You don’t have to be a world-class chef to really appreciate some great unique kitchen gadgets. Even if you don’t love spending time in the kitchen, the right tools can make the necessary evil of food prep a hundred times easier! Here’s a list of our favorites.
In another life, I would totally have become a professional pastry chef or owner of a food truck. I just LOVE food, and the more unique and flavorful, the better!
This might seem like a good thing, until you become an overworked mom tasked with the chore of feeding 9 picky children every day. That kind of drudgery can really take the spark out of a person’s culinary passions.
Someday I’ll renew my subscription to Bon Appetit magazine and bake elaborate concoctions once again, but until then, using some fun and really handy kitchen tools has made all the difference in my cooking enjoyment!
Here are a few unique kitchen gadgets that I can no longer live without…
This is basically just a fancy term for a grater with teeny, tiny holes. I have one like this, which is perfect for holding across a pan or mixing bowl while grating anything your heart desires.
I love to use it for ingredients that only require a small amount to make a big impact, like fresh (or frozen) ginger, lime or lemon peel/zest, coconut, hard cheeses or even a chocolate garnish. I bought it on a whim several years ago but have been surprised at how often I use it.
Oh, how my poor fingernails wish I had known about these things 10 years ago! They’re basically used to scrape up anything that might get stuck to your counter (or table, bar stools, floor, etc).
My SIL sent me this simple plastic one a while ago and I immediately fell in love! It’s especially helpful for the kids when they take a turn wiping off our enormous island. Crud is always stuck to it and this ensures they’re able to wipe it clean, no matter how much pancake batter dripped on it that morning.
I also own this metal bench scraper on Mel’s recommendation. I wasn’t sure how often I’d use it but I pull it out pretty much every time we make any sort of bread dough. Not only is it the perfect thing to cut through rolls or breadsticks, it’s another awesome cleanup tool for getting all that dried dough off your countertop.
These little gadgets are pretty ubiquitous in most family kitchens nowadays but I remember our first one as a huge boon to this exhausted mom fielding requests for apple slices all day! The best part is that most of my kids can use this baby by themselves so those apple & peanut butter snack plates don’t require any effort out of me.
We originally bought one with plastic handles but it didn’t last long with all the abuse ours gets. Last time we broke one, we upgraded to an all metal version and I’ll never go back.
You’d think that most whisks are created equal…but have you ever tried to mix up a tiny bit of constarch into a tiny bit of water? Or whisk just one egg in a measuring cup? How about stirring some stubborn powdered hot chocolate into a mug of milk? A tiny whisk is where it’s at! We got a couple of these a few years ago and I honestly reach for them about 5 times as often as my big whisk.
Side note: we purchased metal whisks with a silicone coating since they seemed like they’d be less likely to scratch things. Well, the silicone has since started to come off which is not pretty (nor sanitary). I’ve decided to only buy plain metal from now on.
If you think feeding a bunch of kids can cause apple-slicing burnout, then you should see the damage to my cheese-slicing wrist! We always buy gigantic, two-pound blocks of cheese for my starving children, and then I either have to spend half my life slicing it up, or risk a nervous breakdown watching my children do it themselves.
Luke came home with a cheese slicer a couple years ago and I quickly realized we’d never live without one again. All you do is pull the slicer across the block of cheese, and voila! A perfectly thin, rectangle of cheese that everyone cheers for.
OK, well, maybe not cheers for. But everyone’s pretty happy about it. Especially the 5 year old who can now cut her own cheese without peril of losing a thumb.
Heads up: you will have to tighten and eventually replace the wire that comes with this baby but it’s hardly a big deal.
I thought that a pastry cutter was a fairly specific kitchen tool that was used just for cutting cold butter into flour for biscuits and pie crust. Not so, my friends!
I find myself reaching for this thing almost every time I need to mash something up. I have a potato masher as well, but this little thing does such a fantastic job of slicing through bananas, avocado, potatoes and more that I use it probably 10 times more often than the masher.
Small Metal Spatula
This little baby was also a gift that I wondered if I’d ever use…and then I left it behind at a party once and mourned its loss for months before finally replacing it.
Not only is it the perfect size for serving all manner of pan-based desserts (brownies, bars, you name it!), it has a fairly sharp edge so you can use it to cut through most of these treats as well. I always grab it when taking a dessert to a potluck because it works SO much better than a basic butter knife (only now I’m smart enough to label ours).
Danish Dough Whisk
This Danish dough whisk was another gift from my awesome and resourceful SIL and I’m still amazed at how much I love it! It essentially stirs dry ingredients just as well as a traditional wire whisk, but the big difference is that you can continue using it all the way to the end of the recipe.
When making muffins, for example, I used hate how there was a point that my whisk could no longer handle the thick, gloopy batter and I usually had to switch over to a wooden spoon. This baby can handle cake and quick bread batters from start to finish!
Do you own any must-have unique kitchen gadgets? I’d love to hear about them!
You might also like this post about my absolutely favorite cookie recipe!