Today I’d like to share my favorite kitchen tools!
I know this might seem silly, but I think that having the right tools in the kitchen makes a difference in your mood when cooking. By mood, I mean that I used to get so grumpy every time a recipe says “zest of a lemon” because I hated using my large cheese grater to zest a tiny lemon. While it does essentially the same job, switching to a microplane changed my life. Before I start rambling, my point is that having the right tools in your kitchen can make a difference in the ease of cooking. I use these items almost every single time I cook/bake. When I’m working in someone else’s kitchen, I feel like one of my arms are cut off if I don’t have these on hand. In no particular order, here are my favorite kitchen friends:
Microplane, $12.95, Amazon:
This little guy surprised me. I didn’t know I needed him in my life until he came along. Now I don’t know what I’d do without him. Really, the biggest difference between a regular grater and a microplane is that microplanes shave much more finely and have better consistency than a grater. As I mentioned above, this guy save my citrus-zesting game. When I first used this, it increased the flavor & efficiency in my cooking. While I mostly use it for lemon/lime zest, I also use this for: hard cheeses (Parmesan), fresh ginger, fresh nutmeg (when I make apple pie!), and garlic. It can also be used for other things like chocolate shavings, coconut shavings, etc.
OXO 2oz Mini Angled Measuring Cup, $4.99, Bed Bath & Beyond
Alright, this measuring cup is the unicorn of all measuring cups. This exact one is hard to find (I found mine at my local liquor store. I own 3 of these). Yes, it’s only 2oz (1/4 cup). Yes, it looks like a normal measuring cup, but it’s not! It measures tablespoons on one side, ounces on the other, and mL on one side too. The calibrations are printed on the cup’s sides (as usual) AND it’s printed inside the cup that’s angled so it can be read from above. It means that you don’t have to bend down or hold it up to determine how much liquid it contains. (It’s the little things, guys). I love this because it measures small volumes of liquid very accurately since most 1-cup measuring cups won’t give you the markings for less than 1/4 cup. While this is plastic, it’s very durable. I hand wash it for the most part, but I run it through the dishwasher anytime I use it for oily liquids. This is definitely my most-used kitchen tool.
KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper, $39.99, Target
I honestly don’t know what my life was like before I got this food processor. How did I mince garlic? How did I chop basil? How did I make corn flake crumbs? How did I make salad dressing? This food processor is the Kristin Chenoweth of kitchen tools – she’s tiny but her voice is so damn powerful. This will be your new best friend if you hate chopping things like basil, cilantro, garlic, and other veggies. You can also use this to puree vegetables. It’s perfect for those who have a small kitchen like myself! This is SUPER easy to take apart, wash, and put back together (I’m literally laughing out loud because I’m reading reviews/comments on how people are like “it’s too many things to snap together!!!” because the whole thing is only 5 pieces).
Citrus juicer, $4.99, Amazon
These are a game changer when you need fresh lime & lemon juice. There’s not much to say about this except that you need one. My advice is that you need a heavy duty one, not a plastic one. I don’t suggest buying it online – go to the store and feel the weight. Also, there’s a lot of fancy versions of a handheld juicer that are super expensive. You probably don’t need that one, so save your money and get the most simple, heavy duty one!
Silpat Baking Sheet, $28.99, Amazon
These silicone sheets are so exciting!! They are thin, flexible mats that can be used instead of parchment paper when baking. Cookies and pastries come off without tearing because of its nonstick surface, and it makes cleaning up so easy! I also place these on my counter when I’m kneading or rolling out dough. Just make sure you order the right size for your baking sheet!
KitchenAid KSM150 Artisan Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, $299.99, Best Buy
Every time I use my stand mixer, I can’t help but sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” because it really is just too good to be true. Before I finally caved in and bought one, I was using a handheld electric mixer. It was very messy. I do not miss it. But this stand mixer works magic. Even Dumbledore won’t be able knead dough like this guy with the Elder Wand. If baking is your hobby, you need a stand mixer. The one I have is a 4.5 quart, the tilt-head makes it easy for you to add ingredients, it comes with 3 beater attachments, and it’s yellow! There are a bunch of different kinds of stand mixers in the market, so if you are interested in getting one, do your research on which one will work best for your needs. I’m not a heavy baker so I don’t need the super fancy one. One last note: I suggest purchasing it from Target or Best Buy since they often put these stand mixers on sale. I purchased mine from Best Buy because you can get 10% cash back or finance it without interest with a credit card.
8-inch Knife, $30.00, Amazon
Having a good knife is essential to cooking. This one is my favorite. Oooo it slices, dices, and chops soooo good. It’s relatively inexpensive too. I know that there are $200 knives out there, but my eyes are set on this one. The important thing to know about knives is how to take care of them. Make sure you clean it immediately after use and dry it right after washing.
Food Thermometer, $9.99, Amazon
My favorite for measuring temperature the doneness of meat and hotness of oil. This is an important tool to have!
Digital Food Scale, $10.85, Amazon
Doesn’t really matter which brand of digital scale you get. All that matters is that you get one that measures both ounces and grams! My favorite use for the digital scale is for baking. I used to use cups/teaspoons measurements for baking until a good friend gave me very great advice and said weighing dry ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.) is more accurate and always yields better results. He told no lies. I found that my dough is always more consistent when I measured weight vs using cups/teaspoons. He is a fairy godmother.
Anyway, I think that’s all for today. I hope you like this post. I know it’s a little weird to talk about kitchen tools, but having the right ones is something I feel strongly about.
Until next time,