Kitchen Upgrades: Top Items Worth the Investment

February 10, 2017

We recently did some serious kitchen upgrades and the pay-off has been huge. Read on for my favorites, especially if you’re setting up a wedding registry.

Is your kitchen full of old, cheap or hand-me-down gear and appliances? Mine certainly was, and even though I cook often, I didn’t think this was much of a problem. But then I finally upgraded (wedding registry FTW) and woah, what a new world I’m living in. Prior to upgrading, I figured that I had what I needed and it was getting the job done. Why spend all that money on more expensive and fancier versions? Well those fancier versions are more expensive for a reason; they work better, make your life easier and the food tastes better (it sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not).

If you’re putting together your wedding registry or there is no wedding in sight but you want to give your kitchen an upgrade, these are the items worth investing in.

My favorite Kitchen Upgrades

Knives

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Our knives were a mish-mash of I don’t even know what. None of them matched, they were incredibly dull and I was unaware that chopping didn’t have to be so damn hard. Prior to our new set, it was a struggle to cut through many veggies and I literally had no idea how simple it could be to cut a potato (I make sweet potato fries at least once a week). If you’re looking for a full set upgrade, I recommend the Wusthof Classic 7-piece set. If you’re not ready to splurge on a full set, get one or two new knives, the ones you use most often, and it will still have a huge impact. My absolutely favorite knife is the Kyocera 6″ Ceramic–it makes veggie chopping a breeze.

Blender

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I’d been dreaming about getting a Vitamix for years. It’s half the reason I got married..kidding (sorta). But really this is one of my favorite new appliances and the first thing I put on our registry. And actually, no one bought it for us! Fortunately, we got a few duplicate gifts, plus gifts cards and that went into buying my beloved Vitamix 750 Pro Blender. It’s an investment, but you might as well throw it on the registry because maaaaybe someone will buy it for you. It makes the smoothest smoothies, blends hot soups in mere minutes and is my trick to super simple cashew milk, which I now make weekly (sharing that recipe with you soon!). If the Vitamix is above your budget or simply not something you care about as much as me, I’ve heard great things about the Ninja blender as well ($99).

Food Processor

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Remember when you were a kid and you were helping your mom food prep using a processor that looked like this? That’s more or less what I had been working with a couple of years ago (hand-me-down from my mother-in-law, thanks Ellen!). Not only did it do a horrible job chopping, the crazy loud noise made my pup Ollie totally lose his mind. With a brand-spanking new food processor, the KitchenAid 7-Cup, you can easily whip up homemade granola, shred veggies and so much more, all super quietly (you’re welcome Ollie)!

Pots & Pans

Kitchen Upgrades

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Honestly, I’m still a little clueless as to how to properly use our new pots and pans, but I do know they are a huge improvement over the uneven, scratched and overused ones we had before. We attended a registry event at Williams-Sonoma and the guy leading it spoke so highly of the pots & pans that I immediately added them to our registry and was so thrilled when we got them. With older pots and pans of lesser quality, the surface becomes uneven, making your cooking uneven. Ok, that’s all I remember from the talk but we got the All-Clad Stainless set and it’s amazing.

Coffee Maker

Kitchen Upgrades

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If you’re a coffee addict (and who isn’t?), get yourself a serious coffee machine. Especially if you spend way too much money at Starbucks, you might as well invest in a better machine for home, in the end I’m sure you’ll save money. We opted for the Nespresso Evoluo, which does both regular coffee and espresso. No measuring required and a perfectly frothy cup of joe each time. Also no more fighting at night over who has to set up the coffee maker for the morning. And bonus, no messy coffee grinds to deal with. I’ve never been a huge Keurig fan and thought all pod coffees might be on a similar level, but Nespresso is the real deal.

For my engaged readers setting up a registry, I highly recommend upgrading all of these items. Now is the time to do it! Ya know, when someone else is trying to buy you gifts. If you need more registry tips, check out the events at Williams Sonoma and Crate and Barrel. Every so often they host special events where they let you into the store before it opens to learn about products and set up your registry. They also give you a free gift for attending and give you helpful advice to make your registry as powerful as possible (like whether to register for big sets or individual items–the answer is to do both by the way).

For those not setting up a registry, if any of these items are staples in your kitchen and aren’t up-to-speed, consider upgrading, it’s worth the money for the ease it will bring to your cooking.

What kitchen upgrades have had the best pay off for you? Share ’em below!

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