Between working full time, managing a household and caring for kids it can be challenging to find the time to cook a healthy meal. Luckily, there are lots of kitchen gadgets that help make dinnertime easier.
Try these must have tools to speed up your cooking and baking! They’ll let you spend less time in the kitchen and more at the table enjoying your family’s favorite meals.
1. Herb Scissors
If you rely on fresh herbs like basil, dill, and chives for flavorful meals but often struggle to keep them from turning mushy when chopped with your knife, this time saving kitchen tool is your answer. Herb scissors have multiple blades that snip at the same time to cut herbs quickly and with minimal mess. They’re also strong enough to snip meat and vegetables. Many models even include a comb for easy clean-up between blades.
This silicone utensil rest eliminates the need to handle multiple utensils while cooking and helps minimize a sauce or crumb mess on your counter. It has slots that keep your spatula, spoon, and tongs handy and organized on the counter. Unlike most kitchen gadgets, this one is available in both right and left-handed versions.
2. Salad Spinner
A salad spinner makes washing and drying large amounts of leafy greens much quicker. This Oxo model holds up well to our test of washing and spinning a head of lettuce, pint of berries and pound of bulky root vegetables. Its compact design folds to a mere three inches when collapsed, making it ideal for small kitchens and dorm rooms.
There are many varieties of salad spinners available on the market, from simple fabric salad slings to larger electric models. Some have knobs you turn; others operate through a pull mechanism like a laundry machine. If you have limited storage space, a smaller or collapsible spinner might work best for your needs. Those who love to entertain may want a larger spinner that holds more than three quarts.
Whether you’re whipping eggs or making a roux, a whisk is essential to any kitchen. But there are many different types of whisks that can be used for different tasks.
For example, a French whisk has thin wires that are ideal for reaching the corners of small saucepans when making bechamel or hollandaise sauces. But they are not the best choice for thicker batters or doughs that might clog their tines.
Carrie Honaker, a food writer and cook, owns an obscene number of kitchen tools, including four from this list that live in her gadget drawer. She says they help her make the dishes she loves to eat more quickly, especially when it comes to chopping veggies and squeezing lemons. Her favorite is this OXO Good Grips balloon whisk, which also has a nonstick utensil rest that holds four of her other most-used kitchen tools.
Whether you are turning steak on the grill, tossing salad, or serving food at a dinner party, having a good pair of tongs is essential. Nick DeSimone, who works as a food and kitchen tools specialist at Williams-Sonoma, says that he has tested almost every pair of tongs on the market and these 9-inch OXO tongs have made it into his tool kit.
He loves that they are short for ease of use, the head is designed in a brushed shape for easy gripping, and they lock closed for convenient storage.
He also likes that they are heat-resistant and dishwasher safe. This set comes with a 7-inch, 9-inch and 12-inch pair of tongs. All feature a soft strip of silicone that adds to the grip and are non-stick and scratch-resistant.
5. Immersion Blender
Unlike other specialty tools that claim to make chopping, cutting and zesting vegetables easier (we’re looking at you spiralizer), an immersion blender takes up very little space in your gadget drawer and is versatile enough to perform a variety of tasks. It can puree soup right in the pot, blend single-serving smoothies and make creamy vinaigrettes / dressings.
Some days, you might wish that kitchen magic worked a little faster—that it didn’t take so long to peel and chop veggies for a salad or cook up a casserole. Fortunately, the right gadgets can help speed up meal prep so you can get dinner on the table sooner. And that’s a win for everyone.