Sure, I spend a lot of time in the test kitchen cooking with our highly recommended equipment and ingredients, but you might wonder what my kitchen arsenal at home is like. Well, the truth is that I’m a minimalist when it comes to cooking equipment because my kitchen is tiny and doesn’t have much storage. So it’s a big deal for me to buy anything new—but I did add some new kitchen-related gear in 2018. Here’s the complete list.
1. Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids
I much prefer to use glass containers for leftovers and like having a variety of sizes to choose. In hindsight, I wish I had only bought two or three sizes so that finding the right lid would be easier. I did, however, make sure that the containers all have straight sides to maximize space in the refrigerator.
OXO Good Grips 8 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle ContainerWith a plastic lid that latched easily and securely and an airtight, leakproof seal that didn't drip or let moisture in, this container is our top choice for glass storage.
2. A Boos Butcher Block
This was a present, so I didn’t exactly buy it myself—but I would have. I hate prepping food on little cutting boards. The Boos block gives me enough room to spread out and keep things organized.
3. Five Pairs of Kitchen Shears
Kitchen shears have legs in my house and I’ve no idea where they all go. Earlier this year, I bought five (yes, five!) pairs of them for the kitchen, but only have two left in the drawer. I love to use them for breaking down a whole chicken, which is a weekly dinner at our house. I prefer heavy-duty shears that come apart for easy cleaning, but since I was buying in bulk this time, I opted for the less expensive yet very effective J.A. Henckels International Take-Apart Kitchen Shears, which came in runner-up in our review of kitchen shears.
4. Three New Vegetable Peelers
First off, I prefer traditional “straight” style peelers. And much like shears, one peeler is not enough. Having three is the magic number because one is always clean.
Messermeister Pro-Touch Fine Edge Swivel PeelerLightweight, sharp, and comfortable, this model is a stellar choice for those who prefer a straight peeler.
5. Skull-Shaped Ice Cube Tray
6. Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
We eat rice several times a week at our house. Sure, making rice on the stovetop is easy, but using a rice cooker is foolproof and keeps it hot until serving time. (And it might be a funny term, but “fuzzy logic” isn’t a brand; it refers to the type of technology some rice cookers use that is supposed to adjust time and temperature settings as needed during cooking. Our second favorite rice cooker, the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, uses this “fuzzy logic” technology.)
7. Four Rimmed Baking Sheets
Until recently, all of my baking sheets were really beat up, with multiple dents and well blackened. They’re perfect for roasting meats and vegetables, but terrible for making cookies and cakes. So, I bought four (yes, four!) shiny new sheets and reserve them for just baking; it’s pretty luxurious.
Nordic Ware Baker’s Half SheetEverything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant, inexpensive sheet cooked appropriately and evenly.
8. Colanders in Two Sizes
I’ve had the same two colanders for more than 10 years (they were free from a friend’s garage sale) and they were terrible. The water took forever to drain, and I usually ran out of patience before it was done, which meant a wet kitchen floor. This year, I finally bought the winner of or colander review, the RSVP International Endurance Precision Pierced 5 Qt. Colander, in small and large and it was one of the best decisions I made all year. What a difference a few extra holes make.
9. Guitar-Shaped Wooden Spoons
I actually bought two of these sets as gifts—one for my husband and another for a friend. I can’t claim that they work well, but they’re fun for any home cook that rocks.
10. 12-inch Nonstick Skillet
All of my other cookware is well over 15 years old, but I replace my nonstick skillet every year. I really like our new winner, the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick 12-inch Open Frypan, because it heats evenly and the handle is sturdy.
I’m a huge fan of pressure cookers. It makes the best chicken soup, hands down. This year, I bought the electric, multicooker version for home (our favorite model is the Zavor LUX LCD 8 QT Multicooker) and relocated my trusty stovetop pressure cooker to the summer cabin. I love not having to moderate the heat constantly during the cooking time; you really can just walk away while it cooks.
12. Indoor Turkey Fryer
I bought an indoor turkey fryer as a present for my husband who has wanted one for years. It goes against my nature to buy an oversized piece of cooking equipment that we’ll only use a handful of times, but what the heck—it seemed fun. (In return, he bought me an equally useful panini press. They both currently live in the basement.)
What kitchen tool are you planning to add to your arsenal in 2019? Let us know in the comments!