Well I have just been cooking up a STORM in my kitchen lately, and I have no idea what’s gotten into me! I wanna say it’s all the cool new toys that have come my way for testing and writing projects (thank you, friend at the International Housewares Show!), but I think it’s just that I was really ready to give my diet a reboot this year, and I’m experimenting with all kinds of cleaner, healthier alternatives to my favorite foods. For instance, the homemade nut milks I’ve been whipping up in my Vitamix have made for some killer (and frothy!) matcha lattes. My new sous vide tool makes a killer steak, but it also makes perfect-every-time poached eggs. Here are the best kitchen gadgets I’ve got in my kitchen right now— a few pricey, but most affordable, and ALL worth the expense: Many of these are a weekly, and some daily presence on my kitchen counter.
If you don’t know about sous vide yet, you will soon— it’s been the domain of food geeks and professional chefs, but it’s about to be mainstream in a big way. I have tested a few of these cookers, but Chef Steps’ Joule is small, works with more of my pots, and the app is fantastic for helping you get started. Project One: Poached eggs. They were perfect.
I can’t say enough about my brand-new Vitamix A3300— I’ve had a Vitamix for years, but this one has a slick touchscreen and presets that whiz up my smoothie while I do other things. I use it daily (and some times twice daily) to make smoothies, and on the weekends it’s whirring with nut milks, soups or salad dressings to store for the week. Used it the other day to blitz some gluten-free oats to make these almond butter cookies. The list goes on. We’ve had many debates on the site about who wins the best blender contest, but I’ve never met a chunk of anything that my Vitamix couldn’t obliterate. It’s my favorite.
I’ve always had cast iron pans, but I find I’m going to them more and more lately. My fried eggs get crispy, my chicken tenders get crunchy, and my salmon gets its sear on. These graphite Staub pieces are my go-to. They’re heavy, require no seasoning (thank you!) and they’re safe to put in the oven for finishing that steak.
As I mentioned, I’ve been whipping up nut milks left and right. And although I’m late to the game, I’ve been experimenting with tumeric and matcha lattes. Having a milk frother gilds the lily— it’s like going pro in your own kitchen. This frother warms the milk as well, so I can skip heating it on the stove, and there’s no burning or scorching the milk (which is what I normally end up doing).
Fresh-pressed juice is an expensive habit. So if you’re going to spend $7-10 on a juice, it sure better be as close to the farm as possible. Juicero guarantees that each juice pack is ridiculously fresh (the machine refuses to press it if it’s past it’s expiration date), and there’s no shopping, no prepping, no chopping, and no clean-up. My whole family is obsessed. If you’re in Southern California and want to see Juicero up close and personal, select Whole Foods markets are now featuring them.
Every home cook needs a sous chef, and virtual assistant Google Home has been great with assisting. From helping me plan my day while I chop tomatoes, to reading me recipes from Bon Appetit, what Google Home doesn’t know, she finds on her massive search engine and relays in a conversational tone. All I have to do is say, “OK Google…” and I’m cooking with gas.
Amazon Dash Wand
One thing Google Home can’t do is add grocery items to my Amazon Fresh list… and these days that’s my primary grocery store. Anyone in my family can pick up the Amazon Dash Wand and use it to scan a bar code (I see you, eater of the last cookie) or speak into it (if you, say, polish off the last avocado). Your Amazon Fresh grocery list is updated, and you never have to remember the milk on your own.
OK so I lied… I’m not using this compost bin yet. But it’s a resolution of mine to start composting this year to treat my garden and cut back on waste. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s walnut— swoon. Wouldn’t mind having this on the counter to remind me to toss my banana peels…
What are your go-to gadgets in the kitchen right now? Share them with me in the comments…