What Do the World's Best Kitchen Gadgets Have in Common?

Gourmet recently rounded up a list of the world's "essential kitchen gadgets." And while the picks themselves range from obvious to intriguing (see: roasting pan to hot-water dispensers), they all share several basic attributes in common. Let's take a...

Gourmet recently rounded up a list of the world's "essential kitchen gadgets." And while the picks themselves range from obvious to intriguing (see: roasting pan to hot-water dispensers), they all share several basic attributes in common. Let's take a closer look at Gourmet's selections, along with highlighting why they measure up as kitchen must-haves.

Kitchen gadgets
Can't live without your morning cuppa? Then it's a must-have for you.

 

1. They're useful.

If you've ever watched late-night infomercials on a sleepless night, you likely know that kitchen gadgets are a dime a dozen. What distinguishes the fads from the real deals? It all boils down to one thing: usefulness.

While Gourmet's inclusion of a hot-water dispenser may seem unusual in some cultures, for people in China where tea and other hot beverages are inherent to everyday life, they're essentials. In other words, usefulness is a major determinant in whether a purchase makes smart sense.

2. They enhance performance.

To the novice chef, a mandoline may seem like an indulgence. After all, it's just a fancy way to slice vegetables, right? But if you're a chef looking to turn out professional-quality meals, then this gourmet tool can help you do everything from foster consistent cooking time to create paper-thin slices. Learn to use it properly, meanwhile, and it also becomes a time-saver.

3. They're timeless.

Fads come and go, but the best kitchen gadgets and utensils stand the test of time. At the top of this category? High-quality kitchen knives. Said one expert in singing the praises of these slicing, dicing, chopping, cutting, mincing, julienning, chiffonading and much much more tools, "They never go out of fashion, and without proper, sharp knives one is only half a cook."

4. They're favorite meal-makers.

Do you have a go-to, crowd-pleasing recipe in your arsenal? If so, it makes sense to invest in tools specific to preparing this particular meal. In Australia, it's all about barbecue, which is why "No Australian household is complete without a full set of barbecue tools, including tongs, fork, scraper, and brush," according to a Gourmet source.

Also falling into this category? Cuba's espresso pots. Said one insider, "In every kitchen you see at least one if not more cafeteras, which are used to make a cafecito, the sugary sweet coffee that Cubans favor." And while cafecito may be relatively foreign to American kitchens, its cappuccino and espresso cousins are equally beloved.

5. They're versatile.

While Sunday roast dinner in England falls into the above category, the tools required to make it also embody another characteristic of top kitchen gadgets. Just how important are a vegetable peeler, potato masher, and roasting pan in England? Gourmet goes so far as to declare them to be the "Holy Trinity of tools."

They also share something else in common: They're not exclusive to making Sunday dinner, which amplifies their use for chefs looking to make the most of what they've got.

Kitchen gadgets
The right tools bring traditional English dinner to delicious life.

 

The takeaway for home chefs looking to stock their kitchens with the best tools? While the specifics may differ, the overall ideas are the same. Before making a purchase, consider whether what you're buying is useful, enhances performance, timeless, time-saving, and versatile? If so, your choice is not only one likely to hold up in the kitchen, but to make a real contribution to your output as a chef.

Looking to start reaping the benefits of having the right kitchen tools? Browse cookware and much more at Cilantro The Cooks Shop.