It seems like there’s a new kitchen gadget or tool available every day that claims to be the greatest thing since sliced bread (though we, of course, prefer bakery-fresh ourselves). While the allure of so many nifty gadgets can be tempting, it can also be extremely costly – and kitchen tools, unlike other items, often can’t be returned if you decide you don’t like them after just one use. So how to know which gadgets are actually worth the investment? We’ve compiled a list of our five favorites – each ingenious, convenient and cost-effective in their own way.
KitchenAid Attachments. While these attachments are sold separately and each geared for their own specific function, we are including them as one item because each works with the classic KitchenAid mixer. This timeless mixer is already a tried and true appliance of any kitchen, but that doesn’t mean its capabilities can’t be vastly improved by a few nifty attachments.
- Citrus Juicer: Who needs a fancy new juicer that costs hundreds of dollars when you can simply slide this $35 attachment onto your mixer stand and have fresh-squeezed OJ every morning? The juicer allows you to fill a pitcher or cup and strain for pulp if you desire.
- Ice Cream Maker: Allows you to quickly make delicious homemade ice cream without the mess or the wait. Perfect for summertime, this $99 attachment also allows you to make sorbets and other desserts.
- Pasta Press: At $189, this attachment rings in at the priciest item on our list, but its versatility and ease means that it more than pays for itself. If you’re daunted by the task of making homemade pasta but are tired of store-bought noodles, this pasta press can help you create spaghetti, fettuccine and more as well as any Italian chef. And trust us – you haven’t lived until you’ve tried homemade pasta!
The Griddle Pan. While it may not look or seem like much on the surface, this simple twist on the classic griddle is one item that can truly revolutionize the way you cook. Its main benefit is that it does so much, so easily. Whether wanting the perfect piece of toast or a classic pancake breakfast complete with sausage and eggs, the griddle pan allows you to do so quickly and cleanly on your stovetop. Food made on the griddle not only tastes better, it simplifies the process of making most foods you’d otherwise make in the frying pan. Say goodbye to burnt turkey bacon and hello to food that’s extra delicious and made all in one nifty dish.
Speedy Ice Pop Maker. Another item that’s great for summer, this gadget should be on your must-have list if you have kids or simply enjoy a popsicle on a hot day. Unlike other popsicle molds, the Speedy Pop Ice Maker works in just seven minutes and even allows you to customize your frozen treats by making your own unique layers of flavor. We especially like the fact that it makes it easy to create a healthy, ice-cold treat in just minutes rather than relying on store-bought popsicles that are often full of syrups and sugars. The different molds even allow you to create a tasty treat with a chocolate or fruity center. The possibilities for creative deliciousness are endless! $50-60
The 4-in-1 Avocado Tool. It’s no surprise that avocados are more popular than ever, mainly because of their amazing health benefits and ability to add flavor and texture to so many different recipes. That said, they can be an incredibly messy food to cook with. This tool helps to eliminate the green goop and hassle that comes with using avocados in the kitchen. Ranging in price around $15, it’s a super cost-effective way to save time and effort when working with one of your favorite foods.
Non-stick Rice Cooker. If you’re still making rice the old-fashioned way, make life a lot easier on yourself and invest in a rice cooker today. It eliminates the guesswork of measuring and timing, ensuring that rice is cooked perfectly every time. Like many items on our list, it’s versatile. By adding in vegetables, spices and protein, you’ve got a delicious meal all in one pot. The non-stick coating means that cleaning truly is a breeze. With the benefits of perfectly-cooked rice and preventing dirty pots and pans, we think this is one gadget that’s well worth it’s $40 price tag.