When you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it quickly become clear which kitchen gadgets are helpful, and which ones just take up space and collect dust. For the purpose of this post, I’m defining a kitchen “gadget” as something that is electric or battery powered. These are items that help save me time, reduce prep work, or help me create an even better meal in the kitchen.
I’ll save you the hassle of trial and error, and share with you my personal favorites! These are the items I actually use on a regular basis in my home kitchen. (Yes, I just walked around my kitchen and conducted a mini-inventory of my favorites). If you’re missing some of these items in your kitchen, you might want to think about stocking up!
Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a purchase, I will earn a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Kitchen scales are a lifesaver when you buy in bulk. For example, if you picked up three pounds of ground turkey on sale, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be using all of it in one go. With a kitchen scale you can measure out the amount you need for a recipe, then freeze the leftover meat for later.
It’s also great for baking! Using weighted measures is the most precise way to follow a recipe & get the best results. Kitchen scales make it super simple to measure out the required ounces of flour you’ll need for that killer bread or muffin recipe you’re working on.
You can purchase this version on Amazon for just $30! Definitely worth investing in.
This is the secret to perfectly cooked meats. Simply open the probe, insert into the center of your meat, and check the temp. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temp of 165 degrees, while pork is safe at just 145 degrees. With this sucker at your side, you’ll never over (or under) cook meats again.
By checking the temp with your meat thermometer, you’ll also preserve the quality of your meat. If you are a “cut it open and check if it’s pink” person, stop right now and get yourself a thermometer! It is super important to let your meat rest after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute through the meat. If you cut it open hot out of the oven, the juices spill all over the place, and you’re losing juicy tenderness that could have been in your meat. The meat thermometer leaves a miniscule puncture in the meat, so you lose way less juice. Win-win!
I use this professional quality Thermapen ($96), but there are plenty of other instant-read digital thermometers for only $20-$30 on Amazon. I like this mini-pen from the same company! Totally worth it.
This baby is purely about convenience. Rice is truly not very difficult to make, but it takes up a burner on the stove, and if you get distracted, you could run the risk of scorching the bottom layer of rice. Oops!
I choose to use this electric rice cooker instead 🙂 Simply add the rice and water, plug it in, and let it go! Voila! 45 minutes later you have perfectly fluffy rice, warm and ready to go. If you’re off on the timing of your meal, the cooker will keep the rice warm for you until you’re ready. Even better, this model has a delay timer, so you can set the rice and water in the cooker in the morning, and have it ready for you when you walk through the door. It also has a steamer attachment, so you could even steam veggies at the same time you cook the rice. A double time saver!
You might be thinking such an awesome piece of equipment would be expensive, but nope! It’s just $30 on Amazon!
I love my electric kettle. It boils water in just a few minutes, making it super easy to prepare large pitchers of tea to keep in the fridge, or to enjoy an evening cup of tea by the fire. I also use it to heat water for quickly cooking couscous or rice noodles or to rehydrate dried chile peppers or mushrooms. Such a time and space saver. I love that it doesn’t take up a burner on the stove, boils faster than the stove, and is safe to plug in and leave.
You can get a nice kettle for just $30 on Amazon, and I’m pretty sure you’ll never look back.
Confession- I actually have two Cuisinart food processors: A large 11-cup model, and a smaller 3-cup mini-prep model. While the large model is great for shredding or slicing veggies and cheeses in bulk, I find myself reaching for the smaller food processor more often for my day-to-day cooking tasks.
I use my mini-prep for making quick pesto, chimichurri, salad dressing, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, chopped nuts, mayonnaise, or hummus. It’s such a great tool! And again, it’s pretty affordable- just $40 here on Amazon.
6. Egg Timer
This is one of those tools I never knew I needed until I received it for a gift, but now I could never imagine life without it!
It’s an electric, waterproof egg timer that plays songs to let you know when your eggs are done. Simply plop this egg timer into the pot of simmering water with your eggs, and wait for the music that corresponds to your desired level of doneness.
It plays one song for soft-boiled eggs (hard whites, but runny yolks), then plays a second song to let you know your eggs are medium-boiled (hard whites and creamy dark-yellow yolk), and a third final song for hardboiled (hard whites and hard yolk). The result is perfectly done eggs every single time.
This particular model is from Switzerland (hence the national flag), but I’ve also found this color-changing model on Amazon for just $7! What a steal!
There’s something wonderful about a morning ritual that includes grinding a fresh batch of coffee beans & brewing the perfect pot. I prefer to grind my own beans each morning to preserve the aromatic volatile oils that quickly escape pre-ground coffee. I find that it makes a much more rich & delicious cup of coffee, whether I’m brewing it in my drip-maker, or enjoying a French-pressed cup.
Another great thing about owning a coffee grinder, is that you can customize the grind based on your needs. You can make a coarser grind for French press, or a finer grind for your drip coffee maker. It can even double as a spice grinder! Just make sure you clean it thoroughly between uses to avoid spice-flavored coffee 😉
This version is a relatively cheap blade grinder, but it does the job well! It’s just $20 on Amazon.
That’s my two-cents. What about you? What essential kitchen gadget could you never live without?