Confessions Of A Kitchen Gadget Fanatic - New Horizons in the Kitchen Blog at - 324263

New Horizons in the Kitchen

Confessions of a Kitchen Gadget Fanatic 
Mar. 24, 2014 8:00 am 
Updated: Sep. 29, 2014 4:26 pm

I’m coming clean with you.  I am a KITCHEN GADGET FANATIC.  Whew, there I've confessed. There is no cure for it, other than staying out of stores that carry kitchen gadgets and small appliances and, honestly, I don’t have the willpower to do that.  

Yes, I’m fortunate to have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, the Cuisinart 14-Cup Elite & Mini Food Processors, a Cuisinart hand mixer, and most of the other appliances that many of us have.  But I have a lot of what I think are some cool, fun, handy, and fairly inexpensive kitchen gadgets as well.  

I took photos of each item, but no longer see a way to upload photos to this site.  If I find out this is possible, I’ll add them later.   I’m providing you with some links, where possible, to give you a visual, so just click on the name of each product which I’ve underlined.

I was in a Williams-Sonoma outlet store a couple weeks ago, and I said to my husband:  “ know what, there’s nothing in here that I really need.”  He became weak in the knees and looked for a chair to sit down.  Now mind you, I did still manage to find a couple on-sale little things to bring home that day, I do have an image to uphold.  Let me share with you a few of the gadgets that I use in my kitchen, many of which you may have.

When I was working, I was out of town on business one evening, unable to fall asleep, and was watching late night television.  The first and only time I ever succumbed to an infomercial was when I ordered the Vidalia Onion Wizard, and there was no “...but wait, if you order now, we’ll also send you...”  It was simply one of those “I have to have that” moments.  It is a chopper, and is a gadget that I use all the time.  

I know, I know, I've already told you that I have both full-size and mini food processors.  The thing I like about this is that it uniformly chops everything, cooking evenly, and presentation is nicer than using the food processor.  It works great for chopping apples to go into a coffee cake or sweet bread.  If you use the smaller blade, you'll get a bite of apple in every bite.  Now stop laughing.  

I must admit, I tried using it for chopping some cheddar cheese into cubes, and the plastic broke, so I had to get a replacement.  Progressive makes what to me looks like an identical product.  It costs a lot less, so that's what I bought, and I've had it for years.  I chop onions, peppers, soft fruit, strawberries and peaches for preserves, etc., and it does a fantastic job.  Comes with two different-size blades, and it all goes into the dishwasher.

Cuisinart Immersion Blender & Chopper is one of the most useful appliances I’ve ever bought, and I literally use it just about every day.  I got the “deal of deals” At Costco and paid $24.99 which included an in-store rebate.  In addition to the immersion blender, it came with a chopper and a whisk.  It also came with a plastic beaker which works great for whipping cream with the whisk.  Every cook should have an immersion blender, and this is a good one!!

I have probably been using my microwave pasta and bean cooker for 15+ years.  It was a gift, and it’s still in incredibly good shape.   I don’t use it often for cooking dry beans, but I use it all the time for perfectly-cooked pasta at 9 minutes...start to finish.  You know exactly when it’ll be ready to plate, and it's wonderful for timing the rest of your meal.  Unfortunately, I cannot find a link for my cooker, probably because it’s so old.

I cook often for leftovers, and many things like rice, couscous, and vegetables, for example, go into zip-lock bags and into the freezer.  This hands free baggy storage holder is adjustable in height, folds flat, and you never have to worry about spilling anything because the top of the bag stays open.

I can pickled peppers once a year, and being the moderate wimp that I am, have to remove at least some of the seeds from the peppers, otherwise, they’re just too hot.  I slice off the top of the pepper, insert the chile twister and tomato corer, turn the handle, and it removes the seeds and ribs from the pepper.  Genius!!

If you like cherries but hate the job of pitting them, this is for you.  This little cherry pitter pits multiple cherries at one time.  You just position the cherry on the plastic platform, stem side up, press down, and the pits and stems fall to the bottom of the holder.

