Trendy Kitchen Tools To Trust and What To Toss

By Alexis Deboschnek July 31, 2019 

Setting up your kitchen with the right equipment can be overwhelming. There are so many tools designed to make our lives easier, and to make cooking faster and more efficient, but let’s be honest, that herb chopper your mom bought you four years ago is never coming out of that drawer. Whether you’re a city dweller without the luxury of a spacious kitchen, or just want to get your Marie Kondo on, here’s how to break down what items are essential to a functioning kitchen, and what tools you take straight to the consignment shop.

Kitchen Gadgets | Bashed
Bed Bath & Beyond

Egg Cooker

For most people, making eggs is their first foray into cooking. Egg cookers can cook eggs in a myriad of ways, but as one of the foundations of cooking, it’s really worth taking the time to master. All you need for the perfect poached egg is a pot of boiling water and a timer (pro tip: six and a half minutes), no egg cooker needed. It’s not only a basic life skill to know how to cook eggs, it’s also just as fast and easy on the stovetop. That Instagram-worthy shot of jammy yolks can be yours in a matter of minutes, no egg cooker needed.

The verdict: Pass!

Instant Pot

The hype is real when it comes to the Instant Pot. Instant Pot’s are basically fancy slow cookers, but the extra bells and whistles make it a worthy investment. You can sear, sauté, use it as a pressure cooker, make your own yogurt, and even cook a cheesecake using an Instant Pot. Whether you’re cooking for a group (short ribs, anyone?), or meal prepping for the week, an Instant Pot is a fairly fool-proof way to ensure a delicious meal, without much fuss.

The verdict: Keep!

Popcorn Maker

Unless you’re making popcorn daily, there’s really no need to buy a popcorn maker. Plenty of brands offer microwaveable popcorn (there’s even great organic options these days!), with enough flavors to satiate any craving. If you want to take it one step further, try making your own. It’ll be done in 5 minutes, and you can control the amount of fat and salt. Add ⅓ cup of corn kernels and ⅓ cup of ghee to a large pot with a lid over medium high heat. Once there’s 3-4 seconds without a popping noise, your popcorn is ready to go! We like doctoring ours up with a good sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

The verdict: Pass!

Sous Vide

Despite the fancy name, sous viding really isn’t that hard if you’ve got the right equipment. That said, for the average home cook, a sous vide is far from a crucial kitchen investment. A sous vide machine comes with a hefty price tag, and takes quite a bit of time, and while you may get the perfect pink center on a steak, or a 63-degree egg, sticking with the standard tried and true stove top methods work just as well, without taking up precious counter space.

The verdict: Pass!

Kitchen Gadgets
Williams Sonoma

Pasta Roller

It seems like every wedding registry has a pasta roller, attachments included, on it. If you’re the type to channel your inner Nonna and spend an afternoon making fresh pasta, a pasta roller will make your experience 10 times easier. That said, most people let their pasta rollers collect dust in some tucked away party of their pantry. There’s no shame in using dried pasta, so if you’re in that camp, save the closet space.

The verdict: Pass, unless you make pasta by hand multiple times a year!

Rice Cooker

Rice is one of those tricky dishes that even some of the best home cooks struggle with. While they can be on the bulky side, rice cookers take out all the guesswork, ensuring perfect, fluffy rice, every time. If you want to get creative, you can even use your rice cooker to make other grains, chili, potatoes, and even a giant pancake.

The verdict: Keep!

Kitchen Gadgets | Bashed
Williams Sonoma

Spiralizer

Every mommy blogger in America got on the spiralizer wagon at the same time, boasting their ease of use, and how they inspired kids to eat their vegetables. While we can’t argue with that, after a month of zucchini noodles, a spiralizer loses its luster. Try using a standard Y peeler (you probably have one in your pantry already!) to peel veggies into wide ribbons. They’re more elegant, plus it’s cheaper, and just as fast.

The verdict: Pass!

Avocado Scooper & Masher

Avocado toast isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you need to shell out for an all-in-one avocado tool. A sharp knife, spoon, and fork will get the same result. A good rule of thumb with specialty tools is that if it only serves one use, it probably isn’t worth keeping.

The verdict: Pass!

Microplane

Most chefs would agree that a microplane is one of the most beloved tools in the kitchen. They can be used for so much more than just citrus zest. Brighten up pasta with a cloud of grated Parm, grate garlic for vinaigrettes, fresh ginger for stir frys, or gussy up your desserts with chocolate shavings.

The verdict: Keep!

Kitchen Gadgets | Bashed
Bed Bath & Beyond

Herb Stripper

Of all the tedious kitchen chores, picking herbs ranks high on the list, but by the time you fish the herb stripper out of your drawer, you could have already picked the herbs by hand. The task at hand isn’t challenging enough to merit a whole separate tool. Save yourself the $10.

The verdict: Pass!

Bread Maker

We’re a long way from 1998. It’s time to retire your breadmaker. Sure they’re easy to use, but bread machines are so clunky that they’re more likely to take up precious counter space. That said, you don’t need a bread machine to make your own Tartine-worthy loaf. With the recent resurgence and interest in sourdough at home, everyone is trying their hand at bread baking, and with recipes like Jim Lahey’s fool-proof no-knead bread, who needs the machine

The verdict: Pass!

Chefs Knife

There’s no debate here. If there’s one tool you need in your kitchen, it’s a good quality, sharp, chef’s knife. You can use it for just about any chopping you’ll need to do, smash garlic, use it to break down chickens, remove fish skin, and the list goes on. A sharp knife is actually safer than a dull one, because a dull blade runs the risk of slipping. Take the time to do a bit of research on what the best knife is you can get with your budget.

The verdict: Keep!

Watermelon Slicer

Unless you’re eating watermelon every day is the summer, it’s a gadget that just isn’t worth the time. This goes for just about any type of specialty slicer. Your go-to chef’s knife will do the job in the same amount of time.

The verdict: Pass!

Food Processor

A food processor is one of the most useful items of large equipment you can have. Food processors are generally used for more labor intensive processes, so while you could do it all by hand, this tool will make the process go by without a hitch. Use them to make pesto, shred potatoes in a jiffy, make your own nut butters, silky smooth hummus, and even pie dough.

The verdict: Keep!

Emulsion Blender

An emulsion blender will ensure an ultra smooth purée, but unless you’re a expert level home cook or aspiring chef, it’s fine to skip this one. An old fashioned blender will do the same job as an emulsion blender, you might just have to do it in a few batches. Speaking of food processors, they can also be used to purée.

The verdict: Pass!

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