Some kitchen gadgets seem fun at first but quickly become nothing more than clutter. How often do you really use that popcorn machine, pasta maker, or fondue pot? Did you even remember you had a fondue pot complete with those little color-coded skewers? 

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Yeah, I rest my case.

But I actually don’t because there’s a lot more to say here. For every unused or underused kitchen appliance or gadget currently crammed onto your pantry shelves or tucked away in kitchen cabinets, there is at least one clever and handy device that you’ll actually use all the time once you get the hang of it or that will happily replace something you’re currently using.

Great kitchen gadgets go well beyond the “neat” factor and actually make your life easier and more enjoyable, as it pertains to cooking and eating, at any rate. Here today are the best kitchen gadgets you’ll be glad to add to the mix.

KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor

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If you think a food processor and a blender are pretty much the same thing than WRONG! They’re not – not even close. OK, maybe kind of close. But the precision offered by a fine food processor like this one gives you control a brute-like blender could never offer. Depending on how you orient the blades, you can use this device to chop and dice veggies, to shred cheese or pork, or to puree the hell out of foods from soup to hummus to dips and more. Ours is out on the counter and in use at least three times a week.

Buy KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor at Amazon, $150

Yonanas Deluxe Frozen Dessert Maker

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This brilliantly simple device serves two honorable purposes at once: it prevents a lot of food waste, and it creates a genuinely healthy and tasty dessert you won’t feel the least bit of guilt about serving to your kids. Just take all those browning bananas, softening strawberries, and bottom of the bowl blueberries and freeze ‘em. Then, 10 minutes before dessert time, get ‘em out and put them on a plate to soften slightly. Now cram fruit after fruit down the Yonanas’ chute and out the other side comes a delicious mixture akin to soft serve ice cream but that is indeed all fruit. (Pro tip? Serve the Yonanas concoction in an ice cream cone. Health factory reduced a bit, but wow factor doubled.)

Buy Yonanas Deluxe Frozen Dessert Maker at Amazon, $70

Kasimore Manual Hand Juicer

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So you have one of those electric juicer whatnots where you push the halved citrus fruit down on the reamer thing and it goes EEE-EEEE-EEE and rumbles around and then a bit of juice dribbles out of the spout, do you? OK, here’s what you do: grab that thing, make sure it’s unplugged, go over to the window, open the window, and then just toss it right into trash and yell out the window: “Hey, I just trashed my juicer!” Actually, better to donate, then get a hand juicer. They work just as fast as most mid-range electric options, but these are fail-safe, easier to clean, and take up less storage space.

Buy Kasimore Manual Hand Juicer at Amazon, $13

Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Sprayer

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Not only are many mainstream cooking sprays (looking at you, PAM) made using not-all-that-healthy oils and aerosols, but they are also the culprit for much of your kitchen mess, sending little droplets of oil far beyond the intended pot or pan and leaving a greasy film everywhere. With a Misto, your cooking oil is simply olive oil (you can use others too, of course, from avocado oil to coconut oil, but it was designed primarily for olive oil).Simply using air pressure created by pumping the top a few times, you’ve got your own food lube. Over the duration of its use, this little guy will save you money on cooking spray and hours on cleaning.

Buy Misto Brushed Aluminum Oil Sprayer at Amazon, $10

Wolf Gourmet Electric Griddle

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Yes, this electric griddle from Wolf is pretty pricey, but it’s also just about the last device in my kitchen I’d get rid of before the range, dishwasher, and maybe the coffeemaker. If you thought griddles were just for pancakes and omelets, then you’re half right. But when you can count on perfectly maintained temperature control on this capacious, nonstick surface, you can also cook perfectly seared steaks, delicate fish fillets, veggies, burgers, hash browns, and on it goes, you’ll know it was money well spent. This griddle makes cooking so easy and efficient, it will probably get more use than your stovetop and pots and pans.

Buy Wolf Gourmet Electric Griddle at Nordstrom Rack, $550

Faberware Pro Pump Salad Spinner

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Salad spinners seem completely superfluous… until the first time you use one, and instantly that soggy lettuce you just rinsed is again crisp and dry and tempting. And if all they did well their prime directive – namely drying leafy vegetables – that would be enough. But when you realize that they also mean you get a bigass strainer and bigass all-purpose bowl when the thing is deconstructed, that’s cash well spent even if you don’t wash romaine, kale, or arugula all that often.

Buy Faberware Pro Pump Salad Spinner at Amazon, $20

Uno Casa Cast Iron Tortilla Press

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OK, you got me… you might not use a tortilla press all that often. Hell, it may sit in a drawer unused for months like ours did. And then, oh then… one day you’ll first make your own fresh tortillas that cook up in about a minute once fresh off the hand-operated cast iron device and create about the tastiest meal you’ve made at home in as long as you can remember. This thing went from novelty to staple after the first time we used it.

Buy Uno Casa Cast Iron Tortilla Press at Amazon, $36

SodaStream Jet Sparkling Water Maker

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Our SodaStream has, admittedly, never been used to make “soda,” per say. But I’ve quaffed glass after glass of refreshing homemade seltzer using the thing, and then we have the purpose for which it has gotten the most use during lockdown: vodka tonics. Because you can set the level of effervescence you prefer (I always go max, of course), this device lets you create the perfect sparkling drink, be it boozy or no. (OK, we ordered Tonic Syrup from Amazon, but still pretty homemade!)

Buy SodaStream Jet Sparkling Water Maker at Amazon, $80

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