Kitchen Tools and Gadgets My Mom Has Hooked Me On—And My Kitchen Is Better for It

Citrus Reemer
Photo: Target

Sure you can cook without these kitchen gadgets, but in the words of Mama, "That's just silly." In addition to the wisdom she has imparted over the years, she has also managed to keep my utensil drawers in tip-top shape thanks to some nifty purchases that I sometimes wonder how I ever lived without. From a citrus reemer to a wine-saving pump, these tools are must-haves as far as the two of us are concerned. Want to know the best part? Not a single one requires a battery, charge, or plug. They're the new-age, old-fashioned tools no kitchen is complete without—and I would be none the wiser if it wasn't for Mama.

01 of 09

Microplane Citrus Zester

Microplane Zester

BUY IT: $14.95;

I thought it was just a citrus zester at first. I was so wrong. Depending on the size (and Mama has 'em all), it's called on to zest any number of citrus fruits, of course, but also for use as a super-fine cheese grater, and nutmeg grinder.

02 of 09

KitchenAid Stainless Steel Cookie Scoop

Cookie Scoop

BUY IT: $13.89;

Perfect cookies, coming right up. I never knew how badly my baked treats needed uniform scooping until I watched Mom use her cookie scoop. It's the only way to achieve bakery-level perfection.

03 of 09

Farberware Set of 3 Mesh Sieves

Assorted Collanders

Yes, everyone has a colander and a sieve, but do they have a collection of colanders that range from the metal ones that are kept under the cabinet to party-ready porcelain versions that look straight out of the farmhouse when piled high with in-season fruit? The same can be said of her sieve collection (an underrated baking tool if there ever was one). If there's one thing my mom knows, it's that there are plenty of opportunities for using just the right size colander or sieve. Luckily she's always prepared.

04 of 09

Williams Sonoma Wine Pump & Stoppers

Wine Pump and Saver
Williams Sonoma

BUY IT: $29.95;

Dad might be the one to thank for introducing the handy wine pump and stopper, but since it lives in Mama's kitchen it makes this list. I'm a new convert to the pump and save method, but I'm never looking back.

05 of 09

OXO Small Citrus Reemer

Citrus Reemer

BUY IT: $9.99;

Gone are the days of desperately trying to replicate the technique of my favorite Food Network chefs. You know, the one where their hand somehow works as a makeshift seed strainer, while simultaneously squeezing out at least ¼ cup of juice—from one measly lemon half. Take a cue from Mama and get yourself a citrus reemer. It's all of the results and none of the effort.

06 of 09

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap in Lemon Verbena

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Dish Soap Lemon Verbena

BUY IT: $3.89;

The best thing about this soap is that when my four-year old son smells it wafting from our kitchen sink, he immediately says it smells like Mimi's house. I love how it makes my skin feel—on the occasion that I forget to put on the rubber kitchen gloves my mom buys for me on repeat. Never, never do dishes without gloves, Mama says.

07 of 09

OXO Softworks Garlic Press

Garlic Press

BUY IT: $14.95;

There's a pattern to most of the kitchen gadgets and tools my mom has gotten me hooked on over the years—they make cooking a whole lot easier. A garlic press is one of the tools I never knew I needed until I started using hers. Super fine garlic in a second and without the lingering garlicky-smelling fingertips for days.

08 of 09

Wüsthof Pull-Apart Shears

Kitchen Shears
Williams Sonoma

BUY IT: $19.95;

Of all my kitchen tools and gadgets, my kitchen shears might be the ones I would be most lost without. I wish I had an herb garden where I could really put them to use, but I might need to wait until I finally grow a green thumb.

09 of 09

Williams Sonoma Wood Spoon

Wooden Spoon
Williams Sonoma

BUY IT: $19.95;

Just like the colanders, there's a wooden spoon to fit every job in Mama's kitchen. Her favorite is a tie between a short version that I think might be older than I am and a long, handled one that reigns as MVP of every Thanksgiving meal Mom has made in the past decade.

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