What are the best kitchen gadgets for the home chef? Fewer than you probably expect, so let's get past the basics utensils (tongs, spoons, chef's knife, cutting board, etc.) and hear what home cooks think makes a difference in the kitchen.
One of the best ways to stay on track with diet and budget is meal planning; there is no doubt about that. However, this is all easier said than done. Or rather, it was. So, we went to a popular internet forum to find the ten best kitchen gadgets to have on our kitchen counters and take the guessing work out of making meal prep easy.
1. Kitchen Scale
Kitchen scales make cooking cleaner and faster and make measurements more precise and conversions unnecessary. There's no need to purchase the most expensive scale on the market if you only want to keep track of your weight. One user claims this is the best way to portion and figure out how many days and servings you will get. A kitchen scale was the most popular response, with most voters agreeing it was vital for meal prep.
2. Egg Cooker
An egg cooker is a cook kitchen gadget that allows you to cook eggs in many ways, including hard-boiled, poached, or scrambled. The entire process is hands-free, so you can just set it and forget it. One commenter says that egg cookers work well for doing a medium or hard-cooked egg (up to 7 at a time) with minimal space or cleanup needed. Another adds that an egg cooker makes eggs easy to peel.
3. Immersion Blender
An immersion blender can mix, puree, and emulsify just about anything a regular blender can. Think pureed soups, fruity smoothies, sauces, custom aiolis, fresh pestos, baby food, and more. Someone mentions that they love their immersion blender because they eat a lot of soups and stews, while another suggests purchasing a multi-use tool that can be an immersion blender, a hand mixer, and a food processor.
4. Vegetable Chopper and Spiralizer
A vegetable chopper and spiralizer is a simple machine with four interchangeable blades that can cleanly split apart onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, making zucchini noodles, and much more. Someone calls theirs a "game changer," while another claims it is perfect for smaller batches of vegetables. For larger batches, they prefer a food processor.
5. Air Fryer
An air fryer is a countertop cooking appliance that combines a heating element and a powerful fan to circulate hot air, similar to a convection oven. They are healthier than deep frying or using an oil-soaked frying pan, so there are some health benefits too.
An air fryer might seem like a bizarre choice when thinking about meal prep. However, one response explains they often marinate a big batch of chicken legs or salmon in tandoori marinade and freeze it in individual serving bags. Then when they want to eat it, they throw a serving in the air fryer, which is ready quicker than takeout. Another suggests that an air fryer is a good tool for reheating foods.
6. Rice Cooker
A rice cooker cooks several varieties of rice and grains by boiling water, which is then absorbed into the rice until it becomes tender. This is another set-it-and-forget-it appliance, which frees you up for other meal prep tasks as it cooks. Someone claims they cannot live without their rice cooker, and I agree. It is easy to make rice on a meal-by-meal basis or for the entire week and store it in the fridge.
7. Food Processor
Food processors have multiple blades and bowls to shred and slice in addition to pureeing. A food processor can make it easier to prepare complex foods and is great for making delicious smoothies, salsa, and other recipes quickly.
One commenter goes into detail, stating that the food processor has different slicing disks, which come in handy when I want to slice things like potatoes or zucchini evenly. Also, grating disks help with grating cheese or carrots. Another adds they use theirs to cut up nuts for various stuff like cashew butter and pesto.
8. Garlic Press
A garlic press looks similar to a nutcracker. It turns fresh garlic into minced garlic by pressing it through small holes and is a reliable time-saver because it spares you from having to mince each clove of garlic finely. One mentions that the garlic press is far easier than mincing it, adding that they hate that weird minced garlic they sell in jars. Another says that "fresh garlic is the best," and a garlic press makes it easy.
9. Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is a multicooker with many functions, including pressure cooker, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, warming, and sautéing. One user states that the instant pot is their second favorite thing in their kitchen after their air fryer. At the same time, they admit that they tend to use their air fryer more than the instant pot for meal prep.
10. Citrus Reamer
A citrus reamer, commonly known as a lemon and lime squeezer, is a small kitchen utensil that extracts juice from a lemon or other small citrus fruit. It may not fit in a list of cool kitchen gadgets, but it allows the user to add a bit of citrus flavor to their meals quickly and efficiently. One commenter includes the citrus reamer on their list of meal prep items that they cannot live without.
This thread inspired this post.
By Tia Clara, published Apr 6, 2023 on