There are three kinds of Kitchen Gadgets and Gizmos:
The first are the ones that you buy or get as a gift. You use it once and find it to be so NON-useful that it gets tossed into the junk drawer never to be used again.
The second are the kitchen gadgets and gizmos that are seasonal. You use them in late summer or early autumn when the apples from your tree are plentiful and you make up huge batches of apple sauce, apple butter, jams and jellies. Yes the apple corer and peeler works its magic for a month or so and then gets parked in the back of your pantry. Ditto with cherry pitters, pineapple corers and other seasonal use tools. These gadgets are wonderful and worth every penny.
The third class of kitchen gadgets and gizmos are the amazing little tools that make your life easier, cooking faster, and dinner prep a pleasure instead of a chore.
Take a GREAT potato peeler for instance. It is sharp and efficient. It’s handle is ergonomically designed and easy on the hands. Peeling a dozen potatoes, or a big bag of carrots can get done in no time. My mother struggled with a dull and inefficient peeler for a decade. I told her to get a better one for years. Finally I broke down and bought her two different ones to try out. I practically had to teach her to use them because she was so used to struggling. LOL I was going to take the one she didn’t like home with me. She told me she wanted both!
The thing is, this crazy cheap potato peeler, not only peels potatoes, carrots and other veggies, it can be used to slice wonderful thing and elegant strips of veggies (such as zucchini) into long and thin stripes for cooking or throwing in a salad. While not as efficient as a Spiralizer of Mandolin, it does the job and does it well.
Here are MY top kitchen gadgets and gizmos.
I use them all the time and am amazed at how inexpensive they are. If you are shopping for a friend, under $10 makes a great stocking stuffer. $10 – $20 makes a really nice and thoughtful gift … and for someone special create a gift basket or goodie bag with two or three of your favorites!
I actually love all three of these versatile peelers … they are in order of my preference. Take a look at them all and be sure to watch the how-to videos (some great tips).
|OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler||Prime||Buy Now|
|Spring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable Peeler||Prime||Buy Now|
|OXO Good Grips Y Peeler||Prime||Buy Now|
This fabulous jar opener doesn’t look like much. In fact you’ll probably have to explain what it is and how it works … AND throw in an offer to install it (easy). The fact is so many people these days are dealing with arthritis to the point where opening jars can be nearly impossible.
This jar opener is easy to use and it WORKS, every time.
When spiralizers first came out I thought they were pretty useless gadgets. I got one of those one noodle, hand cranker things. It actually produced zucchini noodles OK, because zucchinis are soft. It is really hard on the hands because you are turning the cutting gadget with the strength of your hand. And carrots, or any other hard veggies? NO way. So I threw it in the useless things drawer and forgot about it.
Then a friend showed me hers … WOW! It took me three little demos to have me ordering my own. The sideways hand crank models are good, BUT this vertical hand crank is really easy to use because gravity does half the work. And yes, it works perfectly well with hard veggies like carrots and beets.
I just love these mini tongs, they are useful IN the kitchen — taking pickles or olives out of jars, grabbing a piece of toast out of the toaster, adding ice cubes to drinks. They also come in handy on a buffet or dinner table. You can get them in packs of different colors or packs of the same color.
When I first saw this, I kinda snorted and thought it was a dumb idea. Then I thought about spaghetti and getting the colander out to drain it. Then I remembered steaming veggies and once again the colander popped into mind. That thought was quickly followed by draining potatoes out of a hot pressure cooker.
So I tried it. It works just like they said. Snap it on. Drain. I don’t think it can get much faster and easier than that. Get one for all your cook-a-holic friends. Get one for yourself!
I’ve avoided electric can openers for my entire life. The reason being I didn’t want one more appliance taking up precious counter space when a simple small hand-cranked opener would do. I use the same can opener for over 30 years. It finally died.
I thought I’d look at a few different models, just in case … but assumed I’d probably buy a $4.00 replacement for my old one. A friend showed me hers.
I bought it. It doesn’t take up anymore room in my drawer than my old one did. BUT it is way easier on my hands because all I have to do is push a button and it does the rest.
I never encountered kitchen scissors until I started cooking serious amounts of Chinese food. I saw a TV chef use a knife for cutting beans and I was hooked. Since then I’ve always had two or three different kinds of kitchen scissors at hand.
This one is very versatile. Being able to easily take it apart is fabulous. It makes for easy cleaning and drying and though I will never scale fish I have friends who live on a lake who would be happy for one of these.
The BIG handle makes this an especially good gift for anyone with arthritis or anyone who gets hand cramps from their regular scissors. Watch the video to see HOW the knife makes cutting a lot easier!
What I absolutely LOVE about this zester is that it is big enough to hold comfortably, AND big enough to do some serious grating, whether you are zesting a lemon, grating a hunk of Parmesan or grating a piece of ginger.
I also love being able to grate a bit or carrot or beet to create a nice garnish, without having to haul out my bigger grater.
For the past 10 years I’ve peeled, smashed, minced or sliced my garlic without any gizmos. Prior to that I tried a half dozen different garlic peelers and those things that push the garlic through the holes. I would end up spending way more time cleaning the garlic masher than it would take me to mash my garlic with a knife.
In the end I just threw away all the garlic tools and used my knife. Until now. This gizmo actually works. What’s more, it does everything you need … it mashes, minces, and slices. If I just have one or two cloves of garlic to process I still use my knife, but if I’ve got even a small stack, I haul this out of my gadget drawer. And they have solved the problem of cleaning. NO more poking garlic bits out with a toothpick. Just rinse and dry. This is a definite keeper!
In my opinion this handy gizmo is misnamed … milk frothing is only one of dozens of different things it can do. I regularly use it to:
- beat one or two eggs
- ditto with egg whites
- emulsify a small batch of home made salad dressing
- mix up a small batch of sauce
- make chocolate milk
- beat up a small batch of whipped cream
- and mix my daily morning “bulletproof coffee”
NOTE: In MY world a “small batch” is 1/4 to 1/3 cup … any more than that and you should use an immersion blender, regular blender, or egg beater.
Bacon lovers unite! In a past life I used to be phobic about bacon fat. Now that I follow a somewhat Keto Diet I allow myself to indulge in bacon whenever I feel the need! The thing was … I hated frying bacon. My whole stove top would be splattered with fat.
This nifty bacon “air fryer” does the job. Perfectly, every time. There is NO hesitation to “fry” one to three slices of bacon to throw in a salad or as a garnish. It takes minutes with NO mess.
I used to hate cutting and fitting parchment paper into my baking pans and sheets. Don’t know about you, but my custom cut pieces would always curl up and give me a lot of grief.
These handy baking mats are easy to use and do the job perfectly. Don’t get fooled by some of the lower prices mats … first of all you get FIVE mats, and then — quality speaks for itself, with the help of some pretty amazing reviews. Read them and you will never buy the super cheap mats again.
OK confess … are you tempted to order some of these for yourself?
Still need more kitchen gift ideas? Here are some Great FOOD Gifts For Home Chefs.