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Best Kitchen Gadgets

The Best Kitchen Gadgets

I’m all about convenience, I admit it. I’ve got too much going on to be spending more time in the kitchen than necessary, so I stock it with the best kitchen gadgets that will speed things up a little or make life easier. The other reason I’ll buy a new kitchen gadget is if it helps me to cook healthier. I’m running out of room, though, so it’s got to be good in order to justify taking up more space in our storage room.

When I’m shopping for a new gadget I really shop. I look online and research all the various options to decide which features I need. Then I hunt down the one that has all those features at the best price. This takes a lot of time, so to save you from some of that, I thought I’d show you what and where I’ve found a few of my favorite things.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST KITCHEN GADGETS: (click on pictures OR the link to find where to buy)

  • Electric Deep Fryer – I decided to get two of these, and now I can fry in my delicious and healthy beef tallow without worrying about free radicals/cancer from the oil getting too hot and screaming up over the smoke point. (By the way, this doesn’t have a temperature control knob, but all the reviews on it were great and they said that it gets to 350* quickly and maintains that temp well, which is the temp I fry at. (I called the company to be sure, and they said that it varies between 375*-400*, but tallow has a smoke point of 420* so I’m still good.) Models with a temp control were MUCH more expensive, and since I was buying two, I had to give up that feature. I’d have been even happier if I could find these without a non-stick surface, but I had no luck with that.) Update: crappy carumba. After I bought TWO of those, I read about this fryer with a glass bowl: 1500-Watt 2-Quart Glass-Bowl Deep Fryer.
  • Here’s my new love that outshines ALL of the below gadgets put together (and replaces many of them in my kitchen), read more about the Bosch here. Or here’s where to get a Bosch.
  • Food Processor – I use my food processor all the time! For grinding bread crumbs or chopping veggies or making my pesto, I love it!

food processor scraper

  • Toaster Oven – I LOVE my toaster oven! It has made not using my microwave no big deal at all. This one had all the options for toasting/baking/convection baking/broiling /defrosting. I use it to defrost meals I’ve made ahead and had in the freezer, then after it’s defrosted, I keep it right in there to bake it. The convection bake feature is nice, it can bake things quicker than in a regular oven and truly it doesn’t take THAT much longer to warm up leftovers in there instead of in the microwave – I go do one thing and come back and it’s hot. I also like that I can toast a lot of bread in there at once. Soon our microwave is coming out and we’re putting a shelf above the stove for our toaster oven to set on instead!
  • Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine – I’ve had this bread machine for a few years and it’s still going strong. The part I love about this one is that it has 3 custom settings so I can set it to knead, rise, bake, etc., for as long as I want for each. This is great when I am experimenting with 2-stage process breads or “soaked” grain recipes. Bread machine recipes are so easy, you just throw a few ingredients in, and then it does the rest for you.
  • Grain mill – I use mine often and love knowing how much more nutritious our recipes and meals are when I’m using fresh flour I’ve ground myself. (Flour loses a lot of its nutritional value the longer it sets.) I chose this one because it got the best reviews, it can grind more grain at once than others; they say it’s quieter than others, too, and it also has more options for course or fine flour, for different types of grain, etc. Click here for NutriMill Grain Mill.

  • Sauce Master food strainer – I use this to make the best applesauce EVER from the recipe in Nourishing Traditions. (I think it tastes better than the best apple pie I’ve ever eaten! It calls for maple syrup, a natural sugar, instead of regular sugar, and in case you don’t know, there are different “grades” of maple syrup – use the stronger grade in this recipe for the best flavor.) I make a lot at once and it freezes well in Ball freezer jars. (Update: I have a new applesauce recipe similar to the one above, only easier and even more nutritious.)
  • Back to Basics SALPHA500 Smoothie Signature Smoothie Maker – my kids love it when we make smoothies and think it’s fun to put their glass under the spout and press the lever to pour their smoothies themselves. This one has a 700-watt motor; I wanted one that blended ice without burning up. (Next time I might even get a stronger motor, though. Update: see the note about my new Bosch above.) I’ll have to ask Kent for his PB & J Smoothies recipe, those were a hit with the kids! (I asked him; he said he got the idea from Disney World, when he saw them literally throw a whole peanut butter & jelly sandwich into the blender with vanilla ice cream! He used our 100% whole wheat bread, and for ice cream we always get Breyers plain chocolate or vanilla – those each have nice short ingredient lists. Breyers also now has organic – we don’t buy ice cream often though, so I probably wouldn’t pay the extra money for that.)
  • Hand blender / Stick blenderI use this a lot since I got it for Christmas. It’s much easier pulling this out than my regular mixer (for certain recipes), and it reaches right inside soup pots or other places that you couldn’t use a regular mixer for. It grinds up veggies small so the kids don’t notice them in soups or sauces. This would also be good for making your own healthy baby food. It washes up easily in the dishwasher, too. My favorite use is for mashing potatoes – you can do it right in the pan you boiled them in – just drain, then mash with butter, cream cheese, garlic, sea salt & pepper – yum! (Click on picture for link.)

