With a kitchen as busy as ours, you quickly learn which kitchen tools are unnecessary space wasters, and which are must-haves. We wanted to share with you the kitchen essentials we feel add to the success of our recipe testing and development. We hope they do the same for you in your kitchen.
Here are our top 10 kitchen tools:
While having a variety of knives in your drawer is useful, you can prepare almost any dish with a good quality, sharp chef and paring knife. To keep your knives in their best condition, avoid putting them in the dishwasher and run them over a sharpening steel often.
Try your chopping skills with theses radish pickles.
Large heat-proof spatulas fly off the rack in our kitchen. This tool is so versatile – perfect for scraping out ingredients from baking bowls and handy when stirring pots over high heat.
Try it: Rich lemon curd
Whether you need to zest citrus or mince ginger, this super-handy tool is invaluable. It’s also excellent for shaving chocolate into very fine flakes and grating fresh nutmeg. It’s easy to use for prepping and finishing, and makes clean up quick, too.
Try it for the citrus zest and chocolate in our Chocolate Mandarin mascarpone tartlets
Flipping burgers, tossing salad, stirring pasta, the uses go on and on for this versatile tool. You can never have too many sets of tongs…but be sure to have at least one. We prefer the good old-fashioned metal tongs, preferably with a rubber, heat-resistant grip.
Tongs are perfect for stirring together this delicious creamy butternut tagliatelle.
Colour code a pair of shears so that they remain dedicated kitchen scissors. Great for snipping chives and other herbs, cutting up pizza for the kids…just keep them out of the craft box!
Try it: Chive popovers
Good quality non-stick and cast iron pans are a must. Consider the size of your family when purchasing one. You don’t want to overcrowd a small pan if you tend to cook in large batches and vice versa. Cast iron pans are ideal for their excellent distribution of heat – and while they are always oven-proof, select one that is non-stick as well. This will allow you to brown meat and then finish it in the oven.
Need 125g of chocolate from your 300g package? Or 200g of butter? Not every recipe is available using our metric system, so having a digital scale guarantees accuracy. It is also a great practice to jot down common conversions on your recipe card – if you needed to know it once, you’ll likely need to know it again.
Take the guess work out of enjoying a perfectly cooked piece of meat. A meat thermometer will help you reach your desired doneness, guaranteed. There are also small-blade meat thermometers for individual portions of fish, chicken and beef.
Try it: Roasted pork loin with bacon-cider gravy
Regardless of whether you are a baker or a cook, accuracy is a good thing. The Chatelaine Kitchen measures everything, precisely, so if you want best results from your recipes, doing the same will help get you there.
From draining canned beans, saving lumpy gravy, finishing pureed soups, and rinsing small portions of berries, a sieve is incredibly handy for those jobs where a colander is too big and porous.
Try it: Creamy ricotta.
Originally published March 5th, 2012.