7 Kitchen Gadgets Everyone Needs
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If you (or someone you love) are looking to improve your chef skills while stuck at home, investing in a few essential kitchen gadgets will up your game. Here are the seven kitchen gadgets we feel everyone needs, and they're perfect for the foodie or budding chef on your holiday gift list.
Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender
It's hard to be quiet when blending your morning smoothie, but with much of the family working or going to school from home, keeping noise to a minimum is essential. The Hamilton Beach Professional Quiet Shield Blender takes the noise level down about ten times, which is enough to let you blend up that protein drink without disturbing anyone.
It's a 1500-watt blender with a sound shield that fits over the blender jar. This reduces the sound of crushing ice and other ingredients as they hit the jar. The motor is rubber-mounted to cut down on vibration noises. Besides being somewhat quieter, it works just like a regular blender with speed controls and program settings. And it's dishwasher safe!
For foodies, there's the Hamilton Beach Professional 1800-Watt Peak Power Blender. It's more expensive but has higher-end specs like 10-speed settings, a metal drive, and stainless-steel blades that crush ice in seconds.
Braun MultiQuick MQ7025 Hand Blender
If you're looking for a versatile kitchen tool with a small footprint, the Braun MultiQuick MQ7025 Immersion blender practically does it all. I've used this handy hand-held gadget to chop, mix, puree, blend, and even to make soup. The immersion blender comes with the blender wand, a 1.5-cup food processor for chopping, a whisk, and a beaker. The wand's shaft has a metal blade that moves up and down as you blend or pulse, making quick work of pureeing chunks of potatoes or chopping nuts. Speed is variable and controlled by you with a squeeze of the trigger on the wand. Swapping out the blending wand for the whisk is super easy, and the parts can go in the dishwasher.
Stilosa Espresso Machine
Coffee lovers can get that fresh espresso flavor and aroma at home with the Stilosa Espresso Machine from DeLonghi. The Stilosa is an elegant stainless-steel machine that fits nicely on your kitchen counter, serving up lattes, cappuccinos, and espressos. While coffee purists might opt for a more sophisticated machine, like the fully-automatic DeLonghi Dinamica or DeLonghi Eletta, casual coffee lovers will find the Stilosa more affordable and easy to use. You can extract a single or double espresso and manually froth the milk to just the right texture.
Hamilton Beach Sear and Cook slow cooker
Slow cookers are great for that 'set it and forget it' meal prep, plus they make the house smell great all day. But any recipe that calls for the meat to be seared before going into the slow cooker feels like too much work for me. The last thing I want is another pan to wash later in the day.
The Hamilton Beach Sear and Cook slow cooker eliminates that extra step because its aluminum insert can be used to sear meat directly on gas and electric stovetops. So when you’re done searing, you can put the insert right into the base of the slow cooker. The aluminum insert is also oven safe.
The slow cooker is great for families with its 6-quart capacity; it can handle a 4 lb. roast or a 6 lb. chicken. And clean up is super easy, as the pot and lid can go in the dishwasher.
Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor
Kitchen tools are supposed to make our meal prep easier, but sometimes, too many options can be overwhelming. The Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor comes with just the right number of blades and discs so you can chop, slice, shred and even make dough without getting confused as to which blade to use for what. It has a powerful 1,000-watt motor, five speed settings, and a 9-cup capacity so that you can prepare a recipe for your whole family. It offers four preset programs: chop veggies, shred cheese, puree for making sauces and soups, and one for making pizza or cookie dough.
DeLonghi Rapid Crisp Air Fryer
Air frying is a faster and healthier way to get crispy foods like French fries and vegetables without adding lots of oil. DeLonghi's Rapid Crisp Air Fryer has two heating elements, so it cooks food faster while removing 90% of the fat you would use if you were deep-frying.
The Rapid Crisp holds up to 5 quarts of food so that you can cook a family meal of roast chicken along with those veggies. It has five preset modes to make sure you get the perfect crisping each time you use it and a view window so you can check your food without opening the unit.
Cleaning up is painless; the Rapid Crisp has a hinged lid and a removable bowl for easy access.
If you're looking for something under $100, check out the Hamilton Beach 2.6 Quart Digital Air Fryer Oven. It has six presets, along with a manual mode to set the temperature and a 2.6-quart capacity.
FoodSaver VS3150 Multi-Use Vacuum Sealing System
If you've ever pulled a steak or leftovers out of the freezer only to find it freezer burned and had to toss it, it might be time for a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealers remove air from a bag and create an airtight seal that keeps food fresher longer, whether in the freezer or the fridge.
FoodSaver's VS3150 Multi-Use Vacuum Sealing System is a countertop device with a roll of BPA-free vacuum seal bags inside. When you want to store meat or cheese or leftovers, you place them in the bag, and, using the built-in cutter bar, cut the size bag you need. When you press the vacuum button, the FoodSaver removes air from the bag and then seals the bag.
This is a really useful device for when you need to stock up at the grocery store in advance of an impending storm, and you want to make sure the food keeps as long as possible. Or if you've cooked up a huge batch of your favorite chili and want to freeze it in meal-sized portions. You can also use the sealed bags with a sous vide cooker (we like the Anova Nano for $99 on Anova, check price on Amazon).
Price: $199.95 (check price on Amazon)
[Image credit: Hamilton Beach, Braun, DeLonghi, FoodSaver, Ninja ]