Top Kitchen Accessories Every Home Cook Needs in 2024
Cooking and baking has never been more popular. With the rise of social media, people have been inspired to explore new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. And to make the most of their creations, having the right kitchen accessories is a must. In this article, we’ll go through the most popular kitchen accessories that every home cook needs to make their kitchen a haven for culinary creativity.
We’ll delve into the most important kitchen accessories that can easily elevate your cooking and baking game. We’ll highlight their uses and discuss some popular brands and models to help you make the best purchase decisions.
Most Popular Kitchen Accessories
From multipurpose slicers that make food preparation a breeze to non-stick silicone baking mats perfect for sweet and savory creations, kitchen accessories have become indispensable helpers in modern homes. Keep reading below to discover the unmissable and most popular kitchen accessories. Do not forget that Amazon runs regular promotions on kitchen tools and accessories during Prime Day, and we have a whole article about the best kitchen gadgets you can buy.
High-Quality Chef’s Knives
Its importance cannot be overstated – a good quality chef’s knife can drastically transform your cooking experience, making tasks like chopping, slicing, and dicing not only easier but also more precise.
When investing in a chef’s knife, there are several key features to look for. The first one being the material of the blade. High-quality materials such as carbon steel or high-carbon stainless steel are preferable due to their durability, sharpness, and ease of maintenance. These materials resist rust and hold an edge longer, ensuring your knife stays sharp for extended periods.
Another important aspect is the handle and its grip. A well-designed handle can significantly enhance your control over the knife, making it safer and more comfortable to use. Look for handles that fit comfortably in your hand, with a balanced weight that doesn’t feel too light or too heavy.
Among the myriad of kitchen knife brands available in the market, a few have earned the trust and loyalty of professional chefs and home cooks alike. Wusthof, for instance, is a renowned German brand known for its precision-forged knives that offer excellent performance and durability. Their knives are often praised for their sharpness and balance, making them a popular choice among culinary enthusiasts.
Shun, a Japanese brand, is another acclaimed name in the knife industry. Their knives are made using traditional Japanese knife-making techniques, resulting in blades that are exceptionally sharp and lightweight. They are often recognized for their beautiful Damascus patterns on the blade, adding an aesthetic appeal to their functional excellence.
Global, another Japanese brand, is famous for its sleek and modern designs. Their knives are made from Cromova 18 stainless steel, known for its ability to hold a sharp edge and resist rust and stains. The distinctive handle design, filled with sand for perfect balance, provides excellent grip and control during use.
While a chef’s knife may seem like a simple tool, the difference a high-quality one can make is significant. Brands like Wusthof, Shun, and Global have set the bar high in terms of quality and performance, making them worthwhile investments for anyone serious about their cooking endeavors.
The first and foremost is its contribution to healthier cooking habits. The non-stick surface requires significantly less oil or fat to prevent food from adhering to the pan, which can drastically cut down on the calorie content of meals. This is a boon for those who are mindful of their diet and are looking to reduce their fat intake.
Another significant advantage of non-stick cookware is how easy it is to clean. Since food does not stick to the surface, there’s no need for intense scrubbing or soaking, making the cleanup process quick and efficient. This is particularly helpful after a long day when the last thing you want to do is spend excess time cleaning up.
Non-stick pans are also perfect for cooking foods that are prone to sticking to regular pans, such as eggs or pancakes. The non-stick coating ensures these foods slide off smoothly, maintaining their form and texture. This makes the cooking process more manageable, especially for beginners in the kitchen.
The durability of non-stick cookware is yet another benefit. The coating not only prevents food from sticking but also protects the cookware from scratches, ensuring it lasts longer.
Moreover, non-stick pans can help reduce the likelihood of food burning as they distribute heat evenly across the surface, allowing for more controlled and precise cooking.
Among the myriad of brands available, T-Fal, Calphalon, and All-Clad have emerged as popular choices. T-Fal is known for its affordable yet high-quality non-stick pans, while Calphalon offers a range of non-stick cookware suitable for various cooking needs. All-Clad, on the other hand, is renowned for its premium quality and durable non-stick cookware that professional chefs often favor.
