Kitchen Gadgets to Make Life Easier

The one place I feel my limitations the most, I think, is in the kitchen. It can just be so challenging to prep, chop, cook, pour, and do just about any part of food prep. Whether your challenge is pain, fatigue, weakness, or all of the above, here are some gadgets that just might make your life easier (and check out my ideas for creating disability-friendly kitchen seating and a round-up of pain-free mugs!).

Image of an electric kettle that tips to pour, with link to manufacturer.
A narrow black electric tea kettle, of sleek design, is shown in two positions. On the left, the kettle sits on the counter plugged in. On the right, the kettle is horizontal, supported by a built-in stand at the front of the kettle, pouring hot water into a mug.

If you like a good cup of tea or cocoa but struggle to lift a hot, heavy kettle, this device may be just the thing you need. With all the convenience of an electric kettle, this ingenious little number pivots on a built-in stand to allow you to pour off water without lifting the kettle! Ideal for those of us with pain, weakness, or tremors, the Easy Tea would provide a safe pain-free way to enjoy your favorite hot drink.

Image of plastic device to support and tip gallon jugs for pouring, with link to seller.
A white plastic holder supports a gallon jug of orange juice, tilting the jug to pour without lifting.

One of the things that hurts my hands the most is gallon jugs. Those narrow, sharp, cold handles are brutal on my joint and nerve pain! A device like this would offer a simple solution. The top of this gadget supports the weight of the jug as it tips it forward, so that you can pour your drink without touching the handle at all.

Image of slap-chop device, with link to Kohl's.
A tall, narrow cylindrical plastic device, with metal handle coiled with a spring and black rounded topper.

One of my go-to devices in the kitchen is a slap-chop gadget. There are hundreds of variations, but they all work the same way: place the chopper over food, depress the handle at the top, and a zig-zag shaped blade lowers to chop. While it does require some energy and force to operate, it is so much faster and easier than chopping by hand with a knife! I use it to chop vegetables, candy, and nuts (especially for recipes like my chocolate granola— a staple in my pantry!). Plus, they’re inexpensive and don’t take up much room in the cupboard, and they’re easy to wash by hand or in the dishwasher.

Image of black clamp device with circular openings of several sizes, with link to The Container Store.
A black plastic tong-like gadget with circular openings of various sizes.

This is another device I’ve added to my collection recently, and it’s so practical. Opening jars and bottles can be painful and difficult, and this gadget makes it just a little easier. The different sized openings mean it can be used on anything from pop bottles up to large jars. It does require some strength to turn the jar, but the torque on finger joints is lessened, and the device does the gripping for you.

Image of electric can opener with link to Home Depot.
Tall upright navy blue and chrome electric can opener device by Hamilton Beach.

One of the things I’ve never tried (but always think to try when I’m in the middle of opening cans!) is an electric can opener. These little gadgets can be amazing for getting cans opened in spite of pain, weakness, or limited use of your hands. They have a small profile, too, making them easy to store in your cupboard. There are many models to choose from (although this one gets great reviews).

Image of Instant Pot, with link to Home Depot.
Stainless steel and black Instant Pot programmable electric pressure cooker.

If you haven’t yet discovered the Instant Pot, I can’t encourage you enough to give it a try. I was skeptical at first, but when it comes to chronic illness and finding easy, low-energy options, it’s really hard to beat this device! The pot is useful for hundreds of things, from sautéing, to slow cooking, to pressure cooking. You can program it ahead so that meals are ready hours later, and you can even cook frozen meat. In my house, it helps me save money on our budget, too, since it’s a convenient way to cook things like dried beans, rice, and boiled eggs (all of which stretch our dollars!). The metal insert is lightweight and easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher.

Image of white stand mixer, with link to Kohl's website.
A white metal stand mixer, seen at an angle from the front, with stainless steel mixing bowl.

Another great device I never expected to love is a stand mixer. I was gifted one from my mother-in-law, and didn’t realize until I used it how helpful it can be! Holding a hand mixer can be extremely painful and difficult, since it’s both heavy and awkward. And the work of mixing thicker foods only contributes to my muscle fatigue (never mind if I’m mixing with a spoon by hand!). The stand mixer does most of that work for me. The bowl is held securely (no trying to grip a large bowl while I work!), and I can simply dump in my ingredients and let the machine do the mixing. I like to make homemade bread, but struggle with kneading. The hook attachment takes care of that for me, too! Cleanup is easy with the removable bowl. And there are dozens of models on the market with price points starting well under a hundred dollars.

These are just a few devices to make your work in the kitchen easier. What are some of your go-to gadgets? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: