You’ve been enjoying your air fryer, your InstantPot®, your traditional slow cookers… but what’s missing from your kitchen tools that could make meal making more efficient and fun? Let’s take a look at some unique tools from past and present that may help make you a confident cook!
Blast from the Past
Let’s venture back to some favorite gadgets from yesteryear when your grandparents welcomed you over for the holidays and let you help make cookies for the family. They might have used a classic cookie press which allowed the baker to squeeze out perfectly shaped cookies with fun and festive designs. The good news is that this device is still produced and you can add it to your kitchen collection today. Just imagine pressing out some delicious Coffee Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies for your next get together, holiday, celebration, or, you know, Tuesday.
Egg beaters were also a common tool in most kitchens, at least until the advent of electric hand mixers. The classic gear-driven beaters are still useful today and often result in better whipped cream and whipped egg whites than an electric mixer or even a whisk. If you prefer the hand-cranked touch and a frothier whipped cream, invest in one of these classic kitchen tools. Once you have yours, use it to make some fluffy whipped cream to go with these No-Bake Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake Parfaits!
Or how many times have you purchased a bag of frozen French fries simply because it’s convenient? This French fry cutter was a staple of many homes, allowing the cook to quickly turn whole potatoes into slender fries in just seconds, no more chopping and slicing! And while big brands have made frozen French fries an easy alternative, nothing beats the taste of home cut fries, especially when you leave the skin on for taste and texture.
This last tool is probably one of the OLDEST and most cherished on our lists. It has become one of the handiest, most useful tools ever developed, and to think... it started as someone rubbing two rocks together: The Pestle and Mortar. This tried and true tool of both kitchen and alchemical fancy has been grinding our gears for millenia, and helping us turn rough sticks, twigs, and herbs into delicious powders that flavor our foods and heal our souls. These sometimes chonky and sometimes demure tools come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes, so you are sure to find the perfect companion for your spice-making, flour-milling fantasy.
No Time Like The Present
Nowadays we have better technology but that doesn’t mean all gadgets are filled with technological bells and whistles. For example, one of the most convenient tools when cooking is the Meat Press, a torturous-looking device that ACTUALLY helps you chop up ground meat into fine pieces perfect for tacos or even a piping hot serving of our Layered Cornbread Bake. It also works for mashing potatoes, hard boiled eggs, and vegetables making it a go-to gadget for a lot of cooks.
Just about every kitchen has, or had, a large metal colander for straining pastas and other boiled ingredients. Instead of having to pour your pasta into a colander to drain and then pour it back into its pot, but now adays you can grab a silicon version that hooks right onto your pot and lets you drain out the water without the hassle. Plus, it only takes up a quarter of the space of a traditional colander! Try it out next time you’re making pasta carbonara or primavera and you’ll be saying, “Fantastico!”
And save your hands from the perilous fate of a cheese grater by investing in a multi-functional vegetable chopper. With options for different blades including thicknesses, dicing, chunking, and chopping, this versatile tool makes meal prep exceedingly simple thanks to its ability to handle just about any vegetable and its built-in container. No more knuckle injuries when you use this safe tool to shred and slice your ingredients. Try it out when you whip up this aromatic ratatouille, avoiding hours of manual cutting.
Once your done with all that chopping, you might need an extra hand to scoop it all up and toss it into the pot. Or, maybe working with dough and chocolate are more your speed? Either way, you should probably invest in a bench scrapper, a tool that has definitely gained more notariety in recent years as a go-to gadget perfect for scooping up all those fiddly bits that might evade even the nimblest of fingers. From turning sticky doughs to even cutting brownies or a savory pan of lasagna, this versatile and super useful tool deserves a home in every modern chef's kitchen.
Speaking of dough (and really, all things baking), it's time you bit the bullet and got a Stand Mixer, assuming you have the counter space. These are not new to the home or professional chef, but they have never been more useful. These big boys tackle everything from whipping cream to bread kneading, and are great at saving your elbows and wrists from over-exertion and carpel tunnel. For real though, they make the life of confections that much sweeter by helping with the hard part by freeing up your hands to do more tasks, and saving you time if your in a crunch. Give it a go with any of our delicious desserts, but maybe start with this No-Knead Spiced Chocolate Babka.
The Ghost of Kitchen Future
While sci-fi series have showered us with all sorts of futuristic gadgets like the famous “Replicators” from the world of Star Trek (and those are WELL on the way) it will be a few years before we’re that advanced. But what tools are on the horizon that you should consider adding to your kitchen wish list?
Smart kitchen devices will become more and more common as we continue into the future. Who knows? Maybe one day we will be able to type a request into a replicator and have a fully-cooked meal in seconds or maybe our food will be delivered via vacuum tubes like in The Jetsons. Either way, we're ready to see what’s in store for our kitchens of the future while remembering what tools helped us get here… and continue to serve us well.