Whipping up gorgeous, delicious, and good-for-you meals shouldn’t be a challenge. Rather, the kitchen should be an enjoyable place where you can let your creative juices flow. That’s why I’ve put together this list of kitchen tools that help me prepare sophisticated dishes with ease. They can transform your time in the kitchen too. Some of these tools and gadgets are more extravagant than others, but they’re all equally as useful. Happy cooking!
The dehydrator is one of my favorite kitchen tools of all time. It makes whipping up snacks like homemade granola, crackers, nuts, and dried fruits a real breeze. Just prepare your ingredients, place them on a dehydrator sheet, and let them ride. You can go about your day as usual and in a few hours (or in some cases, a few days), you’ll have a delicious treat. If you have a dehydrator, or you’re inspired to get one after reading this, try my gluten-free craveable crackers, spicy roasted pistachios, or maple cayenne spiced pecans!
Yes, you can get a dehydrator on Amazon! You don’t need a fancy one that will break the bank. I’ve had my Excalibur 9-Tray for 10 years and have had the fan repaired once. It’s a breeze to use and clean and it could change your life.
I personally have a Vitamix and use it almost every day. It makes mixing up homemade salad dressings, dips, and drinks (like this apple pie boozie smoothie) as simple as one, two, three. Get yourself a high-speed blender that can withstand daily use because you may just get as attached to yours as I am to mine!
3) Food Processor
If you find yourself trying to blend or chop coarser ingredients—think nuts to make a nut butter—then a good food processor is a great kitchen tool to have on hand. Try a Cuisinart! My favorite thing to make with the food processor is my raw cauliflower tabouli and cauliflower rice. Since moving to Hong Kong nearly a decade ago, rice has become somewhat of a staple in my house. Because I don’t always want to indulge in such heavy grains, though, I like to make a healthified version with cauliflower. It tastes just as delicious as the real thing, but won’t leave you feeling heavy afterward.
4) Chef’s Knife
This is an absolute must-have. A good chef’s knife is extremely versatile and effective. It makes preparing everything from salads to meat dishes much easier. Seriously, you can use a good chef’s knife in about 90% of your kitchen tasks. Watch me in action with my knife in this cooking video!
I love the sleek look and smooth feel of my Global Chef Knife and as far as knives go, my motto is the bigger the better. But, hey, whatever works for you. Grab a few sizes and see what feels good for you. Either order one online at Amazon, or head down to Sur La Table (warning the store is so much fun there’s no way you’re leaving with only a knife).
During the summer months when my family spends time in Montana, my kids love to sit outside on our ranch, watch the sunset, and snack on some freshly popped popcorn. The wholesome treat can be made many ways to fit various taste preference: Cheesy, chocolatey, spicy. So get yourself a good air popcorn popper and you’ll always have a tasty treat close by. My fave is the Whirley Pop™—it makes the best popcorn you have ever tried. You’ll love how simple it is to use—just put your popcorn kernels inside, twist the handle, and voila! Watch as my son Eitan and I use it to create a drool-worthy chocolate covered popcorn.
6) Storage Containers and Ziploc Bags
When it comes to preparing and savings meals, my freezer is my best friend. I keep a stash of go-to favorite foods like nuts, cookies, store bought essentials, soups, stocks, and even full meals in my freezer to quickly defrost. Not only does it slash daily meal prep time in half, keeping food in the freezer also comes in hand when surprise guests pop over for a bite to eat. Trust me! If you prepare your food in advance, or just want to store leftovers so your food won’t spoil, you will need some good storage containers and Ziploc bags close by. This 12 piece set from Joseph Joseph at Williams Sonoma are ingenious space-saving containers. They’re a breeze to keep and the color coded system means you’re never scrambling to match tops and bottoms! My advice? Make a note on your container, reminding you what’s inside and the date you stored the food.