20 Unnecessary Kitchen Utensils That Sneakily Became The Real MVP
One thing that really stuns you as you get older is your increasing preference for household appliances and kitchen utensils. The more time you spend at home, the more you realise what a difference the right tool can make to your daily quality of life. In fact, if you think about it, you may be able to pick out one particular kitchen utensil that is your absolute favourite like your knife sharpener, or your air fryer.
Reddit user, u/SuccessExtreme4373 realised that there are so many appliances she too relies on to make her kitchen time easier and got curious about other’s similar experiences. With the intent of sharing information and advice, she posted on the r/Cooking community asking members to share the kitchen tools they never thought they would need but can’t live without anymore. Scroll below for a list of helpful kitchen aids that if you’re not already aware of, you too may want to get your hands on ASAP.
#1 I can’t believe I lived over 40 years without a knife sharpener. Truly, I was lost.
#2 Hand (immersion) blender with chopping bowl
I LOVE the immersion blender! Especially when I need to break down or puree a soup. That I can now do that in the pot and not dirty up a Cuisinart or blender is magic to me. I appreciate it every single time I use it.
#3 Salad spinner. I use it every day.
#4 Tofu press. Yes, I could waste a ton of paper towel and make the Leaning Tower of Pisa of heavy things on top, but once I got the press, I’ll never go back!
#5 I can’t believe I went so many years forming cookies, falafel, meatballs, fillings for pierogis and other dumpling, etc without a cookie scoop.
Restaurant secret for sure — I have them in all different sizes.
#6 I don’t know if this counts as a tool but I ended up getting a le creuset for free (I know, lucky duck) and I’ve been using it basically daily since
#7 Potato ricer. I don’t use it often, but you can make a big batch of mashed potatoes with the perfect texture in very little time.
#8 A slotted fish spatula. Was never even on my radar for the first 20 years I lived/cooked alone. A few years ago a close friend (and chef) got me one and insisted that it’s life changing. Mf’er was right.
Yes!! I have about every kitchen tool known to man and this is my ‘desert island’ spatula. It’s not just for fish. It’s thin enough and wide enough and flexible enough to scoop up anything like cookies, roasted veggies, eggs, burgers — whatever.
#9 I can’t believe I was 57 yo before I learned about pre cut flat parchment paper sheets…. I use them all the time. Just about anything that goes in the oven is sitting on parchment paper. Veggies, potatoes, cookies, macarons, melting cheese on sandwich. Total game changer. Makes clean up so much easier, non stick.
Image source: Jasper2006
#10 I dismissed air fryers for a long time because I have a perfectly good convection oven, and considered them a gimmick.
But for *reasons* I ended up buying one, and I love it. It is just a convection oven, but it heats super fast without making the kitchen hot, and yields really good vegetables. I use it almost every day and love it.
Years ago my husband bought me a Zojirushi and I almost returned it because it seemed extravagant, and because I had no problem with rice in a pot on the stovetop, but I love it too.
The strawberry stemmer is a nice little gadget also.
And IDGAF if Alton Brown hates a single purpose kitchen tool. They make me happy.
#11 Mandoline (with cut proof glove) I make a fair amount of pickles and that makes it easy!
#12 My kitchen blow torch – I use it to toast marshmallows for hot chocolate, and to do an easy lemon curd and toasted meringue dessert. I’ve also used it for lighting candles when I can’t find a lighter/matches.
#13 A stand mixer. It took me years to shell out for a Kitchenaid mini but I’m so glad I did. It’s much more convenient than using beaters and the dough hook is a lifesaver.
#14 high quality kitchen shears. great for cutting garnishes, flatbread/pizzas, meats, really anything. mainly i love not having to wash another cutting board
#15 It’s so simple but one of those dough cutters and I use it to scoop chopped veggies , clean my cutting board, and obvs cut dough. I don’t know how I lived without it.
#16 A hand lemon juicer! I don’t know what else to call it… It looks like a big garlic press. ZILLION TIMES more practical than a stupid lemon juicer with ten parts. I use fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice all the time now when before I couldn’t be bothered. So on that front it’s worth it ten times over.
Image source: a_golden_horse
#17 (1) A digital scale, changed my baking game for the better! I now rarely use measuring cups, plus less dishes to wash. (2) Sharpening stone has made my cheap knives razor sharp and much much more enjoyable to use.
#18 Mortar and pestle, low tech, can really up your spice game when you crush them on the spot
Mine never leaves my counter. I only buy whole spices and grind them. It takes seconds to do once you get the hang of it. It’s WAY worth the effort to learn and use it.
#19 Thermapen. I thought it cost too much for a thermometer. My husband offered to buy it for me as a gift.
It’s paid me back a zillion times over. I use it to make yogurt, bread, candy, custard, ice cream, etc.
Stella Parks recipes state what temperature doughs/batters should be so I use it for them. Stella Parks recipes also have instructions for if your kitchen is over 74 degrees Fahrenheit. I use it to test the air temperature.
It’s also handy in deciding if it’s too hot to bring the dog with us.
#20 Ooh also- my bread machine. I got it for $20 on Facebook marketplace and now I live a life of fresh naan, pizza dough, baguettes, sandwich loaves, cinnamon raisin bread… I know myself, I won’t spend time kneading these things, but I sure can toss them in the bread maker.