I try to avoid single-purpose gadgets in my kitchen, both to save space and money, and because it feels like they just all start to add up and get ridiculous. Plus, I always find it irritating when food bloggers are like “Oh, this recipes is so easy, just toss it in the standing mixer and then the bread maker and then the ice cream maker and you’re good to go!” I don’t want people to feel like they have to spend a thousand dollars on gadgets to make my recipes.
That being said, I have a couple of things that I’ve found to be very convenient, if not strictly necessary. My “Fun Kitchen Toys” posts (listed in the Tips section) discuss a couple things I recommend if you can afford them but don’t think you have to have.
Today’s recommendation is for a steamer. While it’s not really single-purpose (you can make rice, and vegetables, and dumplings, and lots of stuff!) it’s also not the most essential tool in the kitchen, since you could probably accomplish the same thing in a pot with a steamer basket most of the time. But it sure makes my life a little easier! The steamed veggie and rice consumption in my house has gone way up since I started using our steamer, and that’s probably a good thing, health-wise.
Anyway – on to the recommendation already! I currently have a Black & Decker steamer that they don’t make anymore, but this Black & Decker steamer looks like it’s probably almost the same thing in a newer model.
If mine broke tomorrow (please don’t tell it I said that, my appliances have a bad habit of breaking when I complain about them) I would probably invest a little more and get this stainless steel one, since I know I use it all the time and I prefer not to cook in plastic when I can avoid it. Both options are great, though!
Do you have any favorite “fun kitchen toys” you recommend? Or any awesome recipes you use a steamer for? Or have you perfected steaming things in a regular old pot? (if so, I bow to you! I’ve burned more rice than I like to admit)