There are so many possible tools you could have for your kitchen—big and small, expensive and cheap. There are also some that, well, are very easy to overlook. Here are seven of those tools you might overlook but really shouldn't. They're crucial to enjoying your time in the kitchen.
Newly married? Long-time married? Not married?
Wherever you fall, I’m sure you’ve still got a kitchen to stock. If you’re newly married or close to it, this blog might be especially relevant to you. But, of course, if you’re not and you’re simply in the position of stocking your kitchen with the necessary tools, this blog is definitely for you too.
My goal here is simple: I want to point out 7 really important kitchen tools that are must-haves but which are also very easy to overlook or completely forget about.
These are tools for the house-made chef, the cook who loves simplicity, and the bartender from home.
First things first.
I’m not kidding when I say this, but my citrus juicer is probably my favorite kitchen tools I own. My favorite tools are usually a response to my least favorite things to do in cooking.
Squeezing lemons and limes without the seeds running everyone is at the top of the list.
I’m sure you know what it’s like to be fishing for lemon seeds out of your dish or cocktail you’re creating. In my mind, there’s nothing more annoying, and in the process you end up removing some of the coveted juice you worked hard to get.
Which brings me to my other point that with traditional hand-lemon-squeezing, you rarely get all the juice that’s your’s for the taking. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze, you might say.
Not so with the citrus juicer: you get all the juice of your lemons and limes.
Have you ever been preparing your pan for a nice steak or some chicken when you accidentally over-pour the oil into it?
You either take a napkin to it, pour some down the drain, or saturate your food in oil. In every case, you either lose oil or use too much of it.
Squeeze bottles are so ridiculously simple, amazingly practical and inexpensive. They deliver exactly the control you need, store easily in your cupboard, and can be refilled and reused time after time.
It’s true: not a lot of meal recipes call for lemon zest or citrus zest. But the ones that do are often incredible.
One that comes to my mind is the Vegan Lasagna from the Thug Kitchen cook book—an entirely plant-based cook book packed with flavorful, simple recipes.
In case you don’t think your need for citrus zest justifies purchasing one, I recommend getting one that can double as a cheese grader.
Here’s the one that does parmesan just as well as it does lemons.
I talk all about kitchen scales and how essential they are to your kitchen in a previous post, but I need to take this brief moment to reiterate how important this tool is and why they’re so easily overlooked.
Their importance, I think, is self-evident: whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, a cocktail master, or you’re a precise baker, a kitchen scale emerges victorious in every setting.
Some recipes, like the best cup of coffee ever, require the precision a scale can offer. Others, admittedly, will fair just fine from regular measuring cups.
With how inexpensive kitchen scales now are, however, it really doesn’t hurt to add one to your kitchen toolkit.
So, I said in the beginning of this post that I only had seven kitchen tools to talk about. I sort of lied, but in way that you will shortly see is totally understandable.
The best cleaning solution I’ve come by in my kitchen is a dynamic duo—ya can’t have one without the other.
The first thing: steel wool. Or, put differently, stainless steel scrubbers. If you’ve had to clean a very dirty pan, a dish that’s been sitting in your sink a little too long, or a cast iron skillet, you might know the suffering that comes with only having a sponge.
I hate sponges. They don’t last very long and they begin to smell. Steel wool replaces the need for a sponge, but only in part.
A sponge brush that dispenses soap as you go is the second tool of this dynamic duo. All the soap is stored within the brush, easily dispensable with a button in the handle. If the soap doesn’t dispense as you’d like it, the trick is to add a bit of water to it in order to thin it out.
Did you ever watch 30-minute meals with Rachael Ray? I used to love that show even though I could never actually replicate one of her recipes in 30 minutes.
One thing I did replicate, however, was her use of an ugly bowl for fruits and veggies. Now, in Rachael Ray’s case, she would use it while cooking as a place for trash and scraps from food. I totally endorse this tip, but I also have a different use of a big bowl.
I like having a place on my counter to store all my fruits and veggies that don’t require refrigeration. And they go in a big bowl.
Because this bowl is always on display, though, it clearly doesn’t need to be ugly. Quantity over quality is the guiding principle here.
Last but certainly not least, kitchen shears—or scissors. These are absolutely essential and most people get a pair that’ll do with their set of kitchen knives.
If that’s you, what you have is probably good enough.
In case this isn’t you, keep reading.
Have some shears to cut through your meat, open food packaging, or cut off a piece of saran wrap. Like these other tools, there’s not a lot else to say about this tool. If you’ve used scissors before, then you know how handy they can be.
Now just transfer that handiness over to the kitchen domain.
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