Kitchn Love Letters

The $18 Old-School Kitchen Helper That Makes Cooking So Much Easier

published Jan 11, 2022
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Right before cookie season began last year, I purchased a new cookbook: Cookies, by baker extraordinaire (and Kitchn Studio Food Editor) Jesse Szewczyk. I immediately flipped through the pages and marked about a dozen recipes I wanted to try, but started with the sparkly sugar-dusted sweet potato snickerdoodles. It had been years since I used a physical cookbook in the kitchen, and I quickly realized there were two big downfalls to following a recipe in this way: I kept losing my spot, and the pages were quickly becoming speckled with melted butter, flour, and other miscellaneous sticky bits. It wasn’t Jesse’s fault — it was my own.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

And so, the next day, I made another online purchase: an old-school cookbook stand, with a modern aesthetic. After my first, messy attempt at using a hardcover cookbook, I realized that the experience would be so much better if the pages were held open and kept away from my workspace. Loads of older home cooks I know use cookbook stands, while most folks in my generation (I believe the term is geriatric millennials) don’t bother with them, choosing to tap through to recipes on our smartphones. But I’m so glad I made this under-$20 purchase, and I recommend you do, too. Here’s why I love my Yamazaki Cookbook Stand.

1. It’s adjustable.

The first thing I noticed when unboxing my new cookbook stand was that it’s adjustable. It arrives in two pieces that are laddered together, and can be adjusted to accommodate just about any size cookbook. It’s also right-sized for tablets, making this a smart purchase for those who use their iPads to follow recipes. And once you adjust the angle of the stand, it stays put (meaning, you don’t have to worry about losing your place mid-recipe!).

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

2. It’s pretty.

I’m a huge fan of Yamazaki’s elegant design aesthetic. (I lusted after their dish rack for years before making the plunge, my best purchase of the last decade.) The alloy steel is coated in a no-fuss, textured white paint, with a blonde wood dowel on top. It’s Japanese minimalism meets Scandi-chic, and it’s made to look good in just about any kitchen.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

3. It doubles as decor.

This cookbook stand is truly functional; I’ve even purchased a few new cookbooks since I got it, because it makes following a recipe so much more enjoyable. But there’s one benefit I didn’t expect: I love how it looks in my kitchen. I’m typically a clutter-free cook, requiring all non-functioning tools to be tucked away. But my Yamazaki Cookbook Stand gets a pass. When it’s not in use, I keep it in a place of honor on my dining table or counter, displaying whatever cookbook I’m into at the moment. The best part is, it’s so small and sleek, I barely notice it … unless I’m admiring the way it looks.

How do you set up the recipes you’re using while you’re working in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.