Whether you are an experienced chef or a novice cook, there are a few kitchen items that can take meal prep from time consuming to… slightly less time consuming.
While none of these products will help you decide what to make for dinner (this isn’t The Jetsons….), some of them can do some pretty heavy-lifting while others can help streamline various cooking tasks. And when it’s the witching hour, we’ll take any help we can get…
Here are some of our favorite kitchen tools for cooking followed by the best food storage systems for busy parents:
Food/Meal Prep Tools & Gadgets
This little doohickey is surprisingly useful and so much easier than a separate colander. I use mine almost everyday for straining everything from veggies to pasta to beans.
DASH Egg Cooker ~$16
Make perfect soft, medium, or hard boiled eggs with no hands-on work with this 6-egg cooker (or you can poach 2 eggs with the separate poaching tray). Great for breakfasts, easy snacks, etc. *Be warned, the timer is LOUD — as one reviewer hilariously put it: “a fire alarm mixed with a nuclear missile alarm, but 12x louder.”
A total lifesaver in the kitchen, this handheld chopper cuts slicing/cutting work to almost nothing. The capacity is a bit small, but if you tend to make dishes that involve lots of cutting, this will save you so much time. *Dishwasher safe.
(If you want something with heavier duty and additional blade options, try the Mueller chopper, which is also very well liked.)
This mesh strainer has adjustable handles to fit over your sink, and it seriously streamlines washing fruits and veggies.
If you don’t already have one, a decent knife can make or break food prep. This is a great multi-purpose knife that comes at a reasonable price point.
This immersion blender allows you to blend and puree liquids in a place, which prevents untidy transfers. It’s perfect for soups, sauces and anything in between solid and liquid.
A very versatile kitchen appliance — this 5-cup food processor chops, purees, and whisks. Especially handy for making spreads, dips, dressings, salsas and the like.
If you don’t already own a slow-cooker Crockpot, you are missing out! Throw in your ingredients in the morning, and let it work its magic through the day — dinner doesn’t get any easier.
Although it’s similar in nature to the Crockpot, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — it cooks fast. With multiple settings and the ability to compress cook time down to nearly nothing, it’s perfect for all the those nights when you don’t have time. (Every night??)
This 44-piece set with universal-sized tops (THANK YOU) is BPA-free, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, freezer-safe and leakproof. If you’re sick of mismatched pieces and want to get one set to replace them all, this is it.
If you prefer glass, this sizable set is beloved. The pieces are stackable and safe for use in both the freezer and the oven.
Pyrex 18-Piece Set ~$38
The Cadillac of food storage containers, this glass set from Pyrex is top notch.
These dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe silicone food storage bags are SO awesome — they keep food super fresh, double as snack containers for camp and school lunches, and solve the ever-annoying problem of Finding The Lid. For a more wallet-friendly version, try these.
This dry food storage set is great for pantry items like cereals/granolas, grains, legumes, nuts, and more. Check the seal when you first order, as some reviewers have noted that the tops can arrive broken.
Do you have a must-have for busy parents? Leave us a comment below ~ Cheers!