In a sea of kitchen tools, these eight are the ones I use regularly and find to be the most useful in the kitchen.
Walk into Williams-Sonoma and you’ll see a wall of kitchen tools and utensils. Avocado slicers, garlic mincers, and even an herb stripper?! If I bought every specific kitchen gadget for every need imaginable, I wouldn’t have any more room in my kitchen. With each of these examples I could use two items to get the job done: a knife for slicing and mincing, and my hands for herb stripping. Problem solved.
While I get a good eye roll from the insane amount of kitchen gadgets out there, I am a firm believer in having the essentials (or what I believe to be the essentials). My main goal in the kitchen is to create something with mouthwatering flavor. I want to ‘wow’ my readers, my guests, my boyfriend…basically whoever is eating it. Beyond that, however, my kitchen goals include easy clean-up, and getting in and out. Unless I’m engaging in a stress-relieving cooking situation, during which I do whatever my heart tells me and I take things slow, I ordinarily am in a hurry.
I like to keep inventory of kitchen items that create a balance between making my life easier and adding more clean-up to my routine. I am well aware that kitchen tools add clean-up, but if it’s going to make my life easier while cooking, I accept that and just deal with it.
For some guidance on essentials for prep, check out this helpful article from The Kitchn. Beyond prep fundamentals, today I’m going to share with you the kitchen gadgets or tools that I use on a regular basis. My ride-or-dies, if you will.
8 Kitchen Tools I Use Regularly
My Chef’s knife is bae. There, I said it. I hate calling thing’s/people/anything bae, but this felt right. I use this knife to mince garlic, chop herbs, vegetables, meat, and so much more. I try to sharpen it regularly and keep it functioning properly. I have not invested in a super high-quality, super expensive chef’s knife (yet), but the one I have does just fine. One day, though, I plan on upgrading. Other knives you will find to be essential are the paring knife and the bread knife.
The food processor is like the mortar and pestle of the future. I use my food processor to make things like pesto, nut butter, chimichurri, smoothies, shredding cheese and vegetables, hummus, oat flour, sauces, dressings, the list goes on. When I was in college, I used the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Processor which was wonderful at the time. I still have that processor, but have since upgraded to Big Bertha, which you might also call the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor. Whatever floats your boat (I like Big Bertha). This thing is life-changing and you can do ALL OF THE THINGS ALL THE TIME with it. I’m really unsure of how I lived my life before it. Oh yeah, I wasn’t cooking. So basically, I don’t know life without a food processor.
This basic item is anything but basic because it’s so ridiculously versatile. I mean, what can’t you do with a long, flat piece of steel? Seriously, folks, I use baking sheets, I’m not kidding, probably everyday of my life. Is that weird? Whatever, at least I’m eating well (maybe too many cookies…). I bake scones, cookies, biscotti, vegetables, fish, chicken, basically anything and everything on a baking sheet. Major ride-or-die here.
Hello my name is Christina and I’m a clumsy chef. Not a recipe goes by that I don’t make a mess of something. I have a decently large collection of aprons including one that I bought at a side market in Cefalu, Sicily, and one of my favorites, my Kitchen Apron. I love this apron because it’s super sturdy and holds up to my crazy mess, plus it’s super cute! You can tell each one is crafted with care, and I’m so grateful to know Beth, the creator of the Kitchen Apron, from college. She is on track to become a registered dietitian, check her out at The Spice Girl!
If you’ve been following TBB for a little while, you know I love me some donuts… Exhibit A. Oh, and if you purchased my eCookbook, you know I love me some muffins. Because I am such a regular baker of donuts and muffins, each of these pans are a must in my kitchen. I can honestly say I’m not sure what I did without owning a donut pan. Not having the option to bake donuts whenever I want? Preposterous.
Cast Iron Skillet
I love using a cast iron skillet because it brings out flavors so much more than regular, non-stick skillets. Another one of my favorite attributes of these is the fact that you can put them in the oven. This makes it so much easier to, for example, finish cooking chicken through. Oh, and you can easily make skillet cookies. Something you need in your life.
Funny story… we ordered my mom a Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer for her birthday one year from Macy’s online. When the mixer arrived to the house, it came with a partner. Yeah, Macy’s accidentally sent us two.
When my sister went to return it to Macy’s, they were so thankful for her honesty that they gave her a full refund for the original mixer. So, basically, we got my mom a mixer for free. Moral of the story: honesty is the best policy! But really, I ended up using this thing more than her (and she knows it). It makes baking so much quicker and easier, and many times I wonder how I would make certain recipes without it!
In fact, the mixer was used in accordance with the next tool…
I absolutely love the Baking Steel for making pizza. Its as simple as this: place your pizza on a baking steel, place in the oven, and the pizza takes FIVE MINUTES to bake. I use it every time I make pizza and it makes it so much easier. I mean, who the heck wants to wait for pizza? To see how to make pizza at home, head to this post.
I’d love to hear from you! What are the kitchen tools you simply cannot live without?
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