Do you ever read a recipe and it sounds great, but there is only one problem...you don't have the fancy tool required to make it? I have been there, and over time I have collected what I think are the essentials for the kitchen to make life a little easier. These are my go-to weekly tools that I use all the time, and I wanted to share them with you!
Most of my recipes will use several of these tools...some are basic, and some are appliances that I have found worth the money and that truly do create a few shortcuts in the kitchen! I want you to be able to cook along right with me, and these tools will help you out!
These are my top ten:
- Knives - (a good set), they are pricey but totally worth your money and my absolute favorite thing in my kitchen! I use Global knives and could not be happier!
- Salt Cellar- I pretty much only use Kosher Salt, it is better for you and adds more flavor to what you are cooking, I know this one seems simple, but I could not live without my salt cellar now that I have gotten used to it. It's so much easier to control the salt you add to your food when you are adding it with your fingers right from the salt cellar. You can find them at any kitchen store!
- Wooden Spoons - I pretty much only use wooden spoons, they don't scratch your nonstick pans and wash well and you will have them forever!
- Kitchen Shears - You have to have a good set of kitchen shears! You can literally butterfly a chicken (removing the back bone so it lays flat) with just the shears and I use them all the time!
- Food Processor - I have a mini Cuisinart and a full size Kitchen Aid. I use them both all the time, but the mini is so nice to have to whip up a pesto, chop some herbs, shred cheese...I could go on and on. The large one is nice because you can match larger batches of things. I make salsa, soups, doughs, etc. I think they are well worth the investment.
- Blender - You just need one. They are great for smoothies, soups, and sometimes can be used instead of a food processor if you only want to spring for one.
- Cast Iron Skillet - Everybody needs a good seasoned cast iron skillet. You can do all things from frying chicken, blackening fish, and even baking breads in the cast iron skillet and they only get better as time goes on. You will literally have this pan forever!
- Rice Cooker - I have told you all about this before, but seriously you will never want to make rice on the stove again! It's literally the best and so easy (equal parts rice, equal parts water or stock, turn on and walk away). I also make quinoa the same way and it comes out perfect every time. Just get one, you'll see!
- Immersion Blender - Canean finally bought me one for Christmas this year, and I love it! It's great because with a food processor or blender you have to be careful of hot liquids when you put the lid on a blend...it will explode everywhere (I have done it) and with the immersion blender you just place in the pot and blend away! It's amazing! Less cleanup..hello!
- Mortar and Pestle - You can smash herbs together, make guacamole, and even blend spices. My brother got me one a couple of years ago and I thought I would never use it, and I use it all the time!
Okay so those are my top ten, but here are a few extras that I actually use quite a bit, wouldn't call them essentials, but all definitely nice to have around!
- Ice Cream Maker
- Waffle Iron
- Panini Press
(all of these are Cuisinart)
You might be wondering what is still to buy on my list...for me, I want a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I haven't sprung for one yet, but am going to very soon!
I hope this gives you a place to start if sometimes you feel overwhelmed in this world of cooking and gadgets that are talked about on a regular basis. Like I said, you can usually make do without a few of them, but having them around cuts down on time, energy, and let's face it we could all use a little more time!
What tools do you use most in the kitchen?