Kitchen Tools We Can't Do Without

5 Kitchen Tools We Didn’t Know We Needed – But Now Can’t Do Without!

What did we do without a meat chopper? Or a cookie scoop? Here are five kitchen tools we didn’t know we needed until we tried them.

Kitchen Tools We Can't Do Without

I’m embarrassed to admit this drawer overflowing with kitchen tools and gadgets is in our very own kitchen. Yes, I know I need to clean it out. I always have good intentions to “declutter” this area, along with the rest of my house. But every time I look through what’s in there I can’t seem to part with anything. What if one day I need that melon baller? Or the crinkle cut slicer? And I do use that five-bladed scissor… Every year or two when I’m making a Buddig’s dried beef cheese ball. (Yum! I want one now!)

Many of the kitchen tools and gadgets I’ve kept for years don’t even get used much.

I really don’t know why I keep them. I’m sure a fruit cube would be just as good as a fruit ball. And I could obviously slice my foods in a straight line instead of crinkle cut. I do all the time anyway. Maybe it’s FOMG – Fear of Missing a Gadget. Maybe I should talk to a counselor or something…

But there are five kitchen tools in the drawer that we do use all the time.

These are items I didn’t have for most of my life. In fact, all of these are things I only acquired and started using in the past few years. Some weren’t really around until recently. Others I knew about, but just didn’t think I needed. Well, let me tell you, I’ve changed my mind after using them.

Here are five kitchen tools every cook needs in their tool / gadget drawer:

Garlic Press Tool

1. A Garlic Press

For years I used the minced garlic in the jar. It was just too much trouble to peel and chop the real cloves. But in 2020, like many people who were bored during the Pandemic, I started ordering the meal kits you prepared at home. A number of the dinners included fresh garlic. And I was amazed at what a difference it made. Eventually I bought myself a garlic press. Which is sooo much easier than chopping it with a knife! You don’t even have to peel the garlic. Just break off a clove or two, pop them in the press, and squeeze. And then stick the press in the dishwasher. (Making sure it’s open so it gets clean – trust me on that) Easy peasy! Now the delicious aroma of fresh garlic cooking fills our kitchen several nights a week.

Meat Chopper Tool

2. A Meat Chopper

Also known as a meat smasher or a hamburger masher. We use a lot of ground chicken (for dishes like Quick & Healthy Ground Chicken Teriyaki Bowls for Two), as well as the occasional pound of ground beef or ground pork. This tool makes breaking up ground meats while you cook them way easier than anything else in the drawer. It can also be used to mash potatoes or break up whole tomatoes in a sauce. I got mine at the dollar store and have had it for at least 2-3 years, so you don’t need to buy an expensive one. But trust me, you will wonder how you got along without it once you start using it.

Silicone Spatula Tool

3. A Silicone Spatula

I have this Pampered Chef spatula in my drawer and it has been in my possession for over thirty years. For most of that time I was convinced it was the best spatula ever. And you have to admit, one that lasted that long is pretty good. But recently we were watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen on PBS and they did an equipment review of the best spatulas. The way they described the winner – a silicone spatula – and its features convinced me to buy one on Amazon. And now I’m sold. It makes scrambling eggs a breeze. It’s also superb for scraping, stirring, or folding. And super easy to clean. This is another tool I use multiple times every week.

Microplane Grater Zester Tool

4. A Microplane Grater / Zester

You wouldn’t think this was something we use often enough to include it in this list. But, surprisingly, we do. I have discovered the benefits of grating things like onion, garlic, or ginger on the microplane to really concentrate the flavor. I use it to zest lemons, limes, or oranges. It’s also handy for grating a small sprinkling of chocolate or nutmeg on top of a drink or dessert. Because this tool is easier to grab, use, and stick in the dishwasher, I’ll use it when I just need a small amount of something like parmesan cheese or grated carrot. If I ever did get around to decluttering and I had to choose between my box grater and my microplane, the box grater would go!

Cookie Scoop Tool

5. A Cookie Scoop

This is so much more than a cookie scoop! In fact, I don’t use it for cookies very often. But I do use it to measure out meatballs or portion things like chicken salad or guacamole. Or fill a muffin pan with batter or egg bite mixture (two scoops per hole is perfect). Or make pancakes. Or scoop ice cream. The spring-loaded sweeper blade makes it easy to scoop and drop whatever you’re measuring out. And the perfectly sized, rounded portions look nice when you serve them, too.

Would you include any of these five kitchen tools on your “can’t do without” list?

Or do you have other kitchen tools you use all the time? Tell us about them in the comments!

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