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How to Use Your Newly Gifted Kitchen Gadget

November 22, 2017

In the world of kitchen tools, one-trick ponies are plentiful. We’ve found these versatile, trendy options are worth their wrapping.

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Photo: OlgaMiltsova/Getty

These Gadgets Make the Best Gifts — Really!

We all know what it's like to receive a holiday gift and immediately wonder exactly what you're going to do with it. And we bet you've unwrapped a few perplexing kitchen gadgets over the years. At first glance, the latest crop of small-appliance innovations might feel too specific or too quirky. But before you rush to return, we’ve got seven items that are worth working into your cooking routine. Find out how your new gadget works and what to do with it.

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Instant Pot

How it Works: Part pressure cooker, part slow cooker, this one promises to do a lot. It can stand in as a rice cooker and makes child’s play of your weekend yogurt project. Much less scary than a manually controlled stovetop pressure cooker, the Instant Pot is electric and has safety mechanisms to control pressure and temperature — so there's no risk of exploding chili all over your kitchen walls.

Try This: Impress with tender Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches that come together in 2 hours, or embrace the comforting simplicity of a 5-Ingredient Mac and Cheese.

Tip: Take advantage of the Instant Pot's multi-featured glory: Sear meats on the high saute setting, gently simmer sauce on low saute. And, of course, you can make dinner in a fraction of the time with the pressure cook cycle.

$99.95 at amazon

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Photo: Courtesy of Vitamix

High-Powered Blender

How it Works: Blenders like the Vitamix and the Ninja boast pure power. You would be hard-pressed to find any cook who doesn’t value the quick work a high-powered blender can make of turning cauliflower, potatoes and the like into creamy purees or sweet berries into a refreshing morning smoothie.

Try This: Now that you’ve tackled the basics, revel in the ease of a practically instant pizza dough that comes together when you combine instant yeast, water, flour, salt and just a dash of olive in the blender’s carafe.

Tip: Friction creates heat, and in the case of these high-powered machines that means you can blend your way to a steaming hot bowl of pureed soup in less than 10 minutes.

$299.95 at amazon

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Photo: John Joh/iStock

Kitchen Torch

How it Works: This butane-powered beauty has replaceable cartridges so you can caramelize sugar on top of a creme brulee and a lot more. Simple torch safety includes never torching on parchment paper, keeping the explosive butane away from direct heat like stovetops and always pointing the flame away from you and others nearby.

Try This: Use a kitchen torch to brown meringues, char peppers and melt cheese.

Tip: Get a steakhouse char on the outside of your meat by quickly torching before serving.

$13.49 at amazon

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