We enjoy soft-boiled eggs quite often for breakfast, and the
soft boiled egg topper-cutter slices off the top of an egg, which is then ready for toast dipping.  All you do is place it on the top of an egg, squeeze the handle, and off it comes, perfectly sliced.

I make my salad dressings, and this battery-operated whisk is so handy for emulsifying.  In the past, I always used the blender, now I make most of them by hand, using this whisk.  Anything you need to whisk works great with this well-made product.  I bought it at Williams-Sonoma Outlet Store at a great price.

Once you get used to magnetic measuring spoons, you’ll never want to use anything else.  It has a spoon on each end, and I use the oval-shaped end for dry ingredients (slides right down into the spice bottle) and the round end for liquid measurements.  They’re flat on the bottom, so they’ll rest without tipping over. They’re magnetic which is great for storage, and they stick to anything metal.  I often just stick them on the microwave when I'm cooking.  Love them.

Some friends gave me a foam soap pump which sits on the kitchen sink.  It's true, it can be a challenge for somebody to find something new for me, but this one was a surprise. I had no idea this little dispenser saves you about 75% on your liquid soap.  Press down once, and it dispenses foam.  Never thought about it before, but so many public restrooms have foam dispensers, and I now know why…it saves you money!

And finally, one of my recent purchases, the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer.  If you want to wow somebody with presentation, this will do it!  Having an incredible amount of fun with this new gadget.  When I recently bought this from Amazon, it was under $30, so I don’t understand the big price increase.  It’s also available at Bed, Bath & Beyond where you can use one of those 20% off coupons that come in the mail on a regular basis.  


I’ve been accumulating these gadgets over a number of years, so in many cases, I bought them on sale or at considerably less than you see on the links I’ve provided.  I admit that I’m spoiled when it comes to kitchen gadgets, but they don’t stay in the drawer, I use ALL of them.  And friends and family all know that I love receiving them for gifts.

I’m always looking for the next cool gadget, but I may need a bigger kitchen soon because I’m just about max’d out on storage space. Things are now spilling over into closets in bedrooms.  I also love dishes, glasses, tablecloths, napkins, and placements, but I’ll save that for a future blog.  Yes, I’m a fanatic there, too!  Must be something in my genes.

What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets???

