People ask me all the time which kitchen items I can’t live without, and really there isn’t just one answer I can give. I have to say, I don’t know that I would love cooking as much as I do if I had to manually hand-chop and hand-mix everything. With the right “stuff” cooking can be hassle-free, easy and decreases your kitchen prep and cook time in half. And let’s be honest, we all hate the clean-up, but with nearly everything being “dishwasher-safe” these days clean-up is a breeze. No dishwasher??? Ummmm, then disregard anything I’m about to share, because at the top of the list of items I suggest for you is 1) a dishwasher.
My Momma Taught Me…
My sweet mom started me off on a collection of quality kitchen necessities early. She taught me at a very young age that making wise investments in quality items means you’re investing in longevity and efficiency. Buying cheap means a replacement is within your near future, and some times buying two cheap items is more money than buying one expensive quality item.
Many of these items I’m going to share with you have been in my life for 10+ years!!! Yep- I’ve owned most of these kitchen items for over 10 years (some even 20 years) and, although they aren’t as pretty as today’s current version, they still work very well! Proof that quality is worth every penny! Whether its designer clothing; accessories like purses, shoes or sunglass; furniture; appliances; and in this case kitchen items; buying quality means buying smarter. Cheap stuff is cheap for a reason! Manufacture’s cut corners. Engineering and production goals don’t always include longevity. Low-grade material is used to allow for a reduction in the overall price of the product. Bottom line: save your money and buy quality!
Items I Can’t Live Without:
Let me share my top 8 kitchen items that I just can’t live without simply because they make my life easier. If you or someone you know (like your momma) spends any amount of time in the kitchen then you NEED these:
This is the Cuisinart Elemental 11- cup food processor and I use this little baby for everything! Its easily interchangeable disks allow to you chop, slice, mix, blend, purée, and knead. The Cuisinart is probably my largest time-saver item I own. By the way, my processor was a bridal shower gift 20 years ago! Great quality product.
I can’t say enough about this 3 in 1 Breville Smart Griddle and Grill! The versatile countertop piece is a grill, griddle and press. Remember the George Forman? This is Forman’s big daddy on steroids. Grill anything you want (chicken, fish, burgers) fast and easy. Use the griddle to make pancakes or bacon…and clean-up is easy because there’s a dishwasher safe pull-out tray that catches the grease! Looking for a perfect panini? This machine can heat up to 450º quickly and evenly.
I believe everyone should have a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. It’s a kitchen necessity, really. Just like needing a knife to cut a steak, all “kitchen operators” need this mixer to create the perfect, cake, cookies, bread, frosting, dressing, meringue, whipped cream, ice-cream, mashed potatoes and more. This piece is great for mixing meat (meatloaf, meatballs and hamburger) and shredding meat (cooked chicken, pork and beef). BONUS: they come in gorgeous colors. When I got mine (20 years ago as a wedding gift) it came in white or white. So, I picked white. LOL. Mine is still kicking as good as the first day I got it. Hey, I almost forgot to mention that you can buy crazy cool attachments to do awesome things like a pasta roller and cutter for making homemade pasta. I also have a meat grinder and citrus juicer.
This DeLonghi coffee and espresso machine is the one appliance I go to bed dreaming about at night because I love waking up to its beautiful aroma in the morning! The multitasking machine offers a full cappuccino system on one side and a drip coffee brewer on the other. Prepare yourself and your guests yummy espressos, cappuccinos or lattes till your heart’s content. Plus, it comes with an advance active carbon filter to help remove any water impurities. I’ve only had this system for a year, but I’ve never had a problem with it and I see it lasting me many more years.
The Breville Smart Convection Oven is by far my family’s favorite kitchen appliance. It can cook almost everything your regular oven can cook but in less time. Heat settings range from 120º to 450º and it has this “smart” internal-sensor technology that automatically adjusts power and calculates cooking time. No joke, my kids and husband use this everyday. It has nine functions: toast, bagel, bake, roast, broil, pizza, cookies, reheat and warm. The oven comes with a removable catch tray to make clean-up easy! My Breville convection oven is 7 years old and works beautifully.
There is nothing worse than kitchen prep with a dull knife. I LOVE my Chef’s Choice electric knife sharpener. I know there are other fancier one’s out there, but this is the one I bought in 2007 and it does an amazing job. In just seconds it sharpens my knives right up, making kitchen slicing and dicing a breeze. I once almost lost my life trying to cut meat with a dull knife at a friend’s home. Her knives were so dull that it became a kitchen hazard. 😉 Honestly, I totally believe that if you own a knife in your home (kitchen knife, sporting knife, pocket knife) you need one of these.
My Zojirushi rice cooker does way more than just cook rice. This super simple, easy to use machine steams all of my seafood, vegetables, and meats. Set your veggies or seafood right in the basket, add water, and this baby works its magic by overseeing the cooking process, adjusting time and temperature automatically as needed. It even has a “cake” setting in which it apparently bakes a super moist cake, but in the 8 years I’ve owned this machine I’ve never used this feature. Our family loves making sushi and this rice cooker makes the best sushi rice ever! I love that the removable parts are dishwasher safe, too!
I didn’t buy this immersion blender until a couple of years ago because I depended on my food processor and blender to do what I thought an immersion blender could do. But, boy was I wrong. After first use I was hooked! This product is SO EASY to use and clean. It whips mashed potatoes within seconds, allowing you complete control of the consistency you want. It whips soups, sauces and purees. Forget buying those expensive baby food making machines, this piece can do it all for you. Everyone loves my pasta sauce, which includes a blend of various meats that are nearly pureed for a smooth texture. Before I used to make this using my other appliances and it was an extra step that was messy and lengthy. Now, with this immersion blender, my pasta sauce is easier to make and tastes even better.
6 Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets
Click on any of the images above to be directed to the shopping source.
All these gadgets, with the exception of the french fry cutter and thermometer, are under $20.00. The french fry cutter is $99 and the thermometer is $40. The french fry press cuts perfectly uniform slices. I love to slice up sweet potatoes, add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them for a healthier french fry. The avocado slicer gives me the most beautiful slices of avocado. The vegetable chopper is a super easy gadget to grab when you need to do a quick chop on a couple of pieces of garlic or an onion. Slicing a mango is a pain in the rump, but this mango pitter makes mango slicing a breeze! The microplaner grates everything like cheese, garlic, citrus, nutmeg, coconut, and chocolate. Last, the dual probe is awesome for measuring the temperature of two dishes at once. It has 16 programmable settings with 5 different doneness settings for all types of meat. Everything here is easy to use and easy to clean.
Word To Yo Mama
If you’re wondering whether or not I’m getting paid to sponsor or highlight any of the above products the answer is “no”. Everything on this page is of my own genuine opinion. To answer the question, “Which kitchen item can I not live without?” I reply with this: If I was told I could only keep one kitchen appliance for the rest of my life it would be the food processor simply because I use it all the time. I specifically picked these pieces because I believe they offer the greatest value in time efficiency and they produce a beautiful product. If you’re still wondering what to get your momma (or yourself) for Mother’s Day I highly recommend any one of these pieces. Know someone who is stumped on what to get their momma, send them this post for ideas! Need to drop a hint to your family??? Send this post to their email. Ha, or better yet, just send me a message and I’ll do the dirty work for you! 😉
Have a beautiful Mother’s Day.