If you’ve walked down the kitchenware aisle of Target or any kitchenware store like Williams Sonoma, you’ll see hundreds of kitchen tools and gadgets. There are gadgets for every kitchen task you can imagine from marinading meats to grating cheese. If you’re not careful you can fill your kitchen with unnecessary (and expensive) items that you’ll only use a couple times a year. I have to admit that I’ve bought my share of trendy gadgets that sit in the cabinet gathering dust.
If you’re just starting out and trying to figure out what tools and gadgets you need, this is my list of the ten kitchen tools I think everyone should have.
1. 2-Cup Measuring Cup – many recipes call for more than 1 cup of an ingredient. A two cup measuring cup will cut down on the time it takes to refill the cup. It’s a great time saver.
2. Mandoline– the right mandoline can take the place of several different kitchen tools. They slice, julienne, grate, and cut with speed and consistency.
3. Kitchen Timer – I use my kitchen timer almost every day. If you tend to multitask when you’re cooking, a kitchen timer will keep you from overcooking/burning your food.
4. Programmable Meat Thermometer – Use a meat thermometer when cooking large pieces of meat or whole chickens to make sure they’re cooked to the right internal temperature. I have a combination meat thermometer and timer that is wonderful. I can set the thermometer for the desired meat temperature, insert the probe, and the alarm on the thermometer beeps when the meat reaches the temperature.
5. Locking Metal Tongs with Nylon Heads – These are great for turning anything that you don’t want to puncture like burgers, steaks, chicken, etc. I prefer the locking tongs because they’re easier to store.
6. Mini Food Processor – I’ve used mine so much, I’ve cracked the plastic lid. When you have a small batch of veggies that need to be chopped, these are perfect. Use it for making pestos or chimichurri.
7. Kitchen Scale – I recently bought one of these and now I don’t know how I lived without it. I use mine to make sure my portion sizes are accurate. For people that like to bake, scales are a super accurate way to make sure you’re using the right amount of ingredients. Love it.
8. Smooth Edge Can Opener – Regular can openers leave sharp edges around the lid that can cut fingers as well as trash bags. They also allow the lid to fall into the contents of the can you’re opening. Yuck. Smooth edge openers cut below the rim of the lid so you can easily and safely pull the lid off.
9. Long Handle Wooden Spoon – Long spoons are perfect for everything from stirring batters to scrambling eggs. Every kitchen needs a good set of all purpose mixing spoons.
10. Silicone Spatula – Silicone spatulas are heat proof and are soft enough to use on non stick cookware. I’m partial to the 1 piece version of these spatulas. With most 2 piece spatulas the head eventually becomes loose and food (and germs) get trapped between the handle and the head.