Gadgets and small appliances that will keep you in the kitchen

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When life gets busy, cooking is one of the first activities that many forego to get a bit more free time. However, after a while, ordering out and eating sub-par meals gets old. Kitchen gadgets that assist in quickly preparing meals and drinks are not only helpful but essential in creating balance — and time — to conquer the day.

Whether it’s a cold brew coffee maker that saves you money or sous vide gear that’ll upgrade your chef skills, we’ve gathered some of our favorite appliances that are enjoyable to use — and that give you another reason to spend more time in the kitchen.

The OXO Good Grips Spiralizer comes with three blade attachments (from left to right): a ⅛-inch spaghetti blade, a ribbon blade, and a ¼-inch fettuccine blade. Photo: Michael Hession

Spiralizer: OXO Good Grips Spiralizer

Thinking about the steps that go into making a really good salad or vegetable dish is enough to make some grab a take-out menu. If you always jump at the opportunity to cross chopping and dicing fresh vegetables off of your agenda, a spiralizer is a simpler alternative to use when prepping food. The OXO Good Grips Spiralizer is our top recommendation; it creates noodles, ribbons and chips that can be used as garnish or a full meal. After you secure it to your countertop, choose a blade and select your vegetable (or fruit) of choice, this gadget does the majority of the work. Pile your zucchini noodles or butternut squash ribbons high and freeze them to be eaten later in the week.

Personal Blender: NutriBullet Pro 900 Series

Most would agree that the effort it takes to make a smoothie is usually more than worth it. After researching more than 24 models, we tested 10 personal blenders and chose the NutriBullet Pro 900 Series as our top pick. Compared to other blenders we put to the test, it performed best powering through kale, frozen fruit, fresh ginger fiber and dates, as well as a mid-range full-size blender. It’s a great device to have on hand, it pays for itself and quickly produces whatever puree or smoothie you’re in the mood for. Consider an immersion blender for soups and purees that you want to cook in a pot or that call for ingredients that won’t fit in a personal blender.

Photo: Michael Hession

Electric Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart

Aside from being able cook a meal — or the most time-consuming components of a meal — in one pot, the biggest perk of using an electric pressure cooker is finishing the task in a fraction of the time. The Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart has three temperature settings and can be used for slow-cooking and sautéing. New cooks or those intimidated by stove-top pressure cookers can rest assured knowing that electric pressure cookers are safe, durable and easy to use. It’ll come in handy more often than not, as you can make almost anything, including stews, sushi rice, braised meat and even cake.

Photo: Tim Barribeau

Sous Vide Cooker: Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi

When it’s time to impress your friends or do something in the kitchen that’s cooler than the norm, breaking out a sous vide cooker will do the trick. The Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi is an immersion circulator, which means it simultaneously circulates and heats water in which vegetables, eggs, steak, salmon, Greek yogurt and a list of other foods can be cooked. It clips to the side of a variety of containers and pots, and although it doesn’t require Wi-Fi to work, it enables its timer and temperature to be controlled from anywhere. You’ll need to vacuum seal your food before it’s cooked — and for a finishing sear we recommend using the Bernzomatic TS8000 searing torch.

The OXO brewer makes flavorful, money-saving concentrate, looks good on a counter and is easier to use and store than any other pick. Photo: Michael Hession

Cold Brew Coffee Maker: OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If grabbing coffee at your local café has become a routine, making it at home can be a thing, too. There’s no better time than the summer to invest in a cold brew coffee maker if waking up, getting out the door or surviving the day requires a caffeine boost. We like the OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker because it’s compact and has a great design. More importantly, it produced the boldest, most flavorful cup of coffee during testing — plus, its features make brewing and storing coffee easy. Cold brew machines are the best option for iced coffee that’s otherwise diluted and weaker-tasting when it’s made from refrigerated hot-brewed coffee.

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