8 essential kitchen tools for warm-weather cooking

Do the pantry shuffle, moving heavy winter items to the back, and these helpful tools up front.

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Portable pantry
Do a pantry shuffle, moving heavy dutch ovens to the back, and oft-used summer tools to the front.

This is the time of year for keeping the kitchen cool and utilizing the fresh produce making its way into stores and markets. And with a few handy tools to help out, your meals will highlight the bounty of the season. The best part? You already have them hiding in your cupboards at home!

After taking a little time to retire dutch ovens, off-season tools and appliances to the rear of your cabinets, dust off any of these unused favourites and move them up front:

1. Mason jars
Save time and energy by shaking up a quick marinade or salad dressing right in a Mason jar.  It makes for a quick meal with easy clean up; all you have to do is throw it in the dishwasher when you’re finished.

2. Slow cooker
A slow cooker saves hands-on time in the kitchen and it is a great alternative to running the oven on hot days. Try your hand at summer slow cooking with this vegetarian lasagna or our crowd-pleasing barbecue side.

3. Blender
Go gourmet for dinner by whipping up a quick, flavour-packed marinade in the blender. Or, blend a batch of blender cocktails for effortless entertaining during weekend barbecues.

4. Ice pop moulds
Is there anything better than a cool treat on a hot summer day? You can turn any kind of fruit juice into an ice pop, or turn hot-weather cocktails into fun party refreshments.

5. Aluminum foil
Aluminum foil is one of the most versatile items in your kitchen. Wrap up veggies in packets for a quick grilled side dish, or try something new and turn your barbecue into a smoker by poking holes in a foil packet filled with wet or dry wood chips.

6. Mortar and pestle
Get maximum flavour from fresh herbs and whole spices with a little hand-powered crushing and grinding. Use fresh herbs from the garden for a delicious homemade pesto and make gourmet steaks with spice rubs.

7. Cast-iron grill pan
Don’t have access to a barbecue? Don’t feel left out. Just heat up a grill pan over the stove, and enjoy the flavours of barbecue season all summer long.

8. Portable timer
When cooking outdoors, it’s difficult to keep track of things if the timer is in the kitchen. Instead, use a battery-powered timer you can carry with you.

Related:
5 reasons to use your blender more often
The top 10 tools in the Chatelaine Kitchen
Kitchen gear: the only three knives you need