Must-Have Kitchen Tools for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Medically reviewed by Brenda B. Spriggs, MD, MPH, FACP on December 9, 2016Written by Robin Madell on February 3, 2014

Help in the kitchen

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may experience painful joint swelling in your hands. This can make tasks like cooking difficult. However, certain tools can make tackling kitchen chores less daunting.

Keep reading to learn about some tools that may be helpful to you.

Safety first

RA can make your fingers feel stiff, swollen, or tender. Some people’s joints even shift or become deformed from the condition.

This can make slicing and dicing when preparing food hazardous. Use a slicer to cut bread and bagels safely without risking injury.

You can also find slicers to help you cut apples and other fruit.

Magnet magic

The last thing you want to do when your hands hurt is dig through a cluttered kitchen drawer to find what you need. Instead, try using magnetized equipment such as measuring spoons and cups.

Magnetic tools “nest” together for easy storage, and you can stick them to your metal oven or refrigerator so you know where to find them.

Ease of use utensils

Le Creuset kitchen utensils have unique wooden handles that are easy to grip while cooking and stirring.

There is an array of options, including:

  • spatulas
  • scrapers
  • spoons
  • basting brushes

Try whichever tool you use the most, or collect them all.

Portable pots and pans

Tramontina offers cookware sets made of porcelain enamel, with “helper handles” for easy use. The helper handles also make cleaning and serving easier.

Additionally, you’ll appreciate their easy-to-grip lids. The soft silicone grip on each lid provides more control when cooking.

Knuckle protection

RA may make performing kitchen tasks like grating difficult. A traditional grater can be hard to hold and control if you have joint pain.

Try using a cheese grater with a suction-cup base. The suction base helps to stabilize the tool on your counter. This helps prevent injuries such as scraped hands and knuckles, or strained wrists.

Easy open jars

What’s easy in the kitchen for most people can pose a major challenge for those with RA. Opening jars can strain hand and finger joints, causing pain and flare-ups.

Choose a mounted jar opener that’s designed to attach beneath an upper cabinet. This will allow you to open jars without straining or stressing your joints.

Cooking, simplified

RA presents many challenges in the kitchen, but planning ahead and thoughtfully choosing your cooking tools can help you avoid unnecessary pain and injury.

Talk to your doctor about what types of tools and utensils are best for your particular condition. With so many products available that make cooking and other household tasks easier, there’s no need to struggle in the kitchen.

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