In this post, I'm going to share with you best kitchen gadgets of 2016. There are lots of kitchen gadget lists online, but there's lots of junk out there. Most kitchen gadgets end up collecting dust in a cupboard. Not these kitchen gadgets. These are all tools I personally own and use every day in my kitchen — and I know you will love them, too.
Note: These are not listed in order of preference. I love all of these kitchen gadgets and use them all frequently. Also, I am using affiliate links in this post. If you order via my links I will earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting my blog.
Best Kitchen Gadgets of 2016: 10 Kitchen Gadgets That Will Change Your Life
The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is quite possibly my favorite gadget in my kitchen. This one gadget will revolutionize your life in the kitchen. I cook with my Instant Pot whenever possible. Why? Because it cooks food in one third of the time, while retaining all the flavor.
Whether you're making BBQ baby back ribs or beef and barley stew or mashed potatoes, the Instant Pot makes this job so fast and easy. You can make bone broth in a fraction of the time (just a few hours instead of days). Trust me, once you've made bone broth in a pressure cooker you will never go back to making it the old-fashioned way. You can also make soups, stews, mashed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, even cheesecake and flan.
I actually love my Instant Pot so much, I bought a second one so I can make two things at the same time, for example, I can make soup while I'm making a batch of broth (or two batches of broth).
The reason I recommend the instant pot specifically as opposed to other pressure cookers is because almost all pressure cookers have Teflon bowls. I don't cook with Teflon or other nonstick cooking materials because they are made from fluorinated chemicals. In fact, according to a 1975 study published in the Journal of Dental Research, Teflon or non-stick cookware increased the amount of fluoride in food by three times.
The Instant Pot is the only pressure cooker I know of that has a stainless steel bowl. Actually I think I heard that the Wolfgang Puck allows you to get us an alternate stainless steel bowl but I'm not sure about that… I did see this brand, Secura Pressure Cooker pop up recently on Amazon. I'm not sure about all the differences between this and the Instant Pot… I do see that the Secura stainless steel bowl is 18/10 vs. the Instant Pot's 18/8 grade bowl… but according to what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between these two, as they are both part of the 300 series. I don't know enough about the Secura Pressure Cooker yet to recommend it.
I've posted a few recipes so far on my blog… two of our favorites that we have in regular rotation are Pressure Cooker Minestrone Soup and Pressure Cooker Beef and Barley Stew. My family loves both of these dishes and they are a snap to make. I'm working on a whole series of Instant Pot recipes sign up for my newsletter. You can also follow me on Facebook or Pinterest.
Cooking steaks and fish properly is a challenge for most of us. With the Anova Immersion Sous Vide Cooker it is simple to perfectly cook salmon, steaks and other types of proteins. Since I got this Anova Immersion Sous Vide Cooker, my husband says is the best steaks and seafood I have ever made.
Most of the best restaurants use sous vide technology to cook their proteins. It allows you to cook your food at an extremely precise and consistent temperature, which enables you to make a perfect medium-rare steak or a cut of salmon that will not be overdone and rubbery. But what I love most about the Anova Immersion Sous Vide Cooker is it's so easy. There's a smartphone app you use that has all the recipes. All you have to do is press a button and your protein cooks perfectly. I have also used it to make excellent coconut milk pudding (I'll post the recipe soon).
I'll be posting lots of sous vide recipes in the future but in the meantime, you can learn a lot from this post by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt on Serious Eats. I love J. Kenji-Lopez Alt — his recipes are fabulous and you can learn a lot about food science from him. In fact, I highly recommend his cookbook which I got last year for Christmas, and have had great success with the recipes: The Food Lab.
For those of you concerned about the health hazards of cooking in plastic, I have researched this extensively and have no concerns. Mainly because the plastic you use for cooking with sous vide does not contain BPA. According to Dr. Terry Simpson, “…there is more danger from cooking on non-stick surfaces, drinking water from plastic bottles, or breathing city air than from consuming food cooked in the bags used for Sous Vide cooking.” Also, check out Nom Nom Paleo's post on Cooking Sous Vide: Plastic Safety.
This life-changing Anova Immersion Sous Vide Cooker is only $119. For $40 more, you can get the Bluetooth + Wifi model. I personally did not need the Wifi version, since I work from home. However, if you work outside of the home, you may want to spend a little more so you can control your Anova from a remote location.
3. Fourneau Bread Oven
If you love to bake bread and pizza, this gadget will revolutionize your baking process. The bread I make in my Fourneau Bread Oven is every bit as good as bread freshly baked from a French boulangerie, and the pizza is as close as you can get to making wood-fired pizza at home.
One of my biggest complaints about America is the bread. If you spend any time in Europe you realize how truly awful American bread is. Europeans eat bread that is freshly baked bread each day. In Paris, you would never buy a day-old baguette because it tastes terrible (well, Americans might, but that's because they don't know any better). In America, in order to make the bread taste good for days on end, they add conditioners and stabilizers and you end up with “Wonder Bread”-like products that take longer to go stale but taste like crap.
