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With online recipes and Instagram tutorials at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to be a home cook. These resources help you build flavor profiles, use interesting ingredients and impress your friends with perfect plating. However, you might be ready to up your culinary game even more. This year’s best new kitchen gadgets can simplify meals and cut down on prep time. We’ve already seen some amazing new kitchen tools, from sous vides to air fryers, which can help anyone feel like a true gourmand.
Clear off your countertop. Here are our picks for the year’s best kitchen gadget trends.
1. Mug Warmers
A hot cup of coffee is key for your morning focus, but you don’t have to rely on trips to the microwave to keep it steaming. A tabletop mug warmer can sustain your drink’s temperature for hours. This gadget offers heat control and a sleek design, as well as an automatic shutoff for safety. Whether you’re sipping through your morning routine or getting a head start on work, your mug warmer will become a household essential.
2. Single-Serve Blenders
Nutrition gurus know the power of a smoothie while on the go. If you’re looking to simply mix and run out the door, a single-serve blender is the tool for you. This gadget keeps the blender container out of your sink and helps with portion control. You can load up your ingredients, attach the blades and blend away. Once you’re done, screw on the lid and go. Aside from being highly convenient, single-serve blenders look sleek on a countertop and tuck easily into a cabinet.
3. Smart Herb Gardens
There’s nothing quite like plucking fresh basil leaves from your outdoor herb garden. However, many of us don’t have the year-round sunshine needed to sustain these plants. With a smart herb garden, your kitchen counter can become a sunny windowsill. These gadgets use LED lights and a high-tech watering system to keep edible plants growing in any climate. And you’re not limited to parsley and basil. Aspiring indoor gardeners can sprout lettuce, tomatoes, and more. All you have to do is fill the base with water and wait.
4. Herb Preservers
Whether homegrown or from the market, herbs tend to wilt before you can use the whole bunch. To avoid tossing wilted herbs every week, consider adding an herb preserver to your kitchen gadget collection. This tool includes a water reservoir that keeps herbs fresh and hydrated in your fridge. The protective cover prevents the sprigs from breaking or getting crushed by other fridge items. Users can replace the water every few days to maximize the life of their fresh greens.
5. Automatic Pan Stirrers
Even the most experienced home cooks can have difficulty multitasking in the kitchen. If you’re whipping up a sauce and prepping meat at the same time, an automatic pan stirrer can lend a hand. These autonomous gadgets keep sauces and gravies moving as they gently simmer in a pan. Just put the tool in place, set the timer, and focus on the other tasks at hand. The results will be deliciously balanced components and a less-frantic cooking experience.
6. Stove Sensors
It’s not always possible to closely monitor simmering pots and slow-cook meals. Fortunately, there are smart sensors to keep an eye on the stove for you. These sensors sit above the stove, monitoring air quality and fire risk. Many of these new kitchen gadgets connect to smart home apps as well, so you can track data and receive alerts about potential hazards. There are sensors available that mount on the wall or ceiling, as well as those that seamlessly integrate into your hood vent. With this tool watching over your stove, you can enjoy sleek design and peace of mind in the kitchen.
7. Sous Vide
Sous-vide is the French term for “under vacuum,” and sous vide cooking is one of the hottest new culinary trends. If 2019 was the year of the air fryer, then 2020 may be the year of the sous vide. This cooking technique is known as low temperature, long time (LTLT) cooking. The food is placed in a sealed plastic bag or glass jar and placed in a pot of water. The sous vide then evenly heats the water over many hours, leading to juicy, tender meats cooked to perfection. Meats can be placed in the jar or bag with marinades or seasoning, resulting in amazing flavor with minimum effort. We particularly like the Breville Sous Vide, seen below.
8. Novelty Timers
While your oven timer can get the job done, why not have a little more fun while cooking? Geek culture and culinary enthusiasm come together with this novelty timer trend. Whether you love retro style or TV-inspired products, you can find a timer that fits your taste. Some even have unique features (like this Star Wars timer that includes lights and robot sounds). Pulling the cookie tray from the oven is now a tribute to your favorite movie.
9. Countertop Roasters
Countertop roasters take the guesswork out of warming up your favorite finger foods. This new kitchen gadget features a plate that rotates under a heating element. The surface is the perfect size for a small pizza, but you can also use this tool to make toast, crispy french fries, chicken wings, and other shareable snacks. Since the roaster sits on your countertop, you can adjust the settings as you see fit. And best of all, you’ll know the moment your food is ready. Goodbye forever, burnt crust.