I love food. Do you love food? I think it’s fair to say that almost everybody in the entire world loves food. But not everybody loves making food. But if they just had the right tools, cooking would be a delight! That’s why I’ve put together this list of 15 kitchen gadgets and tools for foodies and non-foodies alike. Because everyone deserves to have fun in the kitchen.
Along with a picture and description, I’ve told you why I personally like these implements. I own almost all of them and can attest to their quality and longevity.
Each affiliate link will take you to Amazon.com where you can purchase these items. Whichever holiday or birthday is coming up next for yourself or someone you love, you’ll find the perfect gift in every price range here. (Many of these products have videos that show them in use. Just look at the bottom of the images on the left-hand side when you are viewing them on Amazon.com).
Kitchen Aid 6 Quart Professional Series Mixer. We never had one of these growing up. I never even used one until college when my freshman roommate introduced me to one. It was amazing! But somehow, I considered it cheating. No way could it be this easy to make chocolate chip cookies. No way the mixer could knead bread for you. But it was easy, and now I can’t imagine living without mine.
The one I have listed here is bigger (and better, in my opinion) that the traditional Kitchen Aid Mixer. Whereas those mixers have a tilting head that you have to lift up and only come with bowls with up to a 5 quart capacity, this Professional Series mixer comes with a 6 quart capacity bowl that you lift up with a lever. I find this much more convenient than tipping the heavy head back on the traditional mixer. Plus, this mixer literally comes in every color under the sun! There is one that is sure to match your kitchen décor perfectly! Yes, it is a little pricey, but well worth it, since these mixers have a reputation for lasting.
Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker. Obviously, since my blog is called “Ice Cream Inspiration,” an ice cream maker is a must-have for me! This is an appliance that is just fun to use. Everybody likes ice cream, and making it yourself gives you a thrill. It’s so much more satisfying than buying ice cream at the store! Plus, you have to be careful about which ice cream you purchase.
The Cuisinart brand is the ONLY brand of ice cream maker I recommend. I tested two other brands of ice cream makers and was sorely disappointed in their unacceptable performance. (You can read my review by clicking here).
Taylor Waterproof Digital Thermometer. I tell you what, I don’t know how I ever lived without a meat thermometer. I am one of those people who are very wary about under-cooked meat—especially chicken. This meant that in the past, I cooked the HECK out of my chicken, and it was always super dry and tough. I thought this was just how chicken was supposed to be, until I got this thermometer. I soon realized that I could take the chicken out of the oven much sooner than previously thought, and that it was tender and juicy, yet still safe to eat.
Miu Silicone Baking Mats. These are one of the Seven Wonders of the Baking World. If you have never used silicone baking mats before, you must go get some this very day. They are inexpensive, but will totally revolutionize your cookie baking experience. Never again will you have those undesirable crunchy bottoms caused by metal pans. These baking mats also make it so that you can remove the cookies sooner. Somehow, they cause the bottoms to be more cohesive, and the cookies just slip right off without bending or crumbling. Removing cookies sooner also means you can load up the pans with another batch of dough without waiting so long. All the silicone mats I have tried are great, but I own the set above.
Dreamfarm Supoon 11-inch Sit Up Scraping Spoon. No, I did not spell the name incorrectly. It is actually called a “Supoon.” It is from a great Australian company that makes innovative products and gives them funny names. This product combines a spoon with a spatula, and it is ingenious. As you can see, the handle is bent. This is so you can set the Supoon down on your counter without the spoon part actually touching the counter and getting it dirty. Inside the spoon there are also measuring lines for a teaspoon and a tablespoon. So if you are adding a teaspoon of vanilla to a recipe, for example, you don’t have to get a separate teaspoon dirty. You can just pour the vanilla directly into the Supoon and then stir it into your mixture or batter.
But the thing I love best about this fun kitchen implement is that is doubles as a stirring spoon and a spatula. This means that you can mix up your cake, and then scrape every last bit of it out into your mixing bowl without dirtying another item. I am super lazy when it comes to pouring things into other bowls or pans, and I almost never take the time to get a scraper (or rubber spatula) out. So I waste my time using the wooden spoon I have used to mix the batter, trying to scrape down the sides of bowl, knowing that it is completely ineffective, yet doing it anyway. But choirs of angels sang the first time I used the Supoon. I guess I am easily impressed, but I loved being able to use this one implement to do so many things, but only get one thing dirty! No dirty counter, no dirty measuring spoons, no dirty spatula. Watch the video of the Supoon in use on the Dreamfarm site here.
Rachael Ray Non-stick Two-piece Meatloaf Pan. Meatloaf is great, except when it sits in a ton of grease at the bottom of the pan. This specially designed meatloaf pan solves that problem beautifully. You can see that it has holes for the fat to drain into the bottom of a separate pan. I love that my meatloaf can be more healthy with less grease.