However, it’s important to note that while non-stick cookware has its advantages, there are also some potential downsides. For instance, non-stick cookware can be damaged if used with metal utensils or scouring pads. Additionally, they should not be used at high temperatures as the coating can start breaking down, potentially releasing toxic chemicals. Therefore, while non-stick cookware can certainly enhance your cooking experience, it must be used with care and consideration.
The best pizza pan overall is reported to be the KitchenAid Nonstick Aluminized Steel Pizza Crisper, with its 14-inch size making it suitable for most ovens and its non-stick surface ensuring easy release of the pizza. For those on a budget, the Goodcook Nonstick Pizza Pan is a great choice.
When choosing a pizza pan, consider the type of crust you prefer. Pizza screens are excellent for achieving crispy crusts due to their mesh design which allows air and heat to circulate and come in contact with the dough as it bakes. On the other hand, pizza stones provide traditional crispy crusts but take longer to cook compared to using a pizza screen.
Pizza pans with holes have several advantages. They allow heat to escape faster, resulting in hotter pizza. The holes also create air pockets, which can help prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan. At the same time, they make the pan easier to clean, as there’s less chance of food build-up on the surface.
However, if you’re comparing a pizza pan to a pizza stone, a pizza stone allows the pizza to bake evenly across its entire surface, eliminating extra bubbles and uneven cooking on the bottom. A pan might not cook the pizza as evenly and may require a few more minutes to finish cooking.
For frozen pizza, the Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Pizza Pan is recommended. Its nonstick steel pan helps crisp up frozen and homemade pizza while preventing cheese from dripping onto your oven floor.
The best pizza pan for you depends on your pizza cooking needs, preference for crust, and budget.
They come in various designs, sizes, and functionalities – from simple, single-cup drip models to sophisticated, programmable machines capable of producing many coffee types, such as espresso, latte, and cappuccino.
Modern coffee machines can also include features like built-in grinders, automatic shut-off systems, digital displays, and smart technology integration, all aimed to enhance the user experience and perfect the art of coffee brewing.
They play a crucial role in residential environments, transforming coffee beans into a rejuvenating, aromatic beverage enjoyed in the comfort of our homes. These machines bring the café experience into our kitchens, allowing coffee lovers to start their mornings or end their evenings with a satisfying cup of their favorite brew whenever they desire.
Wooden cutting boards, particularly those made from end-grain wood, are highly favored by many. End-grain wood is softer and won’t dull your knives as quickly compared to other materials. Additionally, these boards are durable, providing a stable surface for all types of chopping and slicing. Moreover, wooden boards have a certain aesthetic appeal that adds to the overall ambiance of your kitchen.
Plastic cutting boards, on the other hand, offer the advantage of easy maintenance. They are typically dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. Flexible plastic cutting mats are especially popular because they can be easily folded to funnel chopped food directly into the pan or bowl. However, it’s worth noting that plastic boards can get scratched easily, which might lead to hygiene issues if not cleaned properly.
Bamboo cutting boards are another option to consider. They’re known for their durability and sustainability. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice. However, bamboo’s hardness can potentially dull knives faster, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Finally, while glass cutting boards are easy to clean and sanitize, they are generally not recommended because they can quickly dull your knives.
The best cutting board for you depends on your specific needs and priorities. Whether it’s the knife-friendly nature of wooden boards, the easy maintenance of plastic ones, or the eco-friendliness of bamboo, there’s a perfect cutting board out there for everyone.
Hence, investing in quality measuring tools like cups, spoons, and a kitchen scale can significantly enhance your cooking experience.
Measuring cups and spoons are essential tools for any home cook or baker. They provide quick and convenient ways to measure both dry and liquid ingredients. When choosing measuring cups and spoons, look for sets that have clear, easy-to-read markings and are made from durable materials like stainless steel or heavy-duty plastic. Some sets even offer features like non-slip handles and leveling edges for precise measurements.
A kitchen scale, on the other hand, offers a level of accuracy that cups and spoons can’t match. They’re particularly useful for baking, where precise measurements are crucial for achieving the right consistency and texture. A good kitchen scale should have a clear display, be easy to clean, and have the ability to switch between units of measurement.
