I've been decluttering my home on and off for years, but really went all in during 2020. With the extra time spent at home and a growing distaste for clutter, I've made significant progress. Although there's still work to be done, I'm close to achieving Kitchen Peace. I'm not aiming for perfection right now, as we're planning to move by the year's end, but my space already exudes a much-needed sense of calm.

Regardless of the decluttering method you choose, it inevitably involves sorting through all those kitchen accessories you've accumulated over time. Personally, I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and having quirky utensils adds a fun element to cooking. So, without further delay, here are my top 10 favorite Kitchen Gadgets.

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.

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

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.

7. Produce Savers

I have lived in homes with a lot of people, but right now it's just the two of us and the dog. Either way, it always seems like there is some produce that someone thought was going to get eaten, and it inevitably goes bad before the recipe ever made it to the meal plan. I have a couple different brands, and in my experience, they all work well. I prefer these ones by Freshworks, because of the filter in the lid. We shop in bulk a lot of the time, and these containers have made our produce last a lot longer.

8. Plugin Oil Diffuser

This oil diffuser plugs in just as conveniently as a Glade Plugin or a Bath and Body Works wallflower without the added junk. These products rely heavily on synthetic fragrances that contribute to our overall wellness. To keep us above the wellness line, and still have a kitchen that smells like fresh lemon (or at least not like the fish I cooked last night), a small diffuser like this is a game changer.

9. Expandable Colander

We have a small kitchen and have the entire time we have lived together. Storage has always been a struggle. When we first started shopping for kitchen items, we came across this collapsible strainer. It has handles that extend over the sink, and will fit any sink! I love that it takes up minimal room in the dishwasher and has a small overall footprint in my kitchen. 

10. Storage Bag Holder (and silicone storage bags)

This holder collapses to lay flat and slides right into the drawer with all of our food storage. As I mentioned earlier, I do a lot of fruit and veggie prep. We make smoothies ahead of time, chop veggies for quick snacks, and preportioned snack options. This little gadget allows me to complete all of these tasks without help and, most importantly, without a mess.

You can find silicone storage bags just about anywhere. I haven't really found a favorite yet, but when I do I will be sure to share them! Leave your suggestions down in the comments. 

Andy's Pick

Dual Knife Sharpener

Andy is in charge of all of the knife sharpening in our house. When he asked what I was writing about, I asked for his input. His first thought was the microwave (which I would get rid of completely) and then he said our knife sharpener. We don't have an amazing knife set, but it is good quality. One day, we will need to replace these knives. In the meantime, we believe in caring for the products that you have to keep them in as great of condition as possible. A dull knife in the kitchen is how accidents happen. I know I am grateful he keeps them nice and sharp for me. 

I am always on the search for a great kitchen gadget. What is something you are always reaching for when you are in the kitchen?


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