Mar. 24, 2014 8:33 am
LOL! I'd love to say that I'm not an impulse shopper but I saw a blogger singing the praises of a breakfast sandwich maker recently. Well of course I had to buy and we LOVE it! Just made everyone egg sandwiches this morning. And, I really want those magnetic measuring spoons. I ran across those looking for measuring cups. I'm really trying to get rid of all my plastic !
Mar. 24, 2014 8:34 am
I've noticed it fluctuates in price - I paid $20 for mine and had Amazon credits so it was around $11.
Mar. 24, 2014 8:41 am
Scotdog, there are also magnetic measuring cups, I have them, too :-) I'll have to check out that sandwich maker. Thanks for stopping by.
Mar. 24, 2014 9:43 am
lutzflcat-I really need to go shopping with you, I don't have any of these nifty gadgets!
Mar. 24, 2014 12:11 pm
Mrs. J, it can become an addiction, glad to hear I'm not alone. Seriously, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Mar. 24, 2014 12:11 pm
Oh no, Lela. At least put the immersion blender at the top of your list. Thanks for stopping by.
Mar. 24, 2014 12:15 pm
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Smart Stick! That chopper is just perfect. I too got a killer deal on it at Costco!
Mar. 24, 2014 12:17 pm
My Turbo Immersion Blender could probably power a small boat on still pond. I love that thing but the one gadget I can't live without is my now close to 30 year old electric griddle. I have lost count of the pancakes it has made....oh yeah and my Grandmother's 60+ year old cookie press. The grooves slip but if you hold it just right, the cookies are perfect....and my bamboo cutting boards - them to stop thinking about it or I'll just keep typing....
Mar. 24, 2014 1:28 pm
I love my Cuisinart smart stick, but I have to admit I stand in kitchen gadget stores and drool because I want it all. Bill keeps melting my pampered chef hand choppers in the dish washer so I am looking for a good glass and metal one he can't melt. Now you got me wanting an electric whisk and I am already begging for a Paderno.
Mar. 24, 2014 1:44 pm
Baking Nana, I use the heck out of the chopper, as well, and it sure doesn't take up as much room in the dishwasher as the big food processor. Also, if I need just a small amount of whipped cream, I find that whisk and beaker really handy too.
Mar. 24, 2014 1:52 pm
Doug, I too have had a stainless steel electric griddle for AT LEAST 30 years, and that baby is seasoned as well an old cast iron skillet. Can’t imagine using anything else to make pancakes. This last year, I bought a close-out Oster cookie press at Tuesday Morning for under $5.00. I’ve used it only twice, it did a great job, but I don’t make a lot of cookies. Hmmm, bamboo cutting boards, now that sounds like something I need to check out! Thanks for stopping by.
Mar. 24, 2014 1:55 pm
Joey, how did we ever make it without an immersion blender? So many uses, and so easy to clean up, too. I'll just take a glass, fill it with some soapy water, zap the blender in the water, and it cleans itself. Kitchen gadgets are like a bottomless pit, you'll just never see the end of the tunnel. Thanks for commenting today.
Mar. 24, 2014 3:30 pm
My immersion blender has to be at least 25 years old. It has none of the attachments that have been added and I still use it almost every day! There used to be a small chain of kitchen stores called Lecthter's before BB&B put them out of business. They had a branch right next to the place I did my weekly shopping so I was in there all the time. I went into mourning when they closed.
Mar. 24, 2014 4:09 pm
BSM, yes, I remember Lechter's, too! Gotta love that immersion blender, for sure.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:34 pm
I must be cooking deprived cuz I have very few of these gadgets. I have the immersion blender/chopper and the KA Mixer and Large KA food processor but I am missing out on the rest. When we moved off the mainland I got rid of so many things that I miss now. Canning supplies, cherry pitter & apple peeler come to mind. Now that I am back on the mainland, I miss them. My grandmas crystal...which wasn't really crystal at all. It was the stuff they used to get out of a detergent box back in the day and I sure wish I would have held onto that.
Mar. 24, 2014 6:48 pm
what a great blog. i too am a kitchen gadget guy. I'm kinda different. we collect OLD kitchen gadgets. i love the old cast iron strange contraptions.
Mar. 24, 2014 7:01 pm
I love kitchen gadgets as well. The last thing I purchased were two sets of these molds, last fall. Love them.
Mar. 24, 2014 9:26 pm
Must - buy - spiral - slicer - now. Oh , my wife is going to be very unhappy with me. Maybe I can blame you! Piles of thin, spiral sliced daikon radish sprinkled with salt and chopped chives. Serve with wheat beer. Heaven!
Mar. 25, 2014 5:50 am
lutzflcat, I'm smiling as I read this! YES, the chopper is better than a food processor, because it doesn't whip all the liquid out of your veggies or fruit as it beats them into small bits! My favorite gadget is my Rosle garlic press. Pressing my own is much more cost-effective than the jarred kind, and tastier, too!
Mar. 25, 2014 7:39 am
