Food

Three kitchen gadgets I’m loving right now

If you’ve been following along with my blog for a while, you’ve seen that I love all things related to cooking! I only share recipes and kitchen gadgets that I’m a big fan of and I need to share a few products I’ve been using and LOVING since my original post on kitchen gadgets I recommend. I purchased the three kitchen products featured here over the last few months and have to share how much I’m loving them.

Enameled Dutch Oven by Lodge Cast Iron

Click on the image to see this item on Lodge Cast Iron

Every television chef and food influencer seems to have an enameled Dutch Oven in their kitchen. Until last year, I didn’t really know what their function or purpose was, despite their gorgeous look on tv/Instagram. Well, they do actually serve a functional purpose beyond being aesthetically pleasing.

Enameled cast iron is high heat resistant (up to 500 degrees, so pretty much anything you’re cooking), can go from stovetop to oven, and is a must have for braising meats, cooking crusty breads and cooking casseroles and dishes that start on the stove and finish in the oven. I’ve recently been baking my bread inside my Dutch oven and can’t believe how beautiful the coloring and crust crunch factor is with this baking method.

I purchased a Lodge enameled Dutch Oven because I’ve loved the quality of Lodge products AND to be honest, I can’t justify splurging on a Le Creuset Dutch Oven at this point in my life. (A Le Creuset of the same size I bought is $325 versus $60 for the Lodge). Both Lodge and Le Creuset offer lifetime warranties, too. You can read some pros and cons between the brands here.

I made a mistake within the first month of buying my cast iron and did not heat it gradually when using on the stovetop. A small chip in the enamel coating occurred. I emailed Lodge to ask if the Dutch Oven was still safe to use and they let me know that the product had a lifetime warranty! They mailed me a replacement product straight away after I just sent a photo of the chip and shared with me that they key is to heat the pot gently to not stress the enamel. Shout out to a company with a great warranty AND a helpful customer service team.

Can Opener by Kuhn Rikon

Click on image to see this item on Kuhn Rikon website

I have a kitchen problem that is super weird – I GRIND through can openers. I have gone through about seven can openers in the last five years. I don’t know if it’s my brute strength (yeah right, haha) or that I just buy can openers that are terrible, but it’s a problem. I’ve never spent more than $20 on a can opener up to this point, so I was wondering if the issue was really that I was buying inexpensive poor quality ones. We use a lot of canned tomatoes/sauces/paste and some types of beans that I can’t find dry. A good can opener is a must!

I decided to see what the poeple of the internet had to say and this BIFL (buy it for life) thread on Reddit (NSFW – some cursing on this link) recommended a Kuhn Rikon Swiss can opener. I am trying really hard in 2020 (and beyond!) to not buy things new if there’s a way to find one used – I was actually able to find a gently used Kuhn Rikon on Ebay for $12 (including the shipping)! I’ve been using it for the past month and I’M OBSESSED. The can opener opens things with total ease, it cuts in a way that prevents sharp edges AND the blades don’t touch the food at all, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning the tiny parts effectively.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Click on image to see this item on the Instant Pot website

I know that Instant Pot (pressure cookers) are hardly new, but I am generally pretty opposed to highly specific-use kitchen appliances. That was, until my mother-in-law got an Instant Pot, which I borrowed, and became immediately enamored with how absolutely perfect it is for cooking rice. My specific-use kitchen appliance ban prohibited me from getting a rice cooker (obviously, haha), but after I almost permanently borrowed my mother-in-law’s Instant Pot, she was kind enough to get me one for Christmas.

Since then, I use it 3-4 times weekly. I cook all of our grains (rice, oats, other grains) and our dry beans in there. I’ve also made stock in there and it is far quicker than in the crockpot. They now have lids available that can make certain models of Instant Pots function as a crockpot or as an Air Fryer. An even better way to reduce having all those specific-use kitchen appliances in your cabinets!

I have not used it to cook meat or meals, really just as a quick way to cook dried grains and beans. Honestly, these items are so much cheaper to buy dry but take so long to cook on the stovetop that it is worth it alone as a time saver for me.

You can see these and some other kitchen items I’m loving on my Amazon list here.

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