Are you less of an Iron Chef and more an Aluminum Foil Chef? Do questions like “chives same as green onions?” plague your Google search history? Fear not, fellow faux cook. There are plenty of kitchen gadgets to make cooking easier while tricking everyone into thinking you know what you’re doing in the kitchen.
The benefits of cooking go beyond just having delicious food to eat. Some psychologists say there are actual health benefits to baking for other people. Baking and cooking can be forms of creative expression. As Donna Pincus, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Boston University, tells Huffington Post, “Whether it’s painting or it’s making music [or baking], there is a stress relief that people get from having some kind of an outlet and a way to express themselves.”
Additionally, cooking from home allows you to have complete control over what you are and aren’t putting in your food. One study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests home cooking is the secret ingredient in a healthy diet. “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet,” says Julia A. Wolfson, lead author of this study.
Specifically, the study found that people who cooked at home six to seven nights a week ate less calories than when they dined out.
Whether you’re in it for the health benefits or just to impress friends at your next dinner party, here are a few kitchen gadgets to consider investing in that will make cooking from home a little easier.
Usually when recipes call for food to be cut finely in a food processor, I just stick them in the blender because that’s what I’ve got on hand. But if you’re sick of awkwardly scraping ingredients out of something that isn’t really meant for dry food, invest in a food processor. You can get this one from Hamilton Beach for about $30.
Where my soup people at? Still trying to clean out their blenders? An immersion blender is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to worry about transferring hot dishes, like soup, to a blender. They’re also great for things like homemade whipped cream, creamy mashed potatoes, and sauces like alfredo. You can get an immersion blender by Cuisinart on Amazon for $26.49.
Cooking meat can be tricky. And, if you’re like me, you end up with weird cuts of chicken because you have to keep cutting it open to make sure it’s cooked. First, check out this guide to cooking meat. Then, get a meat thermometer on Amazon for $12.99. Think of it as 13 dollars that will save you from salmonella.
4Waterproof Egg Timer
An easy way to level up your at home ramen is with a soft boiled egg. But requires you knowing exactly how long it takes to soft boil an egg. Instead of having to search the perfect cook time for every variation of egg, you can get a waterproof egg timer. Just plop it in the water and the egg timer will tell you how cooked your eggs are based on the water temperature. You can get a waterproof egg timer on Amazon for $4.50.
Now, that you can make perfect eggs, it’s time to up your coffee game. You can make cafe-level drinks like chai lattes or the most delicious hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted using a milk frother. You can get one from Ikea for $2.79.
6Breakfast Sandwich Maker
If you're really looking to take brunch to the next level, you can impress friends, loved ones, passers by, etc. with a breakfast sandwich maker. You can individually customize your breakfast sandwich to contain exactly the ingredients you want. Egg McMuffin who? Sausage McGriddle what? You can get one from Amazon starting at $27.
7Electronic Cooking Scale
Not only will you not have to dirty up a bunch of measuring cups, you’ll get super exact measurements using an electronic cooking scale. Most cooking scales will also do conversions for you so you don’t have to worry about transferring from ounces to liters to grams. You can get an electronic cooking scale from Amazon for $13.98.
8Digital Measuring Cup
Perhaps an electronic cooking scale isn’t your thing. Here’s a digital measuring cup from Amazon for $23.52 that works similarly, giving you digital readouts of how the exact amount you have measured out.
I'm convinced the secret to delicious baked good doughs is perfectly and precisely mixed batter. Understandably, we don't all have the golden touch and/or wrist strength when it comes to mixing cake and cookie dough. Want to trick people into thinking you're America's Next Baking Superstar Get a stand mixer. This one from Amazon is a combination stand and hand mixer for $18.13. You also splurge and bless your kitchen with a KitchenAid mixer for $206.
If you want to get in your zoodle game, you need to get a spiralizer. Then, you can make everything from perfectly julienned carrots to perfectly spiralized zoodles for delicious zucchini noodle recipes. Any gadget that can make a vegetable appear more like a carb a gift from the kitchen gods. Get a spiralizer from Amazon for about $30.