Presto Cool Daddy Deep Fryer. I know, I know. I just talked about how grease was bad. But sometimes, you just need a good batch of French fries to go with those home-made hamburgers. If you ever want to make doughnuts, wontons, or any battered food, a deep fat fryer is a must. You can keep the temperature constant and prevent the dangerous splattering that occurs when frying things in an open pan. We have had one of these for years and love it. This one has an essential safety feature, too. The cord hooks into the back magnetically. That means that if a kid runs by and catches on the cord, it will just break away from the fryer instead of pulling the fryer off the counter.
Taylor Kitchen Scale. I used to think that a kitchen scale was unnecessary. That’s probably because I was a snob and thought I could just figure things out on my own. But I became converted when I realized that I really had no idea how much 2 ½ pounds of potatoes was. There are also other ingredients measured by weight instead of volume (like chocolate chips), so a kitchen scale is a very handy thing to have indeed.
Rival Roaster Oven. Cooking turkeys is dangerous business. I’m not worried about getting the temperature right (thanks to my handy meat thermometer that I mentioned above) or about the breasts being dry. I’m worried about taking the darn thing out of the oven! If you think back to your high school physics class, you might remember that putting 20 pounds on an outstretched arm with an unstable base and no counter-weight is a recipe for disaster. When you are dealing with a really hot pan, it makes things even more dangerous. Enter the unheralded roaster oven. I love this thing. Just cook the turkey on your counter top and lift it out (while standing up straight rather than precariously leaning over a burning oven) with the included rack when it is done.
Presto 16-inch Electric Foldaway Skillet. If you don’t have a fryer, then an electric skillet is a must. The temperature dial ensures that your oil stays hot like it should so that you don’t get soggy food, or burned food. A skillet can be used for lots of other things, too, from pancakes to stir fry and more. You can even use it as a buffet server. There are several awesome things I love about this particular model. First of all, you can remove the pan from the base and wash it in the dishwasher! There is also a spout for pouring liquids out of the pan and a spoon and spatula holder. The handles fold down so you can easily store it without taking up extra space. This is totally on my wish list!
Crock Pot 6.5 Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker. Almost everyone has a crock pot, but not all crock pots are created equal. This is the crock pot used by Samantha Skaggs, author of the book Real Food Slow Cooker Suppers. It has a timer that you can set anywhere from 30 minutes to 20 hours. Then it automatically switches to the warm setting once the timer has gone off. I love that you can remove the inner pot and put it in the dishwasher. No more washing by hand!
Waring Double Belgian Waffle Maker. Every Christmas, we have Belgian Waffles for breakfast. The problem is, it takes so long to make all the waffles! This amazing waffle maker solves that problem because it cooks two full-sized waffles at the same time! It also has a setting for you to control how brown the waffles get. This is on my list for sure!
T-fal 10-in-1 Rice and Multicooker. These new multicookers combine the functionality of steamers, ovens, crock pots, and rice makers. This particular model has 10 different functions. My favorite is the yogurt function! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been salivating over one of these!
OXO Hand Mixer. When you’re a foodie, you get excited about little innovations in design. This hand mixer is the perfect example. First of all, it has a flat base so that when you need to set it down, you can have it stand upright with the beaters still over the bowl. With all the other hand mixers I have ever used, you have to precariously perch the mixer over the edge of the bowl and hope that it doesn’t fall over, taking the contents of the bowl with it. This mixer also has digital speed control. This prevents accidentally turning the speed up too far and splattering yourself with cake batter. Another cool feature is that it lets you rotate the base so that the cord comes out of the side that is best for you, depending on if you are right-handed or left-handed. And the best thing (that I have never seen on any other mixer) is that is has an LED light that shines down into your bowl so you can be sure you got all those lumps out.
Dreamfarm Garject. This is another one of those ingenious inventions that really had a lot of thought put into it. The word “Garject” is a combination of the words “garlic” and “eject.” It is a garlic press that does ALL the work for you. I have a garlic press, but I haven’t used it for years. It does a fine job of pressing the garlic, but to remove the skins and scrape the garlic off, I have to use a separate plastic piece that could get lost and is not very effective at pulling out the skin. With the Garject, you press the garlic, then as you open the press, a plastic piece scrapes the garlic off as you pull the handle back. Then you just push a button and the skins are ejected! No mess, and no garlic smell on your hands! You can get the metal one pictured, or a less-expensive plastic version. Go to the Dreamfarm site to see this in action! (It really is awesome).
There you have it! There’s something on this list for everyone (whether they are a foodie or not!) Click on the links or pictures to order from Amazon.