Open that drawer in the kitchen. You know the one. Filled with all the random utensils and tools you’ve accumulated over the years—including that potato masher that makes the drawer stick—that you’ve been meaning to clean out. Now’s the time! We’re not saying you have to get rid of everything in there, but scale back to the things you actually use all the time…and a few multi-tasking tools that are worth the space they take up. We’ve selected a handful of our favorite kitchen heroes that will help make everyday cooking easier.
1. Garlic Press
One of Chrissy’s all-time favorite kitchen gadgets for making a tedious task quick. With a garlic press, you don’t even have to peel the garlic—just put it inside the press, squeeze, and instantly minced garlic! This one even has a tool built-in to push out the papery garlic skin and anything that didn’t make it through the grates for easy cleanup.
Whether you’re scrambling eggs in a nonstick pan, scraping the excess cake batter from the side of a bowl, or folding an airy meringue together, a silicone spatula is a must. Ours has a stainless steel core so it’s stronger, but the silicone is also heat-resistant so you don’t burn yourself when you leave it in the pan too long. (The spatula comes in a set with two different spoons and a silicone brush, as well.)
Want to get perfectly thin-cut julienned vegetables every time? Use a julienne peeler to do the work for you. It works great for making elegant little strips of carrot and cucumber for salads and slaws, potatoes for hash browns, and zucchini for a shorter style of “zoodle.” The blade is sharp and zig-zag shaped, so be sure to cut the rounded bottom off of what you’re julienning so it can lay flat on the cutting board as you peel.
4. Cookie Scoop
A spring-loaded cookie scoop can make perfectly portioned cookies that bake evenly…but it can also do the same if you’re making muffins, baked egg bites, or even pancakes on the griddle. Or ice cream. Whatever you’re in the mood for. A cheat sheet for cookie scoop sizes: a #60 (small) holds 2 teaspoons and yields a 2-inch diameter cookie; #40 (medium) holds 1 ½–2 tablespoons and yields a 2 ¾-inch diameter cookie; #20 (large) holds 3 tablespoons, yields a 3 ½-inch diameter cookie, and is best for cupcakes and muffins.
A bench scraper is ideal for baking, including portioning pieces of dough without needing a knife, measuring how long a piece of dough is, and cleaning up your cutting board or prep surface when there are little bits of leftover dough stuck to it. But our everyday use for it is a scooper! Its flat surface can hold a lot of chopped onion to transfer to a skillet or a bowl, or even separate prepped veggies for a salad.
6. Pastry Brush
Brushing on egg wash for biscuits, glazing grilled meats, or slathering on garlic butter for garlic bread: a pastry brush can do it all. And the silicone material of ours is easy to wash by hand or just toss into the dishwasher to really make sure it’s squeaky clean.