Friday, September 21, 2007

Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

Last night I was assisting a cooking class at Sur La Table, and one of the objectives of the class was to introduce students to the new collection of Things Cooks Love tools. That made me think of various kitchen gadgets/tools that I find useful in my small kitchen.

Tongs: Anna encouraged me to buy them, and I'm glad I did. They are great for taking out baked potatoes from the oven, turning meat, taking out chicken breasts or pork from a pan, reaching something from the top shelf of a kitchen cabinet, and taking corn out from boiling water.

Digital Instant Read Thermometer: I no longer need to cut open chicken, pork, or beef to figure out if it's cooked or not: I just stick the thermometer in the meat and the answer is displayed on the screen. This was invaluable when I was roasting my first turkey.

Stainless Steel Strainer: I really love this! I use it to strain canned vegetables, drain small amounts of pasta or steamed broccoli, defrost frozen vegetables (put them in the strainer and let the water run through), or strain onions/carrots from home made chicken stock.

Measuring Spoons: I bought these in Ikea (also bought matching measuring cups). Of course I love that they are red. They also don't rust, super light, and easy to use when I need to measure specific amounts for a vinaigrette or baking.

Angled Measuring Cup: this cup makes measuring liquids a breeze! You just look at the measure marks on the cup from the top instead of trying to level it with eye level (this is sort of difficult to describe: go to the nearest kitchen store and test it for yourself!)

Chef's Knife: I pretty much can do all the knife work in my kitchen with a chef's knife. Make sure you buy one that is well balanced in your hands, has a good weight, and feels comfortable when you grip it.

Kuhn Rikon Safety Lid Can Opener: my favorite can opener! I've had it for more than 2 years and absolutely love it. Why? Because instead of cutting through the metal, it lifts the top of the can! There is no rust; there is no smell; and it's super easy to operate. I even got Anna to buy one and also bought one for my parents.

Epicurean Cutting Board: I think you can only buy these boards at Sur La Table. They are well worthy the investment: variety of sizes, easy to clean, and the knife glides on them. I have one of the bigger sizes: this way I can chop variety of things on them without having to then put the individual items in their own bowls. Everything fits on the board!

Silicone Oven Mitt: this was Stacey's present to me a few years ago and I love it! It doesn't get burned or smelly and you can wash it when it gets dirty. The most important thing is that unlike fabric, the silicone mitt doesn't get wet (and it's a good thing, because when fabric gets wet and you try to pick something hot with it, you get super burned!)

Cuisinart SmartPower Duet Blender/Food Processor: this is great for making hummus, pureeing soups, chopping vegetables, making coleslaw, whipping up smoothies, etc. Mine is in red!

Citrus Juicer: I have a yellow one for lemons, but you can also use it for limes or small oranges. I mostly bought it for color, but it is quite useful for obviously juicing citrus fruits.

Microplane: great for zesting lemons/oranges, finely grating chocolate, finely grating ginger or garlic, and grating cheese

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm going to second this can opener as one of the best inventions on the fact that there's no contact with can juices so there's no smell. The only downside is that the lid doesn't slide in the can for draining. Oh well, I'll live.