stick blender

  • Crock-potHere’s one like I have. Or here’s a newer looking stainless steel crock pot. Oooooh, here’s an even bigger 8 quart size! I use my 7 quart one a LOT. Here’s another “what we had for dinner” post with recipes for a quick meal I made with my crock pots recently. It was a day we were all going in different directions at dinnertime and I wanted everyone to still get a hot meal. There are many many good and easy recipes to make in your crock-pot. If you haven’t gotten into the habit of using these, you’ll want to, especially if you have a busy family and are running kids around many evenings. ***Read the comments below about the issue of lead in the glaze on crock pots. Short story: Hamilton Beach seems to be the best option.


Someday I’d like to get the following new gadgets (as soon as I can convince Kent I’ve found a new spot to cram more “stuff” into!), if anyone has advice on these (what brand you suggest, features to look for, prices/where to buy, what you use it for, etc.), please leave a comment!

  • Here is the Dehydrator I’m getting as soon as I’m ready to spend the money. It’s the biggest one they make, as far as I know, and I’ve heard from MANY people how much they love it. Below in the comments, Julie tells us about hers that is much less expensive, if you want a smaller one.
  • Rice cooker
  • Here are two top rated pressure cookers – and find out if we should even be using them?

What are YOUR favorite kitchen gadgets? Or if you have any questions, please send a comment below!

I decided to get one of these so that I can fry in my delicious and healthy tallow without worrying about free radicals and cancer from the oil getting too hot and screaming up over the smoke point.


  1. I love my pressure cooker. My mom used to use one when I was growing up, so the sound of the rocking pressure regulator is very comforting to me. I bought mine when we got married, then actually traded with my dad when my mom died because hers was bigger. Get the biggest one available when you purchase. You can only fill it two thirds full when you use it. Once you know that it doesn’t seem so odd to get such a big one. Unfortunately I don’t use mine as often as I should. Because of it’s cumbersome size, it resides in my basement and I forget about it most of the time. Usually when I do use it, it is to make something my mom used to make (pot roast or stewed chicken). When you get one, I would recommend having someone around that has used one before. It is a little nerve racking dealing with the fear that you are going to blow up the kitchen. (At least it was for me!)

    One other thing I would say should be on your list is a good set of pans. By good I mean heavy duty, WITHOUT a non-stick coating, stainless steel with a copper layer in the base. Good pans are worth their weight in gold in my kitchen.

    (Sorry I got so wordy today!!)

  2. I love, love, love my handheld blender. I use it all the time to make blended cream soups (great way to use up greens that come in our CSA farm share veggie box). I also make great smoothies for my son’s afterschool snacks. His friends think I make the best smoothies, yet they have no idea they are far lower in sugar than the ones from the local smoothie shops. I use only whole fruit, whole milk yogurt or kefir, coconut milk, egg yolk, etc. I never use fruit juice.

    I also love having a large toaster oven, similar to yours. I don’t have a double oven, so it is handy for times when I need another baking space (though for some large dinners, I sometimes find myself wishing for that double oven). But most days, for my small family of 3, the large convection toaster oven is sometimes all I need to bake some chicken, a small casserole, or roast some vegetables. I keep a collection of oven dishes (metal, ceramic, & glass) that fit well in the toaster oven, to make the best use of it.

  3. Have you ever thought about getting a meat grinder? It is large, about the size of a stand mixer (but lighter in weight), but it’s boxy shape fits well into a cabinet.

    I bought a heavy duty grinder (Tasin – described and pictured here :
    when I started making food for my two cats a few years ago. It comes with a sausage stuffer attachment, too.

    With the seemingly continual news of E.coli 0157:H7 tainting commercially ground meat (with trimmings from as many as 400 cows from many countries in “chubs” of inexpensive ground beef), it makes a lot of sense to grind meat at home. Also, custom grinds are useful, with as little or as much fat as you want (I tend to want more more fat). Homemade sausage, link or bulk, can’t be beat. No mystery ingredients or unwanted chemicals or flavorings.

