I know that everyone who cooks in the kitchen has some favorite gadgets and tools that they just love to use. Today I am going to share with you 5 of my favorites to use in my kitchen.
I was never much for cooking in the kitchen, but I loved baking growing up. Then when Michael and I got married, I was introduced to cooking in a new way. Now I have come to love cooking (most days). However, I would not like it so much if I did not have some of these kitchen items to help me out.
My newest addition to the kitchen is the ground meat chopper. I know it sounds weird. Chop ground meat? What?! Isn’t it already ground?
This little utensil is so cool though. When the ground beef comes out of the package it is like a big block. I use to take a spatula and wrestle with the meat over and over as it was cooking to get the meat to break up. The ground beef chopper breaks up the meat so it can cook faster and more evenly. My husband likes his taco meat really fine and broken up. I can use the ground beef chopper to make sure that all the larger pieces of meat are broken up.
The chopper even helps if your meat is still a little frozen in the middle. It will break away the thawed meat in the pan. Before, I would have to kind of scrape the thawed meat off the top and bottom of the frozen meat so that the meat would still cook properly. Then I would have to continually do that as the frozen part is cooking to break it down.
I don’t know if any of you have ever had that issue, but it is a problem in our house sometimes. The ground beef chopper breaks the meat off of the frozen section easier. To me, cooking ground beef has never been easier.
One of the most used kitchen items in our house is our Cephalon stainless steel cookware. I love cooking meals with these pots and skillets. They heat evenly and clean up well. I have rarely had any issues with food sticking to the bottom.
Unless I burn something, then it sticks. Like that ever happens, right?!
Now don’t get me wrong on cookware. We love our cast iron, but I am not a fan of the upkeep. Michael is the one who seasons and takes care of the cast iron in our house. If we want something cooked in cast iron, then Michael is the one who usually cooks the meal. We also love our dutch oven. That actually belongs to my mother-in-law, and we are very grateful that she lets us use it.
Michael and I have had this stainless steel cookware since our 5th wedding anniversary. That was almost 9 years ago. It is still holding up very well and I plan on getting many more years of use out of this cookware set.
Who can say “Life Changing?” That is what the Instant Pot has been for me. There is so much that you can do with this gadget that it is amazing. Casseroles, whole chickens, rice, frozen meat, and even yogurt (if you have the one that does that). Most of our dinners are cooked in the Instapot. I love this thing so much a want another one. Maybe for my birthday…
Now there are a lot of other brands out there that work great, but I only have personal experience with the Instant Pot. My most favorite feature is that it can cook meat that is still frozen in a much shorter time frame without having to constantly “watch the pot.” I don’t know about you, but I always forget to take out meat to thaw for dinner. Then I am calling Michael before he gets off of work and telling him to bring something home from the store or restaurant for dinner.
Not that he minds doing that at all, but it is frustrating spending money at the grocery store and planning your meal. Then you can’t carry out your plan because the meat is still rock solid. I am a planner and this sort of thing can make me crazy. With the Instant Pot though, if I forget to take out the meat, I can just add an extra time frame to my meal and start it a little early.
For example, I take some frozen chicken breast, add them to the pot, add my seasonings and broth. Then set it for an extra 10 minutes. Once it beeps I let it sit for about 10 more minutes. My chicken comes out cooked every time. LOVE IT!
The other features are great too. I love cooking my rice and veggies in the Instant P
One of my other favorite kitchen items that I use a lot is actually a set of kitchen items together. The Ninja Mega Kitchen System is so cool. It is a blender, food processor, slicer/shredder, and smoothie cups altogether. They all use the same blender base to process the food. I can use the blender to make up a big batch of milkshakes for dessert or mix my banana muffin mix. I can chop my onions or make my mom’s famous cream cheese dip in the food processor. I like to use the slicer shredder to quickly shred blocks of cheese. My daughter and I use the smoothie cups to make our individual sized smoothies for snack time.
A great thing about the Ninja system is that if you break a piece (other than the base), you can replace just that piece. Like I am getting a crack in my food processor bowl, thanks to my children that think it is a toy. I can go to their site and purchase just the food processor bowl. They are not very expensive to replace either.
Michael got the Ninja system for me for Christmas after my daughter was born. We have done so much with it over the last 6 years.
Another find that we have added to our kitchen this last fall was an air fryer. Have you heard of them?
They are all the latest craze right now. It is a healthier way to have your “fried” foods without all the grease. We have a GoWISE USA AirFryer that I got on sale at our local HEB grocery store. I just had to have it and it was on sale, so that was my reason to purchase it.
Our favorite thing to cook in it is tater tots. We try to eat as clean as possible, but we have our extras and tater tots are one of them.
With the air fryer I can put some tater tots in the pan and set the temp and time, then they cook. It only takes about 12 minutes to cook frozen tater tots. We then add a little sea salt and enjoy (plus the ketchup).
Almost anything that you would deep fry can be cooked in an air fryer without all the grease. Our model came with a little cookbook. It has everything from steaks and fish to churros and cake. It was really neat to see what could be cooked in an air fryer. This kitchen gadget has been a lifesaver in making a quick snack or meal for the kids almost every day since we got it.
Well, that was 5, plus some other mentions, of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I have learned to cook over the years of being married and having these items in my kitchen helps me to continue to learn more and enjoy cooking for my family.
So now it is your turn. Please tell us what are your favorite kitchen items that you just feel you can’t live without. Do you have the same as me? Let us know in the comments here on the blog below or on Facebook. We would love to hear from you. You never know, maybe we will add your favorite to our kitchen as well.
Until next time…