8 Kitchen Gadgets We Can't Live Without
Here at our studio, we spend a lot of time talking about what other people do in the kitchen. Now, it's our turn.
With everyone spending a lot more time at home these days, we're all cooking more than ever. So we asked the folks here at Ingredient to share their go-to kitchen gadget — the one that makes their heart sing, the one that's getting them through the pandemic, the one they can't live without. As it turned out, people had a lot to say! Here are a few kitchen essentials you're definitely going to want to check out.
I’m terrified to cook meat incorrectly, so this sous vide has been a complete game-changer for me. I set the appropriate temperature for anything that I am attempting to cook (meat, potatoes, vegetables) and forget about it! The food is cooked to perfection each time without the worries of over- or undercooking. All you need to do to finish is sear the food in a skillet. This is a great option for meal prepping, too.
The Pickle Picker has one job (and does it extremely well): picking pickles. I can’t remember a single family BBQ without this incredibly handy tool sitting in the pickle jar. My aunt from Texas bought it for my parents as a silly Christmas gift, but it turned out to be one of the handiest tools in the kitchen. It’s kind of a big dill in our household.
I have had a deep, torrid love affair with garlic for many years. When a recipe calls for it, I usually double or triple the amount. I bought a fancy garlic press, which includes a small brush for cleaning and a small plastic tube for peeling. I LOVE the peeler. It’s simple and clean; you just insert, roll, and drop — and voilà, unpeeled garlic. It’s a transformation! Just three simple steps and you've got unpeeled garlic, ready to go.
It may sound extremely basic, sort of like, “duh,” but my absolute favorite kitchen utensil is a really solid pair of tongs, like this one. I was staying at an Airbnb recently with a flimsy set of tongs, and it just didn’t cut it. Tongs are like an extension for your hands. I use them for almost every meal I prepare — and I swear, a good set of tongs will change your life.
My bench scraper is a measuring tape, a straight edge, a knife, and a squeegee all in one. I originally bought it to cut pasta, pie, and pastry dough. Now, it’s my go-to ruler and straight edge in the kitchen. It’s great for cutting butter and cheese (since I don’t own a cheese knife), and it’s perfect for scraping herbs and minced veggies from cutting board to pan. I also use it to scrape off my counters and cutting boards to clean them. It’s so easy to wipe off, clean, and dry that I use it over and over again on any given day. This 3-in-1 version is great for scraping delicate surfaces and bowls too.
Of course, you don’t *need* an Ooni Koda pizza oven to make pizza at home. A stone in your oven will do just fine. But if you want to really, truly delve into the alchemy of making Neapolitan-style pizza and cooking at 900º, the Koda is where it’s at. The propane fuel source makes getting ready to bake pies a snap. Plus, there’s a thriving community of home pizza cooks of all experience levels on social media to help you out. So, jump in and learn about hydration percentages, the allure of 00 flour from Italy, and the pros and cons of cold-proofing versus warm — and post pictures online for instant feedback! Buying an Ooni oven is more than just getting another cooking gadget. It’s like joining a club.
One of my favorite kitchen utensils is this rocker style pizza cutter (🤘) that I got for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I eat frozen pizza a lot. I am the Buddy Rich of frozen pizza — MORE IS MORE! I eat frozen pizza like I am not an overweight, middle-aged man. Anyway, I got this pizza cutter a few years ago. I've never sharpened it, and it is still the sharpest thing in my kitchen.
I have become the sort of person who regularly makes their own salad dressing. I never imagined that for myself, but there it is. I had been making dressing in old jelly jars, which were never big enough and leaked all over the place, so I decided it was time to go legit. This OXO Good Grips Little Salad Dressing Shaker is sturdy and secure, has a little pouring spout on top that never leaks, and has measurements along the side for those who take recipes seriously, god bless ‘em.