By Shelley Wolson

'Tis the season for entertaining, which can mean endless days of grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking. To pull off special occasions without a hitch, it's critical to be armed with the right kitchen tools to make food prep and serving easier.

These five efficient gadgets and small appliances will help you breeze through each gathering and deliver memorable meals, while also giving you precious time to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. Best of all, you can use all of these all year round, not just for party prep.

1. De'Longhi Electric Food and Cheese Grater

Skip the pre-shredded cheese in the dairy case and do all your grating in advance. Purchase a block, shred it all and store it in the fridge for whenever you need it. Also, buying shredded cheese is more expensive than buying a large chunk, so using this grater will save you time and money. The grater is also rechargeable without wires or batteries -- another big plus.

Available at DeLonghi Food and Cheese Grater

2. Chef's Choice White 2-Stage Electric Knife Sharpener

Does it take you forever to mince garlic? Does it seem like you spend more time chopping veggies than cooking? If so, your knives are probably too dull. That's where this tool comes in handy. Use it on all your cutlery (gourmet, boning, chef's, carving, serrated knives, etc.) to restore their razor-like edge. Sharpen them all before you get started, and your prep work will go much faster, and you'll complete every course much sooner.

Available at Chef's Choice White 2-Stage Electric Knife Sharpener

3. Taylor Digital Folding Probe Thermometer

Get ready to serve the juiciest birds and mouthwatering meats you've been dreaming of and impress all your guests with your cooking prowess. This thermometer's preset meat temperature gauge ensures meat cooks precisely the way you like it, whether it's rare or well done. It beeps and flashes when it reaches the target temperature so there's no guesswork involved. Bonus: Its quick and accurate read also works on food you're grilling too.

Available at Taylor Digital Folding Probe Thermometer

4. Waring WC400 Professional Wine Center

No more struggling to open bottles of wine in front of your friends and family. This bottle opener has a rubberized handset, which makes it easy to hold, a convenient foil cutter for tops of wine bottles, and a battery pack for its rechargeable base unit. You'll look like a sommelier as you effortlessly remove every cork this holiday season.

Available at Waring WC400 Professional Wine Center

5. Wolfgang Puck WP2MILLS Electric Salt-and-Pepper Mill Set

What could be cheerier for the holidays than these peppy ceramic grinders? Their adjustable grinding settings let you season to taste with a push of a button -- no more slow cranking with uncontrollable results. Use any variety of peppercorns, sea salts and spices. The lighted base on the mills illuminates food while in use, and its sleek design adds a splash of color to your kitchen.

Available at Wolfgang Puck WP2MILLS Electric Salt-and-Pepper Mill Set

So this holiday season, give yourself the gift of time with these advanced kitchen appliances and gadgets. They'll help you get dinner on the table faster every time.






Home & Garden - Kitchen Gadgets for Faster Holiday Meals