Here are a handful of kitchen gadgets that I like so much and find so indispensable that I can’t imagine not having them in my kitchen. Some may even be new to you.
First in my list of non-electric gadgets is the Butter Bell. I love my Butter Bell so much, I often give it as a wedding gift. It uses an ages-old technology of using the cooling effects of evaporation to keep butter from spoiling. But it’s just kept cool so it is still soft enough to spread on bread. You can read more about it at ButterBell.com. It’s easy to find online, but I’ve bought two at thrift stores for $2-3, so keep your eyes open to get a bargain on this money saving (and butter saving) tool.
Pop-up Salt Shaker
Our guests are always impressed with this Pop-up Salt Shaker. It keeps salt from clumping from moisture and the lid stays cleaner much longer since it isn’t exposed to the humidity and oils in the kitchen.
Every kitchen should have some good scales. I use them every day—for canning, cooking and keeping track of how much my garden produces, making even portions when packaging up food for the freezer and more. Electronic scales are more accurate and allow you to easily tare the weight. My scales from Salter lasted me almost eight years before they died. I recently replaced it with these scales that go up to 22 pounds. Most scales have a 11 pound capacity, but I like a larger capacity because of all the produce I bring in from the garden.
Who would get excited about an egg slicer? Well, most normal people wouldn’t, but I love, LOVE this egg slicer so much. Instead of slicing eggs with a thin wire, this slicer actually has blades to do the slicing. That makes far more sturdier than your usual slicers and it means that you can use it on just about anything: strawberries, olives and mushrooms.
There is one drawback: once food dries in the crevices, it can be difficult to clean. The solution is to rinse the slicer off immediately after use and don’t let the food dry on it.
My son gave me this mandolin for Christmas a couple years ago. I’d been wanting a mandolin for quite some time, so, following in his mother’s footsteps, he researched customer reviews and video demos to find what he thought would be the best mandolin. And he nailed it.
There a zillion different mandolins out there and it’s really hard to tell if there’s all that much difference between them. But I really like this one. It is sturdy and easy to clean. It has several different settings to adjust the thickness of slices as well as vertical slicers for french fries or julienne strips and a wavy blade for ripple cuts. I use it when I make Kohlrabi Salad, Radish Slaw or Roasted Beets and of course, I could never make sauerkraut without it. (Well, in theory I could, but I would never want to slice all that cabbage by hand.)
I never thought I’d be suggesting getting a pH tester. But after making dozens of batches of kombucha and vinegar, I am so glad I have this digital pH tester. You can get pH strips for just a few dollars. A packet of 200 will last you a long time and the kids will have fun watching the paper change colors as they test everything around the house. But I had a coupon* that made the price of a digital tester just $5 more than the testing strips. And it is far more accurate than the strips. No more guessing which color the strip most closely matches. (Update: After about 2-3 months of faithful service, this pH tester died. I suspect it’s because I forgot to turn it off and the battery died. There is no way to replace the battery, so I wrote a negative review on Amazon and was ready to buy this model that allows you to replace the battery. But the company immediately reached out to me and offered to replace the tester. So I’m still using it, but you may want to consider a model that allows for changing the battery.)
There are a hundred different varieties of bread clips out there. But these are my absolute favorite. They are small and don’t come apart like many clips. They keep the bread bag tightly close and the price is right—just $12 for a dozen.
There you have it. My list of my favorite kitchen gadgets. What tools do you find most useful in your kitchen?
*If you don’t already use it, you really should check out Honey. Honey is a browser extension that will tell you if you are getting the cheapest price on whatever it is you’re shopping for online. When you go to check out it will tell you if what you are buying can be found for less somewhere else (and includes the shipping cost in the calculation.) It will also tell you if there are any coupons that you can apply to any of your purchases. That’s how this $26 pH tester only cost me $10. It was on sale for $13 and Honey told me there was a $3 off coupon for it. Use this link to get Honey installed on your browser and share with others to get even more savings.