My Readers & I Share Our Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

My readers opened my eyes to the world of kitchen gadgets.

I had originally thought I was biased against single-purpose kitchen. If I need to peel, cut & de-pit an avocado, I just use a knife. Or my fingers. Or a spoon! My parents loved to use their apple wedgers, but I’ve always found them difficult to press into the apple and they always left chewy core on many of the wedges. So yes, I was kind of biased.

Out of curiosity, I challenged my readers to change my mind and they shared their favorite kitchen gadgets that make their lives easier and more fun. I was surprised to find I didn’t even know many of these tools even existed. Anything that makes cooking enjoyable for someone has value. For now, I’ll continue to rip apart lettuce leaves by hand and remove corn kernels from a cob with my knife, but if I need to pit lots of cherries for a pie or make curly noodles out of vegetables, I know where to turn.

First, here are my favorite tools (besides my faithful knives):

  • Salad Spinner: Jake gave me a salad spinner for Valentine’s Day one year and it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools ever. Soggy salad is the worst and this is a must have if you break down whole heads of lettuce. I also use the spinner to dry cabbage or farmers market spinach.
Salad Spinner

I’m pretty sure I didn’t mean for this to look like a salad spinner maternity shot! I do love my spinner, though.

  • Microplane: I use these all of the time for finely grating garlic and ginger into pastes and making delicate showers of parmesan cheese.
  • Handheld Immersion Blender: We received this blender as a wedding gift and I use it to make soups. I used to carefully ladle hot soup into our blender and hope the liquid wouldn’t explode everywhere. Now, I can quickly puree soups right in the pot. I also love that this blender is easy to assemble and clean.
  • Vegetable Peelers: I find myself peeling a lot of carrots. A Y-Peeler allows you to make thin strips of a vegetable without a mandolin.
  • Spice Grinder: Indian food is one of our favorite cuisine’s. I kept wondering why the Indian dishes I made were so bland until I prepared a coconut chickpea curry from Raghaven Iyer’s 660 Curries. His recipe instructed me to toast and grind the spices and I can’t tell you how much of a difference this made. My curry was intense and spicy. Now that I’m not intimidated by this grinder, I’ll use it more often. It’s also easy to clean and the grinder container contains a lid for storage.
  • Box Grater: I use this frequently to grate cheese and vegetables.
  • Kiwi Pro Slice Peeler: This tool makes long shreds of vegetables. I only use it when I want to make the cucumber-tomato salad that we eat with laab, but it’s inexpensive and worth it for this purpose. I bought mine at an Asian market.

Veggie Shredder

Here are my readers’ favorite kitchen tools:



  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    So many great gadgets!!! I love this post!!! Now I have all kinds of new things to look for at my next trip to the kitchen store. I giggled at the salad spinner maternity shot. 🙂

    • Jeni Flaa

      I’ll have to take a peek at your oven devil next time I’m over. The photo is very awkward.

  2. Kristen

    Only a Food blogger would think that a salad spinner is a romantic Valentines Day gift 🙂

    • Jeni Flaa

      True! I think he had remembered I’d grumble about wanting one and remembered that.

  3. Monica Jertson Cateron

    There are actually a few on this list that I don’t own !!! I need to make a shopping list !!

    • Jeni Flaa

      This list is tempting.

  4. Katybeth

    Great list. I have been thinking about a salad spinner and your’s is so cute…I might have to give one a spin.

    • Jeni Flaa

      Thanks Katy! It seems to be very durable.

  5. Mindy Johnson

    I love my Pampered Chef food chopper…it makes chopping onions tear-less. Speaking of such…any awesome tips for chopping onions by hand and avoiding the eye burn?

    • Jeni Flaa

      Thanks for sharing your favorite gadget! I wear contacts so I usually don’t have problems. Every once in a while, I’ll cut an onion that hurts my eyes and that’s no fun, but I wonder if contacts protect the eye tissue? Maybe a small pair of safety glasses.

      • Bev

        I chuckled when I saw the mushroom slicer…..that person needs to be introduced to Kraft….she sounds like Woody Woodpecker when she gets her knife going!

        • Jeni Flaa

          It would be interesting to test her and see if she’s faster with a chef’s knife or a mushroom gadget. I remember having to slice a case of mushrooms for Stroganoff once. One day I caught part of an episode of “The Kitchen” and the Food Network hosts were testing single-purpose gadgets to see if they or the gadget was faster.

        • sdpfeiffy

          The handheld mushroom slicer lover is me. It’s this one:

          A big part of why I love it is I just slice right over the bowl instead of having to slice and move.
          Two pounds of mushrooms for Mushroom Bourguignon is a lot of slicing and moving 🙂

  6. Donna Hup

    Great list! One of my favorites is my Pampered Chef Garlic Press. I love cooking with fresh garlic and it makes mincing a breeze! 🙂

  7. Connie Reed

    I love my Moulinex mouli julienne, a sort of hand food processor. It’s the fastest way to shred cheese, carrots or potatoes that I know of, and a whole lot easier than hauling out and then cleaning my big food processor.

    • Jeni Flaa

      I will look this up! I don’t have a food processor and wish I did. That would be the next appliance I get.

  8. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids

    Love the post! My all time favorite kitchen tool is Pampered Chef’s Mix n’ Chop! I use it for mashed potatoes, ground beef, etc.

    • Jeni Flaa

      Thanks Val. That’s four for the PC Mix n’ Chop:) I really need to check that tool out. Four can’t be wrong.

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