Best Kitchen Gadgets Taste of Home Pros Actually Use at Home 2022
Taste of Home professionals share the best kitchen gadgets for home cooks. Our list might just surprise you!
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Ever wanted to take a peek inside the Taste of Home staff’s kitchen drawers? After all, they spend their days surrounded by food: dreaming up menus, testing recipes, trying out the latest gadgets and styling amazing magazine shots.
If anyone knows about the best kitchen gadgets it’s them! They were kind enough to share their favorites, no peeking required.
Large Silicone Spatula
“I love, love spatulas!” says Peggy Woodward, one of our Senior Food Editors. “I use a giant one for stiff cookie dough and have medium and small ones, too.”
Look for a spatula with a slightly flexible plastic handle that won’t snap when you’re working with a really thick batter. Try this Di Oro silicone spatch available in several colors and with an impressive 600-degree tolerance.
If you ask Peggy, no kitchen is complete without at least one trusty wooden spoon—one of the best kitchen gadgets. “I have three,” she says.
They come in all sorts of shapes, including slotted, the classic rounded head, and squared off (which makes hitting the edges of high-sided pans easier). We like this OXO Good Grips three-piece wooden spoon starter set.
If you want to go old-school and skip the electric mixer, Kitchen Operations Manager Beth Jacobson says you need a ballon whisk.
“I tend to do things more slowly at home and often forgo electronic gadgets entirely, so if I’m whipping heavy cream? Hello, 11-inch OXO Good Grips balloon whisk!”
You knew this best kitchen gadget was coming. “I firmly believe a good chef’s knife is key to almost anything you’re going to be doing,” says Deputy Culinary Editor James Schend. “I’ve got a lot of knives, but there’s one I reach for all the time: the eight-inch Henckels Professional Knife.”
These precision hand-held tools, which come in multiple shapes and sizes, are famous for their zesting abilities. Plus they do a mighty fine job of grating cheese, mincing herbs and turning ginger root into a paste.” Try this best kitchen gadget out on any of these lemon recipes from tart to sweet.
Swiss Vegetable Peeler
“If you ask me, a Swiss vegetable peeler needs to be a part of your collection,” Shannon adds. “These Y-shaped gadgets seem to stay sharp forever. Mine is going on 10 years old, and I use it nearly every day. You don’t have to pony up for an expensive one—this Kuhn Rikon vegetable peeler is under $10.”
Try it to make this mouth-watering ribbon salad with orange vinaigrette.
Peggy and Beth both name these OXO Good Grips cookie scoops as one of the best kitchen gadgets. “They’re perfect for consistent and easy portioning everything from cookies to meatballs,” says Beth.
For a smoother release, go for the spring-loaded split-handle variety instead of the type with thumb release.
“Talk about versatile,” says Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer. “My silicone spoon goes from the mixing bowl to the skillet, and I can use it for spreading jams on toast or mayo on bread.”
Another one of the best kitchen gadgets that earned double points, these U-Taste offset spatulas are for serious home cooks, a category where both Peggy and Sarah belong. ”
A small offset spatula is ideal for evenly spreading frosting, melted chocolate, even batter,” for a cake roll, for example. “It helps you make your food look great!” Peggy says. Here’s how to decorate a cake using one.
Big Wooden Cutting Board
James is all about Boos cutting boards, which come in multiple shapes and sizes. Check out the grooved styles—these are super helpful when it comes to cutting juicy things, like roasts or tomatoes. Juices run into the grooves instead of over the edge onto your countertop.
And be sure to have a few of the best cutting boards on hand to avoid cross-contamination. Designate at least one no-garlic, no-onion cutting board, so you can cut up fruit without adding a funky taste.
Nylon Pan Scraper
According to Peggy, cleanup’s a cinch with a nylon Original Pan Scraper. It loosens cooked-on gunk more quickly than a scrub brush.
“You’re basically paying for a little piece of plastic, but I love it,” she says of this gentle cast iron skillet cleaner. Once you give a pan scraper a try, you won’t know how you lived without it.
Sometimes, a big knife just isn’t going to cut it. Or, rather, it just might cut you. More-detailed tasks, like peeling apples or cutting slits in meat, call for a tool with a finer blade.
“What I can’t do with my chef’s knife, I’ll work on with a paring knife. My favorite is the Zwilling Four-Star Paring Knife,” James says of the tool that helps him make the best Nutella-stuffed strawberries.
Big into yeast breads? Get a couple of Norpro dough scrapers, says Lauren Knoelke, one of our food stylists. A stainless steel scraper helps lift and divide dough, while a flexible plastic one gets every last bit out of the bowl. “I love these two tools for handling doughs,” she says.
Parchment Paper Sheets
Precut parchment paper is one of Sarah’s secret cooking weapons. “I always have a package on hand. It’s perfect for measuring dry ingredients onto a sheet, then carrying it over to the mixing bowl and sliding everything right in,” she says. “I also use it to line baking sheets when I freeze fresh-cut fruit for morning smoothies.”
“Many of our Test Kitchen practices have followed me home,” Beth says. One of them is using a digital kitchen scale. I weigh ingredients for baking across the board now.”
This takes the guesswork out of consistently measuring dry ingredients and helps skip the most common cake mistakes. It’s no surprise the Salter digital kitchen scale is considered one of our best kitchen products.
Another digital must, says Sarah, is a Thermapen by Thermoworks. “I use it to temp stuff all the time.” These handy thermometers work almost instantly (we’re talking one second) and they’re far more durable than competitors. If you’re cooking chicken, pork or other easily-contaminated foods, you’ll want to study these food-safe cooking temperatures.
Recipe Editor Irene Yeh hits the office supply aisle when she’s shopping for the best kitchen gadgets. “Binder clips secure opened bags of anything: spices, frozen peas, pastas,” she says of these cheap-and-chic Amazon binder clips. “And I use magnetic clips to attach recipes to the refrigerator door. They’re easy to look at without being in the way.”
Last, keep your smartphone on hand to help look up cooking queries while you’re in the thick of it. “They also make Thai food appear almost magically,” says Beth. You can also use apps like Instacart and Drizly to order extra ingredients and wine pairings at the touch of a button.
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