OXO, KitchenAid, and Escali are popular brands that offer high-quality measuring tools. OXO is known for its user-friendly design and durability. Their measuring tools often feature soft, non-slip handles for a comfortable grip and are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
KitchenAid, a brand synonymous with quality kitchenware, offers a range of measuring cups and spoons in different sizes and colors. Their products are known for their robust construction and easy-to-read measurement markings.
Escali, meanwhile, specializes in digital scales that offer high levels of accuracy. Their scales are praised for their sleek design, easy-to-use interface, and the ability to measure in various units.
Accurate measurements are critical in cooking and baking, and investing in quality measuring tools can make a significant difference in your culinary endeavors. Brands like OXO, KitchenAid, and Escali offer reliable and durable options that can assist you in creating dishes with precision and ease.
These devices can significantly simplify and speed up many cooking tasks, from making smoothies and soups to chopping vegetables and grinding nuts.
Blenders are particularly useful for liquid-heavy recipes. They excel in tasks like making smoothies, pureeing soups, or blending sauces. With a powerful motor and sharp blades, blenders can break down fruits, vegetables, and even ice, creating a smooth and consistent mixture. Some high-end models also offer pre-programmed settings for different tasks, such as crushing ice or making smoothies, which takes the guesswork out of blending.
Food processors, on the other hand, are more suited for handling solid foods. They come with various attachments like chopping blades and grating discs, making them incredibly versatile. From chopping onions and slicing cucumbers to kneading dough and grinding meat, a food processor can handle a wide range of tasks that would be time-consuming and tedious to do by hand.
When it comes to brands, Ninja and Vitamix are among the top contenders in the market.
Ninja is known for its innovative and affordable kitchen appliances. Their blenders and food processors are praised for their powerful performance, durability, and ease of use. Many Ninja models also come with multiple attachments and accessories, further enhancing their versatility.
Vitamix, meanwhile, is often considered the gold standard in the world of blenders. While they come at a higher price point, Vitamix blenders are renowned for their unparalleled power, longevity, and performance. They’re designed to handle a wide variety of tasks with ease, from blending creamy smoothies to heating soups and making frozen desserts.
A versatile blender or food processor is a worthy investment for any home cook. Whether you’re whipping up a quick smoothie for breakfast or preparing ingredients for dinner, these appliances can save you time and effort in the kitchen. Brands like Ninja and Vitamix offer reliable and high-performing options that cater to different needs and budgets.
Instant Pot/Pressure Cookers
Instant Pot is a brand name for a popular line of multicookers, which are countertop appliances that combine the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more. They offer a level of convenience and versatility that’s hard to beat. With an Instant Pot, you can cook a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to cakes and yogurt, all in one pot. Moreover, the Instant Pot can also function as a slow cooker, similar to a Crock-Pot, offering low, medium, and high-temperature settings.
Crock-Pot, on the other hand, is known for its slow cookers. These appliances cook food slowly at a low temperature, usually over several hours, making them ideal for stews, soups, and casseroles. While they may not offer as many cooking functions as an Instant Pot, they excel in their simplicity and reliability. However, unlike the Instant Pot, traditional Crock-Pots do not have a pressure cooker function.
Breville, a well-known brand in the world of kitchen appliances, offers a product called the Fast Slow Pro. This multicooker combines the functions of a fast cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, and steam cooker into one appliance. It boasts a range of features, including 11 pressure cook settings, a custom setting option, and a streamlined interface. The Breville Fast Slow Pro has been praised for its consistent, tasty results and is deemed one of the best pressure cookers.
While each of these brands and their products offer unique features, the choice between them would depend on your specific cooking needs, preferences, and budget. If you’re looking for a multifunctional appliance that can do it all, an Instant Pot could be your best bet. But if you prefer slow-cooked meals with minimal fuss, a Crock-Pot might be more up your alley. And if you’re seeking a high-quality pressure cooker with added features, the Breville Fast Slow Pro could be worth considering.
A stand mixer is more powerful than a traditional hand mixer. This makes it ideal for heavy-duty tasks like kneading dough or mixing thick batters.
