Whether we like it or not, we’re all spending a lot more time cooking at home lately. And while I wish, “live in chef,” graced this list of the things you need in your kitchen, it’s sadly not on there. But dang, that would be nice.
Instead of your own personal Ina Garten or Alton Brown, how about some gadgets and gizmos that will make cooking not just easier and faster, but more fun?
The (fun) Essentials You Need in Your Kitchen
I used to hate cooking. But then I realized I just didn’t have the right tools helping me.
Ask anyone you know; when I got married I could only make quesadillas, tacos, and nachos (and the key ingredient for all of those? Meat and tortillas.
Thankfully, I found my way around the kitchen, and now I love cooking. So I’m sharing these awesome things with you today, and hopefully they’ll make your time in the kitchen a little easier and a little bit more fun.
Microwave Pasta Cooker
Where has this Microwave Pasta Cooker been all my life? Hot dang, it’s a game changer. You can make pasta—from start to finish—in as little as SIX minutes. That means you don’t have to wait for the water to boil. Mind blowing, right?
Get this: you can make a box of mac and cheese from start to finish in 8 minutes (I’m adding two minutes in there for the time it’ll take you to dig the butter and milk out of the fridge, and how long it’ll take you to stir it all together).
EIGHT minutes means you don’t have to give your kids another snack because they’re “starving” while you’d be waiting for water to boil in a pot.
See? GAME. CHANGER! Plus, you can use it for gluten free pasta, grains, rice, steam veggies, and you can even make a cookie in it (for after the kids go to bed…because you’re not going to want to share).
Deluxe Air Fryer
Say hello to your new best friend, because making food just got so unbelievably fast and so stinkin’ easy with this Deluxe Air Fryer.
How much does this thing rock? So much so that we got rid of our toaster oven, and I’ve used it every single day since we got it at the beginning of 2020. It’s like a tiny, superheated convection oven that uses really hot air to crisp up your food super fast.
✅NO oil needed
✅NO waiting (well not long, anyway)
✅NO soggy food
It’s seriously the best. Here’s just a tiny bit of what I’ve personally used it for just in the past few weeks: rotisserie chicken, chicken wings (and holy wow…so good), flautas, taquitos, diced potatoes, baked potatoes, homemade chicken tenders (with crushed up salt and pepper chips; the kids LOVED it), tater tots, french fries, sweet potato fries, dino nuggets, pigs in a blanket, frozen (uncooked) pizza, leftover pizza, toast, croissants, cinnamon rolls, waffles, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, bacon wrapped asparagus, potstickers, chicken breasts, (and more that I can’t think of right now)! It’s just amazing.
If there was one downfall for this thing…it’s that it doesn’t reheat my coffee. Seriously, that’s it.
It reheats, dehydrates, bakes, roasts, rotisseries, toasts; it’s so much more than just an Air Fryer. My daughter actually asked me the other day if I’m going to use our oven ever again. I thought about it and told her probably not until Thanksgiving.
Have you ever tried to make popsicles? If you have, you know that you’ve gotta pour the liquid into a mold, and then you wait FOR-EV-ER (likely, a day or overnight) for them to freeze.
Well, what if you could have your ice pops in under 10 minutes?
The Quicksicle Maker might have a funny name, but it gets so much use in our house, because it’s SO easy to use. We’ll use everything from juice we have in the fridge to leftover chocolate milk, blended up berries, coffee with some creamer in it, and even some booze for some extra fun grown up treats.
Another trick: When you have sick kids who don’t want to drink Pedialyte (my kids have never been a fan), I’ll make a quick 8-minute Pedialyte ice pop, and BAM, they devour it.
Cold Brew Pitcher
Because spending $5 on a mobile-order cup of delicious coffee isn’t always feasible. Now you can make it at home with your own Cold Brew Pitcher, and it tastes just as good (if not better, honestly), than from your favorite drive-thru.
Not a fan of coffee? Good thing you can do other stuff with this, like make tea and infused water.
Oh, and during the “off” season (like winter when you might not want a cold cup ‘o joe), you can use the pitcher as a vase. Win/win.
Mix ‘n Chop
And last, but absolutely not least: the Mix ‘n Chop…aka, my gateway into cooking. Remember that story about how I could only make taco meat before I got married? Well, this bad boy helped me perfect that task. Instead of pounding away at my meat with one silly spatula, the Mix ‘n Chop is like using FIVE spatulas at a time. Less work with better results; I was sold. So much so that I now own two; that way I always have one to use in case one is dirty.
Oh, and because I know you probably want it to be a multi-tasker, here’s a dozen other things you can use it for:
- crumble ground meat
- scramble eggs
- make guacamole
- mash potatoes or bananas
- make homemade applesauce
- break up frozen drink concentrate or ice
- chop stewed tomatoes
- turn berries into sauce
- make designs on cookies
- vent pie crust
- shred chicken
- be your microphone while jamming in the kitchen
Favorites in your kitchen?
What do you have in your kitchen that makes your life easier, faster, and a little more fun?