We all love playing with a good kitchen gadget – especially if there are delicious snacks involved along the way. And every week, new and exciting tools hit the market, making food preparation quicker, easier and more fun.
Keep scrolling to find our list of the best kitchen gadgets out there, whether you want to master a new culinary style or just jazz up your usual mealtime rituals.
The best kitchen gadgets in 2021
Anova Precision Cooker
Ready to revolutionise your cooking? The Anova Precision Cooker claims to be the world’s number one sous vide tool, for “perfect results every time”.
The sous vide technique is commonly used by professional chefs and involves immersing vacuum-sealed food into water. The wand circulates it, keeping it at a consistent temperature and cooking your food evenly.
All you do is put your ingredients in a sealed bag and add it, along with the tool, to your pot. The Anova Precision Cooker is Wi-Fi-enabled, so you just set the time and temperature through its accompanying app.
And if you’re not sure where to start, just take a look at the app – it comes with the world’s biggest selection of sous vide recipes for you to explore.
Barsys 2.0 automated cocktail-making machine
Put down your cocktail shaker and brace yourself for something seriously cool – a machine with the ability to mix drinks for you in under 20 seconds. We admit, this one is for the real cocktail connoisseurs among us, but it’s definitely one of the swankiest kitchen gadgets we’ve seen recently.
To set it up, you attach five spirits and three mixers and input them in the Barsys app. Then, get the drinks flowing; choose from over 2,000 options or create your own formula.
If you’re hosting a party, you can queue drinks for a streamlined experience that’ll really impress your guests. And the 2.0 even has an automated cleaning function, so you won’t have to waste any time scrubbing it afterwards.
But if you’re not ready to splash out around £900, you could always invest in Barsys’ innovative coaster (£68 approx./$95), which changes colour to guide you as you pour your own cocktails.
- £900 approx. ($1,250)
Cuisinart ICE100BCU Professional Gelato and Ice Cream Maker
What could be more exciting than creating your own delicious gelato at home in under 40 minutes? No kitchen is complete without an ice cream maker, and this one is particularly great because you don’t have to pre-freeze the inner bowl, as you do with most kits.
This kitchen gadget allows you to make 1.5L of gelato, frozen yoghurt or sorbet at a time and has two paddles for a smooth consistency.
All you need to do is add your ingredients into the bowl, set the digital timer and press start. And if you’re not hovering over the machine waiting to delve in the moment it finishes, the Cuisinart will keep your ice cream frozen for up to 10 minutes.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser
On the wishlists of chocolate-lovers up and down the country, Hotel Chocolat’s famous ‘Velvetiser’ is a must for anyone who likes their cocoa thick and frothy – and who doesn’t?
It can hold 200ml of cow or plant milk and, with a scoop of chocolate flakes, takes just two and a half minutes to heat and whisk it to make smooth, delicious cocoa. This one is available in white, charcoal or eye-catching copper, and comes with two cups.
Also included are two tins: Classic Hot Chocolat and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolat. But the brand also sells a wide range of refill pouches, from ‘Vanilla-White’ to ‘Mint’, so you can replenish your stock when you run low. There’s even a subscription service, which regularly delivers your chosen boxes to your door.
Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi
The Instant Pot is one of the best kitchen gadgets for anyone with a busy lifestyle. It’s essentially a pressure cooker and slow cooker rolled into one, so you could knock out a chilli or transform a pork shoulder into tender pulled pork in 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can set and forget the device for a few hours to slowly cook a stew or make perfect rice.
This version includes Wi-Fi connectivity and an app, letting you operate it remotely and sending notifications when your food is ready – ideal if you’re really short on time and energy. Just throw in the ingredients and fire it up before you leave so dinner’s ready when you get back.
The app also has recipes specially designed for the Instant Pot to keep things breezy.
- £95 approx. ($129.99)
Jura ENA 8
While the office has been shut, I’ve been relying on the pour-over method to brew my coffee. With this technique, you simply tip hot water over coffee grounds on top of a filter. It’s a barista favourite, but can’t quite compare with a freshly brewed coffee from a shop.
The ENA 8 is as close as you can get to the coffee shop experience while staying in the confines of your own home. You can even fire it up from your bed using the Jura smartphone app.
The machine has a clean, compact design and serves up 10 different types of coffee, from espressos to flat whites to lattes, via a sharp 2.8-inch touchscreen. The coffee is smooth and rich, and offers all the extra flavour you get from grinding your own beans, with none of the work.
Lakeland Adjustable Food Dehydrator
If you’ve ever tried to dry your own food, you’ll know it can be a tricky process. Leave it in the oven a moment too long, and it’s slightly crispier than you’d intended. Happily, this little kitchen gadget makes everything a whole lot easier.
The dehydrator wafts warm air evenly across its four drying trays to preserve as much flavour in your food as possible. It has four temperature settings (38°C, 48°C, 58°C and 68°C), a 12-hour timer and a handy manual with guidelines on choosing heat and timings.
This dehydrator is a versatile piece of kit. You can dry everything from fruit, veg and sliced meat to herbs, candied peel and even dog treats. And when Christmas rolls around, why not make your own fragrant orange and lime garlands?
Read more about household gadgets
Lakeland Shaved Ice Maker for Slushies and Cocktails
If you’ve ever dreamed of making your own snow cones, cocktails or slushies, this is the machine for you.
