While preparing a tray of delicious chicken nuggets yesterday (fancy lunch), I realized I have not shared my love for the BEST must-have kitchen appliance. I asked for a toaster oven a few years ago as a gift, and I think it is one of the most used gifts ever. In addition to my love for my toaster oven, I have a few other kitchen tools that are must-haves to save you time, money, and hassle! Who else is all about keeping it easy?!? Take a read, and then leave me a note to share your favorite kitchen tool or appliance!
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The tools listed below are for ANY skill level. The last few years, as kids were born and jobs changed, my role has grown to include making dinner (very different than our pre-kids lives). The tools below have helped me embrace my new responsibilities in the kitchen (embrace or survive???). Check them out!
Kitchen Must-Haves to save time, money, and hassle!
1. Toaster Oven
Toaster Ovens save you time (heat up time), money (not heating up an entire oven for a small tray of food), and hassle (smaller pans to clean). This is the trifecta of saving! The one I use EVERYDAY is shown below. I use it for making toast, heating up leftovers, making dinner, making a small batch of baked goods and more. Most nights when dinner calls for an oven this is my go-to (making dinner for 4 people). You will rarely use your “big oven” again, and if time allows I always prefer reheating in the toaster oven vs. the microwave!
TIP: Use foil or waxed paper to cover your pan when cooking. This will save you time during clean up!
2. Pizza Wheel
If you do not have a pizza wheel or pizza cutter, you are wasting time!!! I know some people only use kitchen scissors (which I also enjoy), but the pizza wheel can slice up pizza (duh!), quesadillas, sandwiches, and MORE! Quick roll of the wheel and VOILA! Most inexpensive kitchen tool that will save you time!
3. Rice Cooker
Making rice has never been easier using a rice cooker. You are not left with a pan that has rice stuck all over it, and your rice is fluffy! Huge TIME saver (and aggravation)! We have a pretty basic rice cooker (pictured below) that we have used for years. Never had any issues!
Not technically a tool but definitely a must-have! IKEA dishes for kids (and adults) are the perfect size and hold up well. Top rack dishwasher friendly and microwave friendly mean they save TIME! The price is perfect, and you have access even if you are not near an IKEA by ordering on Amazon! Throw out those melamine kids dishes (not microwave safe – BOO) and grab these today.
Getting down to the end of the list but this one is not to be forgotten…the Nutribullet! This gem was a gift last Christmas, and it has become a staple in my kitchen. I use it for smoothies, grinding up oatmeal (favorite Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin recipe), grinding up nuts, making salad dressing, and more! I wish I would have had this a few years ago for baby food…if you are in that stage of life it would be so awesome. Throw in some dinner leftovers and baby is served too! Besides the versatility (money saver for the investment) of use, you can use the end product straight from the mixing source! In other words, your “blender” is also your cup or serving container! For smoothies, throw in the ingredients, blend, and stick a straw in it and run! Score!
6. Food Chopper
Does anyone not own a Food Chopper!?! I have saved fingertips and urgent care visits by moving from using knives to this tool. I use it for onions and peppers most commonly. It makes chopping onions a little more doable for me since it saves me time (and tears)!
7. Pasta Pot
Last, but NOT least is the Pasta Pot! This is called a Pasta Pot but you can use it for anything you need to strain which is a big time saver (getting out another tool, plus cleaning)! You strain right from the pot, and you have one dish to wash. Who doesn’t like to save time doing dishes? This pot is lightweight and great for everyday use.
I received many of the tools above as gifts. Lucky me for being gifted things that save me time! What saves you time? What are your favorite tools in the kitchen? Leave a comment below and share your favorite kitchen tool!