    I had a grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, which is fine for very small jobs, but the larger grinder can handle grinding raw poultry and rabbit bone for cat and dog food (BARF diet – Bones and Raw Food) as well making fast work of large sausage and ground meat batches for the freezer. Since I use my grinder a lot (cat food every 10 days or so), FAST grinding is important.

    The price tag might seem hefty at first, but the grinder paid for itself in less than a year of making raw ground whole chicken cat food for two cats, compared to the $3/day I was spending on premium canned cat food. And the peace of mind about pathogen contamination from ground meat for our food is worth it, too.

  4. Hi Anna,
    I haven’t ever thought of getting a meat grinder, I guess I assumed that the farm where we get our meat would make double sure that their butcher used safe methods, BUT that may not be a safe assumption to make. Might be worth a call to my farmer. You’ve got my wheels turning though, as you always seem to! :)
    By the way, did you see the latest comment from Lynn on the Agave Nectar discussion you got going at the My Dark Secrets post?

  5. Kelly,

    You rock! Keep on doin’ what you’re doing, baby!

    LOVE my dehydrator! Want to eventually purchase an Excalibur, but for now, this 4-tiered dehydrator has been my pal:

    Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster, purchased through and they have *free* shipping through site-to-store. Cost about $44 and is well worth it! I have pecans drying (for the Crispy Pecans recipe in Sally Fallon’s book)as I write! Woo-hooo! :)


  6. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for your comment, and how fun to hear from you again! I was hoping you’d see my request for your info on the dehydrator. When you have a chance sometime, if you don’t mind, comment again to tell everyone what else you use it for, where you got it, how much, etc.



  7. Kelly,

    The Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster is available (with free shipping from site-to-store) at for about $44. Just purchased it within the last couple of months, but so far I’ve used it for drying nuts, oats, and various sprouted whole grains for breadmaking. Looking forward to drying strawberries this summer! Can’t wait for that sun to come out again! :)


  8. I love my food processor! I only have a small one because I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but it rocks! I use it to chop onions and such and also to make purees to add to my recipes. Whenever I bake sweet potatoes, broccoli, squash or any other nutritious vegetables I make extra to puree. These purees can be stirred into soups, sauces and casseroles to increase the nutritional value of just about anything you make.

  9. Thanks Julie!

    Liz, that’s a great tip about making extra veggies to puree – do you keep the extra in the freezer to throw in your next recipe then? Do you sneak them in things without Grace knowing? I think you’re the one who told me about the book by Seinfeld’s wife all about that trick – I can’t remember the name, but I’ve heard it was good. If you agree, I’ll have to add it to my suggested reading list. Anyway, the only thing I don’t like about my food processor is that it’s such a pain to clean up. That’s another reason I prefer my stick blender, it purees things easily right in the bowl or pot you’re already using, and then just one piece to pop off into the dishwasher.

    Thanks for the comments everyone! That makes this so much more fun when everyone joins in the chat!


  10. I have many of the gadgets you mention, including the same grain mill! I have to mention my Bosch mixer. It is so useful! I have the meat grinder attachment, and we make some of our hamburger from chuck and sirloin, and it’s SO good!

    I have a VitaMix as well,, in which I make all our smoothies, soups, baby food, grind seeds and nuts, etc.It’s SO powerful, too! It has no trouble with ice or frozen fruit.

  11. Hi Momma,
    I just looked at the VitaMix blenders online – yikes! They’re expensive – I saw one for $350 and it was a step down from the 5200, which I assume is their most powerful model. Any suggestions on where to find a deal?
    Thanks for your help!

  12. I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about another favorite gadget in my kitchen! My hot water tap! I use it for so many things and could not be without it now. I use it for tea, to heat up my coffee when I’m too lazy to brew more, to defrost frozen blueberries or peas (then drain off the water) for the kids, to add to oatmeal to warm it up, and on and on. That and my toaster oven (see info above in the post) are the reasons I’m able to completely stay away from using my microwave now. I think you can get them for around $100 at Lowes or Home Depot. It is a tap right at your kitchen sink. It’s such a time-saver!

  13. I really enjoy having a food processor. I use it all the time to shred cheese blocks. You save money buying the blocks and shredding yourself. I also use it for slicing fruit like strawberries and grapes in bigger recipes. Good for making baby food too.

