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Most of us aren’t natural-born chefs, and if we are skilled in the kitchen it’s likely because of many failures (and successes!) over the years.
Having the right tools in your kitchen can improve your experience cooking dramatically, and sometimes you don’t realize it until you get the right tools. As someone who hates clutter and washing dishes, I only buy kitchen items that will enhance my cooking process.
The right tools are entirely subjective and specific to you. This often depends on how much time you spend in the kitchen and what you spend your time on. For some, this can be something that slices vegetables quickly because they absolutely hate cutting vegetables. For others, it could be an Italian-made pasta arm to take pasta nights to a new level.
In the months of quarantine, we were all but forced into the kitchen as our favorite takeout places closed one by one and the island went on lockdown. I decided to use the time to sharpen my cooking skills and cultivate a space where I felt comfortable and in control. Surprisingly, cooking became so much easier when I used the right tools.
Why Should You Invest In Your Kitchen?
When you invest in your kitchen, you invest in yourself. There are many kitchen items that are worth a big investment, like knives and standing mixers, but you can also invest with smaller items. By investing in smaller items, you can focus on the meal at hand without worrying about a difficult part of the process.
What Kitchen Tools Should You Consider?
As mentioned before, this list is not a comprehensive collection of small items you need in your kitchen. What you choose to invest in should reflect where you spend your time, or resolve a particular pain point you have while cooking.
Where is the Best Place to Start Investing?
Begin by investing where you spend most of your time cooking. If you love chicken nuggets, you may want to invest in a toaster oven to get them crispy in less time than it takes to heat the conventional oven. Maybe you make a lot of homemade soups, so a vegetable slicer could make your life a lot easier.
If you’re still unsure, asking yourself the following questions will help direct your search:
- What do I cook most often, and is there a way to simplify this?
- What frustrates me most while I’m cooking?
- Are there kitchen tools that can improve this?
- If so, is it worth it to me to spend money on this thing?
- What items would I be excited to use in the kitchen?
Listed below are some of the most useful items that I decided to incorporate in my kitchen. These items take up precious space, but after looking at my lifestyle and where I spend my time in the kitchen they are all so worth it.
My Go-To Items
- Basting Brushes: We use these when making cinnamon rolls, or for spreading olive oil and herbs on frozen pizza crusts for extra flavor.
- Thermometer: to make sure your food is done with certainty.
- Tofu Press: far easier and cleaner than stacking books to press your tofu!
- Measuring Glass: measure anything and everything with this glass. It even has an area specifically for measuring alcohol. So handy!
- Knife Sharpener: You can purchase these very inexpensively, and keep your knives as sharp as the day you got them.
- Nice Measuring Cups & Spoons: stainless steal is not much more expensive than plastic and is less likely to break.
- Juicer: I hate squeezing lemons and limes, and this tool makes it a whole lot easier. No seeds, just juice, and you can make sure you get all of it!
- Scale: for the recipes that call for weights, or for portion control.
- Mesh Strainer: Perfect for straining small grains, sifting, or ricing potatoes.
- Coffee Grinder: fresh-ground coffee just hits different! Such a nice addition after I switched to French press coffee.
- Rolling Pin: save your glasses and get a rolling pin. Great for pie crusts, baking, and breads.
- Glass Mixing Bowls: These bowls conveniently stack . Use them as a double boiler over a pot to melt chocolate, or even sort ingredients.
- Fry Cutter: Makes your fries (or carrot sticks) the perfect size and saves so much time. If you like sweet potato fries, check that the fry cutter is strong enough for them.
- Hand Mixer: Great for blending soups in the pot and whisking (comes with multiple attachments).
- Vitamix Blender: The priciest item on the list, but if you make smoothies with any regularity it’s worth the investment.
While cooking may not be everyone’s favorite activity, having the right tools in the kitchen can certainly change the cooking experience for the better. What items are in your kitchen that you can’t live without?
Already have what you need in the kitchen? Try some of these tasty fall recipes: