I used to be a gadget person. Then I had kids, moved and got a brand new kitchen and decided it was time to minimize. If you’ve ever moved after having kids, you know that there is just so. much. stuff. Stuff to pack, stuff to unpack, stuff to put away, stuff to pick up off the floor on the daily, stuff to throw away because you’re sick of picking it up off the floor. Having kids really made me reassess my personal belongings and the need for having so much stuff, including kitchen tools!
I feel like whenever we have an empty cupboard, drawer or closet, we feel like we have to get stuff to fill it. I took the opposite approach when we planned out our kitchen reno. We don’t have a pantry so I really needed the drawer storage in the kitchen to serve as a pantry for us. I had to make sure that all our kitchen tools would have a place and that there were a few empty drawers for packaged food storage.
Considering all that, I pared down our kitchen to the essentials and eliminated most of the tools that weren’t getting any facetime. There are a few that I kept and that I love, mostly because they save me precious time in the kitchen.
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Triggered ice cream scoop
I probably use this more than any other kitchen tool we have, and I don’t even use it for ice cream. A triggered ice cream scoop is the perfect way to hammer out a batch of muffins in no time. I also like using it for cookies. A smaller sized cookie scoop works best, but mine broke, so now I use the ice cream scoop and just break the cookie dough balls in two. Double duty. Even better.
Epicure garlic peeler
I didn’t realize how much I loved this simple tool until I was peeling clove after clove for making salsa and marinara last summer. It is just a silicone tube, but it works wonders. Pop in a clove, roll the tube on the counter, off comes the peel. This is an easy kitchen tool for your tiny kitchen helpers to use too. My kids just go to town peeling garlic, even when I don’t need it. It keeps them busy while I’m trying to make supper and it’s so mindless that they can chat me up while they’re doing it, so that makes me happy.
Kitchen Aid shredder attachment
This one is a splurge! I waited, not even kidding, five years to buckle down and buy this, finally deciding to make this purchase when I broke the shredder blade in my food processor. I didn’t really want to replace the entire food processor, and I already had the Kitchen Aid mixer, so getting the attachment set just made sense. It comes with three blades: a fine shredder, a regular shredder and a slicer. I haven’t even tried the slicer blade yet, but I’ve used the shredder on carrots, cheese and zucchini. The only downside to this one for me is that it’s not dishwasher safe, but for the time I save by not having to use a box grater, I can afford to wash the attachments by hand.
I used to have a box grater, a garlic press and a citrus zester, until my mom gave me a microplane in my Christmas stocking one year (because that’s what a foodie’s mom buys for their stocking). Now that I have the microplane, I don’t need any of those other gadgets anymore. It is so sharp! That means everything grates up quickly. Fresh nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, garlic, citrus zest, parmesan cheese. It’s also easy to clean and goes in the dishwasher. I use this all the time, probably as much as the ice cream scoop.
Immersion blenders are cheap. I think I got mine for under 40 bucks. My favorite way to use it is for whipping up vinagrettes into creamy dressings, like my caesar vinaigrette posted here. Side note: If you didn’t already know, I am not a fan of mayo based dressings or any creamy dressings for that matter. This is why I love blending up vinaigrettes. Other ways I use the immersion blender are for soups, my Easy Alfredo Sauce and the occasional milkshake! The one I have has a removable blade, which makes it easier to clean, because all you have to do is pop it in the dishwasher. Some don’t have a removable blade, which means you’re holding it under running water, or blending up some hot soapy water to clean it.
What are your faves?
These kitchen tools are in my top five, mostly because they solve a problem of some kind: saving time, saving space, multitasking. What are your favorite kitchen tools? Comment on this post and share them with us!