One of the most popular brands of stand mixers is KitchenAid. Known for its durability, functionality, and design variety, KitchenAid offers a range of models to suit different needs. The Artisan Design Series 5-Qt. Mixer is often recommended as a high-quality choice. It comes with a glass bowl, which adds an elegant touch while allowing you to see your ingredients as they mix.
Stand mixers come in two common types: tilt-head and bowl-lift. Tilt-head models allow you to lift the mixer head to easily add ingredients or change the attachment. On the other hand, bowl-lift models have a lever that raises and lowers the bowl while the head remains stationary. This can provide more stability when mixing heavy doughs.
Whether a stand mixer is worth the investment depends on how much you cook or bake. For occasional bakers, a hand mixer might suffice. However, for those who frequently bake or appreciate the convenience and efficiency a stand mixer provides, it’s seen as a worthwhile addition to the kitchen. Despite their cost, stand mixers can transform the baking process, making it easier and more enjoyable.
They work by circulating hot air around the food, essentially acting as mini convection ovens. This method of cooking tends to be healthier as it requires less oil than traditional frying methods.
According to various reviews, some of the top air fryers include the Instant Vortex 6-Quart Air Fryer, Ninja Air Fryer Max XL, COSORI Pro II 5.8 Quart Air Fryer, and Dash Compact Air Fryer. These models have been praised for their performance, ease of use, and efficient cooking capabilities.
Interestingly, air fryers are not only great for cooking but also for heating up frozen foods that are meant to taste deep-fried. They’re compact, easy to store, and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
As for whether an air fryer is worth the investment, many users highlight the benefits of fast cooking times and the convenience of easy cleanup. It is also considered a healthier cooking option due to its minimal use of oil.
However, potential buyers should also consider certain disadvantages. For example, air fryers can be relatively expensive and take up considerable counter space. Also, the food capacity might not be sufficient for large families or gatherings.
Despite these potential drawbacks, many find the benefits of an air fryer outweigh the cons, making it a worthwhile addition to the modern kitchen.
Some of the most reviewed products in this category include the GE Profile Opal 24 lb Portable Nugget Ice Maker and the Electactic Ice Maker, a commercial ice machine that can produce up to 100 lbs of ice per day.
If you’re looking for high-rated countertop ice makers, the Luma Comfort Clear Ice Cube Maker and the Igloo Portable Ice Maker are among the top choices. For those willing to splurge, the GE Profile series is a popular choice.
Despite their benefits, it’s important to note that most portable ice makers are not designed to keep ice cold and frozen. They lack the necessary insulation, and any unused ice cubes will slowly melt over time. As for the cost, it varies greatly depending on factors such as size, capacity, brand name, water filter, and the ability to produce nugget ice.
Ice cream makers
One of the most popular models is the Cuisinart ICE-21. This ice cream maker is well-regarded for its ease of use and efficiency. It has a fast processing time and produces consistently creamy results. Another top pick is the Breville the Smart Scoop, known for its automatic hardness settings and pre-cool function.
For those seeking versatility, the Ninja Creami Deluxe 11-in-1 XL Ice Cream Maker is an excellent choice. In addition to making ice cream, it can create gelato, sorbet, smoothie bowls, and more. If you’re on a budget, the Nostalgia Ice Cream Maker offers great value. It’s easy to use and perfect for making large batches of ice cream for parties or family gatherings.
The question of whether an ice cream maker is worth the investment often comes down to how often you plan to use it. If you’re a fan of frozen treats and enjoy experimenting with flavors, an ice cream maker can be a fun and rewarding addition to your kitchen.
Keep in mind that some models require rock salt and ice, while others have built-in freezing mechanisms. The latter tend to be more convenient and easy to use, but they can also be more expensive. Regardless of the type you choose, having an ice cream maker at home can open up a world of delicious and creative dessert possibilities.
Air purifiers for the kitchen
They help reduce fine particles and some gaseous pollutants produced during cooking, improving overall air quality. However, it’s important to note that no air purifier will completely remove all indoor pollutants, including those found in kitchen environments, according to the EPA.
