10 Fun and Functional Kitchen Tools That Are Getting People Around the World Through Quarantine

updated Dec 9, 2020
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In the weeks and months that I have been staying home, I have baked numerous cakes, tried making gnocchi from scratch, attempted braiding bread, and even nurtured an odd-looking kombucha starter that’s my new best friend (but also likely dead). And it’s not just me: A quick scan on Instagram will show you breads, pastas, and everything in between that people are making at home, often for the first time!

The simple act of cooking has never been more cathartic, which is why we asked home cooks from around the world to tell us the kitchen tools they are leaning on the most right now. From coffee makers to baking essentials to one really clever whisk, these are their go-tos for cooking while sheltering in place.

1. Colombia: French Press

“In Bogota, we’ve started a new ritual where my dad makes coffee for the whole family every morning,” says Cristina Esguerra, a culture and arts reporter in Colombia. “Unlike a coffee machine, the French Press is not too strong, and you can make the best black coffee, or ‘tinto,’ as we call it here.”

Buy it: Bodum Chambord French Press Coffee Maker, $29.99 (normally $39.99)

Credit: Dorothy So

2. Hong Kong: Silicone Storage Containers

“I’m pretty low-tech in the kitchen, to be honest, but the one thing I’m using a lot lately are these silicone food containers,” says Dorothy So, a Hong Kong-based content strategist. “I basically use them for everything—meal prepping, storing leftovers, bringing to the bulk-buy/package-free stores to fill up with quinoa,” she says. “And since they’re made of soft silicone, they even take up less room in the refrigerator.”

Buy it: Collapse It Rectangle 100% Silicone, $15

Credit: Anisa Patel

3. Australia: Whisk

“Such an unassuming little tool, but the whisk is the most used in my kitchen right now,” says Anisa Patel from Sydney, who at one point had been been hunkering down indoors for three weeks. “I run a ready-to-eat food company so I’m stocked up on meals and mostly end up experimenting with baking cakes and whipping up the delicious trending Dolgona coffee.”

Buy it: OXO 11-inch Whisk, $8 (normally $10)

4. Japan: Rice Cooker

“Rice is the staple meal here, and beyond the three meals a day, it’s used for snacks and sweets, so having a good rice cooker is essential,” says Shabana Lakdawala, an English teacher in Mito, Japan. “If I’m too busy (aka lazy) to make soup or sautéed veggies to accompany the rice, I just cook the rice in broth and even throw veggies into the mix and still get a tasty and nutritious meal in 30 minutes or less!”

Buy it: Aroma Professional Cool Touch 8-Cup Rice Cooker in Stainless Steel, $45

5. India: Bialetti Moka Espresso Maker

“We are making the most of our time at home by indulging in long, lazy breakfasts every morning,” says Akhil Kapadia, an architect from Mumbai. “One of our favorite bits is brewing delicious coffee in the moka pot that keeps us going for the rest of the day.”

Buy it: Bialetti Moka Express 6-Cup Model Stovetop Espresso Maker, $35

Credit: Maura Pagano

6. United States: Whisk Ball

“I originally purchased the whisk ball as a set of three, and they were mostly used for protein shakes,” says Maura Pagano, a Brooklyn-based cocktail recipe developer who discovered the female-run company on Amazon and loved it so much that she reached out to the developer and assisted her through another couple of rounds of development. “This is the final product, and I use it for my meringue, homemade whipped cream (90 seconds max), eggs, frothy coffee drinks, etc.”

Buy it: VinsieHome Shaker Ball, $12

Credit: Monica Parga

7. Spain: Blender

“Since I’m working in the day without moving around too much, I keep it light with fresh juices and shakes made with whatever I have on hand,” says Monica Parga, an editor in Madrid, Spain. “I first use this juice maker by Krups, and then the Philips mixer to make fruit shakes.”

Buy it: Vitamix Professional Series 750 Heritage Blender, $500 (normally $700)

8. Brazil: Angel Food Pan

“I’m staying sane by baking healthy cakes because they are a sweet treat to the family during these hard times!” says Adriana Kuchler, a new mom from Sao Paolo. “The post-baby quarantine has just been extended forever now, and I truly miss being outdoors.”

Buy it: Wilton Advance Select Premium Nonstick 10-Inch Angel Food Pan, $15

9. Ghana: Electric Kettle

“It was never my thing, but as the lockdown is in full effect, I fall on the kettle to get me coffee or tea,” says Anny Osabutey from Prampram, a coastal town in Ghana. “With a baby in the house, it’s also easier to heat water in the kettle rather than turn on the stove.”

Buy it: OXO Brew Cordless Glass Electric Kettle, $64 (normally $80)

Credit: Zoya Singh

10. England: Nespresso

“At work, I used to go on a coffee run to take a break from my screen, now I go make myself a quick coffee on my Nespresso to break up my work day,” says Zoya Singh, a marketing professional from London. “This is going to be an expensive habit for sure!”

Buy it: Nespresso by Breville VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle with Aeroccino, $250