I am a complete kitchen gadget junkie (just ask my husband!) but the reason why I love certain gadgets is that they make my life easier.
I like to cook most nights, it was the way that I was raised and my Mom always prepared a home cooked meal for our family and I like to do the same. Also, I feel if I can cook a meal that has tons of veggies in it, I’m at least getting some portion of their “10 a day” into my husband and kids.
Like most busy moms though, I don’t always feel like cooking and I’m sometimes quite tired so I want it to be quick. And if you have something that is easy to prepare, and the right tools then life can be sweeter (and healthier 🙂
I have ALL these gadgets in my kitchen and love every single one of them.
I think the thing to note with kitchen gadgets is that it doesn’t always have to be the most expensive. My food processor which I bought years ago has been amazing and it was only $40-ish!
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All the products can be found on Amazon or Target.
Cuisinart 4 in 1 Griddler
When we first moved to the US and were as poor as church mice I cut a picture of this out of a magazine and stuck it in my “wish journal” because I needed to have this!
I saved up for it (yep, I saved a $100) and got it eventually and have loved it. I think mine is nearly 10 years old and it still works as well as the day I bought it.
It is so incredibly versatile, you can grill on it and you can use it as a panini press or you can flatten it out and use to cook pancakes on.
It has an integrated drip tray that you can pull out and clean. The plates can be taken out and washed (I actually stick mine in a dishwasher, not sure if I’m supposed to but they are still looking great!)
My kids use this all the time to make grilled cheese, and I think it might be a South African thing but we like to “panini press” a whole of things!
2. Popcorn Maker
Years ago, I didn’t know about popcorn machines and I absolutely detest microwave popcorn, I think it’s the most dreadful stuff ever. So I used to make popcorn on the stove top, the old fashioned way.
I left a pot of hot oil on the burner and came back to a huge fire, it wasn’t pretty or fun. Note: to quell a fire put a lid on it or throw on some flour, you want to smother the flames. I totally forgot about all that!
After that horrendous experience, my Mom bought me a popcorn machine. Again I have had mine for years and years and it works just great. I melt a little bit of butter and throw on some small and it’s delish.
I know, these are a huge investment. But that is honestly exactly what they are. An investment in your health and your future.
When you think about all the times you have eaten out, let’s say it’s $50 a time, you only need to not eat out 10 times and you have saved up for this beauty.
I was so blessed, my sister in law bought it for me when I was diagnosed with cancer, as a “get well gift” which was truly the most amazing gift ever.
Because I seriously use my Vitamix every single day.
I make smoothies and soups and sauces and cakes, you name it. If I can whizz it up I will.
It’s a serious piece of equipment, but worth every single penny that you spend on it. You will find stories of people who have had theirs for over 25 years. I love the fact that they are USA made.
I know other blenders are great, but you can put so much in this one and it’s an industrial blender. So I chuck my favorite Muffin Tin Green Smoothies that are frozen and it whizzes up giant blocks of green smoothie in no time.
Also, if you have kids that don’t like “bits” then the Vitamix is perfect because it will literally puree everything really smooth, with no hint of bits.
I am in love with mine! I also think that my health has improved immensely by being able to incorporate fruits and veggies in an awesome way.
4. Kitchenaid Mixer
For the longest time I resisted getting a KitchenAid.
I loved how they looked but I just thought they were a bit “gimmicky”. But my lovely husband got me one for Christmas and now I LOVE IT!!!!
They are wonderful machines and the fact that they look so good is a bonus too 🙂
I use it often. And my daughter who is 11 loves to bake and this a very easy machine for her to use.
5. Food Processor
I did tons and tons of research and I didn’t want to blow the budget when it came to a food processor and I found this one with such great reviews.
For only $46 the 450 watt engine seems so strong and I love the pulse option. I love this for grating carrots and cutting onions too.
It’s a brilliant little machine! I’ve had mine for years and it’s held up beautifully.
6. Jack Lalanne Power Juicer
I have this juicer, I like to do a juice cleanse every now and again (when those 10lbs have made friends with me again!) and I use THIS book with these great recipes.
Juicers are a nightmare to clean but this one is not too bad. You really do need to clean the mesh with a brush as soon as you are done.
I like to do my research on products and this one has over 50 customer reviews and it gets 4 ½ stars.
7. Dutch Oven
Like all of us, I love Le Creuset but they are on the pricey side. I found my navy blue cast iron Dutch Oven in Target, and it’s only $39.99! I have loved it so much, and use it so often. They come in the most beautiful colors so they will coordinate with your kitchen.
What I love about them is that they are so versatile that they can go from the burner to the oven.
And I use mine with my Wonderbag (see below)
I know you are probably looking at this and wondering what on earth?!
Well, let me introduce you to the wonders of the Wonderbag. This amazing kitchen gadget was developed in South Africa and it’s truly incredible and has even been saving lives!
From their website:
Eco-friendly slow cooking. No plugs, no fuss: Slow cooks your food, unplugged, by retaining the heat from an initial simmer on the stove Electricity free and worry free. Away at work or play? Keep your dish cooking for up to 12 hours without electricity, ready-to-serve when you are. No overcooking, no burning. Great for beach outings, potlucks, BBQ’s, camping, or entertaining – anywhere, anytime, any occasion Buy One, Donate One. For every Wonderbag purchased in the US, one is donated to a family in need in Africa. One Wonderbag per year saves 1.7 trees, 1000 liters of water, 1,248 hours not spent collecting firewood Fits your home. Works with 2-9 Quart pots with short handles and lid; metal and cast iron work best.
I used mine to cook the most amazing stews and soups in it.
9. Coffee Maker
My motto in my life is that I run on “Coffee, Target and Amazon Prime” and I think that would be a very accurate description of most of our lives!!
I have the earlier (read: older) version of this coffee maker and I love it. It delivers a Starbucks experience for a fraction of the $$$$
And it looks cool too, definitely a keeper.
10. Cast Iron Pan
Post my breast cancer diagnosis I was reluctant to use non-stick cookware so I bought myself a cast iron pan and this is absolutely the best.
I use it for all sorts of things, and like a dutch oven I can start things on the stovetop and put them in the oven to finish off.
It’s an absolute must-have for anyone’s kitchen.
I really hope that you like this list and that there are products here that you will find useful and definitely life saving in the kitchen.