Hello! Sally Bernstein here with my Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets that will streamline the preparation of ingredients and make your kitchen prep work more enjoyable:
Tongs are like a second pair of hands. I use tongs to lift pasta, meats, vegetables, and anything that either keeps my hands clean or keeps me from getting burned. They come in several handy sizes; you’ll need two for the kitchen (9”). I suggest one that is all metal and one with silicon tips for hot items that withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Then you’ll need one for the grill (16”), which helps move, rotate and turn food without sticking the food with the tines of a fork and losing precious juices.
2. Measuring Cups
Measuring cups are used to measure the volume of liquid or other kitchen ingredients, such as sugar and flour. These cups come in glass, metal or plastic. Be aware that glass can break, plastic can melt in the dishwasher and some metals turn colors and rust. I use both glass and plastic.
3. Measuring Spoons
Measuring spoons are invaluable in the kitchen. You will use these for many recipes, both savory and sweet, as they are used to measure an amount of an ingredient, both dry and liquid. I suggest a large set with many different size spoons, but the essential ones are ¼, ½, and 1 teaspoons and 1 tablespoon.
4. Cutting Boards
I recommend the largest cutting board (or chopping board) you can fit in your kitchen. You will use it every day for many chores. Boards are made of wood (sugar maple, teak, or walnut), plastic, glass, steel, marble or Corian. I prefer wooden boards but you have to make sure they are cleaned well after each use. A board that sits next to your sink or cook top is ideal. And marble is best for working with pastries and other desserts.
5. Oven Mitts
Oven mitts, or gloves, should be insulated and long, ones that cover your arms to protect from grease, oven and other burns. Or invest in silicone instead of fabric, as these gloves are resistant to stains and water.
Spatulas usually have flat, broad and flexible blades. Some have wooden handles that insulate the spatula from the heat source. Metal spatulas are best for turning pancakes while plastic works best for stirring eggs and cake mixes.
A colander, or strainer, is a container shaped like a bowl with small holes in the bottom. It is made of metal, plastic or silicon and is used to drain liquids from solid foods. I use both a medium size and a large size colander.
A grater, or shredder, can be used for grating cheese, chocolate, coconuts, nutmegs, oranges, potatoes, and lemons, to name only a few items. Most graters are metal.
Peelers for vegetables, potatoes, and apples come in several varieties. Most peelers have metal blades attached to a metal, wooden or plastic handle. I use my Y-peeler for carrots, potatoes, and apples.
10. Cooling Racks
Cooling racks come in handy when you bake cookies, cakes and other desserts as well as savory items. These racks are made of wire, chrome or chrome over steel construction. They come in single racks or 3-4 tier sets, some collapse for easy storage and come in various sizes including round and rectangular.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets and will invest in some of your own.
For more recipes and food tips from Sally, check out SallyBernstein.com.