I have been decluttering my home for years on and off, but really hit it hard in 2020. Not only have we all had way more time at home, but I am just so over the stuff. I still have quite a bit to go, but I have almost found Kitchen Peace. I am not going for perfect at the moment, because we plan on moving before the end of the year, but my space feels so much calmer.
When decluttering, no matter what method you use, inevitably, you have to go through all of those kitchen accessories you bought and may or may not have used. I am the queen of kitchen gadgets. I love experimenting in the kitchen, and fun kitchen utensils make time in the kitchen more interesting. Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite Kitchen Gadgets. (This post may contain affiliate links. Anything I link to is a product I truly recommend.)
1. Rubber Jar Openers
You can get some super cheap ones, repurpose something to make your own, or buy these Jar openers. I love the cone-shaped one. It has by far stepped up my jar opening power. And we use A LOT of Mason Jars around here.
I have had cheap jar openers in the past, and while these are by no means expensive, less than $5 on Amazon, they are just much better quality.
2. Joseph Joseph ChoptoPot Cutting Board
We have had this cutting board for years. This board is amazing. Easily a family favorite. It is always in the dishwasher, and makes preparing food so easy. Just like its name- Chop and it easily folds to slide it right in your pot. We use this board almost every single day. Perfect for salads, soups, casseroles, omelets, and meal prep. I use this when we get a bunch of veggies to cut them and slide them into their bags (that gadget is on this list!) or glass food storage.
3. Cast-Iron Everything
This one is full of a couple extra gadgets, that I have found are must-haves for cast iron lovers. I have several Cast Iron cooking dishes. We use at least one of these daily. My first skillet has been seasoned to perfection over years of use and is the perfect pan for almost all of our cooking. Cast Iron takes some time to get used to. Caring for cast iron can be tedious, but is well worth it when you get that perfect nonstick surface.
My favorite way to season my skillet is by cooking bacon, but that's not always available, so I found pork lard and was blown away!
It was so convenient to have a jar in the refrigerator to lightly coat my pans in when I was done cleaning them. Then I tried Duck Fat, and my cast iron dreams came true. For my vegetarian and vegan friends out there, I do know many people who are successful at seasoning their cast iron with olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. I myself did not have as good of results with olive or coconut and have not tried avocado oil.
The most traditional way to clean cast iron involves not using soap. I have done some research, and it is widely believed that soap will not harm your cast iron. Restaurants use it, and many people do. I however do not use soap and think I have once or twice, but only Thieves soap. Instead I use hot water (like so hot I can hardly stand it, so please be careful} and this handy little chain mail scrubber my mother in law bought me. I have had mine for a year, and it is still working perfectly. I expect to use it for a very long time. It doesn't rust, and I throw it in the dishwasher. Easy Peasy. (That's really what makes these all my favorites.)
4. Nonstick Inner Pot for Instant Pot
I loved my Instant Pot for a very long time before getting this replacement nonstick inner pot. I fell in love with it all over again when I first used this pot. I used to have a problem burning rice and other items to the bottom of the inner pot. No more. Clean up is so much easier, and takes seconds (which is my preferred handwashing method) to wipe it clean and dry. I could go on and on for days about every gadget I have for my Instant Pot. That is for another post at another time, but if you have an Instant Pot or are thinking about it (DO IT!!!) I highly recommend getting a nonstick inner pot.
5. KitchenAid Food Processor
This last Christmas, my brother went all out. He spoiled me. I opened this gigantic box, and I about died when I saw this beautiful Teal Blue KitchenAid Food Processor. And then I cried when I saw the matching KitchenAid Mixer (which was literally my dream mixer). I have used this food processor so many times. It makes guacamole a cinch, and chops just as efficiently as it purees. I have used it for homemade coffee creamers, omelets, pureeing veggies to freeze for smoothies, and my favorite- chickpea peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough.
6. Soda Stream
We are not a big soda (or pop for those people) household. We enjoy the occasional soda, myself more than anyone, but discovered it was mostly the fizzy feeling we missed. We do buy some of the soda syrups from Soda Stream (they make some amazing natural ones now too), but my favorite recipe is 1oz of Ningxia Red with 8oz of carbonated water over ice. This is my go-to drink when I just want a soda. We keep vitality oils handy for flavored carbonated water- Lemon and Lime, Orange, and Grapefruit are some household favorites. I really thought the soda stream was going to cause use to drink more soda, but it has actually helped us make healthier choices.
One of the best things about the soda stream is it takes absolutely no power. We live in a hurricane-prone area, so recycling our soda stream tanks for fresh bottles before a storm hits is part of our hurricane prep now. A great way to change up water if we lost electricity.