Best Kitchen Tools for 2014

By Steven V. Philips –

As you may have noticed, I am surrounded by Real Food People. Here and at home. So it’s very risky (ok, stupid) to be offering my  so-called wisdom about food preparation tools as I hold only a beginner’s permit, which limits me to cleaning them. But, in an attempt to advance to a higher level, I’ve rounded up several well-designed, quality tools that will improve food preparation, even at my skill level.


Can opener / bottle opener $14. by OXO

This tool’s first operative words are “operates easily”. Second key words are “all stainless steel”! If you’ve owned a couple of grocery-store specials that rusted, you’ll love this one. Cleanly designed shape. Sticky-ish grips make it easy to hold. Built-in bottle opener. Just be sure to wash the cutting blades to eliminate food residue.


Steamer $13 by SLEEKSTOR

Even I know that steamers are the correct way to prepare veggies – not like  the Grannie Philips method of boil-murder. But the seen-everywhere metal version easily ends up with something(s) stuck in a few of its 1600 holes. And it bends, sometimes not to unbend. Ta-da! The 21st Century arrives! This flexible silicon model looks as though it might melt before it works. Wrong. Good to 400 degrees. Will fit into several size pans. And no more stuck anything! Plus two other sizes.


Pancake turner $12 / mini $9.50. $14 / large by OXO

Here’s something I actually know how to use. A silicon blade flexible enough to get around and under a pancake. And it flips an omelet intact. With a stainless core inside, it won’t turn into a melted Gumby as it’s good to 600 degrees. Non-slippery handle. Really beats the usual rigid paddle.


Avocado (magic) tool $10. by OXO

Give me an avocado and I’ll immediately maim it into pre-guacamole. Then I found this. First: you can slice the fruit (yes, it’s fruit) in half, and not your fingers, with its serrated plastic blade. Then the little persistent grippers inside the handle hole allow you to grasp the pit and twist it out. Without making pre-guacamole. And then you can use the vanes to cut even slices. Again, without making guacamole! This tool makes me feel so professional.


Lobster cracker $10. by ZYLISS

There sits The Lobster. Steamed. (not boiled, by the way.) And needing to be eaten. Now get to it kiddies, but what is that primitive tool? What, I ask? Those round, rusty things you always end up using are really nut crackers from the 1930s. They’re slippery when covered in butter and/or lobster mush, go out of alignment and get grossly rusty. Fine, if you want to add iron to your seafood diet, but not so great for cracking that claw. This greatly updated model is easily gripped. Easily cleaned. Bites into that slippery shell. Easy to spot in the drawer too. And crushes (pun) the 30s versions’ performance.


Measure / 1 cup $7. / 2 cup $9. / 4 cup $12. OXO

So here’s how it usually goes. Pour the liquid into the measure. Hold it up to eye-level to check amount. Not enough. Repeat. Oops too much. And so on. Or put in the liquid, scrunch down to counter level to check the level. Repeat. Repeat. Ta-da! Measuring now clarified. No more holding or scrunching. Easily viewed from the top like a Google map. Correct the first time.


So there kids, now you can see that I have shown you all the tools necessary to prepare an avocado salad, a lobster omelet, with steamed vegetables and ½ cup of red beans, with a Stella Artois to drink. Use tested by a non-pro. Especially liked as they all clean up easily. Attractive and they deliver. Happy 2014!



11 thoughts on “Best Kitchen Tools for 2014”

  1. Kitchen tools are certainly cool. Never saw the avocado slicer before. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Mr. Philips for the update on new items and I know my lobsters will thank you also.

  2. Elmer N Columbus

    Your “insight”, “brilliance” and/or “cleverness” never ceases to amaze me. You’ve taken my elementary knowledge of kitchen gadgets to a new level!

  3. How does he do it ??? I suspect that Mr Philips is retired, and I marvel at how he finds the time to do the research to help us through our lives. I have a problem with OXO. They are all handle !!! I open the drawer and all I see are handles !!! Too big, too bulkey and for older folks like me with very small hands, it’s like putting a saddle on a mosquito !!! Too much. As for the “Nut Buster”, we Yankees prefer a good hammer. Tip!! Be sure you drain the chunk before you smack it with the hammer !!! It can put a smell on the flocked wallpaper you won’t get off in a hurry. I like the measuring cup…Except OXO!! The handle is overkill. I always use steamers,but the one shown, with the “big ear”handles prevents it from fitting into several size pan unless they are large. A good steamer needs a tight fitting lid.!! Keep Mr Philips around, he’s the best. Perky

  4. Once again, Mr Philips works his amazing magic and provides us with the latest and greatest. Love the steamer – will be buying on of those!!

  5. It would be great if the can opener could also find a way to not smell like tuna fish. I need to start steaming veggies, maybe this item will get us into it.

  6. I always enjoy Mr P’s articles but this one is my favorite because the most useful for me. The avocado tool is going to be a present for my husband. He needs nothing, but this is what my father would have called a “great item”. I laughed when reading what he wrote about measuring cups because that is me! So a definite on my list! Thanks for the tips.

  7. Another article with some useful information however I would probably be more impressed if he had made his suggested menu and invited me for brunch! Never saw the avocado tool and wondering if it would work on our steroid sized Florida avocado’s.

  8. Some great ideas – very good. You didn’t mention my favorite the one that pulls the stems out of strawberries and tomatoes.

  9. Bed Bath & Beyond here I come! Armed with coupons that do NOT expire I will be purchasing some clever kitchen gadgets. Love the OXO can opener. Mine is holding up well and keeping clean with an occasional visit to the dishwasher.
    As always Mr Philips has brought humor to yet another topic. Brilliant avocado tool discovery. Might need a YouTube video though.
    Insightful wisdom for 2014. Looking forward to more entertaining education in months to come! Thanks Mr Philips 🙂

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