Tips from The Kitchn

The 10 Gadgets Kitchn Editors Turn to When They Don’t Feel Like Cooking

published Aug 3, 2021
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Credit: Erin Derby

I’m an avid home cook (it’s kind of a requirement in order to work at Kitchn), but even still, there are plenty of nights when I just don’t feel like it. Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I finally emptied my sink and I don’t want it getting dirty again. Maybe it’s just too hot to turn the oven on. See? Lots of valid reasons! Of course, I know I’m not alone.

I know you know what I’m talking about. And I know my fellow colleagues do, too. With temperatures soaring and my Lazy Level similarly rising, I was curious: What tools, gadgets, or appliances do my fellow Kitchn coworkers turn to when they don’t feel like cooking? I asked them and here’s what they had to say.

1. A Can Opener

“I seem to reach for my can opener so much more in the summer,” says Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, who doesn’t have air conditioning at home. She’s a big fan of straining cans of cannellini beans and tuna, dumping them on a bed of lettuce, and calling it dinner.

2. An Electric Kettle

“I use my electric tea kettle to boil water for rice noodles,” says Nina Elder, executive food director. She loves her Secura kettle, which is fast, reasonably priced, and comes in a few fun colors.

3. A Toaster Oven

Sheela Prakash, senior contributing food editor, nominated her Breville Smart Oven. A great toaster oven can do everything a regular oven can do — bake, broil, roast — and it won’t heat your kitchen up quite as much. One of Sheela’s go-to summer dinners is anchovy toast. “It’s just crusty sourdough topped with fresh mozz, broiled, then topped with a couple of anchovies and black pepper,” she says.

4. An Air Fryer

Speaking of not turning on the oven, I reach for my air fryer a lot this time of year. Crispy, crunchy food without having to heat up my entire kitchen? Absolutely! I love that I can even bake cookies in an air fryer.

5-6. A Cutting Board and Chef’s Knife

When Production Editor, Tracey Gertler, doesn’t want to cook, she pulls out “a knife and cutting board to set up a bread, cheese, and fruit platter.” We’re huge fans of the Material reBoard here at Kitchn (read more about it here!), which is lightweight, durable, and perfectly sized. And this knife earned a spot on our list of Kitchn Essentials.

7. A Sous Vide Machine

“Along with the Instant Pot, I have been using my sous vide a lot for cooking meat!” says Patty Lee, executive editor. “I don’t need to pay attention to it, then all I need to do is give my meat a quick sear. It’s great for taco nights.”

8. A Bread Knife

“Bread + ricotta + tomatoes + olive oil + salt and pepper = an instant dinner,” says Ariel Knutson, features director. This bread knife won Kitchn’s extensive testing and is incredibly sharp and nimble and priced exceptionally well.

9. A Blender

“I vote for a blender for gazpacho or smoothies (breakfast for dinner!),” says Contributing Editor Patty Catalano. In need of a blender? You can’t go wrong with a pricey-but-investment-worthy Vitamix.

10. A Salad Spinner

“I love eating a nice, cold, hearty salad when it’s hot,” says Michelle Lau, Lifestyle Editor. She relies on this salad spinner to clean leafy greens all summer long.

What’s your favorite no-cook/cook-less gadget? Let us know in the comments!