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Innovation in the Kitchen

Created February 26, 2021
Mom and daughter in the kitchen rolling out dough on the counter
We have women to thank for many popular kitchen inventions and innovations—from the dishwasher to coffee filters! Read on for a few of our favorites.

The Modern Electric Fridge

Before modern refrigerators, iceboxes were a common kitchen fixture. An icebox is simply a non-mechanical cabinet with a compartment for ice that keeps food relatively cool. Then Florence Parpart invented the electric refrigerator in 1914, enabling people to store food safely for longer. Hello, leftovers!

The Stir Fry Pan

Joyce Chen was a popular chef and restaurant owner in America who noticed that woks didn't fit properly on American stovetops. She saw room for improvement and developed a wok with a flat bottom to accommodate stir fry cooking on an American stove. This became the modern stir fry pan! Maybe it's time to dust yours of for a fresh stir fry dinner?

The Toaster

Where would breakfast be without toast? We have Sarah Guppy to thank for this innovation, as she invented the predecessor of today’s toaster—a small electrical plate that kept bread warm. If you’ve forgotten how versatile toast is, try some new toppings.

The Ice Cream Maker

Nancy Johnson invented the first hand-cranked ice cream freezer in 1843. Before her invention, the process of making ice cream was so laborious, it was expensive and not available to most people. Thanks to her, ice cream became the popular treat it is today. Honor her tasty invention with any of these must-make ice cream desserts.

The Dishwasher

We love anything that makes baking easier, and the dishwasher certainly helps with cleanup! This heavenly kitchen upgrade was invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1887. You can make cleanup even easier with your dishwasher and these one-pot recipes!

The Paper Coffee Filter

Looking for an easy way to remove the bitter taste in coffee after boiling loose coffee grounds, Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz invented the first paper coffee filter in 1908. Try making these coffee shop-inspired treats with your next homebrew.