To be honest, I’m not really a “Buy this gadget!” kind of guy.
Sure, I’ve told you a couple of times to get a spiralizer or a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet; but I’m a firm believer that if you really want to make something, you can make it happen. No.Matter.What. There’s always a way to MacGyver together a solution to the problem of not-the-right-gear.
That being said, I’m a big fan of the right tool for the right job — especially when it makes my life in the kitchen easier and more efficient.
So I’ve put together a list of my Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Tools.
Tools that I use every day, that are exceptionally good at performing their given task, yet are rarely, if ever, found in a “regular” kitchen (every time I go cook at a friend's house, I'm always disappointed to discover very lousy cookware.)
Chances are, you already have a couple of these: maybe you have a cast iron skillet that was your grandmother’s, a Crock-pot you got for your wedding, a very old vegetable peeler you bought ages ago but rarely use.
But you might not have all of these. If you like cooking though, they are all worth having.
1. Cast Iron Skillet
Why do I love cast iron skillets so much? Because they’re incredibly versatile and they’re healthier for you than other pans. They’re chemical free, and they fortify your food with iron.
On top of that they heat beautifully, sear perfectly, are oven-safe, get better with each use, and will last beyond your lifetime (and they are my weapon of choice if a burglar would ever break into my house!)
Not to mention, they’re ideal for making frittatas, and you guys know how much I love me a frittata.
Don’t be intimidated by cast iron’s weird (or non-existent) cleaning rules, badass kitchen ninjas roll with cast iron!
2. Wooden Spoons
Wooden spoons are amazing. They’re great for scraping the sides of pots to make sure nothing is burning and to better incorporate ingredients.
You can safely stir soups, stews, risotto, oatmeal, gumbo, or baking ingredients in nonstick finishes, glass, or porcelain.
Plus, if you’re using good quality ones with dense wood, they don’t absorb food odors.
Just don’t use them for cooking at an outdoor pit or grill, they may never find the way back to the kitchen.
How did we get batter out of a mixing bowl before the silicone spatula came along?
How did we deglaze the bottom of a pan before the flat-ended wooden spatula?
I dunno, I dunno.
Other people are obsessed with knives, I love me spatulas.
There’s no cooking in TIY’s kitchen without spatulas.
Every time I use the spiralizer I feel like a hero.
Same happens when I use the flashlight function on my smartphone, when I do handstand push-ups against the wall, or when I run into the subway as the doors are about to close.
But the spiralizer...the spiralizer is like Superman’s cape in kitchen gadget form.
Seriously, creating noodles out of zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, is awesome.
5. Digital Kitchen Scale
I love using measuring cups but sometimes (especially in baking) it's better to measure by weight rather than by volume. It’s more accurate, precise, reliable, and dependable.
Enters the humble kitchen scale.
I don’t know why people refuse to buy a kitchen scale. Is it fear of electronics? Is it the need for batteries?
A digital scale will make you a better and more reliable cook.
My Cuisinart scale works great, is inexpensive, easy to use and — this is key — easily switches between ounces and grams.
There's a reason you see so many professional cooks using Silpat non-stick baking mat: THEY WORK!
This is a must-have in the kitchen. Get rid of the parchment paper and just stock two of these and you are good to go.
They’re so easy to clean as well, you just wash them off or stick them in the dishwasher.
Amazing for making cookies, pizza, biscuits, and especially cauliflower crust. For realz, if you’re serious about making cauliflower crust you need a Silpat, period.
One word of caution: don't get a knife anywhere close to the Silpat or be tempted to cut something on it. That's pretty much the only way to ruin them.
7. Glass Food Storage Containers
I don’t want to alarm you, but storing food in plastic containers isn’t particularly safe.
Several studies have found that most plastic releases chemicals that can act like hormones in your body (just Google BPA and phthalates to find out more!)
In addition glass containers don’t absorb food flavors, odors, or stains, and are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Not to mention that they help out the planet by reducing plastic in landfills.
Sure they are heavier and more expensive than plastic containers, but you can’t put a price on health or environment. Am I right?
8. Food Processor
Even if you’re not much of a gadget person, you need a food processor (and a good one I might add!)
From chopping herbs, to preparing veggies and combining doughs, this appliance is worth the space it takes in your kitchen.
I also use the food processor to make hummus, and homemade nut butters.
I love, love, love my extra-large, super-duper, nearly state-of-the-art food processor.
I have not come across a task it can’t handle.
9. Vegetable Peeler
When was the last time you replaced your vegetable peeler? Uh huh. Yeah, I thought so.
Everywhere I go, there’s an ancient, rusty harp-style peeler, with blades so dull they might as well be cardboard.
I know, I know you could use a knife. But vegetable peelers get the job done much more efficiently, not to mention how fun they are.
No one sharpens vegetable peelers, but they do get dull. And when they get dull do yourself a favor. Toss it, and get yourself a new, sharp one. You’re welcome.
10. Crock Pot
Slow cookers are magical pots that transform food from blah to legit.
What’s even better is that they do all of the work so we can have the fun (or just be lazy!)
You simply prep the ingredients in the morning, set them in the slow cooker and fuhgeddaboudit.
Dinner will be ready when you get home.
Slow cookers are awesome and they're never going out of style, so get on board.