  14. Hi Kelly,
    If you are wanting to get a Vita-Mix, try looking in your local “Craig’s List” I found a Vita-Mix that had been used a total of 5 times (in a vacation home) this way for 100 dollars. I also found a good Champion juicer by putting a want ad up in my local health food store. Many times people buy health applicances and then sell them once the inspiration has worn off. Not good for them, but good for us who are looking for a good deal!

  15. I have a Hitachi Chime-O-matic rice and food cooker. I love it!!!

    I have had mine for at least 12 years now and I even bought it used at a yard sale. We eat rice more often just because I have the rice cooker. I also have used a larger variety of rices since using the cooker.

    With the chime-o-matic, you can start your rice and then it will switch itself to “warm” and hold at that temp until you are ready to serve. Also, my rice cooker’s manual says that on the warm setting, the rice will stay good for up to 5 hours before there is any need for concern.

    The rice always comes out lovely.

    I also re-heat my rice by putting the steamer tray (that comes with it) in with 1/2 cup water and putting the cold, cooked rice on top of the steamer. It reheats in about 10 minutes and is just as good or better than fresh made.

    It is also good for steaming large batches of vegetables like broccoli, whole cauliflower, corn on the cob, etc.

  16. I’d LOVE to get a pressure cooker, dehyrdator, and the rice cooker you told us about, but I just don’t know where I’d put them! Even my extra storage area is pretty full with my extra glass jars for Kombucha and making yogurt, my crock pots, extra jars of peanut butter, etc. etc. I wish I could get Kent to build me another room off the kitchen, but instead I think I just need to get rid of some stuff!

  17. Hi Kelly,
    I love reading your blog, thankyou so much for all your info and research! Hooray for me, my husband bought me a share of a cow for my birthday! Yummy fresh raw milk. We are now addicted. Ok – on to kitchen gadgets – I am researching toaster ovens and finding many people complaining about how hot the outside gets. I have small children and am a little worried. Any thoughts?
    Thanks, Marie
    ps – I met you at Kathy’s healthy eating party.

  18. Hi Marie, Good to hear from you. (You threw me off at first with the “Shawn” part!)

    GREAT news on the raw milk! What a great husband – do you go through Lubbers? (We may go through there soon sincce our farmer up north is phasing out his cow share business.)

    As far as how hot our toaster oven gets – I do notice it getting hot, but I don’t think it gets as hot as a hot stove would, and I just have the kids stay back like we would if we had the stove on. (We have a 2 year old, by the way.) Some day we hope to get it up off the counter and put it up high – where our microwave is now.

    It is so worth the price, though! Hope that helps!

    Take care, Marie!

  19. Oh, Kelly, I’m sorry…I didn’t read this thread again until now, so I didn’t see your question.

    I got mine at Costco. Every three months they do a roadshow. I think it was about $80 off retail, and Costco stands behind it, too. I saved up for it and am glad I did. A weak store blender would never stand up to all the ice and veggies I blend daily!

    I love the Craig’s List/health food store idea, too. It never hurts to ask!

  20. Hi Kelly, Thanks for the response on the toaster oven. I’m looking into them and I don’t think I need one quite as fancy as yours – but I’m nervous the less expensive ones might got hotter – whatever – I need to stop worrying and simply start celebrating that my hubby has agreed to say goodbye to the microwave! I never thought this day would come :) As for the raw milk, we do not go to lubbers – we get ours much cheaper from Green Pastures in Coopersville. One share is $46 a month and you get however much the cows produced – this week we got 4 gallons! A half share is $25 a month and this week it was 2 gallons (obviously) They also sell beef, chickens, eggs, duck eggs, lamb and the most wonderful cheese made from raw milk! All organic products made/grown right there on this 4th generation farm. Love IT!
    Ok – sorry to be so long, but the prices there are awesome! I bought some organic eggs at meijer the other day – paid $3.19 a dozen – went to the farm and got much fresher eggs for only $2.25 a dozen. My sister goes to Lubbers and loves it there too – they are very friendly as well and closer for her. Both are great options, but I had to plug Green Pastures – check out the website –
    Thanks, Marie

  21. Hi Marie,

    I have other friends who also go to Green Pastures and are very happy there, too. :)

    Tell your husband he’s a great example for all husbands!


