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Best Kitchen Utensils

OXO 6-pc. Good Grips Kitchen Essentials Set,Originally designed for those with dexterity problems— such as people suffering from arthritis — the amazing OXO Good Grips (pronounced “ox-oh,” for those of you wondering) brand soon caught on with the young and hip as well. These sturdy kitchen utensils, with their trademark easy-grip black handles, add style to function.

Sam bought me my first OXO product years ago and — just as any good obsessive organizer would — I immediately needed the entire matching set. Holidays generally serve as a good time to work toward this goal. And since OXO adds new products to the line regularly, it’s a never-ending feat as well as a constant gift list for those wondering what I might need.

In truth, there are some utensils/products I don’t need. We don’t drink, so bar and wine accessories aren’t on my wish list. And, really, three ice cream scoops is probably enough. (They currently offer eight different styles.) So I don’t plan to bring any more home. But there are utensils for just about every cooking need and, often, you have multiple choices.

My very favorite OXO utensils are are described below.

Soft-Handled Can Opener

OXO 7-in. Good Grips Soft-Handled Can OpenerOpening cans is a tedious chore only made worse by nasty can openers that don’t do what they are designed to do. I currently have two OXO can openers — the soft-handled can opener and the smooth edge can opener — and one other brand. Without question, the soft-handled can opener is the quickest and easiest to use of any I’ve used. It even beats down electric can openers —which sound clever, but usually take twice as long to use. With the soft-handled can opener you get no sore fingers, no matter how big the can is. (And that’s saying something, since I have a lot of the giant #10 cans in my food storage. They can be a bear to open.) My only caution is to keep it out of the dishwasher. You won’t be happy with the results.

Swivel Peeler

OXO 7-in. Good Grips Swivel Peeler,Have you ever had one of the old-fashioned metal peelers that gets rusty after about ten peeling sessions and slips out of your hands when it is wet? Have you ever grated the knuckles of your entire left hand clean off trying to get the potatoes into the stupid pot of water? Cry no more! The best swivel peeler, bar none, is here for you. It is super sharp and cleans veggies with a smooth action. We have two swivel peelers because we use them so much.

I also have the serrated peeler. It’s very cool, too, but not quite as versatile. It works best on slippery/waxy fruits like tomatoes, plums, etc.

Angled Measuring Cups

OXO 3-pc. Good Grips Angled Measuring CupsIf you’ve ever struggled to pour liquid and read the fill lines on a measuring cup at the same time, these angled measuring cups are for you. These ingenious liquid measuring cups have an angled surface so that you can read the measurements while pouring and looking straight down into the cups. No squatting by the counter, no rechecking, no balancing. Just set the cup down and pour. They come in 4-cup, 2-cup, and 1-cup measures. Now if I can just convince OXO to manufacture a measuring medicine spoon, I’ll be set.

Professional Series Knives

OXO 14-pc. Professional Cutlery Set with Wood BlockI’m not a gourmet cook, by any means. I’m just a mom with six kids who is compelled to cook a lot against her will. (Starving children will do that.) So what better way to cook efficiently (so as to move on to better things like…well…just about anything) than to use efficient tools. I’ve been using the OXO professional series knives for years and love them. I don’t know how these knives compare with famous, uber-expensive brands. I just know they are affordable and they cut everything I’ve ever needed to cut. And they’ve been doing it for years. They feel good, they look good, and they work.

Honorable Mention

OXO 10-in. Good Grips Pump Action Salad SpinnerI can’t move on without recognizing the OXO salad spinner. While I don’t use it terribly often (I usually buy pre-washed, prepackaged lettuce mixes), my kids have long been enamored with the it. In fact, I can’t keep them away from it. I’ve even found the salad spinner in the boys’ room, filled with various non-salad items, after they’ve sent their smallish toys for a good spin. So far, it’s endured this abuse remarkably. So if you actually want to use it to whirl your salad greens, I think you’re in for a treat.

We Love OXO

OXO provides a line of really great kitchen products. We’ve only had trouble with two OXO products in all these years. We’re on our third apple divider because the first two eventually cracked. Granted, it was after the little boys wailed on them trying to get a snack. They may have improved the design, because we’ve had the last for almost two years and it’s still going strong. We’ve also had two plastic graters, and both cracked. Go for the stainless steel grater, instead.

All the other OXO products (and we have dozens!) have worked year after year and make cooking (almost) a pleasure. And that’s saying something for this serious anti-culinary mom.

If you’re looking for some great kitchen utensils at reasonable prices, check out OXO’s huge line of Good Grips products. You’ll be hooked.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Ian July 12, 2010, 7:45 am

    I have got the Swivel Peeler and i must say it’s really useful.
    better than expected

  • Alison Moore Smith July 12, 2010, 4:13 pm

    Good to hear! I mean, how great can a peeler be? You’ll only really know if you’d tried to use a junky, rusty one. 🙂

  • Carnivore July 30, 2010, 9:41 am

    Nice review. Appreciate the tips on what to avoid.

  • Kelly Lester April 6, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Thanks for your comment on my video/blog post Alison (http://bit.ly/fXgYPE). It really is a wonder that you don’t have the OXO Good Grips Mango Splitter! I know that, after watching my video you’ll be getting one 😉 LOL! I just realized I’ve had and used their salad spinner that you feature above for YEARS!! Man, has that thing gotten a lot of use! We love OXO!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2011, 9:06 pm

    I will have to get the mango splitter, true. You are a most convincing hostess. You should start doing Tupperware parties, my friend! (Please follow her link and watch the vid. It’s a scream.)

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