Tutorials & Tips

Food Prep Favorites: Appliances To Help Make Meals Faster

Food Prep Favorites: Appliances To Help Make Meals Faster Food Prep Favorites: Appliances To Help Make Meals Faster

Ever start a seemingly simple recipe only to realize just how much dicing, chopping and mixing is involved? While it can be enough to make you want to grab your phone and get dinner delivered, the answer to making meals easier to prep and cook may be the addition of some simple kitchen tools.

Instead of dicing tomatoes by hand, use a food processor. Mix up a fresh pizza dough with your hand or stand mixer. Spiralize veggies in an electric spiralizer and substitute them as noodles in your next spaghetti dinner. With our many masters of food prep available to speed up your work in the kitchen, prep your ingredients and get your meals made faster.

food processor with pimento cheese

Food Processor
An obvious, but often overlooked choice, food processors are made to help with the big food prep tasks like dicing, chopping and emulsifying. From whipping up a batch of guacamole for tonight’s tacos to quickly slicing veggies for a spicy summer pasta, food processors help you quickly complete cooking tasks. In addition to helping with chopping and dicing, many food processors have attachments that help with grating cheese for a pimento cheese or a pulse setting to help cut butter into flour for the perfect pie crust. When looking to buy a food processor make sure you get one with a big enough shoot to easily feed in your veggies or block of cheese.

food chopper with green apples

Food Chopper
Food choppers are great for smaller kitchens, cooking for one or two, or prepping small batches. Food choppers can do a lot of tasks a food processor is known for — chopping, slicing, shredding — but have a smaller kitchen footprint. Because they are compact, you can’t chop the amounts you’d be able to in a food processor, but that’s also the advantage— you can quickly prep small batches or ingredients. So if you are sick of fine-chopping garlic or crying over diced onions, a food chopper will do those and many other chopping tasks for you, cutting down on the time it takes you to make a meal.

pasta on a white plate

Pasta Maker
When it comes to food prep, it may seem counterintuitive to add to your meal prep time by making your own pasta, especially since store-bought pasta is so cheap and easy to prepare. Making pasta at home is easier than you might imagine— a basic pasta recipe includes only three ingredients (flour, water and egg). And, using an electric pasta maker to satisfy your carb cravings will cut down on the time it takes to turn those basic ingredients into the perfect homemade pasta. Making pasta by hand can be tedious and time consuming, but with an electric pasta maker, you can have fresh pasta in as little as 18 minutes. If you set your water to boil while making your pasta, it’ll be rolling just in time to add your noodles to the water. Fresh noodles cook in as little as 3-5 minutes, so you’ll be eating perfectly cooked, delicious and homemade pasta in no time. As a bonus, homemade pasta noodles can be frozen for up to 1-2 months, so you can make a big batch in advance and use the frozen noodles over time!

With homemade noodles, you’ll get to control all the ingredients going into your pasta — great for people with allergies or those that are gluten free. You can use different types of flour, too. So ditch the all-purpose flour noodles and try coconut flour, almond flour or brown rice flour pasta.

stand mixer with chocolate cake

Hand Mixer/Stand Mixer
Hand mixers and stand mixers are the classic kitchen appliances that have saved us from tired arms for generations. If you’ve ever tried to beat whipped cream by hand, you’ll truly appreciate how fantastic these machines are! In fact, we’ve made hand mixers even more hand and wrist-friendly by introducing the ErgoMix™ Hand Mixer, made to align your wrist while mixing. Hand mixers are great for mixing cake batter, beating eggs or even shredding chicken. Stand mixers do all that but leave your hands free to add additional ingredients to the batter or move on to other cooking tasks. For the avid baker, a stand mixer is a real asset while the casual cook can probably get away with a hand mixer.

rice cooker with turmeric rice

Rice Cooker
The saying goes that a watched pot never boils, but if you’ve ever lost track of time while cooking rice and ended up with charred rice at the bottom of your pan, you know the pain of not paying close attention to a boiling pot full of rice. Rice cookers are easily one of the most underrated appliances — not only do they make a perfect batch of rice, every time, many of them have additional steam basket attachments allowing you to steam vegetables while cooking your rice. For meal prep, this is especially handy. Put your rice cooker on with the rice of your choice, steam your vegetables as you cook and prepare your protein in the toaster oven or stove. Your delicious and healthy meal will be done in no time, with minimal mess and effort.

spiralizer filled with zoodles

Spiralizer
Skip the pasta all together and go for the healthiest “noodle” substitute: veggies. Make zucchini, squash or beet noodles at home for an easy way to up your vegetable intake and cut down on carbs. While you can buy “zoodles” and more pre-packaged at a grocery store, it’s so fast and easy to make them at home with your electric spiralizer. Just prep, place, and press to quickly cut your veggie noodles (or grate a fresh dusting of parmesan cheese). Make meals even faster — your zucchini noodles will cook in under a minute in just one pan. A Cucumber Caprese Salad could be a crowd pleaser at your next party or potluck. Learn more about spiralizing and how it can help make nutritious meals quickly and easily in this helpful article.

drink mixer with waffles

Drink Mixer
You may be surprised that a drink mixer makes our meal prep list, but don’t let its milkshaking expertise fool you — a drink mixer can come in handy for a number of kitchen tasks. Use your drink mixer to make your after school or work out protein shake. You can even use it to make breakfast batters (like pancakes or waffles) or to quickly stir your eggs for a fluffy omelet. It can also make a mean bloody mary quicker and easier than breaking out your cocktail shaker.

onions and cream of mushroom soup

Hand Blender
Want to make a quick pestohummus or a creamy tomato soup? Use your hand blender right in the mixing bowl or pot and avoid getting your regular blender dirty. A staple of most commercial kitchens, hand blenders are helpful because they are portable — you can take your blender right over to the stove or mixing bowl and get to work. You also have more control over how fine you blend your ingredients since you control the speed and area you want to blend. Cutting down on the time (and mess) it takes to make your favorite creamy soup is a meal-making win.

diced tomatoes and a chopped salad

Knife Sharpener
Cutting is the cornerstone of cooking — and using a dull knife to chop your onions or dice your potatoes can not only be a hassle, it can increase the time it takes for you to accomplish your kitchen tasks. Not to mention that cutting with a dull knife can increase your chances of injuring yourself because you have to use more pressure and have less control, especially when cutting through round objects like onions, tomatoes, apples or oranges. Keep all your knives operating at peak performance by using a knife sharpener. Electric knife sharpeners are convenient, less time consuming, and easier than manual sharpeners.

When it comes time to get dinner on the table, using the right appliance at the right time can go a long way to making cooking easier. Whether you are looking for an easier way to chop onions for your stir fry, mix batter for your daughter’s birthday cake or spiralize vegetables as a spaghetti night substitute, the right electric small kitchen appliance can help.


Additional Tips & Techniques

10 Easy Ways to Cook Classic Comfort Food
14 Ways to Use a Food Processor (For More Than Chopping Vegetables)
The Vacuum Sealer Trifecta: How to Save Money, Time and Space

FROM OUR INSTAGRAM

MORE RESOURCES

MORE RESOURCES

Stay up-to-date on the hottest food trends with our blog, discover a new favorite dish with recipes from our Test Kitchen, access your account, and so much more.

STAY CONNECTED

Join over 100,000 people who receive weekly emails with recipes, coupons and more!

Sample Product Label
Norton
image to the top