  22. Hi Kelly – I have a couple comments/questions:

    First of all – with regard to slow cookers, I’ve always wanted to get one, but now I am hesitant because I recently heard that most of them have lead in the lining! Have you ever heard this too, and does it concern you to cook with one, if so? Do you happen to know of any brands that don’t have lead in them?

    As for pressure cookers, don’t have one of these either, BUT, I recently saw a special on HSN featuring the Wolfgang Puck pressure cooker which seemed quite high tech and resolves the issues with old fashioned pressure cookers. (It’s got timers, various meat settings, safety lock, doesn’t rattle, cool on the outside, etc..) They way they presented it, it even looked like it could do the work of a slow cooker in less time… as they were showing one-dish dinners with meat and vegetable cooking at the same time. Anyways, might be worth looking into! I’d be interested to know what you think. (Hopefully I’m not just a sucker for a good sales pitch, although I did not buy one. Just filed it away for future reference.)

    Sarah W.

  23. Hi Sarah,

    I did some searching and came up with this thread for you to read down through about crock pots and lead in the glaze (you’ll have to cut and paste this address into your browser):

    Very frustrating, that’s for sure!

    That pressure cooker does sound great, but honestly, I haven’t looked into them enough yet to know which features I couldn’t be without. Once I did that, I’d do a lot of internet searching before I bought one, though. I’ll let you know when I do!


  24. Just wanted to add my thoughts…
    I have a grain mill just like the one above, and love it. It sounds like a jet engine leaving the airport, but it does a good job grinding the grain.
    I have an electrolux mixer from pleasant hill grains. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. I also got the meat grinder attachment, works wonderfully! I LOVE THIS MIXER!
    I am wanting to buy a good deep fryer for my parents in a few weeks, would any of you have a good recommendation on those? They live on a river and cook fish alot. I have checked amazon and some other sites, just haven’t found the ‘perfect’ one yet.


  25. Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for the scoop on the electrolux – I keep burning through my hand-held mixers, so I may need to invest in this soon.

    I haven’t had a deep fryer in so many years, I wouldn’t be able to help with that, hopefully someone will. I’m too nervous that I’ll get the oil too hot and cause the free-radicals to form. I’d just need to use a thermometer (and the right healthy fat of course), but haven’t gone there yet.


  26. Kelly,

    There are a number of gadgets that I can’t live without, but the food processor and my dehydrator have proven to be invaluable. Although I do not believe in vegan diets, I am a big believer in eating a large amount of raw “Live” foods, because of the increased ability to digest the foods as well as their superior nutritional content. The two pieces of equipment mentioned above are necessary to that healthy lifestyle. Additionally I have just added to my “have to have” collection, a “sprout master”, which is an amazingly designed stackable sprouting system that minimizes the space requirements and maximized sprouting results without spoilage. I use this for much more than making sprouts for salads… it’s great for sprouting beans, nuts, seeds and grains which are then used for live soups, chili, hummus, breads, deserts and much more etc. Sprouting not only increases the enzymes in the foods, but in some cases can actually improve the nutritional content of the foods up to 600%. Just for fun sometime, pop into one of my live food classes… I would love your input :)

    Take Care… Crystal

  27. Cyrstal,

    I’m going to email you in case you don’t check back here, but I really want to come to one of your classes! I didn’t see any coming up when I checked your site. Amy O. brought over your raw lasagna and I loooved it!

    I hear you’re putting out a cookbook? When?! In the meantime, can I have your raw lasagna recipe?


  28. Hi Kelly,

    My favorite kitchen gadgets are little guys…I’m low on space too. :)

    I love my Pampered Chef chopper. I use it at least once a day! The PC choppers are pricier than the other hand choppers on the market, but they are made really well, and open completely up to clean. They’re dishwasher safe, and they have a lifetime warranty and replace parts or the whole for free. So it’s worth it! I use it to chop onions, garlic, and veggies for soups and stews. I can even have my little ones help with the chopping without worrying about them getting cut. 😉

    I also love my old fashioned cooking thermometer. I use it all the time for coffee water (temperatures over 200 degrees pulls out the bitter oils in coffee beans), for yeast (the water needs to be between 110 and 115)…etc. etc.

    And speaking of coffee, my coffee press is much smaller and much prettier than the big plug in kind. We only drink it occasionally, but it does make a great cup of coffee. :)


  29. Hi Kelly!

    Ditto on the PC chopper!! I use mine to make baby food. Whatever we’re having for dinner, the baby gets too…chopped up! I also use our food processor to make large batches of baby food, then I freeze it in an ice cube tray. When frozen, I pop out the individual portions and store in the freezer for later use. Easy!

