Food & Home

kitchen

Tips and Tools to Cure Your Cooking Fatigue

Caitlin O’Malley

Caitlin O’Malley is goop’s food director. She gives us recipes, takeout recommendations, and advice on anything not related to food. She makes us laugh every day. She’s wise, which you can see for yourself on the sixth episode of The goop Lab on Netflix: “Are You Intuit?”

It’s amazing what a difference the right tool can make. I have often found that the reason I dread certain tasks is because I’m making do without the proper tool, and once I get it, the task becomes easy. I happen to find washing and drying lettuces for salads without a salad spinner super annoying. No matter how meticulously I wrap every leaf in tea towels, they’re still wet—and, most offensively, that residual water dilutes my dressing! When I finally got a good salad spinner, all of a sudden whipping up a side salad to go with dinner wasn’t a chore at all. No more soggy salads: praise be.

Below are a few of the cooking complaints I hear again and again and the tools that solve the issues. Potential side effect: You might find that you enjoy your time in the kitchen more when you’re not fighting the task itself.

So you hate chopping…

Chopping can be meditative or totally monotonous. The first thing that might make it more enjoyable: a good knife. The petty utility knife is a great all-arounder. Remember to hone it regularly or have it professionally sharpened—a dull knife is as inefficient as it is unsafe. Another thing to consider is the size of your cutting board. Most people squeeze everything onto a tiny board that inevitably overflows, making it hard to keep your space tidy. Give yourself some breathing room with a bigger board. If you’ve discovered a paper cut via squeezing a lemon by hand one too many times, a citrus juicer is a quick solve. The microplane zester makes easy work of grating garlic and ginger or zesting citrus. A spiralizer and a mandoline are your friends when you need perfectly uniform slices in mere minutes. Cutproof gloves are a worthy option if the mandoline blade intimidates you (it should). If you just cannot deal with chopping, opt for the Vitamix food processor attachment and never worry about dicing up mirepoix again.

  1. Vitamix 12-cup Food Processor Attachment
    Vitamix 12-cup Food Processor Attachment goop, $200
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  2. Microplane Premium Classic Zester
    Microplane Premium Classic Zester Amazon, $15
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  3. Cuisipro Cut Resistant Glove
    Cuisipro Cut-Resistant Glove goop, $12
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  4. TOG Knives Petty Utility Knife
    TOG Knives Petty Utility Knife goop, $180
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  5. Chef’n Citrus Juicer
    Chef’n Citrus Juicer goop, $25
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  6. Cuisipro Spiralizer Set
    Cuisipro Spiralizer Set goop, $12
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  7. Benriner Mandoline
    Benriner Mandoline Amazon, $25
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  8. Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board
    Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board Amazon, $24
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So you hate doing dishes…

If you cook, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to do some dishes. These products are either extremely easy to clean or serve multiple purposes, saving you from a sink pileup. I love my Vitamix blender dearly, but sometimes it’s a pain to clean, so I’ll use my Smeg hand blender instead—then I just need to rinse off the detachable blending arm. Using nonstick ceramic cookware, like GreenPan, makes for super easy cleanup. The Instant Pot has a sauté feature so you can brown your meats and aromatics in the same pot you slow- or pressure-cook in: one less pan to clean. Or take the approach of a classic stove-to-oven-to-table piece like a Dutch oven to eliminate the need for serving dishes. My personal dish-free favorite is to keep it casual and put it all on a board.

  1. Instant Brands Duo Nova 6-quart Instant Pot
    Instant Brands Duo Nova 6-quart
    Instant Pot
    goop, $100
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  2. Dansk Kobenstyle 4-Quart Teal Casserole
    Dansk Kobenstyle 4-Quart
    Teal Casserole
    Amazon, $142
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  3. Alexis Steelwood  Charcuterie Board
    Alexis Steelwood Charcuterie Board goop, $250
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  4. GreenPan  Reserve 5-Piece Set
    GreenPan Reserve
    5-Piece Set
    goop, $250
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  5. Smeg Hand Blender
    Smeg Hand Blender goop, $180
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So you hate waste…

A big part of learning how to be a savvy cook is understanding how much to buy based on your needs and how to store it so it’ll last. The Blisshaus Pantry Set is a brilliant system for organizing bulk pantry items and keeping them fresher longer. The clear glass makes it easy to assess whether you need more of something. Reusable food storage, like the Zwilling vacuum glass storage set, Stasher bags, and Snacksheets food wrap are excellent for meal prep and leftovers, and they reduce your need for single-use plastics. For the bits that are beyond saving, the Vitamix FoodCycler is a simple countertop composting solution.

  1. Zwilling Vacuum Glass Storage Starter Set
    Zwilling Vacuum Glass
    Storage Starter Set
    goop, $100
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  2. Snacksheets Reusable Vegan Food Wraps
    Snacksheets Reusable Vegan
    Food Wraps
    goop, $18
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  3. Vitamix  FoodCycler FC-50
    Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50 goop, $400
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  4. Blisshaus Baking Pantry Set
    Blisshaus Baking Pantry Set goop, $140
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  5. Stasher  Reusable Sandwich Bag Set
    Stasher Reusable Sandwich Bag Set goop, $24
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We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page (including links to Amazon).