Several air purifiers stand out for their performance in the kitchen. The Germ Guardian GG1000 7” Pluggable Small Air Purifier is a compact unit that uses UV-C light to kill germs and reduce odors from pets and cooking. The Hathaspace HSP001 is highly recommended for cooking odors due to its advanced options and high-quality 5-stage filtration system. Other noteworthy options include the Levoit Core 400S, which is a budget-friendly choice for large kitchens, and the Airpura T600 DLX, which covers up to 2,000 square feet, making it ideal for large rooms.
The best air purifiers for kitchens are those with activated carbon filters and HEPA filters. While HEPA filters trap airborne particles, activated carbon filters absorb odors. However, according to the EPA, HEPA air purifiers can’t filter out all odor-causing particles as many of the particles, especially those produced through cooking, are too small to get captured in a conventional HEPA filter. Therefore, air purifiers with HEPA filters need an additional charcoal-based filter to effectively absorb smells.
Overall, using an air purifier in the kitchen can significantly improve air quality, reduce unpleasant cooking odors, and create a more pleasant cooking and dining environment.
There are numerous brands and types of pasta makers available on the market today, each with its own unique features and benefits.
The Marcato Design Atlas 150 Pasta Machine consistently ranks as the best overall pasta maker, as reported by various sources. This manual machine is praised for its durability, ease of use, and the quality of pasta it produces. It’s also versatile, offering adjustable thickness settings for a wide range of pasta types.
For those who already own a KitchenAid stand mixer, the Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment Set is a highly recommended addition. This attachment transforms your mixer into a multi-functional pasta maker, capable of rolling out smooth, evenly thick pasta sheets and cutting them into your desired shape.
When it comes to electric pasta makers, the Philips Artisan Smart Pasta & Noodle Maker stands out. This machine automates the pasta-making process, mixing the dough and extruding it in various shapes at the push of a button.
Budget-conscious shoppers might consider the Shule Stainless Steel Pasta Machine or the CucinaPro Pasta Fresh Series Manual Pasta Maker. While less expensive than other options, these machines still deliver satisfactory results.
There are three main types of pasta makers: electric pasta makers, hand-cranked pasta makers, and attachments for stand mixers. Electric pasta makers are the most convenient but also the most expensive. Hand-cranked models require more effort but offer greater control over the pasta thickness and shape. Mixer attachments provide a good balance between convenience and control, especially for those who already own a compatible stand mixer.
As for whether a pasta maker is worth the investment, it depends on how often you plan to make homemade pasta. While a pasta maker can simplify the process and yield better results, it’s entirely possible to make pasta without one. However, having a pasta maker can make the process much easier and more enjoyable, leading to incredibly rewarding results.
In terms of the best grills, the Genesis II EX-335 Natural Gas Grill has been noted as the top overall grill, while the 4-Burner Propane Gas Grill offers the best value. The Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill also ranks highly among experts.
When it comes to choosing between propane or charcoal grills, it depends on your cooking preferences. A charcoal fire can get much hotter, much faster, which is ideal for searing steaks or grilled veggies. On the other hand, propane grills offer convenience and ease of use.
Weber and Char-Broil are two leading brands in the grilling industry. Weber grills are known for their exceptional build quality and performance, with the Weber Spirit II E-310 Liquid Propane Gas Grill recognized as one of the best all-around grills. Meanwhile, Char-Broil grills offer affordability and are ideal for smaller outdoor spaces.
Another notable brand is Blackstone, particularly for those seeking a cost-effective and easy-to-clean option. Blackstone griddles are great for cooking burgers, pancakes, and stir-fry. However, if you want more versatility and that classic grill flavor, a gas grill might be a better option.
Keep in mind that the best outdoor grill for you depends on various factors, such as your budget, cooking needs, outdoor space, and personal preferences.
One of the top-rated models is the Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. This model is beloved for its large capacity, programmable features, and affordability. It’s ideal for making big batches of stews, soups, or casseroles.
The Instant Pot Duo is another popular choice, particularly for those who value multi-functionality. While it’s best known as a pressure cooker, it also has a slow cooker function. Its ability to sear, sauté, steam, and warm makes it a versatile addition to any kitchen.
For those seeking high-end options, the All-Clad Programmable Oval-Shaped Slow Cooker is a standout. This model is praised for its stylish design, large capacity, and superior heat distribution.
