My Favorite Things: 12 Best Cooking Tools for Meal Prepping

Having the right cooking tools for meal prepping is a GAME CHANGER! I am able to meal prep 12+ meals in 2-3 hours because of the awesome tools I’ve gathered over the years.

Think about it this way: investing in the proper cooking instruments will save you time and energy: two things we have in limited quantities! Nobody in their right mind wants to slave away in the kitchen for hours on end when there are tons of helpful cooking tools to make your life easier.

 It’s okay to take shortcuts in the kitchen when it benefits your quality of life. 

meal prep noodles

I used the Veggie Spiralizer to make this garlic roasted shrimp zucchini pasta from @cookeatpaleo!

 

 

First, think about the meals you make often.

Do you always buy strawberries when they are in season? You’ll love the strawberry huller. Does your hubby like corn on the cob but always gets it stuck in his teeth? Try the corn on the cob zipper. Are you a healthy eater who enjoys pasta? Try the Vegetti spiral vegetable slicer to make a healthier version of the noodle recipe you adore.

Second, don’t just go buying all of these tools because I say they are MY favorites.

These are my favorites because I use them ALL THE TIME for making meals that I LOVE!  I’ve invested in cooking tools over time as I’ve learned what recipes are good for me. Some of these gadgets (like a quality blender) are expensive. So, consider the fact that you may have something to celebrate on the horizon. Treat yourself! Maybe your wedding is around the corner. Ryan and I received many of our cooking tools as gifts from our wedding registry when we got married.

Third, invest in some awesome gadgets!!

With a few years of cooking experience under my belt, and after putting all of these cooking tools to the test, I can honestly say they are some of the best kitchen aids out there. So, without further ado (and in no particular order), here are a few of my favorite things…

  1. Silicone muffin pan ($15.00)
    • So you’d think I use this pan for baking cupcakes (goodbye, paper muffin liners!). While that’s a great idea…it’s not my favorite use of this gadget! I make mini egg quiches and they pop right out of the silicone when they’re done. Try this recipe for spinach quiche cups and you’ll be so happy you did.
      Best cooking tools: silicone muffin pan. Use for Egg Quiche, too!

      Lékué Silicone Standard Muffin Pan, photo courtesy Sur La Table

  2. Lemon juicer ($15.00)
    • It seems like a no-brainer that this is a tool you should have in your kitchen, but a lot of my friends still don’t use one. People… You know those recipes that ask for the juice from half a lemon? Literally cut the lemon in half and put one side in this thing – and VOILA! Juice! No more accidental seeds dropping in your homemade salad dressings.
      Best cooking tools: lemon juicer

      Zulay Metal Lemon Lime Squeezer, photo courtesy Amazon.com

  3. Strawberry huller ($6.00)
    • I eat a lot of strawberries when they are in season, but this tool also works on other soft fruits and veggies. This thing saves me SO much time removing the stems from each berry. Press one button to extend a mini claw-like apparatus into the fruit and let go. Stem – removed.
      Best cooking tools: strawberry huller

      Chef’n Stemgem Strawberry Huller, photo courtesy Amazon.com

  4. Palm peeler ($7.00)
    • I used to cut my fingers ALL the time with a peeler I purchased at Ikea. This baby is just as cheap but sturdier and way more functional. No more band-aids from kitchen accidents!
      Best cooking tools: palm peeler

      Chef’n Palm Peeler, photo courtesy Yugster.com

  5. A quality blender (I use a Vitamix. $450.00)
    • This isn’t so much for meal prep as it is to just make your life easier. I use my Vitamix for so many things I can’t even list them all here. Smoothies, dips, hummus, soups… you name it, I’ve tried it. Find a blender that a friend recommends  and INVEST. I can’t stress this enough! The professional grade blenders are so much better than the cheapy ones out on the market. I used to have one that didn’t even fully blend ice into my smoothies. What’s the point of that?
      Best cooking tools: vitamix

