12 Gadgets Every Kitchen Should Have

Here are our picks for the gadgets you need to make cooking much easier.

By Meaghan Cameron

1. Slow cooker

They’re perfect for making bean-based soups and stews high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Slow cookers are also ideal for simmering lean cuts of meat, which are healthier due to their low fat content, but also tougher for the same reason.

2. Kitchen scissors

Cut herbs, a whole raw chicken and meat. You can even cut pizza into perfect slices. (Yes, pizza!)

3. Salad spinner

A quick whirl in one of these will dry your greens, which will help dressing cling to the leaves and give you better flavor with less fat.

4. Soda maker

This gadget lets you create healthy sodas (yes, there is such a thing) and flavored seltzers. Sodastream has easy-to-use models and sells flavoring to customize your own brew. We like a little fresh lime juice or a tablespoon or two of frozen berries for a low-calorie option.

5. Easy chopper

While a food processor is a must for big jobs, it can be a pain to clean. Quickly chop onions in uniform pieces and save the tears for a good romantic flick, with fresh salsa and chips on the side. A Facebook reader recommends the Zyliss chopper.

6. Mandoline

For picture perfect veggies, this guillotine-looking gadget is a must. Make your own veggie chips and slice perfect matchstick vegetables, also known as "julienne." Just be sure to use the hand guard with each use. Watch this video on why the OXO mandoline is a good option.

7. Immersion blender

Bring this to your stovetop and puree mashed potatoes, soups and more. Then just rinse the blender in the sink. Try the Cuisinart hand blender for an affordable price and good performance.

8. Garlic press

Garlic is messy and despite the many hand-cleaning remedies, the stink remains. A garlic press will save your hands and flavor only your food.

9. Grill/Panini press

Whether it's the ubiquitous George Foreman or the Breville, a countertop grill and panini press will change the way you cook. Use it for chicken, burgers and steaks as well as crisp sandwiches and grilled veggies.

10. Parchment paper

It's not really a gadget, but use parchment paper under cookies and brownies and you’ll never have to clean stuck-on burnt messes anymore. Another great use: bake fish inside little packets for a no-mess quick weeknight meal.

11. Vegetable peeler

Beside the obvious carrots, vegetable peeler are great for getting thin slices of cheese and those picture perfect curls of chocolate you see in magazines. Plus, read up on how to do more with you vegetable peeler.

12. Bamboo steamer

Try this as an alternative to the traditional metal variety. 'Unlike the metal variety, bamboo absorbs condensation—which means the vegetables stay firm. This steamer’s several tiers fit on top of each other; each one can make a rustic yet elegant serving dish, too,' Dietitian Sari Greaves told Best You.

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