    Another use for a food processor: making dough! I use mine (the same one pictured here) with the blade attachment to make baking powder biscuits and pie crusts. Just add ingredients as you normally would, but let the processor do the work! The results are consistently perfect.

    Thanks for the great info here!


  30. You’re welcome! Thanks for the comments – I use mine for pie crusts, too, but hadn’t thought to try it for biscuits. :)


  31. I bought a Magefesa (made in Spain)stainless steel pressure cooker that comes with a large 10 qt. (I think) pot and a 4 qt. pot ,one lid thats uses for both, it is super safe , extra safety valves so cannot blow up , thats why I bought it I love it because of the two sizes andthe safety,I bought it through QVC but I don't think they have them anymore .
    I used to have a rice cooker , and it did cook rice to perfection , but since it had ALUMMINUM liner I got rid of it and haven't found any that have stainless steelliners. I have all porcelain clad cast iron cookware and if you ever try it you will is the best cookware.
    my dehydrator is the best on teh market I understand it is a Excalibur, I use it to dry fruit and then store them in vacum sealed 1/2 gallon jars using my Food Saver with jar attachment.
    I would NEVER be without my Vita Mix , best investment ever . I love the smoothies but also green drinks that other mixers can't liquify ,I do romaine lettuce with a carrot & garlic clove in tomato juice , delicious.I have been making my own natural ice cream and its wonderful.Last of all ,my magic bullet for a quick liquify of anything or a small smoothie ,I make my sauces smooth with it for gravy or marinades.

  32. Hello “Jokes1941”,

    You’re REALLY giving me the “I want its” with the way you talk about your Vita Mix…..

    I wonder if anyone else out there knows where to find a rice cooker without aluminum??

    Thanks for your comment!

  33. If you can find the money, the Thermomix by Vorwerk will take the place of a blender, mixer, breadmaker (mixing part), rice cooker and meat grinder and more. I love mine and no, I don’t sell them! It was a 20th wedding anniversary gift and it does live up to any hype there may be – saves a lot of room in the kitchen, too. I still use my grain mill because of the quanities I need, and I’d love a toaster oven.

  34. Hi Galadia,
    How much are they? And how big is the bowl? It doesn’t look very big. Their website was very uninformative.

  35. Hey everyone, can someone give me their recommendation on homemade bread slicers? Do you recommend a certain favorite gadget, or just a good knife?


  36. This was from Alex at another post:

    “My fav kitchen gadget is short and simple…a sharp paring knife. I can slice and chop so quick I hardly ever take out the big electric gadgets unless I’m doing a large quantity.”

    I’ve been thinking we need to get better knives, ours are very dull. I’m afraid to, though. What if I cut my finger off the first time because I’m not used to a sharp knife?!

  37. Kelly,
    I had the same thoughts about sharp knives!!…so I just got the paring knife and have built up my confidence. I use the bent finger technique that seems to protect the ends(saw that on the food network when I still had cable). I think I’m reading to graduate to a bigger knife! I’m going to get the chopper that can be used to scoop up the food.
    It was my friend’s husband that convinced me that a good knife is a joy to use. He hardly ever uses a food processor. Plus there was a post at Gluten Free Girl’s blog about how to cut an onion. He’s a chef and says they should never be done in a processor. They did a picture tutorial with the steps!
    Thanks again!

  38. OK Alex, I’m ready to try it, but how do I know which knife is “good”? Where do I buy it and what kind do I get?

  39. Oh Kelly….I’m afraid I didn’t do research on this one!! I shop at a local Real Canadian Super Store that has it’s own brand of products (Presidents Choice) that generally are very high quality and good design…and low cost. My daughter says “if it’s not at the Superstore my mother doesn’t buy it!” I love their products. And I’m not brand picky.
    My friends husband….he bought Henckels which are THE good knives. They can be sharpened and generally last a life time (unless you try to cut bones…or so I’ve heard).
    I think there may be a post sometime in the future on this topic….what do you think?? I’m sure you’ll enlighten us all!!
    You’re awesome!!

  40. Thanks Alex, now I know I can just go get one at Meijer and hope I don’t cut a finger off. If I do, I can guarantee there won’t be a post about my new great knife!

  41. Hi Kelly,
    I have been reading older posts and noticed your question about bread slicers vs. a good bread knife. Go with a good bread knife. Don’t clutter up your life with an applicance that is only necessary if you run a bakery or have 8 or more children! I’ve had a cutco bread knife for over 35 years and it is still great. Cutco has a life time quarantee on their knives and a free sharpening service.