      5200 Standard Vitamix. photo courtesy Vitamix

  6. Veggie grill trays ($17.99)
    • Veggie grill trays are one of those things you don’t know you need until you use them. I used to spend so much time layering veggies on tin foil to no avail, watching each cube of zucchini fall through the cracks of the grill rack.  Never again! Chop some veggies, toss in a bit of oil and seasonings, and throw onto this sturdy grill pan for cooking. No foil, no mess.
      Best cooking tools: veggie tray

      Vegetable Grill Basket, photo courtesy Amazon.com

  7. Salad dressing shaker ($15.00)
    • I think homemade dressing tastes WAY better than store-bought dressing. It’s also much healthier (less sodium, less sugar). I love this shaker because I can prep dressings ahead of time and leave them in my fridge like a normal salad dressing bottle. The top seals shut so you can easily shake it when you’re ready to use.
      Best cooking tools: Salad dressing shaker

      OXO Salad Dressing Shaker, photo courtesy Sur La Table

  8. Rice Cooker ($40.00)
    • One of the most underrated kichen appliances out there. What is one of the most common “healthy power foods” you see on all fitness blogs today? QUINOA! Just because this is not called a “quinoa cooker” doesn’t mean you can’t use it for the same purpose as you do rice. My secret trick for great tasting quinoa is to cook it with 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 lite coconut milk instead of water.
      Best cooking tools: Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker

      Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker, photo courtesy Macy’s

  9. A good chopping tool ($20.00)
    • Chopping tools remind me of those cooking infomercials that nobody never believes. Well, I’m here to tell you they work. Honestly, I save so much time with this gadget on just ONE onion. I cut the onion in four pieces, place one piece on the device and CHOP! It’s so fast and you don’t end of crying all over the dang cutting board.
      Best cooking tools: Magic Chopper

      The Magic Chopper, photo courtesy Amazon.com

  10. Herb stripper ($7.00)
    • No, not that kind of stripper! If you like cooking with fresh herbs, this small tool really comes in handy. Think recipes that call for fresh lavender or thyme. You don’t want to cook the stems but it takes quite a bit of time to de-leaf each sprig. With the herb stripper, you can just poke the stem through one of the holes and pull the end. The leaves will fall off as you pull the herb.
      Best cooking tools: the herb stripper!

      Chef’n Zipstrip Herb Stripper. photo courtesy Amazon.com

  11. Veggie spiralizer  ($10.00)
    • A must-have tool for pasta lovers. This device transforms veggies like squash or zucchini into noodles (or, as I like to call them, zoodles!). Cook them with the right amount of garlic and you can hardly tell the difference from your carby favorites.
      Best cooking tools: The Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer

      Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, photo courtesy Amazon.com

  12. Corn Zipper ($12.00)
    • There are some people (cough, my husband) who enjoy eating corn directly from the cob because it reminds them of their childhood. That’s fine. There are other people who are willing to step away from their reminiscing in order to save their teeth from the unbearable stringy, chunky pieces well known by corn lovers. This tool is for the latter group of people.
      Best cooking tools: The corn stripper

      Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, photo courtesy Amazon.com

 

Do you have any of these tools in your kitchen? Are there any that I missed and you think are worth mentioning? Please comment, it makes me smile!!

Until next time. preppers.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Jenny Duda
    October 3, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Love this, I need some new tools!

    • Carrie Tyler
      Author
      October 3, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Yes!! They are some of my favorite things to shop for. One tool I haven’t tried (and want to try) is the avocado slicer…

  2. Karin Miller
    October 3, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    I love the silicone cups and the palm peeler too! At your suggestion I will get the salad dressing shaker! Thanks for the great ideas!!!

    • Carrie Tyler
      Author
      October 4, 2017 / 8:26 am

      You’re welcome! I think you actually bought me the palm peeler 🙂

  3. Marganne
    October 5, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    Can’t wait to get some of these (and add some of these) to my wedding registry! great tips!!

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