11 Non-Essential Kitchen Gadgets You Need in Your Kitchen
Blenders, juicers, mixers and the like tend to the steal the show when it comes to must-have kitchen gadgets (with good reason) and while there's no denying their utility, there are so many other tools that prove their worth on the daily. Sure, they might not be essential, per se, but they certainly come in handy and have a tendency to make the cooking experience a lot more pleasant. We've rounded up some of our favorite items below.
1. Dutch Oven: If you've yet to incorporate one of these heavy duty numbers into your kitchen, it's about time you did. They can do it all — soups, stews, mouth-watering roasts, jams and desserts — you name it and they'll do it better than any other pot in your kitchen. They heat evenly to boot, meaning fewer burnt, sticky messes (read: easier clean up) and because they can retain heat well, can reduce cook time too. And did we mention they last forever? There isn't much not to love.
SHOP NOW: Staub 4 qt. Pine Cocotte, $150, SurLaTable.com
2. Mortar and Pestle: From fresh pesto to delicious dips and unique spice mixes, a mortar and pestle are key to unlocking major flavor in the kitchen. Not sure how to use one? Check out our tips here.
SHOP NOW: Magnus Lundstrom Medium Marble Mortar and Pestle, $90, AreaHome.com
3. Scale: The key to baking like the pros? A kitchen scale. Measuring ingredients by weight makes for baking that is not only incredibly easy, but more precise too. And there's also less mess — no need to dirty endless measuring cups when you can simply weigh everything in one bowl. That's what you call a win-win.
SHOP NOW: 11lb Food Scale with Pull Out Display, $50, OXO.com
4. Sharpening Stick: There's nothing more frustrating than a dull knife (especially if you have tomatoes to slice), so sharpening is key. While professional sharpening is recommended, it's important to hone your knives at home while they're still in top form and that's where this ceramic sharpening stick comes in. Use it every time you use your knife and it will help forestall the need for professional sharpening.
SHOP NOW: Bob Kramer By Zwilling J.A. Henckels 10-Inch Ceramic Honing Steel, $60, BedBathandBeyond.com
5. Large Cutting Board: A cutting board is an obvious addition to the kitchen, but we're not just talking about a flimsy board the size of a shoe box. A large, heavy duty cutting board eliminates the need for extra prep bowls and other various vessels when you're doing some serious chopping. The goal here is to able prep an entire meal on surface. And with this board, it's mission accomplished.
SHOP NOW: Model 1326 Pro Series Reversible Cutting Board, $59, CatskillCraftsmen.com
6. Spiralizer: OK, this might seem a little niche, but this gadget is game-changing. If you're looking to up your vegetable intake or simply want to elevate your dinner game, a spiralizer is it. Not only does it make vegetable "noodles," it can also produce shoestring and spiral cuts, which will transform everything from pasta dishes to to stir-fries and salads.
SHOP NOW: Paderno Spiralizer, $40, Williams-Sonoma.com
7. Cast Iron Skillet: A cast iron skillet will quickly become your go to pan of choice in the kitchen for both its versatility (they can go in the oven) and durability. It heats beautifully and can do everything from sear, fry, bake and sauté.
SHOP NOW: 10.25 in Cast Iron Skillet, $25, LodgeMFG.com
8. Salad Spinner: Washing lettuce isn't the only thing these bad boys can do. From washing delicate clothes to removing dirt from leeks and spinning excess water out of pasta, you can get a lot of mileage out of this simple gadget.
SHOP NOW: OXO Salad Spinner, $30, Williams-Sonoma.com
9. Thermometer: Forget the poking and prodding. A thermometer will tell you when something is really done, removing a lot of the guess work from cooking.
SHOP NOW: Thermapen MK4, $99, ThermoWorks.com
10. Garlic Press: The garlic press gets some serious shade, but when we have more than a couple cloves to cut up or there's company coming over, we're all about it. It gets garlic down to the perfect size STAT and spares us the off-putting sticky fingers and potent garlicky smell that lasts and lasts.
SHOP NOW: Garlic Press, $50, RoseleUSA.com
11. Immersion Blender: We're a little obsessed with our immersion blender. It purées soups into rich, velvety goodness with barely any mess, plus it's the ultimate tool for making vinaigrettes, mayo, whipped cream and even smoothies.
SHOP NOW: Dualit Immersion Hand Blender with Accessories Kit, $130, BedBathandBeyond.com