Kitchen Helpers

Appliances aren’t the only essential tools in the kitchen. We asked gluten-free chefs and home cooks to pick the small kitchen gadget they can’t live without. These eight products maximize time and reduce effort during food prep, from easy slicing to quick blending. Take their advice and stock up your kitchen with these must-have tools

Zester zester

The Lagasse Girls, cookbook authors

Jessie Lagasse Swanson and Jilly Lagasse, gluten-free daughters of Chef Emeril Lagasse, love adding a dash of sweet and savory citrus flavor to risotto, sauces, piecrusts or fillings and more. Asked separately, they both picked the zester as their favorite tool. This zester from Microplane also has a scoring blade and comes with two garnish cutters. Use it to add gourmet-style finesse to your meal.

Try: Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool

Retail price: $13

boardChop & Scoop Cutting Board

Carol Fenster, Savory Palate

Fenster, author of 11 gluten-free cookbooks, says this cutting board is a dream in the kitchen for mess-free food prep. Available in three sizes, the cutting board has curved edges that keep fruit, vegetables and meat juices from dripping on the counter. You can also save the juices to mix into a stew or drizzle over a dish.

Try: Dexas Chop & Scoop

Retail price: $8 to $15


Jackie Mallorca, GFL food editor

Mallorca, a cookbook author whose gluten-free recipes appear regularly in Gluten-Free Living, says this hand-held slicer cuts firm veggies such as potatoes, carrots and zucchini into thin, perfect slices. Chef Laura Hahn, also a recipe contributor to the magazine, recommends a microplaner, a similar tool. Swissmar Börner’s mandoline comes with three blades for 10 different cuts, perfect for quick shredding, cubing and dicing. Pick up a pair of steel mesh gloves for extra safety.

Try: Swissmar Börner VPower Mandoline

Retail price: $55

wheelPastry Wheel

Jules Shepard, gfJules

Pastry wheels are indispensable tools for gluten-free baking. Shepard, a gluten-free blogger, baker and flour company owner, prefers a model with both fluted and straight wheels and uses it to cut everything from graham cracker dough to pierogies. The fluted edge adds a clean decorative lattice to gluten-free pies and pastries.

Try: Messermeister Pastry and Pasta Wheel Combo

Retail price: $11

whiskFlat Whisk

Kendall Egan, GFL conference consultant

This flat whisk from Rösle is strong enough to mix bread dough yet still perfect for folding ingredients in delicate dishes such as meringues or cheese sauce. Egan, a busy mother of four, loves to use it for frothy egg whites and a salad dressing emulsion of oil and vinegar.

Try: Rösle Flat Whisk

Retail price: $22

solarFood Thermometer

Amy Ratner, GFL editor

A food thermometer ensures that liquid ingredients in gluten-free bread are the right temperature for it to rise properly. And you can always be sure meat is thoroughly cooked. For a precise temperature read, Ratner uses this solar-powered digital model. Just keep it out of the kitchen drawer so it’s ready when you need it.

Try: Component Design Northwest Solar Thermometer

Retail price: $30

butterCorn Butterer

Amy Leger, GFL family editor

With corn-on-the-cob season upon us, this clever device is the perfect gadget to break out at family barbecues. Place half a stick of butter inside and glide it over hot corn, gluten-free rolls or baking pans. Then cap the butterer and store it in the fridge for next time.

Try: Pampered Chef Corn Butterer

Retail price: $4.50

Lemon Juicer

Alice Bast, NFCA president

juicerBast, who is also chief executive officer of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, pointed us to the lemon juicer, which makes quick work of getting fresh citrus juice. Use it for fresh-squeezed lemonade or jazz up a dish with tangy lime, orange or grapefruit flavors. This model comes with a strainer and pour spout so you catch every last drop.

Try: Crate & Barrel Stainless Steel Citrus Juicer

Retail price: $10