Mauigril, we’ve started talking about scaling down, and maybe a move to a condo…only at the discussion stage right now. I know that if we do that, I'll have to clear out many of my possessions and gadgets, probably forfeit my freezer in the garage, and right now, I know I'm not up to that. I enjoy them all too much. Once you’re totally settled in, I’m sure you’ll be picking up all those things that you had to leave behind.
Mar. 25, 2014 7:40 am
gderr certainly nothing wrong with collecting the OLD kitchen gadgets. I sometimes wish I’d held on to more of my mother’s gadgets. That old-time food grinder that clamped onto the side of a table brings back good memories. Thanks for stopping by.
Mar. 25, 2014 7:40 am
Marie C. I must admit I’ve never seen anything like those cookie about a unique presentation! Have you tried them yet and if you did, what recipe did you use?
Mar. 25, 2014 7:41 am
Doc, bd weld was the one who introduced me to this cool gadget, and I know a good number of folks on this site have now purchased it. Trust me, it works well, is easy to clean up, totally fun, and really gets your creative juices flowing on ways you can use it. Go for it, your wife will love it too!! Here’s a link on You Tube that Brian posted which you might find of interest:
Mar. 25, 2014 7:42 am
Bibi, thanks for helping me understand WHY I like that chopper so much...I think it was just hiding in my subconscious. I’d never heard of a Rosie garlic press, but just checked it out on Amazon. It looks much more high tech than the one I bought at Crate & Barrel after about 4 garlic presses that just never worked very well. I notice that the Rosie minces the unpeeled cloves of garlic as does mine, so there’s really need to ever buy the garlic in the jar. Thanks for letting me know that there’s an even better one out there just in case I ever need a new garlic press.
Mar. 25, 2014 7:43 am
I am currently trimming down my collection of kitchen gadgets. Too many! This is a great spoon, though:
Mar. 25, 2014 8:24 am
Wendyws, now that is a very cool spoon. We had soup and BLT’s for dinner last night, and I was trying to get that last little bit of the mayo out of the jar. I finally just gave up, rinsed it out, and it went into the recycle bin. I hate wasting food, and this spoon would have really cleaned out the jar. Good luck on getting rid of some of your kitchen gadgets, I probably should be heading in that direction, as well. Thanks for sharing this spoon, it’s a new one for me!
Mar. 25, 2014 11:00 am
I thought I was "Gadget Girl", but YOU definitely are! Like you, I, too was running out of drawer space in my kitchen for all of my gadgets. You know what I did? I saw on Pinterest where someone hung one of those multi-pocketed shoe holders on the inside of a closet door. They used it for water bottle storage. I had my husband hand one on the inside of our garage entry closet, which is right near the kitchen. I store our water bottles AND a bunch of my kitchen gadgets in there! It's so nice for those bulky things like large cookie scoops, meat mallets, measuring cups, pastry blender, etc. that usually got stuck when trying to open the drawer that they were in. One like this:
Mar. 25, 2014 2:19 pm
Kim, what a SMART idea, and those can be bought anywhere fairly inexpensively. Wow, thanks for the great tip. That would really help a lot!
Mar. 25, 2014 2:27 pm
Thank you for the great read. This was like one stop shopping with trusted reviews. As for the Paderno -there are several of the exact same product on Amazon under different names. Look at the photos and you will see the same product. Oh, BTW I do love my Paderno aka Spirooli, aka whatever the name they put on it.
Mar. 26, 2014 6:12 am
bd.weld I had that Paderno in my Amazon "Wish List" for a while, but when you did your blog on the zoodles, it pushed me over the edge, and I ordered it. Loving it!
Mar. 26, 2014 4:54 pm
Love, love, love this blog! Mainly because I love kitchen gadgets, too. I don't have most of the ones you mentioned, but I do have that immersion blender and just recently bought the Paderno. I'm having a great time using it too. Personally, I think squash tastes so much better in noodle form!
Mar. 26, 2014 5:12 pm
Fun blog! I have quite a few gadgets too, but can't narrow it down to one. Don't want to hurt their little feelings.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:20 am
Paula, what is it about kitchen gadgets??? I know people who truly love cooking as much as I do, but they're not as fanatical as I am about kitchen gadgets. Been having so much fun with the Paderno. Thanks for stopping by.
Mar. 29, 2014 6:21 am
Magnolia Blossom, no reason to single one out, just enjoy all of them! Thanks for reading.
Apr. 1, 2014 7:22 am
lutzflcat, you and I could get into some serious trouble together! However I've vowed not to buy anything new unless I get rid of something. And if you believe that….
Apr. 1, 2014 2:16 pm
Cookin'Cyn, that sounds like my husband "…remember, something new comes in, something goes out." Ha, ha, he knows that's not gonna' happen. Thanks for stopping by.
Apr. 7, 2014 2:17 am
