This article was created by SheKnows for HSN.
The kitchen always has been and always will be the workhorse room of the home. And that’s especially true come fall — between all the holiday meals to prep for and the warm, cozy foods we’re craving. But as much as we may love our kitchens, the fast pace of life (especially now) doesn’t really accommodate marathon cooking sessions. We’ve got to-do lists to work through, busy schedules to tame and a literal laundry list of minutiae to tend to. It’s for all these reasons and more that we need to equip our space with genius kitchen gadgets that help us get a meal on the table in a quick and delicious manner.
But honing in on the right kitchen tools can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Do we really need a food processor, or can we just use a blender? Is an apple slicer worth it, or are we just being lazy? And do air fryers really deserve all the hype they keep getting? Each time we answer one of these questions, another must-have item seems to appear. Another kitchen gadget is invented, another cooking fad hits the zeitgeist, another friend introduces us to a product they swear by. And with holiday meal prep season quickly approaching, we want to make sure our kitchen is fully stocked with the items that will take the stress out of getting a four-course meal on everyone’s plate.
Thankfully, there’s a vast array of kitchen tools out there designed to help the masses. These gadgets tackle tasks any home cook could reasonably be expected to accomplish, regardless of skill or experience level (or difficult toddler palate). In some cases, these kitchen tools will eliminate a common problem (like herbs that go bad too quick? Problem solved!). In other cases, they’ll speed up the cooking process (your festive cake pops have never been easier to make). And in yet more cases, they’ll do most of the work for you (to answer your question: yes, air fryers have made life abundantly easier). But all of them will do something that actually needs doing, making them foundational additions to anyone’s culinary arsenal.
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Curtis Stone Countertop Lid Rest
No one wants to deal with unanticipated problems mid-recipe — especially not when those problems are as tedious as “figuring out where to place the lid I just took off my pot.” This lid rest will act as a go-to spot for any lids that need holding. Plus, it doubles as a great place to put the phone or tablet containing the recipe you’re trying to follow.
KitchenAid 5-Cup Food Chopper
Food processors may seem a little fussy for the beginner chef looking to throw basic recipes together. But a good one like this model from KitchenAid makes chopping, shredding, grinding and pureeing much easier. This particular option is small and affordable — a perfect fit for low-key cooking.
Curtis Stone Stainless Steel Graters (2-Pack)
A good knife can replace the need for a lot of single-task kitchen gadgets, but it can’t hold a candle to a good grater. No amount of quick chopping can create a pile of shredded cheese or minced garlic more quickly than a grater can — plus, graters call for far less work.
Curtis Stone Kinetic Scale
Most recipes don’t call for a scale. But when one eventually does, you’ll be glad you have one. Figuring out how much an ingredient weighs without a scale requires a ton of math and guesswork, and since a top-notch scale like this one costs a mere $36.25, you might as well save yourself the time and make the small investment.
Curtis Stone Silicone Pinch Bowls (4-Pack)
If you routinely cook with salt, sugar, pepper, or any other spices, make your life a little easier and invest in a few pinch bowls. These cute aqua bowls will look great on your kitchen counter, and they’ll offer easy access to your favorite spices any time you need them. Plus, by pinching and sprinkling, you’ll have more control over what seasoning goes where. (And you’ll never again have to deal with the oh-so tragic experience of accidentally dumping way more salt than intended into your pan.)
Microplane Herb and Salad Chopper and SwiftStrip Set
This salad and herb chopper combo is an excellent buy for anyone who regularly eats salad. Not only will you never again have to wonder what to use to prep your herbs, but you can also ensure your salad greens are veritably bite-sized. (No one wants to figure out how to shove a massive lettuce leaf into their mouth. And with a couple quick rolls of the microplane, they won’t have to.)
