Everyone knows kitchen utensils, but not the difference that proper tools really make. Read on to discover the gadgets that take your cooking game to the next level.
The kitchenware aisle can be a pretty exciting place, perhaps even too exciting. With gizmos and gadgets galore, it’s entirely understandable to go a little overboard accidentally. Unfortunately, the first problem is that counter space in the kitchen at home is limited; the kitchen display rooms at Bed Bath and Beyond aren’t exactly representative of most homes. With this in mind, one must be selective with which gadgets make the cut.
As exciting as specialty kitchen tools can be, we can’t let ourselves fall prey to all of them. Does a motorized ice cream conesound like something you need? No. But does it seem pretty darn cool and enticing when we’re standing in the middle of the kitchen aisle? Yep.
We know the contemporary aesthetic of the kitchenware aisle, usually in its white and pastel color scheme, can be intriguing, but one must stay strong and realistic. As much as we want to go all “kid in a candy store” and grab all the cool gizmos, we need to keep bringing it back to “I do not need impractical kitchen gadgets, nor do I have space for them anyways.”
It’s never too late for spring cleaning the kitchen; out with the old and in the with new. Except, this year, it’s time to streamline the kitchen collection and be a little more exclusive. There’s nothing classy about kitchen clutter, and there’s nothing on this list you don’t actually need. There are cooking gadgets you should know about, and there are cooking gadgets - like a strawberry seed remover or motorized ice cream cone - that probably aren’t worth knowing about. Don’t worry - we’ve done the pre-search and filtering, so you don’t have to.
Basic, But Better
At first glance, some of these gadgets may seem “basic,” but hear us out - they’re basic but better.
A “gadget” is a “small device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one.” So, in a few moments, when you see something like a frying pan being suggested, give it a chance and read what it’s all about. We wouldn’t recommend just any old frying pan; everything on this list is thoughtfully designed, carefully curated, and actually practical. The devil is in the details, and we’ve evaluated these details inside and out.
Assessing design, composition, storage, and everything in between, these gadgets are anything but basic. We’ve thought through every aspect of consideration, so you don’t have to. From the low-tech accessories to the high-tech gizmos and everything in between, here are the cooking gadgets that you should know about.
Non-Toxic Fry Pan
Every kitchen needs a frying pan - or two, or three, actually - but not all frying pans are created equally. Many pots and pans achieve their non-stick properties through the use of harsh chemicals. When these pots and pans reach their necessary high temperatures, these chemicals start to leach into the food we’re cooking. Considering the proportion of our food that goes through a pot or pan before it gets to our stomach, these “small” amounts of leakage add up quickly and accumulate in our bodies.
As America’s newfound health kick lives on for longer, it’s expanding beyond considering just food itself. Chemicals in cookware leach into our food, and unfortunately, these chemicals don’t discriminate against organic food, either. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been studying PFAS - a group of human-made chemical ingredients in 95%+ of non-stick cookware - and there is a growing body of research confirming that these toxins are contaminating our food.
Your cookware should be as clean as the ingredients going into it. It’s probably time to upgrade your kitchen essentials, and a new, clean frying pan is an excellent place to start.
Clean cooking starts with this ceramic non-stick Fry Pan. Ceramic is a mineral-based coating that is entirely non-toxic, meaning it won’t leak toxic materials into our clean and healthy ingredients. This Fry Pan is just one of the pieces in Caraway's Cookware Set, all of which are free of harmful chemicals such as Teflon, lead, cadmium, and all the other chemicals we can’t pronounce.
Available in all the sophisticated, cool-toned, and classy colors one’s heart could desire - Cream, Gray, Perracotta, Sage, and Navy - this non-toxic Fry Pan makes for a beautiful (and necessary) addition to every kitchen.
Non-Toxic Sauté Pan
If you can only have one piece of cookware, make it the Sauté Pan. Without this versatile pan, your kitchen is incomplete. You may not be a cooking connoisseur quite yet, but understanding why you need both a frying pan and a sauté pan will have you on the right path.
A sauté pan is your one-stop shop for dinner parties and meal prepping because its design allows for even cooking of a larger volume of ingredients without overcrowding. While a frying pan has low sloping sides, ideal for flipping and light stirring, a sauté pan has higher sides and a shorter handle, better suited for locking in heat and steam. The design of a sauté pan is perfect for braising meat, shallow frying meat or vegetables, cooking up a chutney, etc.
This Sauté Pan is stovetop agnostic, meaning it’s suitable for induction, gas, and electric. It’s also oven-safe for temperatures up to 550° Fahrenheit (BTW, 500° is the temperature at which traditional non-stick pans begin releasing chemicals. Not this one, though, as the non-stick coating is made with 100% non-toxic ceramic.).
Available in the same beautiful colors as the non-toxic Fry Pan, this Sauté Pan is far from a sore sight if it ends up living on the stovetop.
Non-Toxic Sauce Pan
Next up, a Sauce Pan. Now we’re really starting to test your kitchen gadget knowledge, aren’t we? It’s not actually a test. We’re just trying to spread the love, safety, beauty, and cooking knowledge. How does risotto, mac and cheese, soups, and sauces sound to you? Well, without a Sauce Pan, it doesn’t sound like much.
