17 kitchen gadgets for all of your holiday prep needs

Pieces to help you enjoy your time in the kitchen more, and get out of there faster too.

Pieces to help you enjoy your time in the kitchen more, and get out of there faster too.

(Credit: prepara.com)

It's the most delicious time of the year — the holidays are synonymous with feasting and entertaining. But all of those cooking commitments at a particularly hectic time means that any extra help around the kitchen would be welcome. So we went on the hunt for great kitchen gadgets that seem like they'd be especially useful over this season. These pieces run the gamut of veggie prep aids, to those that make serving simple, so you can enjoy your time in the kitchen more, and get out of there faster too.  

Baguette baker

Bread makes just about any meal better. And Emile Henry knows how to help you get the best baguettes around. This baguette mould bakes up three fresh loaves, the ceramic promises to leaving them deliciously soft inside while perfectly crisp on the outside.

Emile Henry Baguette Mould, SALE $120, thebay.com

Electric potato peeler

If you're working with lots of potatoes this season (latkes anyone?), this is every cook's dream. You literally line it up, press a button and your potato is peeled automatically. And it's not just for potatoes, peel those apples for dessert, and even tomatoes for that homemade pasta sauce on the menu.

Starfrit Rotato Express-Electric Peeler, $33, amazon.ca

Gravy separator

Before any gravy enters that beautiful antique gravy boat, it needs to be separated. This ingenious tool does all the work for you, and keeps any little bits out, so all you need to do is pour away rather than worry about straining a thing.

OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator, $26.99, bedbathandbeyond.ca

Wine chiller

We've all been there. We forgot to chill the wine. Forget waiting for it to chill in the freezer, with this handy device, "wine bottles cool to a high of 60 degrees in one minute". It also works with other glass-bottled beverages, carbonated and non, as well as cans.  

Rapid Beverage Chiller, $129.95, crateandbarrel.com

Garlic mincer

If you've started leaving garlic out of recipes because it is a nightmare to grate and leaves your hands smelling for hours, then this gadget is for you. With a handy chamber to catch all your slices, your dishes will be beautifully garlicky this season, with very little frustration.

Microplane Garlic Mincer, $18.95, crateandbarrel.com

Automatic stirrer

Yeah, we can't believe we're recommending a stirrer either. But.if you've seen similar items out there and are a little skeptical about a gadget like this, consider that this one is made by a rather trusted brand. This stir tower from KitchenAid actually does the stirring for you which could come in handy for those delicate, demanding sauces while you tend to that equally delicate piece of fish in the oven. Simply attach it to the brand's multi cooker and voila!

KitchenAid Stainless-Steel Stir Tower, $249.95, williams-sonoma.ca

Mandoline

Let's face it, just about every dish you make this season is going to involve chopping and slicing. Shave some time off this tedious task with a mandoline, while getting pro-looking results. This one has three different widths, making it perfect for salads, potatoes, and even slicing up those apples for the pie.

OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer, $19.99, neatspace.ca

Herb stripper

Rosemary, thyme, marjoram – all flavours of the season. But when it comes time to get the herbs off of their stems, time is wasted and patience gets worn thin. Enter this brilliant little invention from Fusionbrands that lets you insert a sprig one way, and pull the other to release finicky leaves deftly. Those herby potatoes will be seasoned in no time.  

Fusionbrands Herb Zipper Herb Snipper, $11.99, neatspace.ca

Butter maker

If bespoke butter is exactly what your dinner is missing, look no further. This butter maker literally lets you whip up your own. Plus, it's ready in minutes, so you can hand the butter churning off to one of your guests while you tend to that risotto.

Chef'n Buttercup Butter Maker, $19, amazon.ca

Brussels sprouts tool

You may often try to shy away from one-task veggie tools, but this beautiful little gadget is worth the space in those kitchen drawers – because preparing brussels sprouts is the worst areweright? Aptly named, the Twist N Sprout promises to prep them with a simple twist technique in no time – so you can move onto the next item on the menu that needs to be chopped!  

Chef'n Twist N Sprout Brussels Sprout Prep Tool, $7.99, bedbathandbeyond.ca

Microwave rice and grain cooker

Chances are your burners are working overtime this month, so why not put your microwave to good use. This rice cooker helps you cook up perfect grains in no time, with very little attention to the process required.

Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice and Grain Cooker, $34.75, walmart.ca

Basting and roasting combo set

Keeping all your turkey tools together can be tricky, and they tend to take up too much space in your cupboards. Joseph Joseph has basically solved this issue with this 3-in-1 roasting set. It's a thermometer, cleaning brush and baster all combined into a very useful gadget for this time of year.  

Joseph Joseph 3-Piece Roasting and Basting Set, $32.99, amazon.ca

Bacon press

If you're hosting a holiday brunch this season, bacon is a must. But there's no need to serve your guests curled up bacon (gasp!). Solve all your frying woes with this weighted press to ensure those strips are kept straight until they're perfectly crispy.

Cast Iron Bacon Press, $19.95, williams-sonoma.ca

Whip cream charger

Forget the store bought pre-whipped cream this season. Instead, this cream whipper uses tiny N2O chargers to instantly whip your carton of pure cream into a dessert topping with the perfect ready-made consistency, and none of the additives. Plus, it's fun to use.

Si Mini Cream Whipper, $69.99, canadiantire.ca; Pack of 10 iSi cream chargers, $9.99, canadiantire.ca

Roasting laurels

These roasting laurels from Prepara are perfect for any roast, turkey or even veggies you may have on the menu. It keeps your roasts elevated so that they aren't cooking in their own fat, and let's heat distribute more evenly. It's also the perfect tool for keeping stuffed peppers from toppling over in the oven…and they're dishwasher safe.

Prepara roasting laurels, $26.99, amazon.ca

Electric knife

Skip manually hacking apart that beautiful roast you just spent so much time on. Instead, carve it up with an electric knife to get those thin and even slices everyone has been dreaming of.

Cuisinart electric knife, $64.99, canadiantire.ca

Pasta maker

Fresh pasta is amazing, but kind of time consuming to make – especially when you've got company coming. No more! This electric pasta maker allows you to pour in all the ingredients and out comes delicious (it does all the mixing and kneading automatically), and presto: perfect fresh pasta. We want one for all year round.

Philips advanced pasta maker, $399.95, williams-sonoma.ca