Good kitchen gadgets don't have to be fancy

January 9, 2012 4:23:09 PM PST
When it comes to cooking, it's a lot easier to get the job done when you have the right tools. Some fancy kitchen gadgets can be pricy, so we'll weed out the worst, so you don't waste your money.

It can be downright disappointing when something doesn't work. Consumer Reports has put together a list of go-to gadgets they put to the test to help make cooking a breeze.

You could spend hundreds of dollars on kitchen gadgets. How about a crinkle cutter for veggies or goggles for cutting onions?

Consumer Reports wanted to size up which kitchen gizmos are the biggest help, so it asked for a little help from its friends.

"We asked our Facebook fans which gadgets they rely on and use, then we narrowed down the list and had our testers check them out," explained Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports.

The list of essentials included can openers, graters, garlic presses and peelers. Consumer Reports' expert sensory panelists tried out traditional versions of these handy helpers along with ones that offer a twist. But new-fangled doesn't necessarily mean "improved."

Some of the gadgets were just plain awkward. For example, a Joseph Joseph collapsible cheese grater doesn't lock. And a squeeze grater wasn't a favorite, either.

A better option -- the Oxo good grips box grater for $18. It even has a handy compartment with measurement markings for your grated cheese.

DiClerico said, "More often than not, our testers preferred tried-and-true designs."

The Oxo good grips garlic press for $16 has a large chamber and a built-in cleaner. And the $20 Oxo magnetic locking can opener was a lock, with its cushioned grip and magnetic arm that keeps the lid from falling into the can.

As for peelers, Consumer Reports recommends the Kyocera ceramic peeler for $18. It has a comfortable handle and an adjustable blade that works well whether the chef is a righty or lefty.