Cooking with Carson: Kitchen gadgets and gizmos, oh my!

Cooking can be made easier, more fun with the right equipment



Not everything is needed but oh, is it fun to use.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

These days, you can’t spend five seconds on Instagram or Tiktok without running into a modern kitchen video filled to the brim with shining gadgets and gizmos. While there is a growing trend of needing this thing or that, some of these bits of cooking gear are actually useful.

So gather around everyone; we are going to keep this short and sweet so we can dive into the real meat and potatoes.

There are countless people who will tell you what kitchen equipment you need to buy in order to become a better cook. The honest answer is you don’t need any of it. You can make do without the newest big trend, but these gadgets certainly make cooking easier in many cases and much more fun.

The following is a collection of equipment that I have gathered over the years and would heartily recommend to new and aspiring chefs. I want to further impress upon you that you can make do with just a knife, cutting board and some basics elsewhere, but these can help take your cooking game up to an 11.

Hope you enjoy it!

Rice Cooker – Cooking rice in a pot is really easy and I would recommend at least trying it out once, but a quality rice cooker makes the experience so much easier. Toss your rice in (making sure to wash it a few times), add some water and push the button. In no time at all, you will have some delicious rice while you focus on preparing the rest of your dish. This is not an immediate need, but it makes the process so much easier.

One Quality Chef’s KnifeI mean reaaaal quality here. Though chef’s knives can be a big investment, they are more than worth the price if you take care of them. A nice sharp knife can make that preparation phase go by so much more smoothly. Your knife should make a big thump each time it bluntly cuts through a carrot. While you can make do without this, I would recommend everyone have one on hand, especially when doing any amount of prep work for vegetables.

Air Fryer – When I first used an air fryer, I thought they were an overhyped microwave. This could not have been further from the truth. The convenience of being able to cook more intricate things in the air fryer or just pop in some chicken nuggets has really had this shine in my kitchen over the past few years. An air fryer is probably the furthest thing away on this list from a need, but it is certainly a useful gadget. *link-MF

Kitchen Scale – The kitchen scale is often associated with advanced baking in which the ingredients on a recipe are listed in grams rather than cups, but that is not the only use. The scale is a huge help with meal prep as you can portion out your food evenly, which helps whenever you are trying to regulate the ingredients for a recipe. I find I use it a lot in stews or soups. *link-MF

Big Pan and Pot – These are essential in a kitchen and while you can get away with a little stockpot and egg pan, having a large size of any of these makes cooking so much easier. You do not need to be making a huge amount of food to make these things useful, rather they give you tons of extra room to work with. You don’t need to worry about your stew flowing over the edge of the pot or sparks of grease hitting you as much. While these are a pain to clean for dishes, they are among the most useful things I have in my kitchen.

If there is a piece of equipment that you can’t do without, share it using the hashtag #cookingwithcarson