I love useless infomercial products as much as the next person, but there is only so much counter and storage space in each kitchen, and if you’re smart it’s reserved for only those products that have stood the test of time–and really make your life better/easier/fuller.
For me, the kitchen is my favorite place to be and I spend a lot of time there so the products I use in it have to be sturdy (because I use them constantly), beautiful (because I look at them daily) and useful (because ain’t nobody got time for that).
Here are my favorites:
Farberware Luna Teakettle
I bought this probably eight years ago at TJMaxx or Marshall’s. I use this every single morning to heat up water for my French press coffee and every single night for a cup of tea. It has a permanent space on the back right burner of my stove and is never put away out of sight–the kitchen product equivalent of marriage, basically. It has become so central a part of my life that I’ve tried over and over again to buy it as a gift for other people but it has always been sold out and/or discontinued. There is currently ONE left in white on Amazon. GET IT. ($46.46 on Amazon)
Palm Restaurant French Press
This is another Marshall’s purchase and I’m in love with it. I went through a pour over coffee phase for a while after I shattered my last French press but it’s such a slow and tedious process that I knew I wanted the press back in my life. When I saw this lovely sleek wooden design I had to have it. I can’t seem to find it (or any Palm products) online, but there are plenty of other presses out there. ($35 similar on Amazon)
Mr. Coffee Grinder
This is another product that is at least six to eight years old. I got it after college when I was first introduced to French pressing and good non-Folgers coffee. Even if you don’t use a French press or pour over, if you’re not at least grinding your own beans for your coffeemaker you have lost your mind. It makes all the difference. ($19.67 on Amazon)
Oneida Santoku Knife
I can’t tell you how important decent knives are to me. I wouldn’t say this knife is even that good (it came in a block set for probably $60 total), but it is solid and sharp enough to do the job. This one and the paring knife get the most use out of my set. I almost never touch the steak knives. All you really need are two good knives, in my opinion. ($38.95 on Amazon)
Cuisinart Immersion Blender
I don’t know why I love this thing so much but I’m such a fan I gave two as gifts this past Christmas. Mine came with the food processor attachment, which I used for blending up frozen bananas into vegan ice cream all the time. I used the attachment so much I broke it, but the blender itself is still useful for pureeing soups and such. ($29.99 on Amazon)
It’s amazing what a difference foamy milk makes to your coffee. I got this as a freebie giveaway at a conference expo, but you can find them on the cheap all over the place for less than $5. If I want a nice foamy latte instead of my standard black coffee with a splash of cream, I just put milk in the mug first, foam it up with this little guy and then slowly pour in coffee. The foamy milk stays on top and feels like a more expensive cafe purchase. ($4.74 on Amazon)
I love this grater because it has lots of different sizes and you can shred straight into a storage box that attaches to the bottom. I use it more for vegetables than I do cheese, but it works just as well on either. ($19.70 on Amazon)
Glass Storage Containers
I do a lot of meal prep on Sundays and then pack it up for the week. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to move away from plastic as much as possible so I bought a bunch of these snap lid glass containers. THEY ARE AMAZING. I don’t know what it is but eating my lunch out of this makes me so much happier than eating it out of my old Tupperware. ($32.59 similar 18-piece set on Amazon)
Honorable mention goes to my Vitamix, which (like the teakettle above) has claimed coveted permanent counter space, but I’m sick of the world telling people they have to have a Vitamix in order to truly live. I got it as a gift and otherwise never would have shelled out for one. It is hands down the best blender on the planet, but your world will keep on spinning without one.
That does it for my kitchen. What are some of your must haves?