And by gadget I mean something that goes beyond the regular kitchen stuff (pots, pans, spoons, knives) but not so far as to be an appliance. A gadget is something that isn’t strictly necessary but makes cooking easier or more fun. Oh, and they must be multi-taskers! So here they are, in no particular order.
Hand Blender: So useful and fun! I use it to puree soups, crush fruit for jams, make single serving smoothies, mix homemade salad dressings, and more. It also has a small food processor attachment that I use frequently as well. I love that I can use this for small jobs instead of pulling out the big appliances.
Kitchen Scale: I got it to use for a few things but I use it more often than I thought I would. I weigh flour for bread, among other things, and I can’t tell you what a difference that has made in how well it turns out! It’s an inexpensive model, but it works for me.
Microplane Graters: For form and function, I think these are my favorite kitchen gadgets; so elegant and useful. I got the standard zester/grater and loved it so much I got the medium ribbon grater. I use the ribbon grater primarily to slice garlic into things, but it also makes awesome chocolate and Parmesan curls. Mmmmm.
Here’s a close-up of the blades, just for fun.
Salad Spinner: We eat a lot of salads and fresh greens, often unwashed, so this is a real time saver. I had one with a pull handle that I liked better than this one, but it broke and I couldn’t find one like it as a replacement. 😦 But this one does the job so I can’t complain too much.
Timer/Thermometer: I don’t cook meat much but when I do, I love that I can stick the sensor in the meat, set the alarm to the desired done temp, and walk away! It beeps when it’s done, no guessing. And I use the timer portion all the time. Plus it has magnets on the back so it sticks to my fridge. Sweet.
Stove top Grill/Griddle: Not sure if this qualifies as a gadget, but I love it anyway. Since I don’t have an outdoor grill, I use this instead. I like that it sits on the stove top so I can use it if the power goes out. Plus, since it has a griddle on the other side, I didn’t have to buy a separate appliance for that. I do wish it was cast iron, but those are not available locally for some reason.
You can see that it is well used.
Bonus: Favorite and least favorite appliance
Bread Machine: I got this bread machine as a wedding gift (12 years ago!). I use it at least once a week to make bread. I’ve replaced the bread pan once and it’s due to be replaced again. I love that I can toss in the ingredients and 3 hours or so later pull out great bread. It makes the house smell wonderful. I especially love it in the summer because it means I can have fresh-baked bread without heating up the house with the oven! That makes this my favorite appliance.
Food Processor: I thought I would love this, but at best I’m ambivalent. I hate to use it because it is such a pain to clean. It shreds veggies really well, but I just don’t use it that much. You can see the dust on it. That makes it my least favorite appliance.
What kitchen gadgets do you love?