Kitchen HQ V-Blade Adjustable Mandoline
Why spend a ton of time prepping ingredients when you could, instead, invest in a mandoline that’ll do all your slicing for you? Whether you need a ton of sliced veggies for a salad or pristinely sliced charcuterie for your next wine and cheese night, the mandoline will save you tons of time and effort—and it’ll reliably leave your spreads looking prettier than they would’ve if you’d prepped them yourself.
Holstein Fun Silicone Baking Cups Set (24-Pack)
Bakers who routinely make cupcakes, egg bites, or any other snack-friendly oven treat will immediately recognize these silicone baking cups as worthwhile. They’ll keep your bakeware clean the same way disposable baking cups would, but they’re also not disposable — so you can save money and reduce the waste you’re creating in one fell swoop.
Wolfgang Puck Tempered Glass Herb Keeper with Ventilated Lid
If there’s a downside to cooking with fresh herbs, it’s that they can wilt or lose their crispness if not used quickly. And no matter if you grew them yourself or picked up a bunch at the grocery store, it stings to have to discard them. But with this herb keeper, you can extend the life of your favorite herbs — ideal if you like to do beat the crowds and do holiday meal prep food run ahead of time.
Ninja Max XL 5.5 qt. Air Fryer
Air fryers are one of those kitchen appliances you spend a lot of time thinking about buying, and then after you own it wonder why it took you so long to commit. Start slowly by making delicious restaurant-quality fries or wings, and then work your way up to more sophisticated (but equally simple and fast, we promise) dishes like beef wellington and air fryer ravioli. Plus, the holiday appetizer ideas are endless.
Wolfgang Puck 13-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
Whether you like professional-grade mixing bowls or want a reliable set that lets you mix, prep and store without missing a beat, you can’t go wrong with this 13-piece set from Wolfgang pick. The non-slip silicone base on each bowl makes them ideal meal prep accessories while the air tight seal on the lids keep foods fresh. The set also comes with some additional, hand kitchen tools including a scraper, slicer and both fine and coarse graters.
Curtis Stone Silicone Cookware Handle Covers
Kitchen towels are bulky and slide around — these silicone handle covers have a slim profile and are heat-resistant up to 500 degrees. Their non-slip design makes handling hot pots and pans a breeze. You’ll wonder how you ever cooked without them.
Cuisinart 14pc Ceramic Coated Speckled Knife Set with Cutting Boards
This 14-piece set includes five chef’s-quality knives with accompanying blade guards (so you’ll never knick yourself fumbling around in your utensil drawer again). The four plastic cutting boards are color coded to help you avoid cross-contamination. Consider your holiday meal prep handled with this set.
Curtis Stone Roll Up 2-in-1 Drying Rack/Trivet
Unsightly drying racks are a thing of the past when you are able to roll this mat out over your sink and quickly dry a few items. The sleek, modernist design is available in five colors and will also double as a trivet — because the best kitchen gadgets serve more than one purpose.
Debbie Meyer CakeCutters™ 2-piece Set
Cutting a birthday cake or holiday pie is always more awkward and clumsy than it should be — at least, it tends to be when you aren’t using the right cake cutting utensils. With this 2-piece set, featuring both a wedge shape and a boxy shape — make getting your sweet fix a much more civilized ordeal.
Holstein 35-Piece Cake Pop and Donut Hole Maker
Whether you’re making food for a party or just a Friday night at home, this cake pop and donut hole maker is a true game-changer. Quickly whip up 35 — yes, 35 — mini desserts (or mini breakfast bites) at once with this savvy appliance.
Wolfgang Puck Set of 3 Stainless Steel Tongs Set
Many of us remember to buy spatulas, but very few of us remember to invest in tongs — a kitchen tool that’s equally useful and arguably more versatile. Some things just aren’t very scoop-able. (Think: strips of bacon, slices of steak, chicken drumsticks, and the like.) And if you’re hoping to cook any of those things, a spatula simply won’t do the trick. Plus, even if you don’t use your tongs for cooking, you can always use them to serve salad.
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