Yes, it is that time of the year! Time to start thinking about what to get the super-chef on your list. I have a many opinions, all of which I am willing to share with my loyal readers. And because there are so many wonderful tools out there, I have divided my list into two parts: Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets under $10 and Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets for 2008.
Today I present the top 10 Kitchen Gadgets under $10:1. Instant Read Thermometers by Taylor
These come in colors this year! I love this thermometer, and at $10, it won’t break the bank. I have had the plain black model for years, but a color would certainly make me a happy cook. The only thing you need to remember is to turn it off when you are finished cooking, otherwise the batteries will drain before your next culinary adventure!
A handy tool to quickly grate Parmesan over pasta, or zest a lemon for a recipe, the Microplane zester/grater is a handy tool to have around. I know, I know, you could go grab the planer from your grandfather’s workbench, but it would not be the same! Another $10 tool, great for stocking stuffers.3. Witmer Company Peanut Butter Mixer
This was the tool that convinced me to start Kitchen Gadget Girl. I first wrote about the Peanut Butter Mixer in February of this year, and it has changed my life. No really. We eat natural peanut butter, the kind that separates on the shelf, and it used to be a huge pain in my life to mix the new jar. This little tool makes it so easy! Since then, I share it with everyone I know. And at $10, you could too!
Just $8, this tool has more uses than just slicing up your latest pizza. I use it to cut apart quesadillas, score puff pastry dough, and slice cookie dough. The handle is soft and grippable, and so far (knock on wood) my blade is still super sharp.5. Prepara Ice Cream Pint Sleeve
Prepara has a handy little gadget for those of us that believe that Ben & Jerry’s is purchased by the single serving pint. Using one of these handy sleeves ensures your ice cream stays cold without freezing the tips of your fingers, all the better to help you scoop the ice cream into your waiting mouth. At $7.95, this would make a great stocking stuffer or white elephant gift exchange.
I have two sizes, a 2-inch and a 1.5-inch, and use these for everything from scooping out cookie dough to portioning out the correct amount of batter for muffins and waffles. Since I have a boatload of baking ahead of me, I will make sure to have these handy to help me through the task. At just under $10, it is such a time saver. And at the holidays, who doesn’t need more time!7. Sur La Table Dough Scraper
Another great tool for baking, this scraper is useful for getting under bread dough, pulling up cut-out cookies, and cleaning your workspace. I like this version from Sur La Table because of the measuring units on the side. Makes it easy for quick tabulations when my hands are all floury. And at $7, it is pretty inexpensive for what you get.
This was the first Oxo product I ever purchased, and was my introduction into the greatness of this company. What a genius idea! Make it easy to measure liquids, not like the old-style liquid measuring cups where you need to lean all the way over sideways to read how much in the cup. This measuring cup retails for $8.95 – be sure to check out all the different sizes!9. Architec Hot Cooking Bands
I found these at a small shop in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia last year – they looked kind of gimmicky, but at $5 a set, it was not a break-the-bank purchase. Since they came home with me, I have found all sorts of uses for them – tying together a bouquet garni for soup, holding bacon onto beef tenderloins, even trussing small poultry. Made out of silicon, I have used them equally well in the oven and on the BBQ.10. Chef’n Switchit Spatula
My daughter suggested adding this gadget to the list – it is one of her favorite items in our kitchen. Both ends can be used, the wider for larger projects and the narrower end for small bottles and jars. I also use it when making an omelet, it is great for running around the edges of the pan before filling and flipping. Just under $10, this spatula also comes in a spoon like model, good for stirring and scraping at the same time.
Come back Friday for Part 2, Top 10 Kitchen Gadgets for 2008!
Photos courtesy of Sur La Table, Oxo, Amazon, Kyocera, Prepara, FoodSaver, and Architec.