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Specialty Foods Are a Breeze with These 5 Kitchen Gadgets

A silver ice cream maker, a white spiralizer, and a silver panini press.

There are some foods people find intimidating to make, but the truth is they’re usually pretty easy if you have the right tools and appliances. Any of these five handy gadgets would be a fantastic place to start!

Making your own specialty foods doesn’t have to take an enormous effort, but it does often require a particular gadget that’s really good at doing that one thing. If you’re looking to take your kitchen to the next level, you can probably do it by purchasing any of these handy items.

A Panini Press

Silver panini press, closed, with three dials on the front

A panini is much more than just a fancy grilled cheese. What really makes this sandwich so good is how it’s pressed, toasting the bread while warming and melting the ingredients inside.

That’s why this panini press from Cuisinart is the kind of buy you won’t regret. You can get that fresh-from-the-restaurant taste and texture without leaving the house.

The weight of the press makes crispy, pressed, gooey sandwiches without requiring as much oil or butter as a grilled cheese. This nonstick, wide-open model also makes cooking and cleaning a breeze.

Tip: You can also use a panini press to make quesadillas.

A Pizzelle Iron

An open pizzelle iron with two cookies inside.

Don’t be intimidated by homemade pizzelle or stroopwafel! All you need is a pizzelle iron to get those pretty patterns and thin, crispy bake. It’s totally worth the investment if you love those delicious thin cookies with your morning coffee.

For newbies and experts alike, this one from Cuisinart is a smart choice. The plates feature a beautifully intricate pattern that looks professional, with five temperature settings and a light that indicates when the pizzelle are done.

A Spiralizer

A white veggie spiralizer making zucchini noodles.

For just chopping veggies, a knife or a mandoline will do fine. But if you’re looking to hop on the veggie noodle trend or something similar, you’ll need a spiralizer. Noodles made from zucchini, beets, squash, and more are delicious and healthy, and a spiralizer makes them super easy to make.

Brieftons’ spiralizer has all the features of a top-tier appliance. It comes with seven different blades for different “noodle” cuts to imitate all your favorite pastas. It can handle the texture of any vegetable you want to use.

A Stovetop Coffee Maker

The Bialetti silver espresso pot with a black handle.

Coffee aficionados who want to experiment with Italian-style might want to snag a small stovetop coffee pot. These basically produce espresso shots, rather than the more diluted coffee you get from a standard drip maker.

Surprisingly, these aren’t difficult to use at all. The Bialetti is made of sturdy materials that keep the heat even and won’t compromise the taste. It’s also available in a larger, nine-shot size if you need to make family-size pots.

An Ice Cream Maker

The Cuisinart ice cream maker on a counter with a bowl of ice cream and a bowl of blueberries sitting next to it.

Sometimes, storebought ice cream just isn’t good enough, or, perhaps you want to experiment with your own flavor combos. If so, then an ice cream maker is a good investment. You’ll definitely want one that has plenty of settings for you to experiment with and get into the DIY spirit.

Ice cream recipes abound, so all that’s left to do after you have one of these babies is to choose your favorite one and start mixing.

The Cuisinart ice cream maker has all the bells and whistles, without being overwhelming. It features multiple settings for any texture—ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and so on—as well as automated timers that count down and shut off automatically when the process is finished.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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