10 Kitchen Tools to Make Life Easier

Digital Food Scale

Must-haves you’ll love having in your kitchen

Want to maximize your effort and minimize your time in the kitchen? Consider upgrading your collection of kitchen essentials with 10 appliances, tools, and handy gadgets that help with cooking, baking, and more.

If you've got a chef's knife:

Consider a mini food processor. Chopping can take a lot of time, and a powerful yet pint-size mini food processor can speed up the process. Plus, it's perfect for small kitchens and whipping up meal-size portions of homemade pesto and salad dressing.

If you've got a roasting pan:

Consider a slow cooker. The last few years have seen a resurgence in slow cooking and with good reason. A slow cooker is a busy cook's best friend. It enables you to (after prep, of course) create full meals hands-off from braising a roast for dinner to cooking a batch of oats for breakfast. Many have additional features, too, such as time delay.

If you've got a shredder:

Consider a spiralizer. Find one with a few blade sizes and you can transform potatoes into skinny, oven-cooked fries and vegetables into noodles or salad additions. They're lightweight and simple enough that kids can work them, too.

If you've got a large stovetop pot:

Consider a Dutch oven. This hefty, lidded cooking tool works stove-top or inside the oven. It's heavy duty, so it withstands lots of different types of cooking, from braising to making a loaf of no-knead bread.

If you've got a food scale:

Consider a digital version. Inexpensive food scales are fine, but if mastering baking is a goal consider a digital version. It's more accurate and allows you to weigh fine ingredients such as flour.

Rice Cooker

If you've got stovetop steamer:

Consider a programmable rice cooker. There are several bonuses to this powerhouse appliance. Some come with delay start—always handy for on-the-go schedules—as well as a "keep warm" option. Many are able to steam vegetables, too.

If you've got a kitchen dial thermometer:

Consider an oven thermometer. Ever wonder why that cake takes forever to get done, or your cookies burn even with the timer set? Your oven may vary just a few degrees based on what you're cooking. Using an oven thermometer helps you more accurately gauge the heat and make micro adjustments if necessary.

If you've got a hand mixer:

Consider a stand mixer. Free hands! Larger capacity! More power! Add-on tools! Do we need to say more?

If you've got a blender:

Consider an immersion blender. A blender is great, but an immersion blender gives you handheld flexibility to chop and whip soups and other dishes right in your cooking or baking pan.

And a bonus: There's no other tool comparable to a microplane grater. It lets you zest lemons, grate garlic, and finely chop ginger all with one hand-held tool.

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