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Kitchen gadgets can vary from one southern home to another. However, I do know what I like, and that’s what I plan to share. For me, it’s all about convenience and making cooking fun.
First of all, it’s important to remember that most of these gadgets are not essential to cook a good meal. In fact, you can prepare some fabulous dishes with just a knife, a spoon, and a skillet.
However, most of my gadgets make meal prep much easier and less time consuming. I’ve listed my favorites below and added links you can use to purchase them from Amazon.
Big Kitchen Gadgets (or Small Appliances)
I absolutely love having all the latest and greatest kitchen appliances on the market. Although most of them are relatively inexpensive, it’s hard to find storage for all of them.
When I set my heart on something new, I zero in on sales at my favorite stores. As much as I might want the appliance, I can wait a few weeks. That’s what happened when I decided to purchase a multi-function cooker.
Favorite Big Gadgets
I have quite a few big kitchen gadgets, but I don’t use all of them all the time. Conversely, there are some I use at least once a week. Here’s a list of them:
Multi-functional cookers (Instant Pot and Crock Pot Express) – These appliances are amazing time savers. You can take a chicken out of the freezer, pop it into the cooker, turn it on pressure cooker mode, and eat within an hour or so.
Small, single or two serving rice cooker – I like the smaller rice cooker for making small amounts of rice, oatmeal, or quinoa.
Slow cooker – When I’m feeling old school, I pop a roast and some veggies into the slow cooker. I love having dinner ready when I come home. When I cook ribs in it, they come out fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious.
Large blender – This is ideal for making large smoothies for two or more people.
Food processor – This is handy for those times when you need to make something smaller, and you don’t want to liquefy it in the blender.
Electric drip coffee maker – When you need a pot of coffee, this is essential.
Keurig single-serving coffee maker – Single servings of coffee are nice because not everyone likes the strong brew I prefer.
Toaster oven – As its name implies, this appliance makes toast. It’s also perfect for baking small foods when you don’t want to turn on the big oven.
Essential Small Kitchen Gadgets
One of my requirements when we were looking for a new home not long ago was that I have space for all my kitchen gadgets. Although there’s never enough, this place has more than most that we looked at.
Here are some of my favorite small kitchen gadgets:
Handheld can opener that actually works – I’ve had electric can openers in the past, but after I read about how much bacteria they harbor, I switched back to handheld. I wash it after every use and get a new one when needed.
Cutting boards and mats in different sizes – I have 2 very small paddle-style cutting boards and several large cutting mats. A big cutting board is heavy and difficult for me to handle.
Spatulas in a variety of sizes and shapes – Sometimes you need a large spatula with a flat edge, yet other times you need one with a curved end. I also like having a small one to get into tiny spaces.
Variety of spoons – This includes slotted spoons, regular spoons, and ladles for obvious reasons.
Variety of knives – You’ll need one for cutting meat, one for peeling vegetables, and one for chopping. I have quite a few knives, but for a basic kitchen starter set, you only need three.
Manual chopper/food processor – When you want to chop something (like tomatoes and peppers for salsa), but you don’t have a large quantity, this manual food chopper from Amazon is a handy, easy-to-clean little gadget.
Hand mixer – I had a stand mixer, but since I never used it I gave it to one of my daughters.
Small citrus squeezer – Given that you don’t always need a lot of lemon juice, this is easy to use directly over the mixing bowl.
Pizza cutter – This one is obvious. After all, pizza is a staple around here.
Nonessential but Nice to Have Small Kitchen Gadgets
I’m one of those people who can look at a kitchen gadget and start drooling. I love kitchen stores, the kitchen section in large department stores, and “As Seen on TV” shelves. When those ads come on, I’m absolutely riveted.
So that’s why I have these items in my kitchen:
Spiral cutter – Before I got this, I had to buy my zucchini already cut, which can be expensive. Besides, there’s something oddly satisfying about spiral cutting vegetables.
Ground beef chopper – This is obviously not essential, but it sure does make it easy to chop ground beef or turkey while you’re browning it. I use it when making ground beef stroganoff or my hearty vegetable beef soup. Fortunately, these ground beef choppers are inexpensive on Amazon.
Potato masher – This works for mashing anything, including potatoes, cauliflower, or any other steamed vegetable.
Apple corer – I have this because, well, sometimes I just need to core apples. It’s super easy and something I can do with one swift motion.
Shaker/Mixer – This is perfect for mixing anything with powder or making slurry to thicken gravy.
Tortilla press – Making homemade tortillas is super easy as long as you have the right equipment.
Tortilla server – This server comes with a lid to help keep the tortillas warm. It looks like the ones you get at restaurants when you order fajitas.
Small grater – Since I love being able to grate cheese directly over my spaghetti, I like this small, lightweight grater.
Zester – I don’t use this gadget often. However, I like having it when I want it to zest lemons and limes for my summer recipes.
Chopper/scraper – This is a small, simple metal device that chops and scrapes. It’s super easy to use and even easier to clean.
Tongs – Sometimes you just have to pick stuff up, but you don’t want to stab it.
Not Exactly Kitchen Gadgets but Worth a Mention
Pretty butter dish – I know that a butter dish is technically not a gadget, but it makes me happy to see the colorful design.
Nesting mixing bowls – I like having a variety of sizes of mixing bowls, but space is limited. That’s why I enjoy these colorful bowls that just happen to be made of dishwasher-safe plastic. Since I’m known for dropping things, I don’t worry about them shattering.
Take Cooking to a New Level
As I mentioned earlier, most of these gadgets aren’t essential. Nevertheless, they can elevate your cooking, simplify the process, and make you look like a pro.
First of all, don’t feel that you have to have everything to cook a good meal. In fact, when you’re first starting out, or even after you’ve been cooking for a while, you can get by with what you probably already have. However, I wanted to share how my favorite gadgets make meal prep much easier and less time consuming.