We have always been proponents of cooking your own food from scratch as much as possible for the health benefits. When you cook at home, you know exactly what’s in the food and control all the ingredients. To make cooking easier, it’s super helpful to have the right equipment. Here are just a few gadgets we find extremely useful in the kitchen. (This list is by no means comprehensive but maybe you’ll find something here that will become your new favorite must-have kitchen gadget.)
Cast Iron Pan
A well seasoned cast iron pan works just about as good as a non-stick pan but without the dangerous chemicals. Some people are afraid of cast iron pans because they aren’t sure how to season them and are also afraid to wash them. But don’t let these issues stop you from using this versatile pan that will last you a lifetime.
Various Scoops – Flat Whisk
- Scoops come in handy for portioning many things including, of course, cookie dough. Use them for meatballs, portioning muffin, cupcake, and pancake batter, ice cream, melons, truffles, etc.
- Flat Whisk – A flat whisk is great for making gravies, sauces, roux, and pudding because you can get into the corner of the pan and your sauce or pudding won’t stick and burn there.
Flexible Cutting Boards
Flexible cutting boards are handy for transferring your chopped, diced, sliced, and grated foods directly into your cooking vessel. The downside is they move around around when you’re cutting your food because they’re so thin, but you can put a damp dishcloth underneath to solve this problem, or you can get heavy duty flexible boards that have grips on the bottom.
- A small metal spatula comes in handy for breaking up sautéed ground meat in the pan, or lifting lasagna and other casserole foods out of the pan. Use it to cut as well as serve brownies, blondies, cake, etc.
- Mini silicone or rubber spatulas are perfect for getting that last bit of food out of peanut butter, mayo, mustard, and jelly jars, and scraping the tricky spots in things like food processors or blenders.
- Mini whisks are good for when you are making a small batch of dressing or vinaigrette, a single cup of something like hot cocoa, mixing a cornstarch slurry, or mixing a small amount of a sauce like cocktail sauce or honey mustard.
A variety of small bowls is a boon in the kitchen because you will use them for everything as you’re prepping a dish: chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, scallions, spices, you name it. They are needed for your ‘mise-en-place’, which is French for ‘everything in its place.’ If you’re making a dish with several ingredients, you will prepare and measure all the ingredients and assemble them in the bowls before you start cooking the dish. Organized cooking is the best kind of cooking.
Immersion, or stick blenders aren’t as powerful as countertop blenders but they are so much more convenient when blending hot soups. Use them to puree soups directly in the pot. Use also for other blending needs like smoothies, vinaigrettes, and sauces.