I’ve been getting this question asked a lot lately, so I think it’s a good topic to address. Yes, it’s about food. Well, in a roundabout way. Gadgets! I’ve done my research in the most practical way: cooking.
A lot of my favorite kitchen gadgets are “off the grid” items — no electric or battery power involved. Some even multi-task.
I’ve listed them in alphabetical order.
You’ve got 2 choices: metal and silicone. The metal steamer fits any size pan and opens like a flower. Silicone steamers are microwavable and fit any size pan, too. Both have feet. Neither takes up much room, as metal steamers store flat and silicones can be rolled up.
I like the stainless steel scraper. It chops, scoops up and scrapes dough off counter.
Sure, I have my microplane rasp graters but honestly, the box grater takes the place several microplanes. Zest citrus, make Parmesan curls, even grate chocolate on this multi-purpose gadget.
Cookie/ice cream scoops
I have several different sized stainless steel scoops. Indispensable for measuring out muffin and cupcake batter. And scooping out even amounts of cookie dough. My large one is perfect for scooping out mashed potatoes or rice. My smaller one digs the cores out of apples and pear halves.
High quality scissors
My Joyce Chen scissors can go from garden to kitchen. They are both right and left handed with flexible, dish-washer safe handles. They easily cut through the back of a chicken and are efficient for cutting herbs.
Manual can opener
I don’t like electric can openers. They’re hard to keep clean. My manual one is rinsed and dried — only takes a few seconds — every time I use it.
Hand turned pepper mill
I wouldn’t trade my mill for any electric one. Most have adjustable grinds. Nothing like the aroma and antioxidant qualities of freshly ground pepper.
I like the French wide blade peeler sometimes called “Y” peelers due to their shape. Peels a wide area. Available in ceramic or carbon steel blades. Peelers with carbon steel blades (my fave) should be washed and dried immediately to prevent rust.
Included in my first kitchen utensil set when I moved away from home. It still can mash avocados for great guacamole. It does a thorough job of breaking up meat in the skillet and, oh yeah — mashing potatoes!
Heat and stain resistant spoon shaped spatulas with removable handles for easy washing garner high marks with me.
Great for stirring sauces since they don’t conduct heat like a stainless steel spoon.
Instant read meat thermometers
Insert digital instant read thermometers about 1/4” in. Standard instant reads have to be inserted up to 2” — up to the little dimple on the side of the stem. Both register temperature pretty quick. Can be used to measure temperature of casseroles, etc.
Tongs with silicone edges and narrow “grips” are my choice. Juice lemons and limes with tongs. Cut in half and squeeze.