I’ll just put it out there, I’m usually a bit weary of kitchen gadgets.
I’ve yet to live in a house with a kitchen large enough that I can frivolously buy gadgets and not have them clutter up my limited bench space. In my daily parenting wisdom, I like to stress to my children the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’ and most gadgets definitely fall into the ‘want’ category.
But there are some gadgets that, once you use them a few time, make you really, really want them. Especially when these devices are 1) cheap, so no breaking the bank and feeling guilty here and 2) really do help you in the kitchen saving time or improving the quality of your cooking.
Of course, you can get by without them but occasionally a gadget will come along that just makes things easier for you to get the job done. It’s these gadgets that deserve bench space in your kitchen and here is a list of my top five current inexpensive kitchen gadgets I wouldn’t want to give up.
Micro plane (13$)
A distant cousin to the cheese grater and the potato peeler… this little microplane zester/grater is excellent for grating parmesan for pasta and salads, zesting lemons and limes and also for grating ginger. It’s super quick to use and produces a nice fine zest that you can’t get with other devices.
Cheap and small to store – I use my microplane grater every week – just make sure to wash it straight after you use it. It’s not fun to clean later when all the little bits have dried up into the mesh.
Citrus Squeezer (20$)
I used the Jamie Oliver technique of squeezing lemons for ages, but if you squeeze a lot of lemons you need to wash your hands quite a bit – which I found a bit annoying when you’re trying to move fast in the kitchen.
It’s a great technique, but this squeezer not only keeps your hands clean, it also gets a lot more juice out of the lemon or limes than you can with just your hand.
This Stainless Steel Lemon Squeezer is easy to clean, easy to use and cheap (I even slipped the silicon handles off of it to simplify the washing up process).
This is also a really great tool for making juices with your kids. Just squeeze a lemon or an orange into a cup and dilute it with water. The kids love the process of creating their own juices from scratch.
Dough Scraper (5$)
The best five bucks you’ll ever spend in the kitchen. I use this to clean my cutting board and benches, no dish towel can compare. When cutting different foods just give your board a quick scrape and it’s clean and ready to go – super easy to clean as well.
This dough scraper is an essential tool in my kitchen.
Digital Thermometer (25$)
Stop guessing whether your meat or fish is cooked properly – everything has an ideal cooking temperature, which can be closely monitored using this inexpensive digital food thermometer.
The more you know about what’s going on in your food, the more you can control the results… which most of us mortal home grillers can struggle with occasionally.
I’ve found the thermometer to be a game changer, allowing me to produce more consistent cooking results whether I’m on the stove top or the bbq. Just figure out your ideal temperature for how you like your meat or fish… too easy.
Cast Aluminum Meat Tenderizer (10$)
I used to use a rolling pin to crush nuts when making granola or for tenderizing meat. Then I bought this cast aluminum meat tenderizer and it made everything so much easier.
A flat edge on one side, a spiked face on the other – it does the job well because of the larger flat face on the tenderizer – the rolling pin only comes out on pizza nights now!
Note: This post includes affiliate links – they are however – items I have purchased and use in my kitchen all the time. Hope this helps you save some time and effort!