My one rule is it has to multi-task. If a kitchen tool only does one thing, I don't bother. Food processsor, blender,mixer, immersion blender, all have multiple uses. Garlic peelers and soft boiled egg toppers? I don't have the time for that
Apr. 7, 2014 6:51 am
LOVED THIS nice to know I am not alone...hehe I checked out your faves and have ordered the onion fave is my bread machine which really is not a gadget... but I have so so many gadgets too... thanks for the blog!!!
Apr. 7, 2014 6:54 am
oh and I ordered some of the joseph joseph elevated spoon collection... smile
Apr. 7, 2014 7:08 am
poo the wizard cannot be delivered to a po box... I will have to get it another way...and scotdog I ordered a red sammie maker...
Apr. 13, 2014 7:27 am
smitty, darn it, sorry that you're having delivery issues on the onion wizard. Progressive mades a knockoff (I now have it), so just keep your eyes open if you're out and about shopping. You just might find one. Glad to see there's another kitchen gadget fanatic out there.
Apr. 13, 2014 7:31 am
Phoghat, to each his own. That's one sure way to not have your kitchen drawers and cabinets overflowing.
Sep. 28, 2014 2:53 am
Loved this blog lutzflcat! I am bad about buying gadgets and forgetting to use them. I am embarrassed to say that I purchased the Vidalia Onion Wizard many years ago, and the unopened box is still sitting in my cabinet. You have inspired me to open that puppy and give it a whirl tomorrow! I also love my immersion blender and don't know how I functioned without one for so long! I am also inspired to get the Paderno spiral slicer...I need to eat more low carb meals...thx for all the great ideas!
Sep. 29, 2014 4:26 pm
Okay lutzflcat...After reading you blog & reviewer comments, I couldn't resist the urge to get the Paderno spiral slicer or the Jokari bag holder...these looked like wonderful solutions to some of the awkward/frustrating things I deal with in the kitchen. While I was at it, I also ordered the Bru Joy smooth edge can opener, as I have arthritis that can make opening several cans at a time a bit challenging. I believe your recommendations will make my life easier, so thank you! To "pay it forward", I also wanted to share how GREAT it has been to have the silicone coated whisk (WONDERFUL when making candy/melting chocolate) and the silicone pastry brush (clean up is a snap). I love all the silicone bakeware I've invested in, as It allows me to make intricate designs in my baked goods without having to add extra fat from greasing the pan. Thx again for your helpful recommendations!
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About Me
Retired from a high-stress sales career which involved lots of travel. I now have the time to relax, turn off the alarm clock and sleep in, read a book, magazine or the newspaper (every day, not just Sunday) and, most importantly, take in everything that the Florida lifestyle offers, and that's a lot! And, finally, I have the luxury to really pursue a lifetime passion, cooking.
My favorite things to cook
Enjoy all kinds of food and cuisines, and I literally can't think of one food that I would refuse to eat. And that even includes liver (don't like cooking it, but sure like eating it). I love good food, but you won't find me making a recipe that has 40 ingredients. I just don't have the attention span for that.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband's grandmother was from Bavaria, and his mother learned to cook many of her old-country recipes which she then passed on to me. Our traditional Christmas dinner is sauerbraten (which marinates for at least five days) with gravy, homemade egg noodles sauteed in butter, potato balls (which float to the top of the boiling water if prepared correctly), sweet and sour red cabbage, and freshly cooked apples (gotta have something healthy). It's an exhausting meal that literally takes all day to prepare, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, I know it's also a carbohydrate nightmare, but what the heck, we only have it once a year.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering the Christmas sauerbraten meal was a victory. Also, making homemade goetta, a breakfast meat from Cincinnati. My version is made with all pork, equal portions of boston butt and loin. Today's goetta in Cincy has beef in it, as does the recipe on this site, but I'm sticking with ALL pork. It is totally unhealthy for you, but it's a treat, and I don't make it often.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a number over the years like the potato balls mentioned above just disintegrating into a puddle of potato shreds. There's no recipe, it's just a matter of "feeling right" when you're mixing. Not long ago, I made a peach pie and got so caught up in trying to make the pie crust work that I forgot to add the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, etc.) to the peaches that were sitting in a bowl on the counter. Cooked it anyway, it was ghastly, and then threw it away. My ongoing tragedy is making pie crust. There must a black cloud hanging over my head when I'm making pie crust because I ALWAYS have problems. But I'm not giving up, one day this tragedy will turn into a triumph and be listed above!
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