Who doesn’t want to save time? It is by far one of the most common challenges I hear from my clients when it comes to changing their eating habits.
Now that you’ve got your pantry all organized, it’s time to stock it up with awesome stuff.
Over the years, I’ve come across some gadgets that make all the difference in the kitchen.
Remember when you used to swear you’d never be one of those people who gets all excited about getting house stuff for gifts…especially kitchen stuff! I definitely used to be one of those people. Now, a new knife or a beautiful cutting board…heaven. I’ve officially become “one of those people”.
Whether you’re a kitchen nerd like me or not, I can almost guarantee that once you try some of these items out, at the very least, you’ll find your time in the kitchen just a little bit more enjoyable.
Some of these are a bit more of an investment, and some you could buy with your leftover lunch money, so if you’re a bit skeptical about spending your hard earned cash on boring kitchen stuff, start small. You definitely don’t need to get them all, or all at once, but I have a feeling that once you see the difference a little kitchen tool can make you’ll be popping back to this list for your next purchase.
1. Microplane. These are basically mini graters that are extremely versatile and save a lot of time and mess. I use mine for anything from zesting, finely grating ginger or garlic (this way you don’t lose half the clove in the garlic press and it’s way quicker than mincing), turmeric, parmesan cheese and spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. It is definitely one of my kitchen favorites. The fact that it’s small and easy to store is also a huge bonus if you’re short on kitchen space.
2. Garlic peeler. This one takes care of the annoying and tedious task of peeling garlic. It’s a little rubber tube that you stick the cloves in, roll over it with the heel of your palm and voila. It also keeps your hand from smelling like garlic and getting those little pieces of garlic skin stuck to your hands.
3. Kitchen shears. These are so multipurpose and again, huge time savers. Use them to quickly chop herbs, open packaging, cut up meat or even cut up a whole chicken. Often this tool can prevent the need for a cutting board which means one less thing to clean up!
4. Ramekins or prep bowls. Prep all of your ingredients and set them aside before you start cooking to save time and the frustration of burnt ingredients.
5. Flexible cutting boards. These are great for preventing little scraps of this and that all over the floor. Once you’re done chopping, transfer ingredients straight to the destination mixing bowl or pan. Because they’re bendy, you can also fold up the sides for mess-less transfer to containers with smaller openings if needed.
6. Immersion blender. Ever burnt yourself or lost half the contents trying to transfer a hot soup into a traditional blender or food processor for pureeing? This is your answer. These hand held blenders can be immersed right into the bowl you’re using to mix or the pot you’re using to cook and they’re a lot easier to clean.
7. A good quality chef’s knife. Not only are sharp knives safer, they are so much nicer to use. If you already have, one you know exactly what I’m talking about. I can’t stress enough the difference a good knife makes! These can get pricey but if you’re ready to make a good investment in the kitchen, they’re worth is. Something like this is a great more budget friendly option. You ca also check out this guide from seriouseats.com if you’re looking to spend a bit more.
8. Mandoline. Quickly slice onions, potatoes, cucumbers or apples with this gadget. They’re also great for perfecting even thickness to make your favorite baked veggie chips.
9. Spoon Shaped Spatulas. Spatulas are the perfect cooking utensil. They can scrape up every last bit, making pans easier to clean. The spoon shaped version are just that much better for getting into hard to reach nooks and crannies in jars and containers. Make sure you get one that’s heat resistant so you can use it for everything.
10. Crockpot or slow cooker. These are the ultimate time savers. Dump everything in before you leave for work and come home to a house that smells like someone’s been slaving over the stove for you all day. These are game changers, one of the best investments in my books.
*Nutrition Bonus: Slow cooking is also a great cooking method for retaining nutrients. The lower heat is less likely to destroy delicate nutrients and because you’re not dumping the cooking water, the nutrients stay in the dish. The long cooking time also brings out the flavor.
11. Rice Cooker and Steamer. No more worrying about your pot boiling over or grains sticking to the bottom. Simply press the button and it takes care of the rest, giving you perfectly cooked rice every time. The non-stick pan makes for super easy clean up. Many can also be used to steam meat or veggies and some can actually double as a slow cooker for soups, stews and chili.
12. Food processor. This is a bit of a bigger investment and does require some space, but they are major time savers. They have multiple attachments with blades of different sizes and thicknesses so you can slice, chop, dice, grate, shred, puree…you name it. I remember the first time using a full sized, good food processor and chopping 6 zucchinis in a matter of minutes… I was sold.
What’s your favorite kitchen tool? Do you have any others that I didn’t include on this list? Please share in the comments below.