10 Kitchen Gadgets Every Cook Needs (and 6 They Don’t!)

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Stop wasting money on the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets! Seriously -- a contraption that slices your bananas? A huge griddle that takes forever to clean? Focus on these 10 essentials to help you be more efficient in the kitchen and keep cabinets clutter-free.

Whenever I walk into one of those kitchen stores at a shopping mall or outlet, I’m just a teeny bit overwhelmed. You know the ones I’m talking about, right? The retailers with wall-to-wall tools and devices that could fill junk drawers for decades.

I mean, do I really need a silicone baking mat, sandwich maker, and some crazy-shaped contraption that peels my bananas for me? No, not really.

Not to mention almost every home we’ve lived in has had very limited cabinet space, so it’s not like I could store all those things anyway. I’ve quickly learned to adapt and focus on owning gadgets that do “double duty”, meaning they can used for more than just one thing. And to be honest, I’ve rarely felt a need to add to my collection.

The following list are items I believe should be in every cook’s kitchen, however, I do feel the need to share a disclaimer. This list is based on my own personal opinion and how I work in the kitchen to save space. If you find yourself eating certain meals or foods all the time, and find a tool that makes that process easier, than go for it! But for something you’ve only used once, consider this the push you need to finally give it the boot.

10 Kitchen Gadgets Every Cook Needs:

1. Good Knife — Oh the things you can cut, dice, and slice with a good kitchen knife! I personally love this collection from Pampered Chef, but any good solid knife will do. A warning though — the Chefmate knives {at least the ones I had} fall apart rather quickly, and that can be dangerous when you’re in the middle of a very determined chop!


2. Vegetable Peeler — When you eat potatoes, apples, and carrots as much as we do, a vegetable peeler is a must. I know there’s a lot of contraptions out there that peel these items for you, but I’ve found I can work just as fast with a good peeler in my hands.


3. Spatulas and Spoons — A cook can never have enough spatulas and spoons, especially if you’re like me and forget that you can’t use some of them in a hot pan — can we say M-E-L-T? I’m also a big fan of tiny spatulas too. They work wonderfully in small bowls and for making peanut butter sandwiches.


4. Grater — We tend to grate a lot of cheese in this household, and sometimes it’s much easier and faster to just do it ourselves with a grater rather than pull out a heavy duty food processor. It’s less you have to clean too!


5. Colander — I used to have two colanders {one big, and one small}, but then I realized I only really needed one, and turned the other into a pretty planter. Now I just have a big stainless steel colander, and I use it almost every day!


6. Griddle Pan — I seriously could not live without this griddle pan. It’s non-stick and cooks the most perfectly puffed pancakes and english muffins. I’ve never seen a pan work so well, and it’s so much easier than hauling out and cleaning a big counter-sized griddle!


7. Measuring Spoons and Cups — If you’re a baker, you gotta measure. I always like to have 2-3 sets of measuring spoons and cups so I don’t have to keep washing during a huge baking or cooking day.


8. Garlic Press — I really debated whether to put this one on here {because it only does one thing — mince garlic}, but we use fresh garlic in so many of our dishes, that I felt it was a must. I hate getting my hands all smelly! The one I use is from pampered chef, but you can also find one on Amazon.

garlic press

9. Ninja — I had both a blender and a food processor for years, but hated pulling them out when ever I needed to blend or chop. However, the Ninja does both, and is one of my all-time favorite tools! We got ours on a Black Friday sale and use it almost every single day.


10. Stand Mixer — I know stand mixers are expensive, and I guess you could get away with a handheld mixer, but once you use one of these, you’ll never want to go back. It makes mixing SO easy. I received one as a graduation present from college, but you can find really good deals on Black Friday too. For me, this splurge is totally worth it!


6 Kitchen Gadgets You Don’t Need:

1. Salad Spinner — I’m not a huge salad fan, so I guess I could see a use for this if you make one every day. But I get away without a salad spinner by washing my lettuce, then patting dry with a clean kitchen towel. It works and eliminates an extra gadget!

2. Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer — I used to be a big fan of this tool, especially when we would made huge batches of homemade applesauce, but sadly, mine doesn’t always work properly. It either peels too much or not enough, doesn’t stick to the counter, and generally makes a big sloppy mess. So, unless I’m in the middle of a huge apple peeling session and Joseph can Chuck-Norris the contraption, I usually stick with a vegetable peeler!

3. Strawberry Huller — I do own a strawberry huller, but rarely use it. I always find it creates an unneeded extra step because you have to use a knife anyway to cut the strawberries in halves or quarters. Granted, it does eliminate waste since it leaves more of the strawberry intact, but that’s not enough for me to exclusively use it.

4. Huge Griddle — Like I mentioned above, I prefer a griddle pan over the stovetop to one you can set up on the counter, but mainly because this is such a pain to wash. If you have a big family, I can see it being particularly useful, but then again, I might just try getting a few more griddle pans!

5. Double Boiler — I also have a double boiler that I received as a gift, but when I didn’t have one, I got away with a heat-safe bowl nestled on top of a pot. It worked just as well.

6. Silicone Baking Mats — I tried silicone baking mats for a while, but I could never fully get the grease from cookies to wash off of them. Now I just use parchment paper, and love the way it keeps the bottoms from burning.

With a little creativity, you can get away without a lot of tools in the kitchen, but these are the ones I find most essential {and what I think you should skip}. What are your thoughts? Is there anything you agree or disagree with about this list? Talk to me in the comments below!

What’s one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I completely agree with several sets of measuring cups. Our adult children still live at home, or visit for extended periods. Too many cooks in the kitchen makes for inability to find a measuring cup at times. Having several sets that hang on hooks inside my cupboard door (thanks to my mom for the idea), there’s never a lack for several cooks or several recipes in a marathon cooking session.

  2. Did you change your blog settings? I use to be able to advance onto another blog at the top of your blog, now I just have to go back into the blog lovin’ feed to restart my feed. A few other blogs I usually read have recently changed as well. Like Mandi from Vintage Revivals, and the blog named ‘Setting for Four’. Connie

    1. Sorry to hear that you are having trouble, Connie. I didn’t change any settings that would affect your viewing experience. I’m guessing that it’s Blog Lovin’ that must causing your issues (they are separate from me.)

      If you want to subscribe directly to me you can go to http://www.creativesavingsblog.com/email

      I send out an e-mail every Saturday that has a personal note to my subscribers, links to my posts published that week, as well as some fun internet finds! I do occasionally send out more than one e-mail in a week… but most of the time it is just the one letter each Saturday.

    1. Thanks for chiming in Lena. I wondered if anyone would speak up for the salad spinner. I have some friends that swear by it but I’ve just never seen it’s utility – however, if it’s not sitting around cluttering up space in your cupboards because your using it, I surely can’t hold it against you! πŸ™‚

    1. Wow! I have never seen one of those, Anne. Do you have a normal whisk as well or have you replaced it with this one? I always feel like it is really difficult to clean my whisk that Danish Dough Whisk looks like it would be a lot easier to wash.

  3. All great, except you missed one….a little lemon squeezer…I bought mine at dollar store for a buck plus GST…haha. I use mine every morning.

    1. That’s great Ali! Sounds like you have the spirit of the post in mind. Keep those gadgets that you use often, get rid of the ones you don’t!

  4. I LOVE our blender (especially after having a baby and pureeing everything. And the peeler, plus garlic press are used daily in our kitchen.

    1. Hi Romona. when we got our Ninja… it may have changed our life. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration – but it did give me more options for quick lunches with smoothies!

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