  42. Thanks Julie, I’m taking your advice and adding this to my list right now – I’m sick of my electric knife taking up room on the counter.


  43. Two questions about the Bosch:

    1)If you had this, would it eliminate the need for a food processor and/or a breadmaker? I’m trying to have as few appliances as possible!

    2)The Amazon reviews of the Bosch said it’s a pain to clean. Do you think so? That could be a deal breaker for me!



  44. Good questions!

    1. If you bought the food processor or slicer/shredder attachment, then yes, it eliminates the need for a food processor. I went with the slicer/shredder because it has a bigger bowl, so for the times I need something chopped, I kept my food processor downstairs in storage.

    2. I don’t think it’s a pain to clean at all – when I’m done with it, I just run it under hot water with the sprayer right away and a little soapy water if I feel like it and it’s clean. If I forget to do it right away, I soak it in a sink full of water for a couple minutes, then rinse. You can also toss the pieces in the dishwasher, but I like to just rinse it off and put it away.

  45. Hello, This is a different Julie with a comment on another Julie’s question about cleaning the Bosch. I know this may be a no no, but I run mine in the dishwasher. Have done so for 15 years. No complaints from the Bosch so far!

  46. Hello another Julie!

    I’m glad people are still reading these comments even though there have gotten to be a lot here. :)

    I also put my Bosch in the dishwasher once in a while – no problems here, either.

    Thanks for commenting!


  47. I use all of those things too except a bread maker and food strainer. My most recent purchase was a Blend tec blender. I never thought I would spend that much money on a blender but it was worth every penny!!!

    Thanks for sharing a great post with us!

  48. Hi Lara,

    What’s a “blend tec blender”? I recently spent a lot on a Bosch w/ a blender, too – and I also LOVE IT!

    Thanks for popping in!


  49. Hello,
    Was just reading some of the older posts (am totally new to this!!!) and saw the mention of the Seinfeld cookbook. Just thought I’d throw in that I LOVE the cookbooks by Missy Chase Lapine (who sued Seinfeld, actually), called The Sneaky Chef. I found her recipes to be much better. She has a background in nutrition and cooking, so I found her recipes to be better balanced and there are more of them! Of course you all will have to do some adjusting as she likes to sub in tofu to cut down on cheese, etc., but her vegetable purees and her ideas for using them are great. We are having her chili with tons of pureed cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, and peas tonight, and it’s the only chili my husband will eat now. And not only does he know what goes in it but he often makes the purees. Anyway, I had checked them out at the library but found them worth purchasing as she has so many ideas.

    Thanks for putting all the work into this blog, Kelly. My husband and I have just begun delving into our own research so thanks for the fantastic starting point and resources!


  50. Hi Rebecca,

    You’re welcome, and thanks for all the good scoop on the book, I definitely need to take a look at that one. :)

    As you do your research, feel free to let me know if I can ever help!


  51. Hi,
    I’m a new reader and I had to chime in on this, because I use my knives every single day several times a day and almost never use my food processors (I have 3 and use the smallest one most for bread crumbs and cheese).
    I wanted to add that my favorite knife is a $14.99 santoku style knife I got at Wal-mart. I have a good knife sharpener to keep it sharp and use a sharpening steel every time I use it to keep the blade straight.
    I spent tons of money on good knives over the years but this cheaper knife is my go to knife because I love the weight and feel.
    The trick is to learn a few simple knife skills ( very easy and can be found all over the internet) and to keep it sharp. Your far less likely to cut yourself if your knife is sharp. Sharp knife equals less pressure and less work on you.
    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth. My only other must have appliance isn’t an appliance either. It’s my cast iron cookware. Most of it was handed down to me and I love love love it.

    Take care and keep up the great work. I’m learning so much from you.


  52. Hi Vikki! I’m so glad you shared that, because I have a smaller knife that I love, too, that wasn’t much money, and I always wondered if I should buy a more expensive knife. I’m glad to know that you have also had good luck with one that cost less and I don’t have to wonder what else is out there and I can just enjoy my deal!

