Kitchen gadgets are my kryptonite. I love trying out new gizmos. Set me free in a cooking store and it is guaranteed that my credit card gets a workout. I am a glutton for these shiny pretty beauties. Unfortunately, many of these tools find their way to my kitchen only to be tossed into a storage container which houses the items I rarely use, but can’t bring myself to throw out. They are still important culinary purchases, but they didn’t make it into the must-have-on-hand-at-all-times category.
Over the past ten years or so as cooking made its way to the forefront of my life, I have created a kit of tools that I must always have near me. Many times they actually find their way into my suitcase when travelling. If you have taken a cooking class with me, you have probably heard me speak highly of a few of these tools. But I would like to share with you my top ten must have kitchen tools.
I cannot remember when I purchased my bench scraper. What I can remember is how drastically my life in the kitchen improved. This tool is utilized constantly in my kitchen whether I am making pasta, frosting a cake, or cutting up vegetables; it does it all. My secret use, cleaning the counter as it can get underneath all the bits of food that have decided to stick to my counter. It truly assists in all aspects of kitchen life.
The microplane is misnamed. There is nothing micro about this giant. I definitely purchased this way later than I should have. Why I couldn’t bare the thought of spending $10 on this kitchen necessity still blows my mind. I guess I must let go. But it is hard to as I have come to develop a deep, deep, deep appreciation for this tool. However, it is not too late for you. Whether you use this with cheese, lemon zest, garlic or chocolate, the microplane macromizes your kitchen capabilities.
I remember having a cast iron skillet in the house growing up, however I never really understood why a very heavy, odd looking vessel was necessary for anything other than cooking bacon. As I grew into cooking, I quickly realized what a necessity it was. I adore mine. In fact, I almost cried when my roommate put it into the dish washer. True story.
I always thought this was a fancy, pretentious tool. That is until I received one as a Christmas gift. Seriously a home cook’s best friend. Whether I am making a soup, sauce, or aioli, the immersion blender gives me ultimate control. I find that the clean-up is way easier than a conventional blender. Most importantly, there is no waste. You don’t need to awkwardly try to scrape down the sides of the blender into your pan or bowl. Not fancy. Not pretentious. I was wrong. I admit it.
Easily the cheapest item in my kitchen and most utilized. Rubber spatulas are as versatile as they are sturdy. Even the cheep ones. Whether mixing, or stirring, slathering or sculpting, these spatulas come in a variety of different shapes and sizes that stand up to a multitude of cooking and baking tasks. You can never have too many!
My guilty pleasure, I know. This is not a kitchen treasure many people need, or want. However, as a self-proclaimed Pastafarian through and through, this is a must in my kitchen. I make a lot of fresh pasta. From my experience, the wooden surface is far superior to marble or quartz counter top. The interaction between the dough and the wood, and the temperature, are both stabilized. I love it. I just love it.
Mise en place-Mise en place-Mise en place. Enough said. Oh, and the little ones are so cute!
So cheap, but so durable, and rustic looking. These cork trivets stand up to high heat and stay securely on the surface on which they are placed. A random purchase that I am grateful for daily.
More flexible than a spatula used for flipping food, the fish spatula is bendy yet reliable. It can sneak its way under a delicate fish without piercing the flesh. Its length is hand for longer fillets. It’s not just for fish! This spatula can be utilized on many foods. It is also handy to have in the car during a snow storm. Works great as a ice scraper in a pinch. So I was told.
Simply put, the ladle is an under-utlized kitchen accessory. I honestly thought it was solely for soups. But it’s not. I mean, yes, soups and sauces are its main focus, however it can be used as a measuring spoon, pasta twirler, and arancini maker. The ladle encourages you to think outside the soup terrains. What might you use it for?