Essential Time Saving Tools in the Kitchen
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Cooking Takes Time
Maybe you’re new to scratch cooking and are working on stocking your kitchen for the first time. Or maybe you’re a long-time cook with kitchen tools, appliances, and gadgets bursting out of every cupboard and drawer. Most everybody’s kitchen could use a bit of spring cleaning, including my own!
I don’t like collecting things that I don’t use, so when I bring something home into my kitchen, I want to be sure I’ll use it. And if it saves me time, big time BONUS POINTS.
Because let’s be honest…cooking takes time and energy, especially if you’re cooking from scratch. And most everybody could use a little extra time in their day.
If we can make cooking more efficient, we’ll get time back in our day to do other things we enjoy.
Which Tools are Worth the Space?
That’s why I’ve made a list of seven high quality time saving kitchen tools. I use these tools often (with one exception…see #7 below), and I’m certain they are saving me time. Click on the links to see which brand/style I use and recommend.
1. Food Processor
I use our food processor several times a week. It came with a grater blade, two slicing blades, and two lids (one with a pusher). We got our food processor for a wedding gift in 2011. It’s still working great, and we’ve had no issues since. While it is an investment, it’s well worth the money.
With a food processor, I could grate a carrot in seconds, just by pressing a button. If I were to grate the carrots by hand, it would take minutes (and lots of energy). And I can make homemade mayonnaise in less than five minutes.
Uses: Grated/sliced vegetables, DIY oat flour, nut butters, mayonnaise.
2. Immersion Blender
An immersion blender, also known as a stick blender is a really helpful time saving tool. When I need to blend something, but I don’t want to get the whole food processor out, the immersion blender is the way to go. It’s easier to clean, and in some cases makes a lot more sense.
If I’m making a squash soup and don’t want to ladle hot liquid into the food processor, the immersion blender is the way to go. I’ve had this immersion blender for a couple years now and it hasn’t failed me yet. I like that it’s metal and it seems powerful. I tried a cheaper one initially, and I smelled smoke the first time I turned it on. Not quite ideal.
Uses: Creamy guacamole and sauces, smoothies, squash soup.
3. Mason Jars
We use mason jars in all. the. time. Thirsty? Grab a mason jar. Putting away leftovers? Grab a mason jar. Making a smoothie? Grab a mason jar.
There are a variety of sizes available, depending on your need. And the jar lids are universal (regular mouth, or wide mouth). We always have empty jars on hand.
I especially love the wide mouth jars for making smoothies with my immersion blender. If you don’t eat all the smoothie right away, just put the lid on and store it in the fridge until later. It’s a mixing bowl and storage container in one!
Uses: drinking glasses, a container to mix salad dressing (fill, close, shake, enjoy), storage for leftovers, canning/preserving.
4. Rubber Spatula
I LOVE rubber spatulas. My husband hasn’t quite gotten the wrist angle action down with them, so I’m the go-to rubber spatula expert in our home.
I don’t like wasting food, and without a rubber spatula that’s exactly what I’d be doing by washing the last bits of food down the drain. Instead of sitting there for five minutes trying to get every last bit out of the bowl with a spoon, one swipe of the rubber spatula gets it all!
Any tool that saves time and reduces waste is a hit with me.
Uses: Getting the last remnants of batters, nut butters, sauces, dressings.
5. Kitchen Timer
Whether you use a timer on your cell phone, your stove, or a separate one like this one, it’s essential to have a timer when you’re cooking and baking. This one has a simple appearance and a magnetic back in case you want to store it on your fridge.
A timer saves you time because you’re not constantly checking the oven to check if the food is done. You can just set the timer, and go to the other room if you need to.
Uses: Anything you’re cooking that has a cooking/baking time requirement.
6. Sharp Knife
Having a sharp knife in your kitchen can definitely save time. Have you ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife? I have. It squashes more than slices. And takes much more time and effort. Getting our knives sharpened is currently at the top of our to-do list.
This knife is my favorite of all our knives. The little indentations on the side of the blade keep it from sticking too much (to a block of cheese, for example).
Uses: Chopping food (fruit, vegetable, meat, cheese, etc.).
Full disclosure…we don’t have a mandoline (yet). However, we’re planning to add it to our kitchen arsenal in the next couple months. Update: We got a mandoline and have been using it daily! We had a plastic one a few years ago, but it wasn’t easy to put together or clean or use. So we got rid of it. Since we’re looking for time saving tools here, ease of use is essential.
A mandoline is great if you want to uniformly slice fruits and vegetables quickly, especially if you’re in need of a knife sharpening date.
Uses: Slices food thinly and uniformly
Well, there you have it! Seven tools that will save you time in the kitchen. Do you have other favorite tools? Comment below to share your favorite time saving gadget/tool in your kitchen.