5 Inexpensive Gadgets That’ll Make Our Best Summer Recipes a Million Times Better

updated Jul 12, 2019
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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

A point of pride for us, here at Kitchn, is the fact that our recipes are smart and easy. We won’t ask you to dirty a bowl if you don’t have to (instead, we’ll give you a smart hack!). We won’t waste your time with unnecessary steps (instead, we’ll give you a shortcut!). And we certainly won’t tell you to buy some expensive, newfangled gadget just to make one seasonal dish.

See, you don’t need anything special (beyond the typical essential kitchen gear) to make our recipes. That’s not to say that SOME recipes won’t be made better with a cheap find here and there. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of our most popular recipes so far the summer and paired them each with a gadget that’ll help make things even better. Because better is always better, right?

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Just look at that buttery broth! Why would you make corn ANY other way?!? You’ll definitely need a good pair of tongs (to fish the ears out), but we’d also like to suggest some corn holders. This way, you can dive right in without having to worry about burning your fingers or getting them all messy.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

The easiest way to juice lemons? Toss them in the stand mixer! Just quarter the lemons and put them in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Use a low speed to squeeze the lemons, then strain the juice directly into a measuring cup. If you lost your attachment or your machine didn’t come with one, you can get one on Amazon.

Credit: Mia Yakel/Kitchn

So yes, this recipe DOES call for a meat thermometer. But we do consider it a kitchen essential. (So do most professional chefs, for what it’s worth.) This one is, far and away, our favorite one on the market and it will help make every grilling session totally foolproof. Promise. (It’s also inexpensive when you think about what you’re getting — a quality tool and no more wasted, rubbery steaks!)

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Here’s the deal with watermelon! Breaking one down is annoying and cumbersome but the pre-cut stuff is way more expensive than it should be. That’s where this slicer comes in. Use it to get the juicy flesh out and then toss the cubes with lime zest and juice, a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, and a pinch of chili powder.

Once again, you can buy pre-zoodled zucchini, but it’s cheaper for you to invest one time in a great spiralizer, which you can use again and again. And you’ll use this one again and again because you’ll want to make this refreshing salad ALL summer long.

Credit: Terrain

Bonus Find: Madison James Flyaway Sticks, $38 for 31 at Terrain

Because all of these dishes add up to make the best patio-worthy meal of all time, we figure you might be in need of something to help keep the bugs away while you feast. Shoppers are obsessed with these Flyaway Sticks (they sell out often!). Read this to find out why they’re so great!