waste. Unlike traditional plastic bags, Stasher bags contain no BPA, no PVC, and no latex thereby keeping your food safe from contaminants. Simply insert the food, seal, and submerge!

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System Review

By:

Paul Sidoriak

Create perfect dishes every time with the Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System, an induction cooker controlled by an app from your smart phone or tablet via Bluetooth. Sensors in both the base unit and pan or pot communicate with each other to keep your food in the proper temperature zone for cooking any particular dish.

An Electric Hand Mixer Whips Sauce, Batters, And More In a Jif

By:

Meathead

An electric hand mixer whips up batters lickety split. Plus, if you don't make doughs and batters often, it's much cheaper than a stand mixer.

The Ultimate Cutting Board With Juice Pan By John Boos

By:

Meathead

Cook a turkey or prime rib or pork loin properly and you're going to end up with a lot of juice on your cutting board. If yours has only grooves, it's going to overflow and ruin the table cloth.

An Old Fashioned Meat Grinder Lasts Forever

By:

Meathead

Grinding your own meat gives you fresher, better tasting meals. You can buy attachments for stand mixers and food processors, but an old fashioned hand operated meat grinder is inexpensive and will last forever. If you make hamburgers you can create your own signature beef blend featuring chuck, brisket, and more.

Use A Food Mill For A Rustic Texture in Vegetable Purees

By:

Meathead

A food mill is a must for getting rid of seeds. It makes the best textured tomato sauce ever, pureed but with a little texture left in it.

Sturdy Kitchen Shears Will Quickly Cut Chicken Bones and Butcher String

By:

Meathead

My OXO Good Grips professional poultry shears are one of those kitchen tools I simply cannot live without. These heavy duty scissors are a must for cutting up a whole chicken (especially for removing the backbone for spatchcock chicken), trimming chicken wings, and so many other tasks.

Keep Sauces Warm Longer With A Quality Thermos

By:

Clint Cantwell

A quality thermos is key to keeping sauces warm longer. Whether you are serving it at a backyard cookout or are a competitor wanting to keep sauce piping hot for turn-in boxes, a thermos like my favorite, the 64-ounce Yeti Rambler, is the perfect solution. It's also great for traveling with homemade Thanksgiving gravy!

French Press Coffee Maker Works Even If The Power’s Out

By:

Meathead

A French press coffee maker requires no electricity, is portable, easy to operate, and makes a great cup of coffee. Here's a review of one of our favorite models that won't crack.

We Discover The Best Burger Flippers Ever

By:

Meathead

These double spatulas, or oversize tongs if you prefer, made from sturdy stainless steel, are the best thing to happen to burgers since buns and fish filets since tartar sauce. Slip it under the burger or filet, clamp down, flip and gently slide back onto the grates. No more broken burgers or filets.

Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes With This Hand Held Masher

By:

Meathead

Nothing beats a great dish of mashed potatoes and while you can use a stand mixer to blend them, we find an old fashioned masher like the OXO Good Grips Wire Potato Masher to be the best tool. With very little elbow grease, you can mash your spuds plenty smooth, or if you prefer, as I do, you can leave in a few lumps.

RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Review

By:

Charlotte Wager

What can go wrong with measuring spoons? A lot. Trying to fit them into little spice jars is the worst. These rectangular measuring spoons from RSVP make it so much easier. The 18/8 stainless steel set includes everything from 1 tablespoon down to 1/8 teaspoon. Read our review here.

Paint on BBQ Sauce With a Silicone Basting Brush

By:

Meathead

Silicone brushes are the best thing to happen to barbecue since the charcoal briquet. I long ago relegated my natural and nylon bristle brushes to cleaning computer keyboards. Silicone brushes load up with lots of sauce, deliver it evenly, and are easy to clean and decontaminate.

The Spoon Spatula Combo Tool You Can’t Live Without

By:

Charlotte Wager

Called a “Mini Supoon” by the manufacturer Dreamfarm, this nifty spoon/spatula combo scrapes and measure every last drop from jars and containers. It's cheap and comes in several sizes. With a nylon handle and silicone head, its clever bent handle lets the spoon sit up off of the counter so there's never a mess.

A Nylon Whisk Is Perfect For Nonstick Pans

By:

Meathead

When it comes to selecting the right whisk, we have found a clear cut favorite in the nylon OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk, especially because it can be used vigorously on a nonstick pans without scratching the surface. It is perfect for making scrambled eggs for whipping cream, and so much more.

The Best Funny Barbecue Aprons

By:

Meathead

Add a touch of humor to your cookout with these fun chef aprons. I have designed a range of aprons with pockets, T-shirts, mugs, and more with scores of humorous sayings from "BBQ God", "Got Ribs?", "Eat Me", "Chef is Prime and Well Aged", "Nice Rack" and many more!

Carving Fork

By:

Meathead

A carving fork is sometimes the best tool for holding meat steady when you slice it.

