nothing fancy: most-used gear in my kitchen
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS, like the $7 apple corer that makes sweet work of baked apples, apple chips and any other apple or pear prep because it has just that little extra feature: a plunger to pop the core out of the coring tube. Brilliant!
In canning and freezing season, it’s having just the right funnel to fill the jars, the one that really fits. Year round, it’s having reusable bee’s-wax wraps that allow me to sharply reduce my use of plastic wrap (have you tried them yet?). Or a glass teapot so I can see how the brew is shaping up.
In my tiny kitchen, I don’t have room for many gadgets, so the ones I have really have to work, like the immersion blender that has all but retired my actual counter-hogging blender, or the super-durable electric kettle that signals the start to every day when I switch it on. The things that get the most use follow (disclosure: Amazon affiliate links), along with a couple of items, recommended by friends, that top my current wishlist. Like the dehydrator I wish I’d had as I shoved endless trays of apple slices into a 250F oven to dry this fall, a bumper apple year. At least I had the handy corer!
DOUGH CUTTER-AS-SCRAPER: For working with dough, yes, but also this: A culinary friend taught me to stop dulling my knife blade by using it to scrape chopped onions, celery etc. off my cutting board, and use a dough scraper instead. Love it.
TEA TUMBLER: A personal infuser, made of double-walled borosilicate glass, that keeps tea hot and yet isn’t hot to the touch. I drink right out of mine (there is a screen up top to keep leaves down), then refill for a second steeping.
WECK JARS, with their glass tops, rubber gaskets and metal clips, do storage duty in pantry and freezer. Beautiful workhorses, as small as for a little pesto or as big as canisters.
BREVILLE ELECTRIC KETTLE (glass): Breville electric kettles are way more durable that other brands I burned through fast. If you prefer glass, this is the model for you…
BREVILLE ELECTRIC KETTLE (stainless): First thing daily: I turn on the electric kettle. Until I invested in a Breville, I burned through cheaper brands every couple of years. This is a durable workhorse.
VIVA GLASS TEA KETTLE, with infuser. I love seeing just how each brew is shaping up through the glass walls of this teapot, with built-in infuser.
WIDE-MOUTH CANNING JARS, specifically ones with straight sides, are my choice for freezing soups, sauces, nuts, and even whole cloves of garlic.
PREPWORKS CANNING FUNNEL from Progressive fills wide- or regular-mouth jars without mess. Just better than the usual suspect.
NORPRO STAINLESS CORER WITH PLUNGER: The plunger is a game-changer when making baked apples, dried slices, or just coring a lot of fruit.
INSTANT POT electric pressure cooker-plus: On my wishlist, at a cookbook-author friend’s urging: Instant Pot stainless programmable pressure cooker doubles as rice cooker, yogurt maker and more.
EXCALIBUR DEHYDRATOR: Shown is top-of-line stainless case with stainless trays, clear door, 26-hour timer; smaller Excaliburs with plastic shelves for far less.
BREVILLE IMMERSION BLENDER: I never turn on my “real” blender since I got hooked on the stick, or immersion, kind, allowing me to blend soups, applesauce and more right in the cooking pot.
NORPRO JAR LIFTER for canning has slip-resistant handles, no small “plus” when working in steamy conditions.
RECAP FLIP LID transforms a canning jar into a storage canister, for nuts, grains, more. Various colors and other lid styles, too.
LIDS BY RECAP, for transforming canning jars into storage containers, travel/sippy cups and more, in many lid styles, colors, and both regular and wide-mouth.