Last Call: Which kitchen tools make cooking more fun?

Various kitchen tools seen from above on wooden table
Photo: Peter Stark (Getty Images)

Sometimes you have to ease yourself slowly out of the thick of your screen-based workday, cutting your media diet with more and more sucrose until you find a pleasant note upon which to close your laptop and go for a damn walk. Today, the drug of choice is a BuzzFeed listicle called “28 Things That’ll Help Make Cooking Fun If You’re More Of An Eat-To-Live-Type Person.” That title is a bit of a mouthful, but it promises a chance to zone out to a parade of unitasker gadgets, each designed to make a practical object more frivolous. Join me, won’t you? Let us all bask in the internet’s warm, glowing, warming glow.


The list kicks off with a bear-shaped stainless-steel grater that, while cute, looks harder to store in a drawer than my utilitarian flat-panel model. In fact, a running theme throughout this list is “things that look like other things”: a pizza cutter that looks like an ax, a spoon holder shaped like a crab, a vampire-shaped garlic press, lightsaber chopsticks—I can’t imagine the exhaustingly twee ordeal of cooking a meal entirely with novelty accoutrements, but maybe I’m a grouch who places too much value on using cabinet space efficiently. (And isn’t it nice to ponder crab-shaped spoon holders at the end of a long day?)

Other products on the list really do seem like they would appeal to those “eat to live” type people and make them more willing to whip up a meal. Bags of ready-to-eat seasoned beans are a clever way to cater to reluctant home cooks, as is a small $20 breakfast sandwich maker (assuming people who hate cooking are also averse to changing up what they eat each day). As much as I might gripe about the impracticalities of some of this stuff, it’s true that certain tools can make cooking more fun, thereby making it an overall easier undertaking. What tools, gadgets, appliances, or utensils have upped your enjoyment in the kitchen?

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.



My slow cookers. Yes, I am a single person living in a 1-bedroom apartment with a smaller kitchen, and I have two slow cookers. They’re not “fun” per se, but they make cooking happen. Especially in the summertime when I can’t face a hot stove/oven, they’re worth the cabinet space.

For actual fun stuff I would have to go with my coffee mugs. The ones that come with dishware sets are boring, so I have a bunch of novelty and souvenir mugs in regular rotation. How can you not love this little guy, especially when he’s providing life-giving coffee?