We help you decide which kitchen gadgets are worth the splurge
Whether you’re a novice cook or an aspiring chef, there are certain tools that will be left unused in any kitchen. It seems that year upon year, food trends dictate which kitchen tools and gadgets are needed to make cooking easier, neater and safer than ever before. However, many of these gadgets serve to replace the simple knife or vegetable peeler!
We’ve delivered our verdict on these single-purpose kitchen gadgets. Are they valuable additions to the kitchen, or are they just gathering dust in the cupboard?
- Lemon Zester
Often used as a garnish in both sweet and savoury dishes, lemon zest adds flavour to most meals. A lemon zester acts as a mini grater, finely peeling the citrus fruits to give thin, short pieces. However, a zester isn’t the only way to make lemon zest! The same result can be achieved using a regular grater, or the combination of a vegetable peeler and a sharp knife.
Our verdict: Unnecessary. The use of a grater works just as well, albeit with slightly larger pieces of zest.
- Avocado slicer
The avocado slicer is one of the most specific tools on this list, with its sole purpose being to slice the avocado, and/or remove the pit. This seemingly simple task has made headlines in recent months, with doctors reporting avocado-related injuries, such as knife-slips leading to cuts on the palms.
Our verdict: Unnecessary. A folded tea towel placed between your palm and the avocado should prevent any slips of the knife, reducing the need for such a specific gadget!
- Garlic crusher
Many cooks use garlic crushers (also called garlic presses) for convenience, as just one squeeze will reduce a clove to a fine mash. Others use presses to prevent their hands smelling of garlic all day. However, these tools may be more hassle than they’re worth, as cleaning the crushed garlic out can take much longer than the manual method. A simpler method, requiring no fancy equipment, is to peel cloves by crushing them lightly with the flat side of a broad knife.
Our verdict: Unnecessary. The cons outweigh the pros on this particular tool.
A spiraliser is a tool used to transform vegetables such as carrots, courgettes and beetroots into thin strips resembling noodles. This opens up the vegetable to a whole new range of uses, where they can be used in place of noodles or spaghetti for a lower carb option, or incorporated into dishes to increase the vegetable content.
Our verdict: Useful. They may look like just another gimmick, but spiralisers can be a cheap way to increase your vegetable consumption, helping you to reach the new recommendation of seven a day!
- Fruit slicers/corers
Gadgets designed to cut and core fruit work on the same wavelength as avocado slicers in aiming to replace the humble knife. All types of fruit have been subject to this trend, from apples and mangoes to pineapples and watermelons. The gadgets can vary from the simplistic look of apple cutters, to a more complex pineapple slicer, which creates tin-worthy rings of fruit!
Our verdict: Useful for the messy business of preparing pineapples; not so much for apples!