Powered by an 80W motor unit at the top, Lakeland’s pastel-coloured gadget takes ice cubes and shaves them into flakes before dispensing them into a glass or bowl below. Then, you’re free to add syrups, juices and any fruit or toppings you like – you’re only limited by your imagination.
While it may not be the quietest of kitchen gadgets, it’s a fun one to add to your collection for those hot summer days. And, at just 30cm in height, it should fit easily into most cupboards, so you can pack it away if you don’t want to have it out all year round.
Livin Farms Hive Explorer
If you’re feeling really adventurous in the kitchen, you could try ditching the steak and getting your protein from something crunchier. Eating insects instead of meat takes a massive chunk out of your carbon footprint, and the Hive Explorer is opening up the idea of insect agriculture.
The mealworms eat your food waste – scraps of vegetables and grains are ideal – and create fertiliser you can use on your veg patch or house plants. You allow some of the mealworms to pupate into adult beetles, which then reproduce and repopulate your farm. Other mealworms you harvest and eat – it’s the circle of life, minus Disney.
The makers suggest grinding them up to make meatballs or roasting them for a crispy, nutty addition to a salad. Yum. And if you can’t face that, garden birds will happily accept them.
- £120 approx. ($149.99)
It doesn’t look like much, but the ‘Meater’ is one of our all-time favourite pieces of smart home tech. It’s a meat thermometer that links up to your smartphone via Bluetooth and reveals the interior temperature of whatever you’re cooking.
Better yet, tell Meater what you want to cook and it’ll measure the temperature inside your oven – which is never what the dial on the front says – and it’ll estimate how long it will take to cook a perfectly pink leg of lamb, for example.
Essentially, it takes all the guesswork out of cooking meaty feasts, and you don’t even need to open the oven door. I owe many a perfect Sunday roast to this little metallic sous-chef.
Ooni Koda 16
You can make a great pizza in a conventional oven with a bit of knowhow. But to achieve an authentically crisp base with a charred crust and perfectly cooked toppings, you need a cooker that can crank up the heat.
Of course, the ideal solution is to clear out the garden and build your own wood-fired oven from clay bricks and eat like Donatello, Leonardo and co. But if that seems a bit over the top, Ooni’s range hits a sweet spot between convenience and authenticity.
The Koda 16 comes ready-built – all you have to do is hook it up to a gas supply. The Koda jettisons flames in an L-shape along the sides of the oven, heating the interior to a maximum of 500°C.
It takes all of five minutes to set up and 20 more to get to optimum temperature – just be sure to rotate the pizza once for an even finish.
Smart Voice Egg Steamer
Perhaps using an electric steamer with voice announcements is a tad overkill for boiling an egg… But if you struggle to achieve the perfect runny yolk, this kitchen gadget could be just what you need.
Whenever you get a hankering for a boiled egg, just use the measuring cup to add the right amount of water to the heating plate. Then, place your eggs inside the compartment after piercing them on the bottom of the cup, and turn on the steamer. Three indicator lights and spoken alerts will tell you when they become soft-, medium- and hard-boiled.
Plus, you can store the measuring cup in a handy compartment within the steamer, and the whole thing is only slightly bigger than a standard six-egg carton. So, unless your cupboards are full to bursting, you won’t struggle to find space for it.
Tefal 1.7L Acti Fry Genius Health Fryer
We all love fried food, but there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s fairly unhealthy… until now. The air fryer has changed the way we create our family favourites, cooking them until golden and crispy with just a few drops of oil.
This one’s from Tefal, the UK’s top air fryer brand, and it’s big enough to create food for up to five people – or eight if you’re making side dishes. It comes with dishwasher-safe accessories, and a paddle to stir the contents, so you can walk away and relax while it cooks.
There are nine automatic programmes to choose from, with pre-set options for cooking everything from chicken to fries and even desserts. The Tefal Acti Fry Genius also has an accompanying app, loaded with more than 300 recipes to get you started.
This is probably as close as you are going to get to having a robot chef in your kitchen. In fact, it may be one of the best kitchen gadgets ever created. In effect, the Thermomix takes most of your kitchen equipment and crams it into one machine. It can chop up veg, pan fry it and then blend it into a soup – all in one pot.
Thanks to the central temperature controls, you can use the Thermomix to carry out delicate culinary techniques, like sous vide, fermentation and slow cooking. Or you can cook rice, knead dough or whip cream.
There’s a scale for weighing everything you put in, and it’s all controlled via a smart touchscreen displaying recipes created for the device. Teach it to swear and Gordon Ramsay’s out of a job.
Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 Composter
This clever machine doubles up as a garden gadget. It won’t create delicious food… but it will take your scraps and turn them into compost, which is useful not only to minimise wastage, but to nurture your plants too.
Many of us have regular compost bins outside, but the FoodCycler is different because it creates soil fertiliser in hours. In fact, you can use it multiple times in a single day – and then whack the 2L bucket in the dishwasher when it’s done.
At just 32cm x 28cm x 36cm, the FoodCycler will easily fit onto your kitchen worktop, and it composts almost every type of food waste, including chicken bones. Just don’t forget to use the carbon filters to get rid of any unwelcome odours.