There’s an archetype depiction of chefs in TV or movies that’s more idealist than realistic. They’re often slightly disheveled, and like to show up unannounced to a tense dinner table to serve their what seems like spontaneously made, yet amazingly tasty stir-fry. Then, the table quarrel stops, and the topic instantly changes to “How did you manage to make this so crunchy?” or “What did you use to cook this?” The chef smiles, and happily answers with a list of kitchen gadgets that made it all easier.
This type of chef knows exactly what they’re doing. They know they can make everyone happy with their craft, but they can’t do it without the help of the best kitchen gadgets. That’s why they stock up on smart must haves—air fryer, sous vide, cast iron skillet, or just a seriously good Japanese knife—to give their meals substance, make them a better cook, and oh, to always have the perfect conversation starter.
As for who the chef is, they could be a wise abuela, a white-haired Michelin star holder, a young social media personality, or even you in real life. And if you’re the chef of your home who can’t live without constant cooking access, then you’ll also be needing the best kitchen gadgets and tools just like the chef you see on screen. Ahead, we’ve got 22 of the coolest kitchen gadgets below—from splurge-worthy appliances to easy accessories—that’ll make every meal you cook worthy of a “how did you do it?” conversation.
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Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Here’s how a sous vide (“sue-veed”) works: you vacuum-seal your food—poultry, fish, vegetables, red meat, anything—then put it in a pot of water along with the device, select your desired temperature, then walk away to, IDK, cure cancer, solve the The Chicago Tylenol, or run for presidency, then walk back to perfectly—yes, perfectly—done and dusted food.
This oil dispenser set went viral for a reason: It’s too good. The oil pump mister or sprayer helps even out the coverage and prevents you from over-pouring. Next, the dispenser bottle comes in clutch during those “one tsp of oil” or “two tbsp of oil” recipe moments. And both have a measuring reservoir at the top. Portion control, people.
Plus Smart Meat Thermometer
For the grill master, this smart accessory sticks into your rotisserie chicken or lamp chop and probes the internal temperature, ensuring your every bite thereafter is utterly satisfying and Salmonella-free. And it’s completely wireless—the first of its kind.
Beast Blender + Hydration System
For those who like blending up fresh produce for creamy smoothies or healthy juices in the morning, or blending up margaritas once returning home from work, this Esquire Gadget Awards winning blender will really, really blend. A smart speed instinct aside, it’s also got an ice-crushing force for your forgotten-to-defrost ingredients.
$730 at Food52
If there’s ever a 12-in-one pressure cooker born into old money, it’s Vermicular’s Musui-Kamado. It combines a cast iron craft in the 80-year-old Hijikata family foundry in Japan with precise induction heating.
Stagg EKG Electric Kettle
$165 at nordstrom
$165 at williams sonoma
Upgrade the black hole that is your glass coffee maker with Fellow’s electric pour-over kettle. It features include: precise temperature control, quick heating, optimal flow rate, timer, and just looking ridiculously good. It’ll come in rather handy in your morning coffee ritual.
Not many kitchens have a sparkling water or soda maker, and yet, we want fizzy carbonated water all the time. The Aarke III, with a price to match its look, is cordless, easy to use, customizable, and creates subtle, smaller bubbles that won’t make you burp.
We know you have your skillet, your oven, and your pan. But we know for sure that you don’t have a wok. Especially one that can heat stuff up better than a microwave—then cool down fast like taking an ice bath. You’ll fry shrimps in it, turn up your egg game in it, or even redo your leftovers in it. See, woks don’t have to be cheesy.
$299 at huckberry
This is not your average joe of a toaster oven; it toasts by steaming, cranking out golden baked goods that’s crunchy on the outside yet fluffy and warm on the inside. You won’t know what luxury bakery tastes like until you’ve had a bagel—or pizza, or muffin, or croissant, or brioche—from it.
TRNR Double Rotation Waffle Maker
Ghetto Gastro, an activist-minded culinary collective in the Bronx, joined forces with Crux for a line of downright cool kitchen appliances—the coolest of which is this waffle maker, which won an Esquire 2021 Home Design Awards. It can bake up to eight Belgian waffles in just 10 minutes, with browning control, indicator lights, dishwasher safety, and a bold design (those grates!) to boot.
$200 at Bed Bath & Beyond
$200 at walmart
Ice cream maker: good for those with a sweet tooth, even better for those with a discerning palates for gelatos, smoothie bowls, milkshakes, mix-ins, dairy-free, gluten-free, and more. Ninja’s CREAMi can do it all and personalize at that.
A dull knife is a faux pas in the kitchen. This sleek and simple sharpener keeps your blade of choice as honed as possible without taking much space. Simply run your knife through it a few times and it’ll come up with a shine—handsome!—and ready for slicing a piece of raw Japanese A5 Wagyu steak.
It’s called “Always” pan because you’ll always use this do-it-all miracle worker that has managed to fill in for a fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, and etc. As for what or how can you cook in it, sky’s the limit.
We wouldn’t be doing our job here if we don’t indoctrinate you to the holy church of the air fryer—the most magnificent of all kitchen appliances. Cosori’s air fryer pushes for max crispness sans up to 85 percent of the oil in fries, nuggets, or any breaded comfort food. It also cooks fast and accurate, courtesy of the automatic temperature adjustment. With it, you’re an air fryer guy in the making.
It’ll turn throwing out food waste into an environmentally friendly habit. Here’s how: the FoodCycler will break down food scraps and turn them into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your soil. And yes, it eliminates odors, so you won’t even know it’s there.
$370 at williams sonoma
If you like Keurig’s way of brewing coffee from K-Cup pods, easy peasy, then you’ll definitely like the Bartesian. It also takes capsule, except containing cocktail ingredients whipped up by actual mixologists, to mix margaritas or old-fashioneds at home.
Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack
Unlike most other over-the-sink drying rack, this one is expandable, which means you can roll it up to store in your drawer, or roll it out to air-dry both small objects like bottles and large ones like pot lids.
With this ingenious knife, the elaborate modus operandi of making toasted bread with a pan, a spatula, and a stove will be shortened to just smear and spread, since it can melt the butter as you apply it.
After years of making eggs at seven a.m. but never quite mastering an egg sammy (bagel is key), this sandwich maker will prove both dead useful and well-crafted. It’ll assemble all your sandwich layers and ready your breakfast in just five minutes.
Digital Kitchen Food Scale with Bowl
This scale is crammed full of neat feats—unit conversion, detachable mixing bowl, five measuring modes—for your calorie-controlled diet or meticulously-prepped recipes.
The next time you want to poach eggs—or soft-boil—to perfection for breakfast, there won’t be any need to shuffle around your pans and pots on the stove. This cooker can egg any style, for even sandwiches and omelettes.
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