When it comes to food preparation, there are certain kitchen tools and appliances that you can’t go without. Cooking is a large part of everyday life and not just because everyone has to eat – it’s a great way to bond with friends and family, explore different cuisines, and learn about cultures. However, without the proper equipment, you’ll find yourself limited to just some basic meals that don’t take full advantage of the endless culinary possibilities you have at your fingertips. With that in mind, here are some kitchen tools and appliances that are a must-have.
1. Blender/Food Processor
Blenders and food processors have some similar functions, but they are far from being interchangeable. A blender is great for pureeing things as well as crushing ice, while a food processor really steals the show when it comes to slicing, grating, shredding, and dicing. Since kitchen workspace is always limited, no matter how large the room actually is, you might think that you need to choose between the two, but there’s really no need for that. Saving on the worktop surface is just one of the advantages of using a food processor blender combo – it can also offer so much versatility when preparing meals. The amount of time these machines can save means that you can prepare more complex meals even during the week since it really takes all the hassle out of meal prepping.
2. Electric Hand Mixer
An electric hand mixer is a classic for a reason. You might be thinking about whether you should get a handheld mixer or a stand mixer, but unless you bake a lot, a hand mixer is really all you need. It can be used to whip up all sorts of batches of dough, delicious meringues, or to create a beautiful fluffy omelet. It can pretty much be used for anything that needs mixing and it doesn’t take up much space at all. It can save you a lot of time when preparing various dishes – cakes included, and it’s a pretty affordable appliance. While it might not look as professional as a stand mixer, it is definitely more than enough for most people.
3. Good Knives
Perhaps the single most important thing in any kitchen – a good knife. Having a high-quality chef’s knife means that you can chop up anything with ease, and it won’t cost you a fortune. That said, the “you get what you pay for” saying definitely applies here – cheaper knives might look pretty at first glance but they just don’t go well together. Besides that one, other knives that are a must-have include a bread knife, paring knife, and carving set. You want your knife to have a good balance, a comfortable handle, but most importantly – you want it to be sharp. Even though it might not seem intuitive, dull knives pose much more of a safety hazard than really sharp ones. A sharp knife gives you better control over what you are cutting which means that you’re far less likely to cut yourself while chopping something. Even if you do knick yourself, if the knife is sharp, the cut will be clean which will make it heal faster and easier. In other words – it’s a good idea to buy a knife sharpener as well and to use it every time you cook.
4. Cast-Iron Skillet
No matter how much press it gets, a cast-iron skillet can hardly be overestimated. If you’ve never cooked with a cast-iron skillet before, you’ll quickly find that there are plenty of benefits to using it. It has a natural non-stick surface to prepare any type of meal you can think of, from a quick stir-fry or seared fish to a crispy pizza. It’s oven-safe which means that it does not require much maintenance and can last virtually forever if given proper care. There are a lot of models out there, and the three key features you want to look for are a flat bottom, a long handle, and a helper handle. The flat bottom is crucial since it provides the best heating, while a long handle ensures that you can hold it safely even when cooking on high heat. Cast iron is heavy which means that it works for your benefit in this case – you get more even heating since the weight distributes evenly throughout the pan. The other crucial feature of cast-iron cookware is that it requires no special care or maintenance – just give it a good wash using soap and water, dry it, and you’re done. A cast-iron skillet is definitely an appliance that everyone should have in their kitchen – not only will you find a variety of uses for it, but if taken care of properly it can last a lifetime.
5. Food Thermometer
Say goodbye to dry, overcooked, or undercooked meat because if you have an instant-read thermometer, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to take the meat out of the oven. Although there are many tools that can be used for this purpose, a classic food thermometer is still one of the best options – not only does it allow you to check the internal temperature of the meat without cutting into it, but it also requires very little maintenance. Of course, it’s incredibly helpful when preparing other things as well, such as cakes, tempered chocolate, or even frying oil. It ensures that whatever you are cooking gets done at the right time which is especially helpful if you’re trying to multitask, or preparing a large meal when you have company coming over.
6. Kitchen Scale
While there’s something to be said about measuring cups and spoons, you can’t really beat a kitchen scale. Not only does it quickly measure out your ingredients, but it’s much more precise than other measuring tools out there. If you’re preparing several dishes and want to make sure that they all come out perfectly each time, then a kitchen scale is definitely the way to go. There are a lot of different models out there, but you want to look for one that has lots of options when it comes to the measuring units it can work in, can measure both liquids and solids, has a large platform to make sure you don’t accidentally shift the ingredients as you set them on top of it, and that can provide measurements within a fairly small margin of error. You can find complete kitchen essentials list, which you will need and use on regular basis.
With all of the kitchen appliances and tools out there, it can be hard to keep track of them all. However, in your quest for becoming a better cook and chef, it’s important that you don’t skimp on safety and accuracy. While it might seem like buying these items could add up to a large investment, when you consider how long they can last, you’ll find that you save a lot of money in the long run. Plus, when you have everything you need to prepare perfect meals every time, it only makes the cooking experience more enjoyable and relaxing.