Adaptive Kitchen Tools are key in helping keep the kitchen accessible when you are living with a disability. Maintaining the ability to cook has been an important part of Dre maintaining his independence, confidence, and mental wellness while living with multiple sclerosis.
He loves cooking, but challenges from his chronic illness include neuropathy, limited mobility, limited grip strength, fatigue, and balance issues, which can all impact him in the kitchen. Finding the right equipment to cook with is a key factor in creating and accessible kitchen and keeping him cooking.
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Our Favorite Tools for An Accessible Kitchen
What we have learned about adaptive kitchen tools is that they don’t always have to be a tool specifically designed for disability, but it does need to be a tool that allows access to cooking. This post highlights the functionality of five of Dre’s favorite kitchen tools and how they adapt our kitchen to Dre’s needs and keep his love of cooking accessible.
Check out the Recipe for Dre’s Southern Style Jambalaya from the video!
LHS Vegetable Chopper
The LHS Vegetable Chopper has become one of Dre’s go to tools for an accessible kitchen. Whether he’s chopping veggies for a quick side coleslaw are making a full meal like the Jambalaya he’s doing in the video, the vegetable slicer is incredibly handy. With his neuropathy and limited grip strength and hand coordination, Dre has found the vegetable chopper to be a huge asset in chopping vegetables.
He has found the chopper equipped with the five blades to be perfect for his needs. There are two different chopping blades for a smaller or larger cut on vegetables. It also includes two different blade sizes to allow for grating either finer or thicker vegetables or cheese. Finally, it includes a slicing blade that allows for nice, even slices for vegetables or a harder cheese.
The kit includes a cleaning tool which gets into the crevices of the lid. It is dishwasher friendly, so after a quick rinse and scraping out the lid, can be run through the dishwasher for final cleaning.
The LHS Vegetable Chopper also has minimal parts to put together and is self contained for storing, which is great with Dre’s hand mobility. Being self contained also saves lots of energy in not having to search for all of the parts!
If you’re interested in additional tools, LHS also offers a kit with eight blades, which includes three different peeling options. The kit itself is the same as the five piece set we use, and also includes two different sized peelers and a julienne blade.
Blades Allow Flexibility To Easily Cut, Slice, Dice, & Chop For Minimum Time.
The Manual Food Chopper Offers An Effective Hand Protector For Protecting Your Fingers From Accidental Nicks.
Zyliss Electric Can Opener
The Zyliss Electric Can Opener is another must have for an accessible kitchen. Compact and simple, this can opener is pretty much a must for Dre’s neuropathy. The gadget is as simple is it gets, and without it, well, cooking would be a challenge. Easily fitting in your palm, the can opener attaches to the to of a can with a magnet. With a touch of the button, the opener latches onto the can, cuts off the top, then stops with another touch of the button.
The opener requires two AA batteries, which are not included. Depending on ability challenges you may have, you may need to have someone assist you with the changing of the batteries, but we have found that it lasts for a pretty long time without needing a battery change.
One touch design to automatically open cans in seconds.
Zero sharp edges
All sized cans including pop-top are suitable for this can opener
Ninja Never Stick Fry Pan
You might be wondering why the Ninja Never Stick Fry Pan has made it onto our list of must haves for accessible cooking. This 10 1/4 inch pan, and actually the whole Ninja Cookware Set are absolute favorites of Dre, disability or not. If you’re looking to pan sear, pan fry, cook large or small dishes, this set simply can’t be beat. Heating evenly throughout, the pan does not over or undercook and when you’re looking for consistency, this is simply the pan to cook with.
From a disability standpoint, this is an incredibly easy pan to cook and clean with. It’s light enough to easily move around the kitchen, and the aluminum composition gives that consistent cooking we all desire.
On top of that, the Ninja nonstick cookware, is incredibly easy to clean. The coating on the pan releases the food easily, which saves from the burning and scraping that you often get with other cookware. In addition to maintaining the flavor of the food, this allows for a quick and easy clean up, including being dishwasher safe. If you suffer from fatigue that accompanies many chronic illnesses, you understand the need to save every ounce of energy possible. The ease of cleaning this cookware saves a lot of that energy for other tasks!
The pan is developed for a maximum temperature of 30,000 degrees farenheit, and can be placed in the oven up to 500 degrees, so it can stand the heat. It sears, sautees, bakes, honestly can’t say enough great about the versatility and ease of this pan and cookware set, so yes, this is a must, at least our accessible kitchen.
NeverStick Technology ensures the extremely durable, textured Ninja exclusive nonstick coating is metal-utensil safe and enables excellent food release day after day without sticking.
Ninja Foodi NeverStick Premium Cookware will NEVER stick, chip, or flake.
Win-Ware Anti-Slip Mat
Slicing and dicing can be challenging enough with two fully functional hands, but when your hands don’t have full functionality, keeping a cutting board from moving can be impossible. For an accessible kitchen this Win-Ware Anti-Slip Mat is a life-saver when he has to use the cutting board.
Coming in a 30X150cm roll, Dre cut off a block long enough to line the length of the cutting board. Simple and quick, the mat is placed on the counter underneath the cutting board and holds the board in place while Dre cuts. That’s it. Easy as that! I know, it seems like it should be harder.
The mat is also great for placing under bowls when stirring or for lining trays or tables so utensils don’t move around when eating. It is non-porous and doesn’t absorb liquids, so it’s very easy to rinse off, clean, and dry when finished using. It also rolls or folds and is easy to store.
Non-porous and non absorbent.
Size: 30 x 150cm roll.
Essential for safety in the Kitchen
Make food prep easier
Make cuting your food safer
Duxtop Induction Burner
The Duxtop Induction Burner might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a staple for an accessible kitchen, but this burner is in almost daily use in our house. The reason is simple – access and ease. Our kitchen is set up with the stove on the opposite side of the island from the sink, which creates a lot of movement and a barrier between these two crucial aspects of cooking.
Multiple Sclerosis causes challenges with both Dre’s grip strength and his mobility, which makes walking around the kitchen with hot pans sometimes full of water a huge challenge and potential safety risk. This hot plate can be set up anywhere in the kitchen and moves his cooking spot to the most convenient place he needs it.
He can place the induction burner right next to the sink if he wants to easily drain a pan or place it on the island if he wants to quickly move chopped vegetables or meats from the cutting board to the pan.
The induction burner also keeps an incredibly consistent temperature. With a simple push of a button, it quickly heats up and cools down, cooking your dish at a nice, even temp. Cleaning it is also simple, just a quick wipe down on the flat surface once it’s cooled, and it’s ready to stow!
Food does not burn-on the glass cooktop so this induction burner is easy to clean—just wipe with a damp towel.
Lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage.
We hope you find these tools as effective and useful as we do. Please feel free to drop a comment and let us know what you think or if there are other products you find assist you in the kitchen. If you are interested in receiving our most updated recipes and accessible tips, please join our mailing list and like and follow us on YouTube!
We look forward to seeing you in the DreAmy Kitchen!
Please visit our Resources page if you are interested in finding some of the tools and gadgets Dre uses to make cooking accessible