There are few things in life as comforting as a home-cooked meal. But for some of us, the prospect of making our own food is clouded by complicated steps, insufficient guesswork, and the unappetizing mess that takes over the kitchen once we’re through. Happily, the top gadget and utensil makers are always developing tools that make food preparation and cleanup more manageable, more automatic, more consistent, and even more fun. Here are ten of our favorite, newer kitchen tools and time-savers.
Roll with It | Sushi Maker Roller Equipment
Many of us who love a good sushi roll are utterly terrified of making it ourselves, and for good reason. A great sushi chef has spent years learning their craft at the feet of exacting and surly masters. But now you can approximate their delectable results all by yourself with this foolproof sushi-rolling apparatus. Just line up your seaweed roll, cooked rice, and raw or prepared fish onto this virtual press, and in no time, you’ll be churning out an assembly line of fresh sushi like a maestro of the seas.
Wrap It Up | FoodSaver FM2435 Vacuum Sealer Machine
Don’t let your leftover ingredients or meals linger in a flimsy container in the jungle of your refrigerator where it will decay and degrade. Give them a new lease on life with this vacuum-sealing device. It tightly confines around excess meat, vegetables, or prepared meals, suffocating them in an airless environment so they’ll keep for longer in your freezer. It’s a great way to save leftover food, thereby saving you extra trips to the grocery, in turn saving you cash.
The Perfect Mix | Chef’n Emulstir 2.0 Salad Dressing Mixer
Homemade salad dressing is almost always better than pre-packaged, but getting oil and vinegar to emulsify is a thankless and often ineffective task. The Chef’n Emulstir is the perfect instrument for making superior dressing every time, forcing all the elements to get along with each other. Just load up the bottle with all the ingredients, then pull on the outside “trigger” repeatedly until all the additives become one, unified river of flavor. Includes recipes on the side if you’re stuck for ideas.
Mama Knows Best | Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner
Meet Angry Mama. She’s pretty ticked off. What ticks her off the most is a filthy microwave, strewn with the exploded remains and streaks of previously nuked food. Thankfully, she’s proactive about cleaning up microwave ovens. Take off her plastic wig, fill her up with a water-vinegar solution, replace the wig, and put her in a microwave on high for seven minutes. Angry Mama uses her unchecked rage to steam-clean every internal surface with gentle mists of cleaning fluid that emanate from the top of her head. She’s like that.
Crazy Eight | Butefo 8 in 1 Kitchen Tool
Why throw your hard-earned money away on multiple kitchen tools when you can have eight different gadgets and a wine-bottle-like vessel to hold them all? Anything else is just an organizational nightmare. The Butefo gadget package includes a juicer, an egg cracker, an egg separator, a can opener, a grater, a shredder, a funnel, and a measuring cup, all of which stack neatly together in their container with nary a whiff of complaint.
Worth the Whisk | Whisk Wiper
Few handheld kitchen instruments are as effective as the humble whisk, but it’s got issues. After you’ve blended a batch of ingredients together, there are always streaks of your mixture left over on your whisk, and it’s never easy to clean. The Whisk Wiper takes care of both these problems. Slide it onto your whisk and mix away. When you’re done, slide the Whisk Wiper back down to effectively remove all the remains from your whisk and into your bowl as intended — no fuss, no mess, and very little if any cursing.
Take Appropriate Measures | Digital Kitchen Food Scale and Measuring Cup
Precision is crucial when you’re measuring out ingredients for a recipe, whether it’s by volume or weight. This combination of measuring cup and digital scale ensures that you’ll never scrimp or splurge when you’re putting a meal together. Keep the cup attached to measure out liquids, granules, powders, or other like substances. Detach the cup and use the base as a scale, with a digital readout of precise weights. This device also has a few “modes” for more accurate measurements of water, oil, milk, or flour.
Full of Hot Air | Ninja Air Fryer
Air-frying is one of the greatest advances in fried food since the invention of baskets. You can produce succulent, crispy foods with up to 75% less fat than their oil-fried counterparts. The Ninja Air Fryer is one of the most serious air fryers you’ll ever encounter. It’s got a mammoth capacity of four quarts, four different settings for frying, strict temperature control, and the aforementioned basket. With just a couple of settings, you can make French fries, fried chicken, roasted veggies, dehydrated fruits or jerky, and more items that rival the appetizer menu from your favorite casual dining joint.
Hold the Line | Onion Tomato Vegetable Slicer
Onions and tomatoes are your cooking cutlery’s worst nightmares, offering lots of opportunities for inconsistent dicing and slicing, sloppy pulp, and overall messy post-surgery residue. This implement makes those side effects disappear. Just plunge it into your onion, tomato, or similarly shaped vegetables or fruit. Cut between the teeth for uniform slices; then rotate it to make perfect, evenly sized dice with no headaches, hang-ups, or excessive paper towel usage.
Rise and Shine | Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
The last thing you want to do after waking up is assembling a breakfast sandwich through the hazy mental fog of morning. But you might not want to wait in line at a drive-thru either. Hamilton Beach has made that conflict moot with this ingenious unit. Put the bottom bread layer inside one compartment and top it with cheese and cooked breakfast meats. Then crack an egg in the upper compartment, top it with another slice of bread, and push a button. Within five minutes you’ll have a hot breakfast sandwich that stacks up nicely against those fast-food mascots.