    So now I’ve learned from you, too – that’s what’s so fun about a blog! :)


  53. Hi, just discovered your site a few days ago and I love it!

    Thermomix would be my gadget of choice, I see someone else mentioned it too. They have a 2 litre bowl capacity, not huge, but more than big enough for my family of four and I know bigger families than mine who have them too. I’ve got rid of my old rice cooker, shelved my breadmaker, and don’t use my bench top mixer and food processor anywhere near as much as I used to. And I just realised I haven’t used my blender since I got my TM either. They are a bit spendy, near $2000 Aus but everyone I know who has one (some on-line, some real life) has not regretted the purchase. It can mince meat and grind grains too, I love it! And no, I don’t sell them :) See if you can set up a demo, that way you’ll see what it can do….and get to eat as well!

    Thanks for your site,


  54. Hi Kelly, I’m new to your site and really so appreciative of all the information you obviously take so much time to put together! Did you ever get that raw lasagna recipe from the commenter named Crystal? If so, I’d love it! Thanks!

  55. Mmmm, thanks for reminding me! Yes I have it and made it a while back, I LOVED it but the rest of the family wasn’t impressed. Let me make sure Crystal doesn’t mind if I post it and if not, I’ll get it up soon.


  56. Hi there,

    Has anyone tried or bought Tefal’s new Actifry?? I don’t have access to lard, tallow or duck fat on a regualr basis and this machine requires only 1-2 Tbsp. of oil -coconut would work great here or the little duck fat I can get! Any feedback? It’s a pricey little machine… Thanks!

    • The only problem is that their big pitch is how little oil it uses to fry things, but I want more of the oil since we only use the healthy kinds. :)

  57. I agree with that :) But since I don’t have access to the good kinds (in typical deep frying quantities), I’d prefer using a little “good oil” in deep frying than using toxic canola, soy or sunflower oil etc. in a regular fryer.

    • Can you find a farm nearby for tallow or lard??? Or you could get some fat and render it yourself, it’s not too big a deal. Just some ideas!

  58. how do you keep your homemade potato chips from sticking together when deepfrying? also, how do you adjust crispiness? what temperature do you deep fry at?

  59. Hello,

    I didn’t read absolutely every post here because I just don’t have that kind of time, but I didn’t notice the mention of pressure cookers. I would have to check my book again to be sure, but I believe Sally Fallon warns against using them in “Nourishing Traditions.” I can’t remember exactly why though.

    Love this post though. I am a kitchen gadget junky and these are very helpful timesavers (to have the research done already!). I am not one of those women who make their husband sleep on the couch for buying them kitchen stuff for gifts…LOL!

    Oh, and I also noticed your post Kelly about the hot water tap. I have to admit it has me puzzled since I’ve had a hot water tap at my sink my whole life…I must be missing something…!?


  60. I just wanted to add my to favorite kitchen gadgets. I am just starting out with changing my family over to a more natural diet. I started with kombucha and juice. I just recently invested in a gallon of coconut oil and a pound of stevia. So I am doing a lot of research and reading, we will start drinking raw milk after we move.



    I love that I can make juice that lasts a couple of days rather than just a couple of hours.

    Thank you for all of the information you have here, it is very helpful.

  61. Can anyone tell me what type of cookie/baking sheets they use? I am trying to phase out all our non-stick cook and bake ware. I am almost exclusively using my cast iron pan to cook with, but all my other stuff is the non-stick kind. Is there a post or a link to what they best kinds of storage containers, bake ware, pots and pans are the best? I think I have aluminium pots and pans! Thanks!

  62. Manitou Spings…was there a couple of years ago…love it! also old colorado springs…i think was the name. those old quaint towns can’t be beat!

  63. My 30-something year old slow-cooker recently broke. Now I am searching for one that I can use for simmering chicken stock. I haven’t had much success finding recommendations for a slow cooker that has a good simmer feature. Do you or your readers have any advice for me? I’m on the Specific Carbohyrate Diet and make chicken stock frequently and beef stock occasionally.

    I really enjoy your blog.

    • I have a Hamilton Beach crock pot – it has 3 settings: warm, low and high. High has it at a boil, but low does pretty well for stock. Hope that helps!


  64. I just got a Breville deep fryer for Christmas. I was so excited until I opened the instructions and it said not to use lard. I believe they also said not to use any oil that was solid at room temp. Any reason why I should abide by their rules?

  65. I just received a reply from Breville. They stand by their safety warning stating that lard/tallow has a great risk of overheating and could cause a fire more easily than other oils. I wonder if all deep fryers have that warning.

  66. My manual food processor, my mix n chop, a good knife, a good pair of kitchen scissors, my immersion blender, and my crockpot.

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