12 Must-Haves for the Shortcut Chef
You know we can’t live without our muffin pan and mini cookie cutters, but what other quirky, innovative, and helpful tools will you find in the Brit kitchen? Here are our 12 favorite gadgets, tricks, and doodads for equipping a fully functional crafty kitchen.
1. Piece of Cake Layer Slicing Kit ($60): Ever tried your hand at a homemade layer cake? One without using 5 different cake pans and taking all day baking? It’s time to try it out, and this sweet slicing kit is truly a piece of cake. We love the idea of baking a bunch of different colored cakes and assembling an array of colorful mix-and-match cakes.
2. Cuisinart SmartStick Immersion Hand Blender ($30): Don’t have the patience to process that Almond Cream of Broccoli Soup in batches in your food processor? Enter, the SmartStick. We use this for everything from soup to hummus to smoothies and everything in between.
3. Ziploc Bag + Hammer: Our tried and true technique for crushing Graham Crackers, Girl Scout cookies, Sweet Tarts, and Oreos, these two kitchen items are absolutely essential. We recommend heavy duty freezer bags, a cutting board (for underneath the Ziploc) and any old hammer.
4. Chef Sleeve for iPad ($20 for 25 sleeves): The folks at Chef Sleeve know what’s up. We all use our iPads for recipes, for listening to music (thank you Spotify) and for catching up on Glee while we cook. Now, thanks to the Chef Sleeve, we don’t have to worry about spilling on our iPads, and can easily navigate through websites even if our hands are covered in frosting. ;)
5. Stem Citrus Spritzer ($5): How often do you find yourself squeeze a lemon or lime and you end up with way too much juice? For us, it’s often. That’s why we’re so pumped about Quirky’s easy Citrus Spritzer. Just pop it into any citrus fruit, and mist away!
6. Scoop Colander ($7): Sometimes the production of getting a colander out, putting it in the sink, and draining a pot over it is completely unnecessary. This scoop colander also works great to draining canned veggies, tofu, and washing small quantities of fruit!
7. Grip Grater ($25): Like a good man, a good grater is hard to find. Well, we’ve found one that is sure you cure your grating woes. You can use it either vertically or has a hand-held grater, or horizontally over a plate or bowl. Best of all, the plastic frame is equipped with non-slip grips making it super easy to grate over any surface.
8. Wilton Cookie Sticks ($5): Can you say On A Stick? It’s always good to have a big bag of cookie sticks around in case you feel like whipping up a spontaneous batch of Pop Rocks Pops or Easter Egg Pops. And stay tuned for a new round of pops later this week!
9. Portion Spoon ($9): When we’re cooking, we’ve definitely found ourselves stirring things up with a measuring spoon just to make sure all the ingredients make it into the mix. Why not combine the two? Portion is a cooking spoon with integrated measurement tools. Woot woot!
10. Index Color Coded Chopping Boards ($34): You’ve likely seen these sweet little chopping blocks in the background of our Food posts, and with good reason. Not only do they make delightful backdrops, but each board is coded to make sure you keep raw meat, seafood, veggies, and cooked foods separate. Plus, they’re all dishwasher safe!
11. Resin Santoku Knife with Sheath ($9): What would a super colorful cutting board set be without a bright orange Santoku knife? You can get away with using this knife for pretty much everything you could possibly want to cut. We love that it comes with a matching sheath so you can chef-ify even an impromptu picnic.
12. Cheat Sheet Apron ($30): And finally, get your kitchen units in check. The number of times I’ve washed my hands mid-prep, taken out my iPhone and fired up Kitchen Unit Converter is countless. With this apron, all of your unit conversions are printed upside down, so you can simply look down at your apron and get all the info you need.
And there you have it. A dozen of our favorite kitchen tools, perfect for making just about every recipe on Brit + Co. What are your favorite culinary gadgets? Leave recommendations in the comments below!