Post by Guest Blogger, Jan Kay, Director of Retail Sales for Machine Sheds and Heart of America Group

My Top 5 Most Essential Kitchen Gadgets

While every cook has their own idea of the most essential kitchen gadgets I am sticking my neck out with my favorites. 

1. Paring knife. Almost a constant in my hand when I am in the kitchen. As my family leans toward unprocessed foods, I am always chopping or dicing something.  If I am going to have a paring knife – I want a fun color. My current one is purple. From Kuhn Rikon.

 2.  Utensil set. You may consider this a set of gadgets but these are magnetic nesting utensils.  Always there and always complete. Individually useful and even fun to look at on my counter. From Joseph Joseph.

 3.  Nesting Cups. Looking for my measuring cups always had me in a tither. Once I found the nesting colorful ones I have an easy grab and measure. From Joseph Joseph.




4.  Sifter.  Maybe it’s boring and maybe I didn’t realize all it can do for my first 10 years of cooking. You can’t beat a sifter for incorporating dry ingredients, volumizing air into flour (for great textured cakes and silky gravies) or making powdered sugar uniform on desserts.  My current one is a five cup sifter from Nordicware.


5.  Cake tester.  My sister always uses toothpicks but I like the way my cake tester keeps my hand away from the heat and can be wiped and used over and over. I also love having the name on it. Something so simply redundant about that.

 I also have a drawer of unessential gadgets – but that is another blog.

 So you have read mine.  What is your favorite gadget? Tell me how you use it!

Jan is the Director of Retail Sales for Heart of America Group. She buys all the merchandise for the Machine Shed and has over 25 years of experience “shopping” and picking out new hot trends. She will be sharing with you her latest finds – let her know if you want to learn more about a trend or a product by emailing her at