Elegant Eco-Friendly Wooden Compostible Plates, Bowls, Platters, And Flatware

By:

Meathead

The elegant eco-friendly wooden plates, bowls, platters, snd flatware sets from Leafware are so much nicer and more elegant than paper plates, plus they are fully biodegradable and compostable because they are made from leaves! Best of all, they don't leak or get floppy when wet!

Jaccard Blade Tenderizer Review

By:

Meathead

Don't use jaccard blade tenderizers on food that will not be cooked beyond 160°F.

Selecting The Right Juice Pitcher

By:

Meathead

f you enjoy fresh juice then a quality pitcher is a must for your kitchen. When selecting a pitcher, we prefer one from Rubbermaid that holds one gallon of liquid, has markings on the side for quart measurements, and has a tight lid so that you can shake the juice without it splattering it all over your kitchen.

Keep Ingredients Fresh With Airtight Canister Sets

By:

Meathead

Airtight canisters are a must in any kitchen as they help keep ingredients fresh much longer. If you don't put the flour in an airtight canister, it can lose quality, but worst of all, it will attract pantry moths, a most unwelcome infestation. You need a canister for flour, sugar, brown sugar, rice, coffee, and tea.

Nesting Mixing Bowls, A Must For Any Kitchen

By:

Meathead

If you cook, you need mixing bowls. Heat proof glass like Pyrex and stainless steel are good choices because they can go in the oven. When making your selection, note that glass can be used in the microwave and that metal cannot. Glass also looks nicer as a serving bowl while stainless bowls are lightweight.

Spot Remover Takes Care Of Food And Grill Grease Stains

By:

Meathead

A spot remover that will remove the grease stains on almost all my shirts is something I considered to be as elusive as unicorns. So I bought a 2 ounce bottle and tried it. One drop was enough clean a shirt so well that I could not find where the stain had been originally.

Garlic Press: A Kitchen Gadget You’ll Actually Use

By:

Meathead

A good garlic press is an important kitchen tool and the Trudeau Garlic Press is the perfect choice. The Trudeau press is sturdily built, and is easy to grip. It's also quite easy to clean, and has a large hopper to hold big cloves.

Kyocera Pepper Mill Makes It Easy to Adjust the Grind

By:

Meathead

The Kyocera Everything Mill Adjustable Grinder allow you to dial in the size of your grind from coarse to fine and it grinds all kinds of spices from pepper and salt to coriander and cumin. Fresh ground pepper has much more flavor than the pre-ground. And the size of the grind matters making this a perfect choice.

The Perfect Extra Wide Metal Spatula

By:

Meathead

If you're in the market for a sturdy wide spatula then The Weber Original Wide Spatula is a great quality choice.

StufZ Gourmet Stuffed Burger Maker Review

By:

Meathead

The StufZ Burger Press helps make a pretty good stuffed burger, and stuffed burgers can be very juicy and tasty, with the cheese on the inside, not on top. Or bacon, or onions, or mushrooms, or or or. Working with it was a bit awkward at first, but once you get used to it you'll be making stuffed burgers like a pro.

Egg Timer and Egg Slicer Review

By:

Meathead

These two tools can make cooking and slicing hardcooked eggs much easier. The slicer can be used for bananas and soft vegetables as well.

Juice All Kinds of Citrus With An Old Fashioned Juicer

By:

Meathead

When it comes to juicing oranges, nothing works better for me than an old fashioned juicer with a little built-in bowl and a strainer like grandma used. Juices lemons and limes too!

Dymo Labeler Review

By:

Meathead

Keep your stored food items organized and easy to find with an inexpensive labeler.

Rubbermaid Stain Shield Plastic Storage Containers Have Several Advantages

By:

Meathead

Plastic storage containers are versatile, multipurpose, essential items in any kitchen. Keep a variety of sizes on hand for various liquid and solid foods.

Double Strength Aluminum Foil

By:

Meathead

Heavy duty aluminum foil is a must have staple for any kitchen and for any backyard cook's arsenal of tools.

Plastic Wrap

By:

Meathead

Plastic wrap is an essential staple for any kitchen. Get the kind that clings to bowls so you can keep your food air tight.

Rubber Bands

By:

Meathead

No kitchen is complete without a stockpile of rubber bands in a variety of sizes.

Butcher String, A Must For Tying Roasts

By:

Meathead

No kitchen is complete without butcher string. It's really just food grade kite string that is used for tying roasts and more.

Duct Tape, The All Purpose Tool For Countless Jobs

By:

Meathead

A home without a roll of duct tape is like a bicycle without wheels. Keep it on hand for stopping leaks, sealing boxes, and so much more.

A Rolling Pin Is A Must For Pizza Dough, Fresh Pasta, And More

By:

Meathead

One simple wooden rolling pin ought to do the trick.

Silicone Baking Mats Ensure Non-Stick Baking

By:

Meathead

Silicone baking mats are the newfangled replacement for parchment paper: non-stick for rolling dough; heatproof for baking.

Quality Kitchen Towels Are A Must For Clean Up

By:

Meathead

Every kitchen needs a quality set of utilitarian kitchen towels and terry cloth is the best! Avoid towels with fringes to catch fire.