If you’re tight on space, consider the Elite Gourmet MST-250XS Electric Slow Cooker. This compact model is perfect for small households or those who don’t regularly cook large meals.
When considering whether a slow cooker is worth the investment, think about your cooking habits. If you often find yourself short on time or you love the idea of “set it and forget it” cooking, a slow cooker could be a lifesaver. Plus, it can save you money by allowing you to make delicious meals with cheaper cuts of meat. On the other hand, if you prefer hands-on cooking methods or need to prepare meals quickly, a slow cooker might not be as useful.
The Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker stands out due to its unique vertical design, which ensures an even distribution of batter and perfectly cooked waffles every time.
For those who enjoy Belgian-style waffles, the Presto Flipside Belgian Waffle Maker is a popular choice. Its innovative flip design allows for even cooking, resulting in waffles with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior.
If you’re looking for a combination of performance and durability, the All-Clad Classic Round Waffle Maker is worth considering. This model consistently delivers high-quality waffles and is built to last.
On the other hand, if you’re seeking a balance between cost and quality, the Cuisinart Round Classic Waffle Maker offers excellent value. It consistently produces good waffles at a more affordable price point.
For those willing to invest in advanced features, the Breville Smart 4-Slice Waffle Maker comes with smart technology that adjusts cooking time and temperature based on the type of dough used.
Lastly, the Chef’sChoice WafflePro Classic Belgian 840B is known for producing classic Belgian waffles with deep pockets and a crispy texture.
Ultimately, whether a waffle maker is worth buying depends on how often you enjoy waffles. If they’re a regular part of your diet, a waffle maker can be a worthwhile investment. It allows for customization and can save money in the long run. The decision between a regular waffle maker and a Belgian one, or even a flip model, largely depends on personal preference and cooking style.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Kitchen Accessories
When embarking on the journey of purchasing kitchen accessories, it’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure that you’re making a well-informed decision. Here are some key points to keep in mind.
- Quality Matters: When embarking on the journey of purchasing kitchen accessories, quality should always be at the forefront of your considerations. Quality determines not only how long your accessories will last but also how well they will perform. Look for products that are made from durable materials, have good craftsmanship, and are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use.
- Price vs. Value: Price is undeniably an important factor when buying kitchen accessories, but it should not be the sole determinant. Instead, focus on the value you are getting for your money. Consider the features, durability, and versatility of the accessory in relation to its price. Sometimes, investing a bit more upfront in a high-quality item can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent replacements.
- User Reviews Provide Insights: Before making a purchase, take the time to read user reviews and ratings. These insights from people who have already used the product can be invaluable in helping you make an informed decision. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded perspective. Look for common themes and issues mentioned by users to assess whether the accessory meets your specific needs.
- Brand Reputation Adds Confidence: A reputable brand can offer peace of mind when buying kitchen accessories. Established brands often have a track record of producing reliable and high-quality products. Research the reputation of the brand you are considering and see if they are known for their commitment to customer satisfaction and product excellence. Choosing a trusted brand can reduce the risk of disappointment with your purchase.
In conclusion, purchasing kitchen accessories requires careful consideration of multiple factors. Prioritize quality, evaluate the value proposition, consult user reviews, and place trust in reputable brands. By keeping these key points in mind, you can make well-informed decisions that enhance your cooking experience and contribute to the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen.
The Importance of Quality Kitchen Accessories
The importance of quality kitchen accessories cannot be overstated. These indispensable tools are the unsung heroes of every kitchen, silently contributing to the efficiency, precision, and overall experience of cooking and food preparation.
From razor-sharp chef’s knives that effortlessly slice through ingredients to reliable, high-powered blenders that turn ordinary ingredients into culinary masterpieces, quality kitchen accessories elevate the art of cooking.
Their impact goes beyond mere functionality; they instill confidence in the cook, inspiring culinary creativity and ensuring that each dish is prepared with finesse.
While quality often comes with a price, the long-term benefits of durability, performance, and the joy of creating delectable dishes make it a wise investment.
In a world where the kitchen is a place of experimentation and expression, quality kitchen accessories are the essential companions that transform ordinary meals into extraordinary feasts.