The (cheap) gadgets that will change the way you cook in 2022

You don’t need fancy equipment to be a good cook. The good news is that no five hundred dollar blender, nor a modern oven, will stand between you and preparing a decent meal today. If you love your video or your Instant Pot, that’s great – I feel very evangelical about my KitchenAid Mini Mixer. But I also feel that way about wooden spoons. The items that give us confidence in the kitchen, and that make food preparation fun rather than a chore, are often the smallest and simplest things.

Holidays, like wedding season, seem to make our minds look forward to expensive ticket machines. However, the rest of the time, it seems like many of us are bravely trying to get one with a slightly melted handle. Perhaps this is a false sense of rigidity, or a fear of appearing as a loser whose life is crowded with useless single-tasking people. But if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to step up your cooking game in 2022, may I suggest — why not do so by adopting some legitimately useful, joy-inducing gadgets, none of which cost more than a few dollars?

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When I spoke a few weeks ago to John Cannell of Preppy Kitchen, he gave some sage advice to aspiring bakers—”If you can invest in something, get the scales,” he said. “This little tool will make your life a lot easier.” Take it from a guy who has 2.6 million YouTube subscribers, On the stairs It will really change your life. “You’ve probably been eating flour, innocently thinking you’re using a measuring cup the right way,” he explained. “But you fill in all that flour, and you add like 50 percent more to that pretty recipe, melt in your mouth cake recipe until it’s not too pretty and melts in your mouth.”

Do yourself a favor and hear from John Cannell here. My scale is the size of the palm of my hand, is perfectly flat and sets me back under twenty bucks. It has also improved my baking even more than the KitchenAid Mini. Kanell also says that “Normal wooden skewers She is the savior of ” straightening cakes, testing their maturity, and the likes”A set of gradient circle cookie cutters To make biscuits and everything else.”

My conversation with Kanell made me wonder what my fellow salon mates can’t live without, and their responses were simple and inspiring. Their answers show that there is no indispensable kitchen tool that works for everyone. There’s only one thing that you end up using all the time, because you’re chopping up a lot of herbs or juicing a lot of citrus. It’s the thing that didn’t cost a fortune, that feels like it was made for your own hands, and that makes your life easier and more delicious, every day.

Related: Skip single-use gadgets: Learn creative uses for everyday kitchen gadgets instead

Irene Kane likes it T-shaped peeler. “I’ve used this all-metal vertical peeler for years and it made me hate peeling vegetables. The horizontal blade made all the difference,” she says. add that her belmin lemon squeezer “change my life.” She says, “If you make a lot of cocktails like me, this is a godsend. If you like lemonade or lime to brighten a dish during cooking or just before serving, it’s perfect too. It’s sturdy, but dishwasher safe, and the silicone handles make it comfortable to hold.” Use. I feel like King Kong when I crush a lemon with it.” (I am similarly dedicated to my country OXO Good Grips . Citrus Juicerwhich lets me squeeze a lemon, and filter it, And Measure the juice in one go, like a genius.

“After over a year of cooking from home more often (and fighting occasional joint pain and inflammation along the way), the first thing I got tired of was chopping and mincing ingredients,” Ashley Stevens says. Ninja Express Shop Maybe a day for everything from mincing a few cloves of garlic to making juices. She adds that “another culinary element that has changed my time in the kitchen for the better this year” is ginkgo Japanese butter knife For cold spread butter. “This was a gift from my best friend, and I’ve used it nonstop,” she says.

Amanda Marcotte, meanwhile, loves it Yakur Tofu Press. “Having messed about with different people, I found this to be the best, by far,” she says. “Life changes, you really squeeze the tofu really well and let it soak up any marinade.” She also says that she is “a big fan of herb scissors;

To me, my kitchen is laughably small, and every piece in it should prove its worth. Among the items in my Hall of Fame are:

knife sharpener

Since I buy cheap knives and then treat them disrespectfully, I have long refused to see the point of getting a sharpener. Now I see the error of those methods. If you have good knives, a sharpener keeps them in top condition. However, if you have some blades in a drawer, the sharpener will also keep them in good shape. I think I spent ten bucks on the sharpener, and my cucumber slices have never been less than paper since.


You need tongs. You need it to transform your food as it cooks, and you need it to pull the individual elements from the plate. It’s also fun to go clack clack as you dance around the kitchen. Related: nice wide fish spoon (Pie’s best friend) A Kitchen spider or colander, to move things and dig things.

meat thermometer

Sure, you can keep lying to yourself that you “know” when a steak or chicken is done. You can chop it up, let all those lovely juices run out and dry out your plate. Or you can just know its internal temperature and be sure of it. My little one doesn’t take up space and has saved countless dinners.

parchment paper sheets

I wouldn’t run the oven without them. I’m not saying that tearing the manuscript out of the lap was a huge chore, but on the day I found out I could get one perfect sized sheet of paper at the right time without even taking the box out of the closet, I felt like I had discovered a new planet.


I’m addicted to my little plane. I use it to wash down my cheesy macaroni and my chocolate brownie. I use it for nutmeg and ginger. Mostly, though, I put lemon in everything. One way or another, I rarely finish cooking a dish without breaking the fine toppings.

Aroma Rice Cooker

The biggest ticket item on this list, it’s still cheap. I’ve owned Aroma rice cookers my whole life. The last person died after twenty years of loyal service, and the current service, with exactly one button, appears to be destined for the same age. In the morning, I cook steel-cut oats – flip it over, take a shower, and have a hot breakfast waiting for me. For dinner I cook lentils, farro and barley, and yes rice in it. Sometimes I put some soft greens on top, like spinach or shredded carrots, and then most of the meal is taken care of. Best $25 You’ve Ever Spent? maybe. The hardest appliance to work in my kitchen? definitely. This year, maybe it will be yours, too.

More of our favorite kitchen gadgets:

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