How many useless products do you have in your kitchen? How many whirligigs, thingamabobs and doom-ah-dazzles are cluttering up your drawers and countertops?
Hold on to your chef hats, busy bees. Here is the ultimate guide to the 11 kitchen products you need in your life — because if it were 10, this post would clearly be lying to you.
Safety First: Magnetic Knife Rack
Choose to be Magneto over a knife-throwing ninja. Both are cool, but safety first in the kitchen! With a magnetic knife rack, the knives are visible and safely tucked away from mischievous munchkins, unless yours happen to climb walls.
A magnetic knife rack takes away the pressure of figuring out which hole of the wooden rack the knife is supposed to fit in — you know, like the whole triangle goes in the triangle shape and square goes in the square shape thing you’re supposed to learn as a kid.
Sink-Defying Chopping Board
Need more counter space but can’t part with the toaster, toaster oven or coffee maker? Tired of using the stove top as makeshift counter space? Use a chopping board that slots right over the sink: Anything that falls is caught in the sink, and you’ve got instant counter space.
You could try the hack where you tuck the edge of the grocery store plastic bag in a cabinet to hold your renegade veggie peels. You could slip a trashcan close to the edge of the counter to catch the falling skins. All goes well until you’re chasing peels across the tile floor.
For small kitchens, a clever basin will fit right in there instead to catch the peels and scraps as they fall. Then, just take the trash out or compost them.
Scissors Make It a Cinch
Tired of nearly rolling over your hand with the pizza cutter that always has that stubborn stain in the handle? Use sharp scissors. Tired of chopping bacon? Use sharp scissors.
Tired of picking apart herbs like rosemary leaves? Use the gap under the screw that holds the scissor blades together and the closed handles to drag the rosemary stem through, ripping off the leaves instead of picking the leaves off one by one. Mind. Blown.
Braised-Be the Braiser
Nope, not a brassiere to hold your melons — like cantaloupe, you creep. A braiser.
Braisers look like fancy skillets with lids, but they’re so much more: Up to a foot in diameter and 2.5 inches deep, they’ll make a perfect stew — and more — without the splatter. The only splash is a splash of color, because this fancy-looking cookware is stylish and economical, too. Braisers are lightweight and wait for it: They stand up to 2500 degrees.
After cooking, store the whole braiser in the fridge. It takes up less room than a typical skillet.
There’s the hand swirly-stirrer thing the dough always gets caught in. There’s the hand mixer. There’s the blender for your smoothies. Why do you have so many kinds of blenders? Why do these blender manufacturers like to torture people who just want to blend up some comfort recipes?
If you can go two-in-one for a tablet/laptop, you can go three-in-one or more with your blender multi-tool, whether you prefer a Kenwood, KitchenAid or Ninja brand. It’s like the Simon game: Chop it. Mush it. Blitz it. Smooth it.
Stop Toasting Your Fingers
Look, finger sandwiches are great, but when it comes to golden-brown toast, you need wooden toast tongs to get those delicious warm slabs of bread out. Don’t burn your fingers in the rush to keep the temperature of the toast perfect to melt the cheese. Use wooden tongs, because tongs are the most underrated and most useful kitchen tool.
The struggle is real, but fingers aren’t on the ingredients list for a tasty toasty grilled cheese sandwich. Become a toast master with wooden tongs.
Never Scrub the Slow Cooker Again
Slow-cooked food is the ultimate comfort food you wait a century for — only to spend the next century cleaning the pot. Never again.
Slow cooker liners exist, so you never have to scrub the slow cooker again. Let that sink in.
You line the pot and let it do its thing. No melting. No weird plastic in your food. Just good eats and no scrubbing. Seriously, if witchcraft is real — this is it, folks.
Silicone Is the Baker’s Delight
Whose genius idea was it to use parchment in the oven? Parchment can be useful. Foil is good, too. However, something always sticks.
Enter silicone baking mats, which sound like a rug you put in your oven because fire is shiny and you’ve been coffee-deprived for a month. Silicone baking mats are the baker’s delight because you don’t have to grease them, replace them or clean anything. For real.
Stop Cutting Your Fingers With the Can Lid
Trying to strain the juice out of canned food with the lid is a metaphor for life. You strain so hard only to end up cutting a finger or losing the food.
Use a can strainer by snapping it onto the can and flipping it over to strain. Done.
No fingers will be injured in your quest for sustenance.
Cast Iron Pan A.K.A. Grandma’s Best Advice Ever
Just here to tell you Grandma was right — cast iron is the ultimate pan, transitioning from stovetop to oven in a snap. You can make a casserole it in. You can bake a pie or naan. You can make fried chicken. Heck, leave the baseball bat under the bed and say hello to the friendly neighborhood cat burglar with the thing.
Dish soap never meets its surface, and you can even clean it with salt and a potato if you want to. Cast iron is basically self-cleaning once seasoned. Thanks, Grandma.
Before you move these items into your kitchen to save space, ditch the items you never use. Who knew a pair of scissors could de-leaf rosemary and cut pizza? Who knew you could have clean cookware without using soap?
You’re welcome. Now, go amaze the world with your kitchen product prowess.