We all have our favorite kitchen tool. That spatula with the melted handle we just can’t get rid of. Grandmas salad tongs with the cracked handle. The paring knife that you’ve used so much the handle is worn smooth. I have some, too!
Here’s my list of kitchen tools I think every kitchen should have:
Tongs – I have two of these and they’re over 16 inches long. They should lock at the bottom and open easily with one hand (I tap the bottom of the tongs on my hip). Tongs are great for more than just turning over meats! I use them for dressing salads, removing hot pan lids, grilling…you name it! In fact – I also have this nail that is over a window up above my front door that I hang seasonal flower arrangements. When I take them down – the tongs are just long enough to reach them!
Non-stick pans – I have a TON of pans! All shapes and sizes! I love them all for so many different reasons. However, a non-stick pan is invaluable, especially when making eggs! When you’re cooking low-fat, a non-stick pan affords you the opportunity to put less fats in your pans and not worry about the sticking…
Whisk – I have a half-dozen whisks in all shapes and sizes. I use them for the big jobs of making meringue to the small jobs of mixing mayo and herbs for a sandwich.
Wooden Spoons – Doesn’t everyone have a favorite wooden spoon? That one you grab every time? I have so many I have a slim drawer in the kitchen for just wooden spoons! When you cook as much as I do you use a lot of them! I recommend having several. That way you don’t use the same one from pot-to-pot and mix your flavors when you don’t want to
Zesters – I love citrus zest! How did we live without a zester for all those years? I remember when you had to cut up the zest. I didn’t give you half the flavor and was certainly twice the effort! Zest gives so many dishes a flavor boost and who doesn’t love that bright, citrusy smell? *sigh* I love citrus zest
Measuring spoons and measuring cups – I find that I need more than one set….sometimes more than two! I hate to have to wash a tablespoon because I measured honey and then needed to measure salt….this makes it easy!
Sharp Knives – To paraphrase Julia Child, “Keep Your Knives Sharp!”. I love my knives and I use the steel to keep them fairly sharp….I learned how to use one on You Tube! The experts get their knives professionally sharpened every year – I’m a wee bit behind, but they’re still pretty sharp! It’s amazing how much time a sharp knife will save you in the kitchen….but (to quote mom) “Be careful – they’re sharp!”
Kitchen Shears – I used to have this great pair of sewing shears that I would only use on cloth. No paper, nothing but cloth….til the day I found my youngest step-son cutting automotive carpet for his truck when he was a teenager! “It’s cloth….sorta” he said. That day I bought two pair of kitchen shears – one for everyone and one for me! You’ll be amazed how many times a day you’ll use these when they’re in the kitchen.
A Kitchen Aid Mixer – not only does this mix like a maniac – it has a ton of attachments…this will be the workhorse of your kitchen.
Salt Pig & Pepper Grinder – I grab the salt with my finger tips and use a freshly ground pepper every time I make a dish. It’s great to have salt in an easily accessible container and nothing tastes like freshly ground pepper…..RUN to the store if you don’t have these items!
Aprons – Not many people wear aprons these days, but I freely admit I’m a messy cook and a clutzy gal. If I don’t wear an apron, I’m gonna wear what I’m cooking. I can’t tell you how many shirts I’ve ruined…. plus there are some really cool aprons out there! Treat yourself to one – you deserve it!
Finally – lots and lots of dishes! I love having all kinds of different shapes and sizes and it’s a joy when you can find the perfect plate or bowl for your dish….I discovered that white dishes are like that little black dress – always in style….