Serving Platters Are A Must For Entertaining Dinner Guests

By:

Meathead

Large serving platters are something that you may not realize you need until it comes time to serve a turkey, a mess of ribs, and other large dishes.

A Salad Spinner Keeps Your Lettuces Clean And Dry

By:

Meathead

There is no better way to clean your lettuce or spinach. Submerge it in water and then spin off all the water.

Chip Clips Keep Your Bags Of Snacks Fresh And Crunchy

By:

Meathead

Chip clips are the perfect item for maintaining freshness of food stored in bags. Be sure to get a collection of them for multiple bags of chips, crackers, and more.

Nut Tools For Shelling Walnuts, Pecans, And Even Shellfish

By:

Meathead

If you like shelled nuts like pecans and walnuts then owning a good nut cracker is a must. They are even great for cracking lobster and crab legs.

Save Counter Space With A Manual Can Opener

By:

Meathead

Can and lid openers are essential kitchen tools. But why waster counter space and extra cash on an electric can opener when a manual one works just as well.

Ice Cream Scoops Are Great For Portioning Meat, Mashed Potatoes, And More

By:

Meathead

Manual ice cream scoops are not only handy for ice cream, they are also a great way to portion ground meat for burgers.

A Manual Can And Bottle Opener Is A Must For Any Kitchen

By:

Meathead

A manual can and bottle opener is one of those tools you don't miss until it is too late. A magnetic can opener can handily kept on the refrigerator door in case of emergency.

A Long-Handled Slotted Spoon Is Ideal For Straining Liquids

By:

Meathead

Every kitchen needs a long handled slotted spoon is perfect for straining liquids and if you want to take the meatballs out and not the sauce.

Corks Are A Multi-Purpose Tool Every Kitchen Needs

By:

Meathead

Corks are useful for resealing open bottles, especially the T-top cork. They can also be used for elevating a wireless thermometer above the cooking grates.

Other Kitchen Tools: Scaler

By:

Meathead

This tool makes quick work of fish scales when preparing whole fresh fish.

Other Kitchen Tools: Corn Holders

By:

Meathead

Corn holders help to keep your buttered corn off your lap. The great thing about this set is that each pair fit nicely together for storage.

Other Kitchen Tools: Scrubbie Sponges

By:

Meathead

Sponges are essential for keeping your kitchen clean. We prefer those with non-sturdy abrasive scouring pads for scrubbing off stuck-on food.

Other Kitchen Tools: Mortar And Pestle

By:

Meathead

A heavy duty mortar and pestle is perfect for grinding whole spices snd seeds for home made rubs.

Other Kitchen Tools: Assorted Funnels

By:

Meathead

If you've ever tried filling a bottle with a small mouth then you know how nice it is to have one or two funnels on hand.

Other Kitchen Tools: Ladle

By:

Meathead

Every kitchen needs a quality ladle. Get at least one with a mouth about 3-4" wide and one small one for serving small amounts of sauce, gravy, or dressings.

Other Kitchen Tools: Tea Tools Reviewed

By:

Meathead

If you love freshly brewed tea then here are the tools necessary for getting it right, including a tea strainer and tea balls.

A Long-Handled Wooden Stirring Spoon Is A Kitchen Necessity

By:

Meathead

A long-handled wooden spoon is a necessity in the kitchen, used for stirring sauces and soups, scooping ingredients, and more.

Other Kitchen Tools: Spaghetti Scoop

By:

Meathead

The best way to get spaghetti from bowl to plate.

Other Kitchen Tools: Wooden Spoon and Spatula

By:

Meathead

You need these for stirring and scooping with your non-stick pans.

Other Kitchen Tools: Spider

By:

Meathead

This is the Asian version of a slotted spoon and perfect for lifting food out of a deep fryer.

Other Kitchen Tools: Measuring Spoons

By:

Meathead

Measuring tools, including spoons, are essential tools.

Other Kitchen Tools: Bottle Brushes

By:

Meathead

You need a bottle brush to keep your thermos, jelly jars and basting bulbs clean.

Other Kitchen Tools: Measuring Cups

By:

Meathead

Measuring tools, including cups, are essential kitchen tools.

Other Kitchen Tools: Fat Separator

By:

Meathead

The perfect tool for skimming fat.

Stainless Steel Colander

By:

Meathead

A good colander should have handles to avoid getting your hands burned.

Fine Mesh Strainer

By:

Meathead

A fine mesh sieve is good for washing fruits and vegetables.

Microplane

By:

Meathead

Very sharp blades for shaving hard foods or zesting citrus.

Graters and Grinders: Box Grater

By:

Meathead

Perfect for shredding cheese and making slaw.

Graters and Grinders: Mandolin

By:

Meathead

A handy tool for French fries or crinkle cut carrots.

Published On: 5/23/2019 Last Modified: 4/28/2021


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Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

 

Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

Click here to order.


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Undisputed Champion!

Thermapen One Instant Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review


Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker


This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.

Click here to read our detailed review


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

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