You have probably seen more than your fair share of kitchen gadgets heralded in print, commercial and in-store display advertisements. They are marketed to save you time and effort, but make no mistake — their main focus is to get you to spend money. While some cooks undoubtedly benefit from the occasional gadget, most kitchens need only a few basic instruments to produce a variety of delicious meals. Some gadgets will save you time in the kitchen while others merely take up counter or cabinet space. Investing in the bare necessities allows you to make a realistic assessment of which extras would benefit your kitchen workspace.
Pots and Pans
You may be surprised at how few pots and pans are necessary. Many manufacturers bundle several sizes into a single package, but Real Simple Magazine suggests that you can get away with just a stockpot, sauté pan, and saucepan. Make sure that your pots and pans each have a lid, so you can use them for various cooking applications. Selecting heavy-duty materials, such as stainless steel and cast iron allow you to start a meal on the stove and finish it in the oven without dirtying another dish. A 9×13 pan is suitable for baked goods, casseroles and more.
One good knife is all you really need. While several specialty knives exist, a high-quality chef’s knife or santoku will easily handle all of your chopping, peeling, slicing and dicing. To properly care for your knife, you should have a steel in your kitchen inventory. This video illustrates how honing a blade with a steel improves blade performance. A cutting board is also a necessity, to save countertops from damage.
Other extremely versatile kitchen utensils include tongs, wooden spoons and whisks. Spatula is a word that describes several types of cooking and baking instruments, two of which should be represented in a basic kitchen. A rubber spatula is useful for scraping down the sides of a bowl or jar. A turner is a spatula that literally turns food over in the pan. It is used for pancakes, hamburgers and more.
People use several gadgets much more frequently than other tools. For instance, families that eat plenty of pasta may wish to find a suitable colander for straining boiling water from prepared noodles. If your family prefers to eat Asian food, a rice cooker may be invaluable. Vegetable peelers, box graters, can openers and food processors are among the most popular kitchen gadgets. Though a knife can do each of these jobs, they make the process much quicker. If you plan to use recipes in the kitchen, you will have to use instruments for precise portioning such as measuring spoons and measuring cups. Electric mixers, pastry brushes and rolling pins are very popular among people who bake.
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