Similar to a sauté pan, a Sauce Pan has higher sides allowing for more volume. Sauce Pans, however, have a smaller base, and this is their visible differentiator, being deeper in relation to their width. If your thing-to-be-cooked in question involves boiling water or is liquid-based, a Sauce Pan will usually be your best bet. A Sauce Pan isn’t limited to only sauces--the only limit is your imagination.
This non-toxic Sauce Pan features a ceramic-coated interior, stainless steel handles, and comes with a color-matching lid. It’s also oven-safe for temperatures up to 550° Fahrenheit, making it more than suitable for a broil in the oven after cooking. In other words, this is the perfect pan to make mac and cheese on the stovetop before adding a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and popping it in the oven for a finishing-touch broil.
Non-Toxic Dutch Oven
Of all cooking vessels and if any, a Dutch oven is perhaps the most versatile, making this non-toxic one definitely worth knowing about.
Dutch Ovens are heavy-bottomed and utilize a tightly fitting lid to trap moisture and heat. Dutch Ovens also have higher sides than a Frying Pan or Sauce Pan, making this pot the go-to choice for anything that requires heavy searing followed by gentle, even cooking. This Dutch Oven pot also has specially designed handles that function as the perfect place to rest utensils while cooking.
Dutch Ovens are an essential tool for one-pot meals, enabling all the goodness of cooking with not so much of the clean-up afterward. This pot is free of toxic materials and requires less oil or butter for cooking, thanks to its naturally slick non-ceramic coating.
Your new best friend for pasta, roasts, stews, boils, and more, there isn’t much you can’t make in a Dutch Oven. Offered in colors of Cream, Gray, Perracotta, Sage, and Navy, this non-toxic pan compliments any kitchen color scheme.
Oven mitts are so simple yet so essential.
For everything we do in the kitchen - handling Frying Pans, Sauté Pans, and Sauce Pans, and shuffling over your Dutch Oven - having a quality pair of oven mitts makes life that much easier. There’s a lot to be thinking about (and potentially worrying about) when cooking up a storm, and the last thing we need is to worry about is whether our worn-down pair of Oven Mitts will finally give way.
A well-crafted pair of Oven Mitts will be heat resistant, leak-proof, and lavishly soft inside, just like these. With double-layer and stain-resistant weave stitching, there’s nothing to worry about here when it comes to safely handling pots and pans fresh out of a hot oven. Thoughtfully designed to tackle any task, these Oven Mitts are made of a premium, 100% cotton fabric constructed to absorb liquids and dissipate heat with ease.
Offered in the perfect one-size-fits-all and covered in handwoven patterns inspired by vintage flour sacks, differing prints bridge vintage and modernistic in all of the right ways. Oven Mitts may seem like a simple cooking gadget, but the devil is in the details, remember? With these Oven Mitts, nothing’s getting burned in your kitchen, including your hands.
Another simple yet oh-so-necessary cooking gadget is top-quality Pot Holders. They’re a versatile go-to kitchen helper and always end up saving the day when we least expect it.
These 8” by 8” pot holders are made from the same premium grade cotton as the oven mitts and work as hard as you do to protect against high heat or cold temperatures. Each holder has a corner hanging loop allowing them to be hung on a wall ring for quick and convenient access. Perfect for moving hot pans from stovetop to stovetop or inserting and removing hot pots from the oven, pot holders are highly versatile and extremely useful in every kitchen. Seriously, they come in handy more often than they get credit for.
Hulk-strong on the outside yet lavishly soft on the inside, these pot holders are designed to endure years of use. Each machine wash only enhances their softness, making them only more so cloud-like every time. Their set of two colors of Sage and Perracotta with handwoven pattern designs complement every kitchen without ever being intrusive.
Remember the baked mac and cheese perfect for making in the Sauce Pan? These pot holders will do just the trick to move the pan into the oven and then pull it back out when it’s done. Bon appétit.
Tea towels are another surprisingly underrated cooking gadget. Don’t underestimate their simplicity; they’re a vintage design made with a modern approach.
When not being used to clean the counter, wipe up spills, or acting as a place mat, these Tea Towels feature a hanging loop, allowing them to be hung on a wall hook if not being draped over the oven door handle. They’re machine washable and highly durable, so there’s no need to think twice before throwing down to clean up whatever needs cleaning - cooking gadgets are supposed to make life easier, not be another piece of linen to worry about spoiling.
These vintage-design-inspired tea towels come in a set of three colors - Navy, Sage, and Perracotta - making it easy to separate each towel for its own task: one for drying dishes, one for table settings, one for cleaning up spills, etc.
For how strong and durable these towels are, there’s no compromise to softness. Scrub, rub, scratch, and tug away, then simply throw these towels in the washer to not only revive but enhance their softness. (Yep, these towels get softer over time.). Your cooking ware should work at least as hard as you do, right? Through all the sweat, tears, sauces, and love, these tea towels have your back.
Good Looking and Clean Cooking
It’s a little too easy to go overboard in the kitchenware aisle, but sometimes, less is more. All you really need is thoughtfully designed, high-quality gadgets that make life easier and healthier.
Spring cleaning season is about lightening up, not filling your kitchen with clutter. Bring it back to the basics, just upgraded basics. These cooking gadgets are good-looking and for clean cooking, as they should be. Not all cooking gadgets are worth knowing about, but these ones are.
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