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my — yes, my! — favorite kitchen gadgets

Lois - kitchen

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Yes, I get that if you know me at all, you know I don’t cook. If you know me more than a little, you know that my kids used to ask what the food man was bringing for dinner when we lived in Manhattan. If you’re a friend, you know that I had one of our ovens removed when we lived there, and we used our dishwasher as a file cabinet. And, if you’re a family member, well, we’ve eaten in some pretty great restaurants, haven’t we?

When publicists send me kitchen products to review, I often just pass them on to my mom. But every once in a while, I try some gadget that we actually end up using over and over again.

I know. It’s as shocking to me as it is to you.

I thought I would feature some of those products now because I’ve been reading a lot of recipe-related posts by my fellow bloggers lately and, frankly, I’m feeling a little inadequate.

So, although I would never expect you to turn to me for cooking advice – food, absolutely; cooking, no – here are the kitchen gadgets we’re loving in the Mark kitchen these days. And, you know that if I’m touting them, they must really make life easier in some way.

COOKINA Gard Oven Protector

COOKINA Oven Protector

We make a lot of frozen pizza, which inevitably drips all over the bottom of the oven and which I tend to forget about until we use the oven again. By then, the cheese has been mushed in and it’s gross. Since I started lining the oven with the COOKINA Gard Oven Protector, all I’ve had to do is wipe the non-stick surface with a paper towel and it’s ready to use again. No wasting tons or foil or parchment paper, or having to do excessive cleaning. I love it.

Berry Breeze

Berry Breeze

This little gadget sits in the fridge, sanitizing, deodorizing and removing all food odors. Plus, it keeps your fruits and vegetables fresh longer. Honestly, I can’t imagine why it works – you can read the science behind it on the company’s website – but, miraculously, it does. We’ve thrown out way less food since using it, and the strawberries and tomatoes Michael’s been growing still taste good days later – even when he forgets to cover them. It’s amazing.

T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle

T-Fal Grilled Cheese Griddle

I love a good grilled cheese sandwich but always worry about burning it – and the pan. This non-stick griddle is awesome because it distributes the heat evenly and is safe for the dishwasher. Michael’s even experimented with other kinds of sandwiches in this. I wish I’d had this when my kids were little.

IMUSA Quesadilla Maker

IMUSA Quesadilla Maker

Michael became a vegetarian a few months ago so he is all over this. It’s really easy to use, and it makes delicious quesadillas in five minutes. It features non-stick cooking plates, an excess drip tray and locking lid so keep the whole process mess-free. This would make a great gift for a college student or graduate going into his/her own apartment.

KRUPS Electric Kettle

Krups electric kettle

Now, we don’t even need this because we have a boiling water dispenser. But we drink a ton of tea – hot and iced – and this is such a great-looking electric kettle, we tend to keep it plugged in next to a couple of mugs in the evening because it makes us feel more adult and sophisticated. I don’t think we’ll have it for long, though, because our son tried to take it back to New York with him last time he visited but didn’t have room in his suitcase. I guarantee he’ll be packing lighter next time.



  1. I so need some of the oven guard! We make a lot of frozen pizzas, too, and the bottom of the oven, well…you know is dirty!

  2. I am no all that big on cooking either, but I would definitley use that Quesadilla Maker ALL THE TIME. That thing is awesome.

  3. Jessica @EatSleepBe says:

    I don’t cook (at least not very well) either so I can totally relate to these gadgets and their necessity in your kitchen! Good cook or not, we’ve all got to eat!

  4. I am a kitchen gadget hoarder
    yes, i am all over your post!
    dishwasher a file cabinet? i need to look into that

  5. The oven protector liner looks great! I cannot remember the last year I cleaned my oven! I am thinking maybe 1976! LOL Hubby does it – it bothers him not me!!

  6. That oven protector is a GAME CHANGER. I have never heard of it, but now I absolutely need it.

  7. We have one of those in-fridge ozone depletion thingies. Love it and how it keeps everything fresh longer.

  8. I don’t cook much either. My husband loves to cook so I let him LOL. I do love the fridge deodorizer though. That would come in handy…

  9. I totally use an electric kettle AND the oven protector–great products! The kettle’s very british, I think.

  10. Love kitchen gadgets!!!! You opened my eyes to some new ones! Thanks!

  11. I love to cook and some of those really do look useful! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thanks for the tips! I def will try a couple of these….

  13. Love this post! I am a cook, and you have listed a couple of things I have never heard of (or of which I have heard, to put it grammatically correct). I will definitely look for the oven protector and the frig refresher. Yay Lois!

  14. The oven liner is a must! Thanks for sharing. I’m curious as to how much room the Berry Fresh takes up in the frig?

  15. I need t try the COOKINA Gard Oven Protector! Some of my favorite kitchen gadgets are my garlic press, veggie steamer, and my Nutri Bullet!

  16. You do make me laugh with your honesty. I need this electric kettle because I will put on the kettle in the kitchen and go into my office in the back of the house and forget. Burning kettle is not a great smell!

