favorite kitchen gadgets

You know those cooks who are all like, “I prefer to hand-churn my butter and grind meat with sheer manly force. I measure by eye. And I bake pizza with the heat that radiates from my body.”

Yeah. I’m so not one of those people. I use tools. I like tools. And if there’s a gadget that makes cooking easier, I’m all over it faster than a pregnant woman on a double chocolate brownie (and trust me, I’m deceptively quick). In the past 6 months or so, I’ve accumulated several favorites, and I thought it was high time to share. So here they are: my favorite cooking gadgets as of late.

**I’m not paid to promote any of this stuff—these are all things that I have purchased myself or been given as gifts from awesome people in my life.**

The Switchit silicone spreader/spatula. Great to use as a regular spatula or as a spreader for frosting. Narrow enough that it fits in jars and cans to scrape out those last little bits.

A measuring shot glass. Measures teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces and milliliters. Plus prevents the inevitable spills and dribbles you get when measuring liquids with a spoon. (Thanks, Jen!)

An enameled cast iron dutch oven. Hoighty-toighty cooks will tell you that it’s impossible to live without one of these, and I can’t help but agree—I make all of my soups, stews and roasts in this baby. But until my budget improves, I’ll forgo the Le Creuset in favor of good old Martha Stewart (which, btw, is pretty much always on sale at Macy’s).

A microfiber dish drying mat. Unless you have unlimited drying rack space, you inevitably place excess dishes on a towel where they never quite dry. This handy little mat (given to me by my mother-in-law—thanks, Syl!) absorbs and keeps pots and pans in place. You can even place glassware upside down and the insides will dry completely. Then just fold it up and place it with your kitchen towels until you need it again.

My citrus reamer. After I used this baby on a TV cooking demo my relatives called me up to say, “Hey, great job…now where to I get one of those juicers?” The little holes make it super easy to juice without worrying about seeds. *This one is semi-promotional. I got it for free in a conference goodie-bag. But I really do love it.*

Oh, handy-dandy garlic twist. Toss in a few cloves of peeled garlic, twist ’em around, and presto—minced garlic (more like finely shredded…but does it matter?). My brother-in-law Mike gave this to me for Christmas and I’ve never looked back. Plus, it’s durable and super easy to clean.

People ask me how I cook with a toddler and here’s the answer: The Learning Tower. An adjustable, sturdy spot for her to stand at counter-level. It’s one of the best purchases we’ve ever made.

These magnetic nesting measuring cups are my absolute favorite. The tapered design makes them easy to shove into bags of flour and since they stick together, I never lose one.

The same goes for these measuring spoons. I love the double ends, and the narrow side is easy to fit into spice containers.

I’ve broken 4 glass french presses in the past 2 years. Not only is my thermal french press indestructible, but it keeps the coffee hot, too!

Okay, it’s not a gadget. But I can’t rave enough about Snapware food storage containers. They’re truly airtight (I’ve toted soup in my purse), don’t stain, and are color-coded so you’re never struggling to find a lid that fits. I got my set for cheap at Costco.

So there are my recent favorite kitchen tools. What are yours?



  1. Whoa. The Learning Tower…I was totally ready to grab my own…but $200?! Holy whoa, crazy prices! Guess my munchkin will have to continue making due with an overturned MegaBlocks bucket. Dangit.

  2. Great collection of kitchen gadgets. Thanks!

  3. Yaaay, I’m glad you still love the mini-measuring cup. I recently found another good use for it – taking cough syrup! Then you don’t have to mess around with a spoon, and you can just toss it back without having to taste it as much (blech.)

    I need that garlic twist! And the citrus reamer! Oh man, now I want more kitchen gadgets.


  5. I loved this post! These would make great gifts for a fellow cook. I’d love to hear about other gadgets you find, too.

  6. great collection of gadgets on Kitchen…

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