The 5 Kitchen Tools that Make Me Happier Than Everything Else in My Kitchen

From a smart oven to a food processor, these make cooking a bit more fun—even on the dreariest of weekday mornings or nights.

Published Nov. 9, 2020.

While I like nearly all of the things in my kitchen—from my trusty baking sheets to my favorite spatula—there are some things in my kitchen that I love more than others. Most of these things are, yes, practical, but others just make me happy. They’re the gadgets and cookware that bring extra joy to my kitchen, that make brewing coffee on a groggy Monday morning or cooking a weeknight dinner when I’m absolutely exhausted a bit more exciting. They’re the things that, if they broke tomorrow, I would replace without hesitation. 

What makes someone the happiest is, of course, totally personal. And I’m sure my top five tools in this category wouldn’t look the same as yours. But that’s kind of the beauty of it, right? That there are so many kitchen tools that not only do their job well, but also make it that much more fun to cook.

Here are my top five (okay, technically six) things in my kitchen that bring me the most joy:

June Oven

June Oven
Of all the things in my kitchen that make me happy, my June Oven makes me the happiest. I love that when I put a piece of bread, a potato, or a sheet tray’s worth of bacon into the oven, the June knows what it is and suggests a cook setting and time. It makes me stress less, and also makes cooking easier for those in my household (who I will not name but will hint at) who dislike cooking and want things to go as quickly as possible.

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker

Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker
While our favorite automatic drip coffee maker is the version with the
thermal carafe, I own the one with the glass carafe because I found it on Craigslist for a deeply discounted price. My husband and I make coffee pretty much every morning and pack it up in our to-go mugs before heading to work. This saves us money, and prevents us from wasting disposable coffee shop cups.

Blu Skillet Fry Pan

Blu Skillet Ironware 13" Fry Pan
When I saw this skillet at our company’s annual Equipment Giveaway, I knew I had to have it. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, and something I probably would’ve never splurged on for myself. It pretty much lives on my stovetop, where I use it for everything from frying eggs to roasting potatoes. It’s made by hand in Seattle and the studio is often sold out; follow their Facebook page to get notified when the skillets are back in stock. (Our winning carbon-steel skillet, the Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, is almost as pretty and works just as well, and it’s less expensive.)

Vitamix 5200

Tie between Vitamix 5200 and The Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor
I wanted a
Vitamix for years, so even when I use it to make butter coffee—yes, that coffee—in the morning it feels very satisfying. But the Breville Sous Chef 12-Cup Food Processor is a close tie with the Vitamix. I use it almost every day, and I love breaking out its shredding disk for when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to grate cheese (which, when you love making mac and cheese as much as I do, happens more than you’d think).

Great Jones Dutch Oven

Great Jones Dutch Oven
When we tested
cookware sets, we found we really liked the Great Jones Dutch Oven. That was great for me because I already own one! Great Jones is the millennial darling of the cookware world, and I’m rather obsessed. I have the pink Dutch oven. It’s so pretty, it almost always doubles as a cooking and serving vessel.

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