  17. Okay, I literally laughed out loud when I read the title of this story. You. Kitchen? Really!!??? Okay, now that I’m done laughing…loved the gadgets and this story! Time to go shopping. =) Hugs girlfriend..you always give me a smile. =)

  18. I don’t cook either. But my husband would love some of these products.

  19. I will have to try the oven liner so when I keep your raspberry, chocolate, cronut french toast warm for you I don’t make a mess. You know I love to cook but I totally hate cleaning ovens!!! Great product!

  20. Wow! I’ve always cooked and I learned a thing or two from you! Thanks!

  21. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oooh great products! The quesadilla maker is calling my name and I love anything made by T-fal.

  22. For someone who doesn’t cook (ha! love your use for your dishwasher!), you sure have a well-equipped kitchen that any chef would covet.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Thank you! I sit and work at my kitchen table all day so it’s nice to have something pretty to look at!

  23. I want that oven protector and the fridge air cleaner thing. We have electric kettles in the house and our guest cottage. I love them!

    Now, here’s a tip for Michael…a Vitamix! As a long time vegetarian, I usually start my day with a smoothie. I rely on my Vitamix daily–often times, several times a day. I also use it to make my hummus and soups. (Yes, you can make soup right in it and it comes out piping hot.)

    Now, to go check Amazon for the kitchen items I didn’t know I needed….. 🙂

  24. I would love one of those quesadilla makers! My kids are always asking me to make them for after school snacks and that would make things so much easier.

  25. I would love the T-Fal! I would use that all the time!

  26. I’m with you on the kettle – that has to be my favourite piece in my kitchen, love a nice cup of tea. x

  27. So many good ones — but the oven protector intrigues me. I just turned on the self-cleaner yesterday. Four hours of energy paid for and it made the kitchen so hot. That could be an energy saver as well.

  28. I had no idea that there was an oven liner – have to buy that. You review reminded me of the time I recommended cooking Thanksgiving Dinner in the dishwasher. I hope you don’t mind if I attach the link, hope you enjoy it. http://retireforthefunofit.com/dinner-cooked-dishwasher/

  29. Im a professional baker and I love to be in the kitchen, but it gets messy. I would totally use that oven guard all the time.

  30. I don’t have ANY of these! That Berry Breeze looks like a clever little product! I can’t believe you had an oven removed! CRAZY! And files in your dishwasher!? Hilarious.

  31. I’m going to have to get that oven protector. I hate cleaning the oven!

  32. I am really interested in that Berry Breeze fridge thing! I hate throwing away wilted veggies, makes me feel like a failure to waste that money. Thanks for mentioning it in this article.

  33. I would probably use a quesadilla maker ALL the time if I had one. What a fab idea!

  34. I need to get the Berry Breeze for my fridge! Anything that keeps food fresher longer is good, in my book.

  35. Okay I now have a must kitchen buy list. I especially like the fridge deodorizer that is pretty awesome.

  36. I am not sure I would be able to make a post of my favorites. I have different loves for different dishes:)

  37. OHHHHHHH!!! Quesadilla maker!!! Yum. I think I am ready to own one of those. I am a fan of Mexican food since we travelled to Puerto Vallarta recently.

  38. The oven guard and the berry thing! Whoa. I hate to think of the time and money I’m wasting by NOT having them! I feel like your recommendations are real, too, and I appreciate that!

  39. The oven gaurd looks like something I need to get! We love our electric kettle though so easy and perfect for tea anytime!

  40. Lisa J Jones says:

    Some Great Products Would Love To Get The Cooking Guard Loks Like A Fabulous Product!

  41. This is a fun post. I love the story about what the food man was bringing for dinner! You’ve got some great kitchen gadgets!

  42. That cheese griddle looks like something I would like!

  43. I didn’t know they made this Oven Guard product. That is going to make all the difference in the world.

  44. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I was at Walmart last night looking for a quesadillas maker. My parents have one and they use it all the time and love it.

  45. Someday when I grow up and begin to cook I’ll use these awesome looking products. Better yet, I’ll tell Chef Gary about them. They look incredible, and he’s a HUGE tea drinker so I know he’d especially love the Krups.

    I love the color of your backsplash!

    BTW, it took me 10 minutes (sort of) to scroll through the million comments you have. You really do rock, Lois dear. xo

  46. I do most of the cooking in our family. It is good to learn about great gadgets that make kitchen work easier and more efficient.

  47. That oven guard is something I could really use with all the baking we do around here.

  48. Okay, I need that oven guard and the fridge freshener!

  49. I like kitchen gadgets. The odor remover is my favorite, but you’ve got a bunch of good ones!

  50. I could totally use that Berry Breeze. I hate all the weird smells that form when all the foods are in the fridge mixed together.

  51. Lol at least you are honest that you can’t cook? heheh I have an electric kettle that we use all the time!

  52. Those are really nice, although I don’t know how to use them, he he he!

  53. That Berry Breeze would work wonders in my frig – score! My current favorite gadget is veggie peeler that can be used by lefties – did you know that most peelers are designed to be sharper on the edge that is for right hand use? I know, right?!

  54. I am all about that IMUSA Quesadilla Maker! I think my kids would love it too! What a great (easy) way to make favorite quesadillas right at home!

  55. I just had to post and let you know I love, love, love your backsplash! The color is great!!

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