15 Ingenious Kitchen Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

From an indestructible Swedish stand mixer to the scissors chefs swear by, each item here is a best-kept secret that makes cooking exponentially more pleasurable and efficient.

Cuckoo 6-Cup IH Twin Pressure Rice Cooker

For an appliance to claim countertop space as well as its own electrical outlet, it must not only earn its keep; it needs to look handsome doing it. The matte-white 6-Cup IH Twin Pressure Rice Cooker from Korean company Cuckoo offers good looks and personality too. 
It talks, with a Dora the Explorer chirpiness that just manages to stay endearing. It also literally chirps when a cooking task is done and, when cooking under pressure, makes locomotive sounds right before it releases a dramatic gush of steam. 
Theatrics aside, it handles the workaday task of rice cooking with versatility and quiet competence, offering a suite of settings for making the world’s most popular grain more speedily, say, or sticky, or perfectly fluffy. More than a mere rice cooker, it excels at cooking multiple grains or beans and rice together. It’s also a whiz at making GABA rice, which is brown rice soaked in warm water until it germinates and releases gamma-aminobutyric acid, said to lower anxiety and blood pressure, among other benefits. There is even a setting for nurungji, or scorched rice, in which the bottom layer is intentionally browned and crisped, and the nonstick pot makes removal and cleanup easy. 
This model also has settings for preparing baby food and porridge (both thick and thin), as well as slow cooking a variety of other foods. A large dial on the lid controls whether you’re cooking under pressure or not, while induction heating facilitates precise temperature control and even distribution, essential for delicate tasks such as the aforementioned rice germination or holding cooked food at an optimal temperature until you’re ready to eat it. 
Curiously, some sections of the manual were left largely untranslated to English. But that’s a problem easily solved with your smartphone’s translation app, and you’ll definitely want to: An appliance with this many functions demands to be put through its paces. Turbo-scorched rice, anyone? 
CuckooAmerica.com — Matthew Kronsberg