I will be the first to admit, I am no Rachel Ray in the kitchen. I do not find joy or relaxation in cooking (let’s not even mention baking!) but I do know that good meals are a show of love to my family. That is the only reason I haven’t sold a kidney to hire a chef. 🙂
If you can give me a kitchen gadget that cuts back my workload, I’m happy. Less time achieving my cooking goals is a win for me. I’d even venture to guess it would be a win for most cooks. If it can also save me money: I’m sold!
I have compiled a list of some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and a link for each so you can check them out:
1. Silicone Dish Sponge
Nothing grosses me out more than a dirty sponge, especially when it is falling apart and discolored. These silicone sponges not only eliminate the unpleasant look of a used sponge but it stays much cleaner and is considerably more durable than a regular sponge, saving you money.
Whenever it’s dirty, either wash it, throw it in the dishwasher or boil it. How cool is that?
Now, I need to clarify that these have not replaced my sponge completely. Here’s why: the silicone is not ideal for scrubbing although it washes regular dishes just fine. It lathers nicely is perfect for wiping down my sink then goes right in my dishwasher for sanitizing. It’s really great!
But if your pan needs scrubbing at all, you will need a sturdier sponge as a backup, or just get a dish scraper. Since adding the silicone to my daily cleaning, I haven’t had to replace the other sponge near as much, which has been nice.
2. Pot Strainer
Don’t laugh, but this is probably one of my favorite kitchen gadgets that I own.
I have always hated using strainers mainly because they are bulky and a pain to clean. They take up so much space in the kitchen and since I don’t relish adding another large dish to my sink to wash every day, I only ever use a spoon to drain my pasta and potatoes.
I think my mom-in-law got tired of not having a strainer whenever she helped cook at my house because one day she bought me this really neat strainer and I absolutely LOVE it! I love it so much I use it all the time. Not only is it easy to use but it takes hardly any space to store or load in the dishwasher. And no more time-consuming cleanings! Whoever came up with this is a genius!
3. Microfiber Dishmat
I have a dishwasher and use it every day. (That isn’t on my list, it’s just a given!)
However, there are always a couple of dishes that won’t fit or there’s a select few that can’t go in the dishwasher. It’s kind of pointless to lug out the drain rack for just a handful of dishes but they still need to be washed. Most people just set out a towel, which is totally fine. I did that for years.
But my sister-in-law gave me this pretty mat years ago and I fell in love. Not only is it pretty and fits perfectly in with my kitchen decor, but it’s very practical. I don’t mind having it out on my counter while the dishes dry and it soaks up water so well I never have to use a towel to wipe down the counter after I’ve used it. When I’m done with it, I just fold it up and store under my sink, which is MUCH more compact than the dish rack I kept under there.
It is just one of those neat kitchen gadgets that make life easier.
4. Egg Slicer
I know this one might not make sense to everyone but our family seems to be cutting up eggs all the time. I bought this slicer merely because it was on sale and I thought, eh, why not?
Up to this point I hated cutting eggs on a cutting board so I usually just cut them in my hand. Not the best idea but it’s what I did. I cannot tell you how giddy I was when I used the egg slicer for the first time and two slices of this thing chopped my eggs completely. It was a game-changer! I know that sounds a tad dramatic but if you haven’t noticed, I LOVE things that make my life easier!
(It cuts more than just eggs, too. Mushrooms and strawberries are just a few of the things this baby slices!)
5. Mason Jars
It is no secret I love mason jars. Just take a look in my kitchen. haha
I might have a slight obsession…
If you’re wondering why in the world mason jars are on this list, let me tell you a few of the things I love about them. First, they protect the food inside.
When we first moved into our home in the semi-country, we were told we would need glass storage containers because we would no doubt have mice to contend with. It’s been almost four years and no mice. But I’m so glad we went with the mason jars anyways.
Because even though we don’t have mice, they have definitely made life easier for me. My brown sugar is ALWAYS moist and ready to use, my chips stay fresh and I never have to worry about bugs, either. I hate throwing out spoiled food but with my mason jars, I know what’s inside is protected and good to go!
Also, having everything visible helps me use up what I have. I know I’m not the only one who ends up buying too much of one thing or forgets that we still need to cook up the rice. With everything in glass containers, my supply is always fresh on my mind.
It’s the little things that add up. And wasting money adds up, too.
6. Salad Keeper
Eating healthy is important and salads are right at the top of the list of foods that pack a healthy punch. But I have a hard time buying lettuce or fresh spinach because it inevitably goes bad before we can consume all of it. And who has money to throw away?
This salad saver was another item I purchased when it was on sale. (No, I don’t go around buying up all the sale items, I just thought this one was a worth a try.)
Honestly, I was skeptical at first. It was boasting of some pretty impressive stats that frankly seemed too good to be true. But the only way to know was to go home and try it and the price at the time was so low that even if it didn’t work it was a very sturdy container that would work nicely for my husband’s lunches.
Let’s just say, it never made it as a lunch pail because it really truly keep things as fresh as it says it does. We never throw out lettuce anymore. And it doesn’t just work for greens. It works very well for fresh fruits and veggies, too!
This purchase was definitely worth the money and has paid for itself over and over.
7. Food Saver
If there is one thing I hate, it’s wasted food. (Have you picked up on that, yet?) My husband bought this for me back when we were young parents and I was cooking large batches of food to help save money. Being able to buy in bulk and then seal it for later has saved us SO much money. And the packages are nice for storing in the freezer as you can store them upright plus mark them easily with the date you sealed them.
This model is fairly easy to use but there are more elaborate models available for whatever food storing needs you might have. But I was happy with a simple one, it worked well for our little family.
Technically, I wouldn’t consider this a “gadget”, but I can’t NOT add it to this list as I could write an exclusive article about JUST the Instapot and all the ways it has helped me in the kitchen.
I am more of a minimalist in the kitchen. As you learned, I didn’t even use strainers for forever because they were too bulky. So I went back and forth for awhile about whether or not this item would actually be a help to me or just something I will have to store in my cupboard until I finally give it away.
After tons of research on all the things it can do and the foods I can cook in it, I finally got one. I can tell you right now, it does not sit in my cupboard long enough to even collect dust. I use it almost every meal, if not several times a week. For all the things.
This thing can cook just about everything. And that’s a good thing for someone like me who has a really bad habit of waiting too long to start dinner until it’s too late to go into the crockpot or to thaw in time. The Instapot has saved our dinner far too often and has permanently earned a place of honor in my kitchen.
But it really surprises me how many people have still never used one. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t like to cook. I’m not a gourmet who is always in the kitchen concocting new recipes and the sort. I am a crazy busy mom who needs all the things to help keep her life running smoothly.
I’m telling you, this “gadget” does all that and more. If you haven’t tried it yet, borrow a friend’s and see what all the fuss is about. And when you decide you have to have one, too, come back and tell me your favorite go-to recipe, I’d love to use it at our house, too.
That’s it for now. I know I could add a ton more to this list of kitchen gadgets that make life easier, but enough about me, what are some of your favorites? I love learning about gadgets I might not have heard of before, so add them into the comments along with why you love them.
Also, I’m thinking of creating lists for different parts of the house, bathroom, laundry room, etc. What list would you like to see next?