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Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth Buying

Updated on October 28, 2013

Love Cooking, Love Your Tools

Do you hate it when you purchase a new shiny kitchen gadget only to discover in a relatively short amount of time that though fun for 5 minutes, it's actually a worthless hunk of metal and plastic which is destined to serve no other purpose than gathering dust on a shelf taking up precious cupboard space?

We have all done it, and each time we finally throw away that dust gathering hunk of uselessness we tell ourselves that we've learned a valuable lesson, however we are time and time again fated to make the same mistakes because let's face it, gadgets are awesome and if you love to cook the way I do, it's a curse that you're just going to have to live with.

So if you're on the prowl for something new, or you are window shopping for a wedding or house warming gift I have listed my top 5 kitchen gadgets below as well as why I love them to help you in deciding on your next inevitable gadget adventure.

5. Stick Blender

How Long Have I Had It?

I started using stick blenders in my early teens when my younger brother became obsessed with making strawberry banana muffins. I discovered over time that they are extremely useful tools for quite a variety of food smooshing.

The only thing to look out for is that you get one with a metal blender bit instead of plastic even if it's more expensive because the plastic ones melt, warp and discolor.

What Do I Use It For?

Well, in the muffin capacity I still use my stick blender to puree fruit with minimum mess. It's also great for making lovely smooth mashed potatoes and liquidizing soups and sauces right in the pot they were cooked in without having to get a full size liquidizer involved.

4. Digital Meat Thermometer

How Long Have I Had It?

My husband bought this a few years ago. I admit at the time I was really annoyed because I hate useless space occupying gadgets and I thought (mistakenly) that these things were just for fancy cooking show snobs.

As it turns out, this is an extremely handy tool because basically, when you have a big (potentially delicious) expensive roast you DO want to make sure that you've cooked it correctly. There are few things more disappointing than serving up dry, chewy overcooked meat or worse yet, discovering when you're cutting up the meat that it's under cooked and poof, there go all the juices.

What Do I Use It For?

Mainly I use it for checking the internal temperature of big hunks of meat I've cooked in the oven to ensure that I'm not likely to give anyone food poisoning when poultry and pork is concerned and that my rare roast beef is actually rare when beef is concerned. My husband uses it a lot out on the BBQ as well.

3. Panini press

How Long Have I Had It?

I bought my Panini press when I was pregnant so upon writing this lens I've owned it for less than a year. I was reluctant to spend money on another gadget because I am desperately trying (and failing miserably) to live clutter free. I also thought that Panini's were just a silly fad that would pass so there was no point in joining in.

What changed my mind was probably a combination of hormones making me go ahead with spontaneous purchases and insane pregnancy cravings.

One day one of my colleagues got a Panini for lunch and brought it to his desk to eat and suddenly I craved a tuna melt. (I have no idea if he was eating tuna) If you've ever been pregnant or have shared living space with a pregnant woman you know that these cravings are life and death, no negotiations... so later that day... the press was in my possession and after I satiated my tuna craving I went a little crazy with experimenting using everything from ham and cheese to chilli straight out of the can.

What Do I Use It For?

I use it for making toasted sandwiches and wraps constantly... I even put bagels in there occasionally. The best part about using the Panini press is that you get a wonderful crispy hot sandwich with none of the extra calories which would have been added by pan frying. It's also FAST and SO easy to clean. Zip zip, done.

2. Food Saver

How Long Have I Had It?

I have had my food saver for about three years. I asked my husband to get it for me for my birthday because INFOMERCIALS SPEAK TO ME... (and I really wanted to play with one)

It is so handy, I can't imagine being without my food saver. This is one of the rare occasions (I imagine) that something sold via infomercial actually DOES live up to every food related point they try to sell you on.

What Do I Use It For?

I use it for storing food in the freezer.

Make a big batch of meatballs and freeze them in serving sized bags for my husband. Make a massive ham, slice it up and freeze the leftovers. Get a discounted turkey, cook that bad boy up and freeze the meat in individual parcels for turkey pies at a later date. Brilliant.

The bags stack nice and flat in the freezer and defrosting stuff that has been frozen is extremely easy. Just put it in some water under a very slow faucet trickle and wait a little while.

1. Mini Food Processor

How Long Have I Had It?

This is another appliance I've been using since I was a teenager and I got one when I had my very first apartment...so basically I've never NOT had a mini food processor in my cooking years. It's the absolute best thing that I genuinely do use almost every time I cook.

What Do I Use It For?

This is the tool that you use when you don't actually have a need for a massive food processor. (like dicing a single onion or some garlic quickly and efficiently with minimum tears or hand stink).

In my experience full size food processors are really a waste of space. I use my mini for chopping or liquidizing raw veggies for a variety of dishes. I also use it for chopping cooked meat for different things. The bowl, blade and lid pop right into the dishwasher and take up hardly any space at all.

Perfect.

What Is Your Favorite Kitchen Gadget?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      we have the foodsaver - great gadget. Liked and Pinned! Nice lens..

    • VineetBhandari profile image

      VineetBhandari 4 years ago

      Microwave oven is a must for me

    • akidplace profile image

      akidplace 4 years ago

      I have soooo many kitchen gadgets. Out of the ones you have listed here though, I would definitely have to say the food processor. I used it pretty much every day for garlic - I used to buy it chopped up already at the store, but I'm really into eating for health the past few years. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I just feel like chopping it fresh is probably healthier. I just wouldn't have the time to chop it as tiny as the food processor does on a daily basis.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      A meat thermometer is a must for me.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 4 years ago

      I like my mini chopper. I find it useful for chopping garlic and ginger, which I use a lot in my cooking. It is a simple gadget but very handy.