New tools for the kitchen seem to come out every day, and finding and using the ones that work for you is more important than trying every new gadget on the market.
Here are some of my favorite tools (all links are affiliate links):
- Microwave – a must-have for defrosting all those prepared ingredients and meals from the freezer
- Slow Cooker – my favorite and the tool I use appliance I use most often
- Grill – good tool for quick meals but also for preparing ingredients in bulk for the freezer like grilled chicken or vegetables
- Instant Pot – these quick cooking appliances are helpful for speeding things up when you don’t have hours for cooking
- 8 in 1 Grill Station – this nifty space saving appliance from Bella is a griddle in addition to making paninis, quesadillas, waffles, omelets, and more
- Air Fryer – while air fryers don’t necessarily save time, they are a great alternative to turning on the oven or heating up a hot oil fryer
- All in One Stand Mixer – whether you like Bosch or KitchenAid, an all in one mixer saves counter space and performs tasks usually done by blenders, mixers, food processors, pasta makers, and even meat grinders
- Pizza Pizzazz – this seems strange and random, but we love this little appliance and use it multiple times a day for just about everything
- Small Tools – I love my garlic press, micro-plane grater, hand juicer, vegetable peeler, and Vidalia Chop Wizard (for way more than just onions!), and they speed up my prep time at every meal
Ultimately, the tools that work for you are the ones you should have handy since minimizing the number of appliances on your counter and the amount of stuff in your drawers reduces clutter and stress.
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* Adapted from Secrets of a Busy Cook by Lynn Nelson, used by permission
Recipes for My Favorite Tool: The Crockpot
With prep time of under 5 minutes, this tender and delicious sweet garlic chicken is a cinch to put on the table on a busy night. Add a salad and potatoes for a low stress meal, or dress it up with fresh vegetables and garlic bread.
This barbecue chicken dinner is not only a great slow cooker recipe, but it can easily be used as a freezer meal to help make weekday meal planning easier. You could also make prep easier by using frozen hash browns instead of chopping up your own potatoes.