I challenge you to eat a slice of freshly baked bread from a French bakery and then compare it to a piece of bread from an American store. There's no comparison. And once you notice this difference, it's very hard to go back to store-bought American bread.
So if your family eats bread, this is one thing you absolutely should learn to make at home. The problem is, most people are overwhelmed at the idea of making their own bread. They think it's difficult. And I agree, it was very difficult for me when I started.
But then I learned to make Jim Lahey's no knead bread and it changed my life. I've been using his method to make No Knead Sourdough Bread for years. I was stunned at how easy it was to make bread at home. In fact, even though I had perfected no-knead sourdough bread years ago, I never used to bake bread because I hated having to heft a heavy Dutch oven in and out of a super-hot oven. Now, with the Fourneau Bread Oven, baking bread is a dream.
The Fourneau Bread Oven was launched with a Kickstarter in 2015 to solve this problem with the Dutch oven. The Fourneau Bread Oven stays in your oven — you don't have to pull it out. I think this is one of the greatest home kitchen inventions ever.
Check out my recipe for pizza that I make with my Fourneau oven. Best pizza I've ever made, and so easy that it's actually enjoyable.
Since I bake bread and pizza regularly, I love having this grain mill to grind my own fresh flour. This will save you a lot of money, particularly if you are eating organic and/or gluten-free. Gluten-free products are very expensive. You can mill your own flour from wheat berries, rice, or other grains.
There are lots of other grain mills on the market but most are made of plastic which I am not a fan of. This Komo Classic Grain Mill is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and the sturdiest and best made.
I am a rice cooker aficionado. I always used to buy fuzzy rice cookers from the local Japanese market. I have now replaced my fancy fuzzy rice cooker with the VitaClay Rice Cooker and I could not be happier.
Why did I replace my fancy Japanese rice cooker? Because it had a Teflon bowl. As I said above, Teflon adds toxic fluoride to your food. It increases the fluoride by 3 times!
The VitaClay Rice Cooker makes perfect rice every time and the rice doesn't stick to the bowl.
6. Nicer Dicer
This is the least expensive item on this list (regularly $35, and normally $18 on Amazon, but today it's only $11!). I've owned the Nicer Dicer for two years now, and it is one of the gadgets I love the most.
I use it to chop onions and all kinds of vegetables. Whenever I make soup, I chop an onion and usually celery and carrots. The Nicer Dicer makes it so fast and easy — and you don't cry from the onions.
And after you're done chopping, the food stores in the handy container that has a lid.
Want to get rid of your microwave? You need a Breville Toaster Oven. We rarely use our microwave (I use it to heat up my coffee every once in a while). This Breville Toaster Oven has made living without a microwave so easy.
We got it for a wedding gift and it is, far and away, the best toaster oven I've ever owned. (Thank you Cousin Susan!)
I never liked using the microwave anyway since it heats the food so unevenly and it ruins breads and other starches. With the Breville Toaster Oven, you can warm or reheat anything. The dials and controls are very user-friendly.
I use it to broil things too, like my French onion soup. It's also super easy to make a batch of cookies. And you don't have to wait very long for it to preheat like with the regular oven — and you don't have to heat up the whole house in the summertime.
At $599, this Breville Espresso Maker is the most expensive item on my list.
My husband got it as a Christmas gift for me a few years ago and it's one of my absolute favorite appliances. He justified it because a it cost the same as the Vitamix he got for himself for Christmas that year. He loves fresh juice and smoothies in the morning. Not me, I love coffee. And I especially love cappuccinos and lattes, and my kids absolutely adore steamed milk (basically a cappuccino without the espresso).
I probably wouldn't have bought this for myself, but you know what, it's worth every penny! Because most home espresso makers are total garbage. I've owned a number of them over the years, and quite frankly, they ended up in the Goodwill pile soon after because they just didn't work well.
The Breville Espresso Maker is powerful enough to steam your milk and make it super frothy.
And think about it… if you're buying a $4 latte at Starbucks 5x a week, this Breville Espresso Maker pays for itself in a matter of months.
I know everybody's crazy about the Vitamix. But I am a Cuisinart girl. I got my first Cuisinart Food Processor 20 years ago when I got married the first time. That Cuisinart lasted much longer than the marriage — about 15 years longer.
The year my Cuisinart broke, I replaced it with a Kitchen Aid food processor because of the Amazon reviews. Big mistake! While I love my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I never had an easy time using the Kitchen Aid food processor. I could never get it to work properly, whereas my Cuisinart Food Processor has always worked like a charm. So after a couple years, I threw the Kitchen Aid out onto the street and ordered another Cuisinart Food Processor. I can't live without it!
How do I use my Excalibur Dehydrator? Let me count the ways.
I use it to make beef jerky, granola, soaked and dried nuts, sprouted flour, dried herbs from my garden. I also use it to preserve tomatoes and other fruits and veggies from my garden, make yogurt, and proof bread.
I've looked at other dehydrators and they pale in comparison. I recommend the 9-tray available on Amazon. Definitely could not live with out my Excalibur Dehydrator!
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