Stephanie's Top 12 Favorite Kitchen Tools in 2018

Spending time in the kitchen with my kids

Spending time in the kitchen with my kids

I absolutely love being in the kitchen.  It's something I've enjoyed ever since I was a little girl, and I hope to pass that on to my kids.  There's nothing better than a home-cooked meal or homemade baked good, in my opinion.

Over the years, I've really tried to pare down how many things I have in my kitchen.  I'm a gadget girl and love anything that helps me in the kitchen.  But, I also cannot stand clutter so I try to be very deliberate on what I bring into to my kitchen and what purpose it holds.  

I thought I would put together a list of my Top 12 Kitchen Gadgets in 2018.  These are all items I have in my kitchen, and every single one of them is something I use on a regular basis at my house.

Top 12 Kitchen Tools

  1. Instant Pot- this is probably my favorite kitchen tool in my kitchen right now.   I bought the 6 qt when it was on sale at Kroger last year, and I use it multiple times a week.  My favorite things to make in it are sweet potatoes, quinoa, couscous, chicken breasts, corn on the cob, and any type of beans.  This summer I've been making lots of lima beans and lady peas in it by covering the beans with water or chicken broth, adding salt and pepper, a drop of olive oil and a bay leaf.  It takes a few minutes compared to 45 minutes on the stove!

  2. Glass Pyrex dishes - we use these glass dishes for so many things at our house.  As soon as I get home with fresh fruit and veggies from the grocery, I wash and cut them and put these in my fridge. I feel like we always eat veggies and fruit if they are washed and prepped and put in pretty containers.  We also use these for any leftovers we have.  We don't own a microwave, so all the reheating we do goes in our oven.  These dishes (with the lids removed) are perfect for oven use.

  3. Crockpot- I had to link a similar Crockpot as the one I have is so old it's hard to find.  I have a large white enamel crockpot.  It doesn't have a fancy timer-only serve, low, medium and high settings.  But even though it's old, it still works great!  I think any busy family can benefit from a Crockpot.  Some recipes I regularly make in here include Italian beef (English chuck shoulder roast, pepperoncinis, onions, and beef broth or beer), chili, vegetable stew, chicken tortilla soup, or chicken breasts with Italian dressing and seasonings.   One time saver I have discovered is to prep my entire meal the night before and put in the fridge.  Then, in the morning, all I have to do is wake up and put the Crock-Pot insert in the Crock-Pot and turn it on.  If I know we're going to be gone all day, this is a great solution so we avoid running through the drive-through!

  4. Ninja Bullet Blender- this is something I use everyday in our house.  I've started drinking bulletproof coffee in the mornings, and I use this blender to mix it up and make it frothy.  I've also started avoiding flour and I'll crush steel cut oats to a powder using this tool.  My kids love smoothies, and lately Will has been craving almond butter, banana and chocolate almond milk smoothies.  I personally love the three different containers that come with this because we do use it so often.  If you are making a smoothie, you can screw the lid on, add a straw, and you're done!  

  5. Wusthof Santoku Knife- I'm going to admit-this is a splurge item, but in my opinion, it is so worth it!  I have had this knife for probably over ten years, and Josh sharpens it for me.  I use it multiple times a day to cut fruits and veggies, and to prep lunch and dinner.  I literally cannot use another knife because I love this one so much.  I have also purchased a less expensive Santoku knife, but the Wusthof brand is so worth the extra money.  If you only own one nice knife, I highly recommend this kind!

  6. Threshold Copper Mixing Bowls - for less than $20, this set of 3 mixing bowls at Target is a steal.  Not only are they pretty, but their non-skid silicone bottom makes it so easy to use in the kitchen because they don't slip!  I really like having 3 different sizes, especially for recipes that call for mixing wet ingredients separately from dry ingredients.  They stack well in my cabinet and are dishwasher safe.

  7. Vegetti Spiralizer - this is a super cheap tool-under $10.  I use it for zucchini and squash spiralized noodles.  We've had a garden over the last few summers and love both of these veggies.  But sometimes we want to mix it up and not eat them the same way every time. So I use this spiralizer to make "pasta" without all the carbs.  The "zoodles" boil very quickly and after adding a bit of salt, I top with my homemade Bolognese sauce.

  8. Antique Cast Iron Skillet- so I don't have this particular one linked up.  These are best purchased from an antiques dealer or antiques store.  We've had our cast iron skillet for many years, and cook so many things in it.  Josh is the king of seasoning it after each use-this is crucial by the way!  You never wash it with dish soap and never ever put in a dishwasher.  We use our cast iron skillet almost every day in our house.  Here are some of my favorite things to cook in it: filet steaks-we sear them in a super hot pan and finish them off in the oven, sausage, bacon and eggs, sun-dried tomato chicken (paleo-version), and warm chocolate chip cookies in the oven!

  9. Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale- Josh and I have recently started weighing our food.  I don't do this all the time because sometimes I'm just in a super hurry and eyeball my portions.  But I'm learning through a holistic coach how important it is to weigh our food at each meal.  Portion sizes in America are out of control, and if you are trying to eat clean and healthy, a digital kitchen scale is a great way to make sure you're getting enough leafy greens and fruits and veggies in on a daily basis.  Lots of professional bakers swear by these as well for measuring the perfect amount of various ingredients.  And, this came in super handy this week for weighing ingredients for a science experiment!

  10. Williams Sonoma Microplane Zester - this tool is perfect for zesting lemons and limes in a recipe or for grating chocolate or nutmeg.  I don't use it a ton but anytime I need a "zest" of something in a recipe this comes in super handy.  I can easily do it right over the pan or bowl I'm cooking in. 

  11. Kitchenaid Mixer- I had to link one that is similar to mine, but mine is over 18 years old and is still in great condition.  I remember the day I got mine from my parents.  I think it was for my 21st birthday, and I was giddy.  I've literally owned the same exact one and use it regularly.  There is nothing better than homemade chocolate chip cookies being whipped up in a Kitchenaid mixer or a lemon bundt cake swirling around in the bowl of this blender.  I'm trying to avoid processed sugar right now, so just thinking about what goes in this mixer is making my mouth water!

  12. Anova Sous Vide - so this is really Josh's tool that he uses.  I haven't quite mastered it yet, but Josh has made some of the most mouth-watering steaks in this sous vide. It's a French-style of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath or steam environment for longer than normal cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture.  We are still exploring other ways to use it and would love to hear from y'all if you have one!

So that concludes my top 12 favorite kitchen tools right now!  I'd love to hear from y'all and see what tools you can't live without in your kitchen.

~Until next time,