Gift Ideas

Four Kitchen Tools Every Home Cook Needs

Add these gadgets to your Christmas wish list.

Patricia Davis
Dec 4, 2020 · 9 min read
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Time and money-saving kitchen gadgets used daily: Kitchen scale, quick read thermometer, air fryer/toaster oven combo, and vacuum sealer. Photo by Patricia J. Davis — author.

Kitchen scale — $25 to $100

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Cuisinart KML-10 PerfectWeight Digital Kitchen Scale has a removable stainless steel cover. Photo by Patricia J. Davis.

Features to look for

  1. Choose a scale that can weigh 11 pounds or more to accommodate heavier items like meats.
  2. It should be able to weigh in both grams and ounces. Grams are more accurate but having both makes conversions easy.
  3. The scale should have a tare or zero buttons to reset the scale to zero. Place a bowl on the scale, reset to zero, and only the weight of contents are displayed. This allows you to add ingredients without ever using a measuring cup.

Quick read thermometer — $35 to $100

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Thermoworks Thermopop and Thermopen thermometers and Williams Sonoma Dual Probe Thermometer. Photo by Patricia J. Davis — author.

Features and benefits

  1. Both thermometers are highly accurate, the Thermapen slightly more so.
  2. Both thermometers can be set for Fahrenheit or Celcius readings and have wide temperature ranges — from -58°F/-50°C to 572°F/300°C.
  3. Both work great for cooking in the kitchen or grilling on the patio.
  4. Both have auto-shutoff to preserve battery life.
  5. Their compact sizes easily fit into small drawer spaces.
  6. They have easy-to-see, backlit, digital readouts.

Air fryer/toaster oven combo — $70 to $450

Several years ago, my husband and I purchased an air fryer to make healthier meals. We didn’t know if we would like it that much, so we purchased a small, relatively inexpensive one. And we loved it. We especially loved the benefit of not using much, if any, oil to fry foods, making them much lower in calories.

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Cuisinart TAO-65 Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven. Photo by Patricia J. Davis — author.

Features and Benefits

We eventually purchased the Cuisinart Digital Air Fryer Toaster Oven for about $280. It felt so freeing to have our prep space back. I can prepare food on both sides of my stove and cook in my countertop oven all at the same time. It gives us one more place to be able to make our own mess, I mean masterpiece.

  1. It toasts, bakes, broils, dehydrates, air fries, roasts, and proofs bread.
  2. The interior oven light allows you to check the food without opening the oven door.
  3. It comes with accessories that store inside the oven when not in use. Additional and duplicate accessories are available.
  4. An air fryer/toaster oven combo is really a countertop convection oven, so you can use the convection fan to reduce cooking times while baking.
  5. Most ovens have the fans on the side, but mine has it on the top, which seems much more efficient to me.

Vacuum sealer — $35 to $320

Years ago I purchased a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and used it all the time. When it went out, though, I opted to go with a less expensive vacuum system by Reynolds. It was less effective but at $10, was certainly more affordable. When that was discontinued, I did without. Boy did I miss it.

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FoodSaver® FM5460 2-in-1 Food Preservation System. Photo by Patricia J. Davis — author.

Features and benefits

  1. Many models can make their own bags to the size you need.
  2. Some models can use resealable bags that allow you to preserve fresh vegetables longer.
  3. Some models have accessories that allow you to preserve your favorite wines using a specially designed cap or freeze in airtight containers.
  4. Food will last months, not just a couple of weeks like in ordinary freezer bags.
  5. You can purchase meats on sale and in bulk, repackaging them into serving sizes perfect for your recipes and good when you are ready to use them.
  6. You can preserve meal-sized portions for your whole family and have quick, homecooked meals instead of eating out.

These gadgets are worth it

In the end, a kitchen gadget doesn’t improve your cooking unless you use it often enough to master the device. Out of these four, I would definitely recommend putting the scale and digital thermometer on your list. If you are looking to expand your cooking, I highly recommend the others as well.

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Patricia Davis

Written by

Pat is a certified ELA, speech, and drama teacher. She enjoys writing, reading, baking, gardening, and crafting. Top writer in Food and Cooking.

Simply Living and Living Simply

Lifestyle, Living, Gardening, Food, Crafts, Sewing, Teaching, Books

Patricia Davis

Written by

Pat is a certified ELA, speech, and drama teacher. She enjoys writing, reading, baking, gardening, and crafting. Top writer in Food and Cooking.

Simply Living and Living Simply

Lifestyle, Living, Gardening, Food, Crafts, Sewing, Teaching, Books

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