Once upon a time I used to love to cook. This was before I got arthritis in my hands and before I suffered from CFS/ME and fibro. Add into the mix that I have food allergies to many things including gluten, I really need all the help I can get now to motivate myself into the kitchen. I’ve picked up some tips over the years that help and I’m going to share some of them with you here today. I sincerely hope that you find the answer to a problem that you might have so that you too can enjoy the kitchen more as well. So here we have disability hacks for the kitchen.
Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”
Use a traditional style chip pan to boil your potatoes and veg.
That way you don’t have to lift a heavy pan and risk burning yourself. Simply lift out the chip basket and drain the veg. Thank you to Linda who told me this years ago and saved me from many burns.
2. Use perching stool or breakfast bar for chores such as peeling vegetables.
This stool is very similar to mine. It has non-slip feet (very useful in kitchens) and padded seat that is washable. The legs look like they are adjustable, as with mine, although this doesn’t seem to be specified on the site. There are others through the link as well though to look at. The side handles are very helpful I find for getting me back up and standing. The other thing that I find my perching stool very good for is ironing. It takes the pressure off my lower back.
3. Oxo good grips brand utensils with their easy grip.
There is a whole range of Oxo good grips products and I love them. My kitchen is littered with them!
When I lost the use of my hands to psoriatic arthritis a few years ago my physical therapist recommended these to me and many commonly used ones are available in your local supermarket. This cutlery set is very useful as they have a good chunky and soft grip handle to them. They reduced the pain in my hands no end. They also made it into one of my daughter’s old cutlery holders from when she was a baby so that I could take them to restaurants with me. Their cutlery might be pretty but often it’s completely impractical for us spoonies. I was forever feeling embarrassed when either hubs or my young daughter were cutting up my food for me. No more!
4. Use a food processor and electric hand whisk.
For my birthday my parents bought me a food processor with a liquidizer attachment as well. I absolutely love it!! Since having my teeth out the liquidizer attachment has been so helpful. As I am gluten free (among others) I have to make everything from scratch and on my bad days I was finding that it was such hard work to cook a gluten free meal as I don’t have a palatable quick option, that I was regularly going without food. This food processor by Kenwood and made such a difference. I can make pastries and dough easily in the food processor and soups and drinks with the liquidizer. Every kitchen should have one. It’s easy to use and importantly easy to clean!
I also have a great electric hand whisk that I must have owned for about 10 years now. This is good for making batters and cake mixes. The liquidizer doesn’t much like the batters as they are a bit too thick so this electric whisk is the perfect solution. And the only bits that need washing are the whisk attachments. Bonus!
5. Cook an extra portion each meal and freeze it for a quick meal later on.
I do this as often as I can. I cook for three of us and it’s really no more effort to cook for four. In fact many meals are designed for a family of four anyway!
Most meals can be frozen, if not in its whole, but at least the annoying bits! I pop the extra portion and a lot of left overs into a freezer bag. Squish it flat so that it stacks in the freezer and it defrosts that much quicker. Bingo! My own homemade ready meals for my bad days.
6. Use rubber jar and bottle openers to save your hands.
I can’t remember where I got my jar and bottle openers from but here are the same kind as mine. They are much cheaper than the fancy looking plastic circular things that I find never work and just hurt my hands. The rubber kind that I use are softer and adapt to your own grip. Here they are.
7. Only fill the kettle as much as you need so you don’t have to lift a heavy kettle.
This one really is common sense but so many people are in the habit of over filling the kettle. My ex hubby used to drive me bonkers by filling the kettle to the top, even for one cup of tea. I would then struggle to lift a kettle that was heavy with BOILING water! It really can be unsafe.
The other thing to consider with your kettle is that if you only fill it with what you need you will be saving money on both water AND electricity. This is definitely the greener and safer option.
8. Ask someone to peel your veg and chop it for you, then put it in a freezer bag and freeze it for a later date.
I love to stock up on our veggies at our local market. The food is both fresher and cheaper than the supermarket. We tend to go about once a month.
When we get back we then have a peel-a-thon. All the root veggies (except potatoes that need to be par-boiled) are peeled, chopped and popped in the freezer. Most things can be frozen so make life easier for yourself and ask your spouse, children, friends to help out by peeling some veg for you occasionally.
9. Use an electric tin opener.
I really love my electric tin opener. I use the One touch by Culinaire. The traditional kind of tin opener really hurts my hands and I often can’t use them. Until recently Meg was too young to open tins for me so once again this was a gift from my parents who had witnessed the mess I got into once. Have I said that I have really thoughtful parents. I get extremely useful, if not unusual, gifts from them.
Anyway here is the electric tin opener that I use. They seem to be lower in price now but I don’t know how long for.
10. Use a slow cooker to prepare meals in advance.
Now I’m new to the world of slow cookers but I think I might be a convert. I find that my best time of day is mid to late morning once I’ve got myself going but while I still have enough spoons left to achieve something. This means that often by the time evening meal comes around I’m done in and have crashed for the day and poor hubs comes home to find that he’s on dinner duty. He rarely complains bless him.
With a slow cooker I can prepare everything in the morning while I’m still mobile, pop it on the relevant setting and walk away. All I need to worry about later on then is seasoning it to taste and serving up! Again, a win!
This is the exact same slow cooker that I have by Crockpot. And yes, I have it in thyme green as it matches my kitchen. That was a happy bonus. It’s also available in other colours including bright orange if that’s your colour. 🙂 We have had many meals from this and I really can’t fault it. This size is great for a family of 4 and it is really easy to clean. I just pop the removeable insert into the dishwasher. I also like that I can see through the lid to whet my appetite!
I do hope that you have found some useful tips here for the kitchen. I really do understand how daunting cooking can be when you have a chronic illness and these are some tips that I’ve picked up over the years.
Please note as well that unless I’ve said otherwise I own all of these items, or they are the closest model of the make that I own. I am happy with all of them or I wouldn’t recommend them to you. There are plenty of choices these days so I hope that this gives you a good starting place for finding the solutions that you need.
What else can I say except, bon appetite!