Inspector Gadget knew the importance of keeping his essential gizmos handy. It made his job easier and a successful outcome more feasible.
Likewise, cooking and baking are a lot more enjoyable if you have the appropriate equipment. And, if you’re enjoying the task, you’re more likely to have favorable results.
I know this from personal experience. Despite loving fresh garden salads, I used to dread washing the greens. Patting them dry with paper towels never worked well.
Using a salad spinner for the first time was life-altering (okay, so I’m a cheap date.) But, you can probably recall a time when having the right tool made a huge difference and feeling amazed (and a little dense) for not knowing better!
Below are nine gadgets that all well-equipped kitchens should have. Regardless of the menu, these items will make any cooking or baking task more efficient and pleasurable:
Cook’s Knife (8 inch) – With several high-quality brands to choose from, this size is equally useful for precision dicing and heavy-duty chopping.
Tongs (9 inch) – Two important features to look for are: locking for easier storage and nylon heads that won’t scratch cookware.
Mandoline – These are great for thin slicing, crinkle & waffle cutting. Be sure to get: stainless steel blades, smart handles designed to protect fingers, and non-skid feet.
Knife sharpener – Contrary to popular belief a sharp knife is safer than one that is dull. The newer models use two diamond cutters, which produce a correctly beveled edge.
Salad Spinners – The push button type offers forceful spinning, but hand-operated is also available. Some have a brake that allows for quick stopping to check results.
Immersion Blenders – A great kitchen helper that purees the soup right in the pot, mixes small batches easily in the bowl and thickens/emulsifies sauces on the stovetop. Not to mention they’re simple to store, clean and are dishwasher-safe.
Stand Mixers – These gems offer more power and hands-free baking with less mess. Some models come with additional attachments that make this a versatile, must-have piece of equipment for serious bakers.
Slow Cookers – There are several advantages to owning one of these: one step food preparation; they’re great year-round & won’t heat up the kitchen in the hot summer months; the long, low temp cooking helps tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat; keeps food moist and brings out the flavor and uses less electricity than ovens. Choosing one that is programmable with a dishwasher-safe bowl is an added bonus.
Silicone Baking Sheets – Keep your kitchen environmentally friendly instead of using parchment paper (which isn’t recyclable.) They resist extreme temps & heat transfer and are great for kneading & rolling dough. Cleanup is quick & easy, too!