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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 up batters lickety split. Plus, if you don't make doughs and batters often, it's much cheaper than a stand mixer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
A carving fork is sometimes the best tool for holding meat steady when you slice it.
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!
Don't use jaccard blade tenderizers on food that will not be cooked beyond 160°F.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're in the market for a sturdy wide spatula then The Weber Original Wide Spatula is a great quality choice.
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.
These two tools can make cooking and slicing hardcooked eggs much easier. The slicer can be used for bananas and soft vegetables as well.
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!
Keep your stored food items organized and easy to find with an inexpensive labeler.
Plastic storage containers are versatile, multipurpose, essential items in any kitchen. Keep a variety of sizes on hand for various liquid and solid foods.
Heavy duty aluminum foil is a must have staple for any kitchen and for any backyard cook's arsenal of tools.
Plastic wrap is an essential staple for any kitchen. Get the kind that clings to bowls so you can keep your food air tight.
No kitchen is complete without a stockpile of rubber bands in a variety of sizes.
No kitchen is complete without butcher string. It's really just food grade kite string that is used for tying roasts and more.
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.
One simple wooden rolling pin ought to do the trick.
Silicone baking mats are the newfangled replacement for parchment paper: non-stick for rolling dough; heatproof for baking.
Every kitchen needs a quality set of utilitarian kitchen towels and terry cloth is the best! Avoid towels with fringes to catch fire.
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.
There is no better way to clean your lettuce or spinach. Submerge it in water and then spin off all the water.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 useful for resealing open bottles, especially the T-top cork. They can also be used for elevating a wireless thermometer above the cooking grates.
This tool makes quick work of fish scales when preparing whole fresh fish.
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.
Sponges are essential for keeping your kitchen clean. We prefer those with non-sturdy abrasive scouring pads for scrubbing off stuck-on food.
A heavy duty mortar and pestle is perfect for grinding whole spices snd seeds for home made rubs.
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.
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.
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 spoon is a necessity in the kitchen, used for stirring sauces and soups, scooping ingredients, and more.
The best way to get spaghetti from bowl to plate.
You need these for stirring and scooping with your non-stick pans.
This is the Asian version of a slotted spoon and perfect for lifting food out of a deep fryer.
Measuring tools, including spoons, are essential tools.
You need a bottle brush to keep your thermos, jelly jars and basting bulbs clean.
Measuring tools, including cups, are essential kitchen tools.
The perfect tool for skimming fat.
A good colander should have handles to avoid getting your hands burned.
A fine mesh sieve is good for washing fruits and vegetables.
Very sharp blades for shaving hard foods or zesting citrus.
Perfect for shredding cheese and making slaw.
A handy tool for French fries or crinkle cut carrots.