Hello you wonderful people, and welcome to my list of kitchen tools that make life easier.
This is a list of kitchen must haves that includes items that the everyday cook will use, and find incredibly useful.
This isn’t a checklist of basic kitchen needs. Every kitchen needs pots, pans, cutting boards, etc. You know that. I don’t need to sit here listing out all the basic kitchen essentials.
This is the list of kitchen items that I personally have found to be the most useful, time-saving, even life-changing, if you will.
Disclosure: Product links may be affiliate, which means I get a commission if you click through and purchase. This does not affect the price of your item.
I only discovered tongs recently, and am really regretting not starting to use them sooner. They make frying foods so much easier and less prone to splattering when you attempt to flip the food and then drop it halfway (not that that ever happened to me or anything…) Tongs are also really useful when you are searing or grilling meat.
A whisk is really helpful when making glaze, salad dressing, roux’s, or any thin batter or sauce. It really mixes everything together much faster, and incorporates the ingredients really well, so you don’t have any annoying clumps that you need to break up and mix out. I used to be scared of whisks because I thought it would be way too hard to clean them, but that’s really not the case.
I will never understand why an electric kettle is not a standard tool in every single kitchen everywhere. It saves soooo much time in the kitchen. Not only when boiling water for coffee (although that is a time-saver as well), but whenever cooking anything with boiling water. Cooking rice? Boil the water in the electric kettle first. Making pasta for dinner? Boil the water in the kettle. Soup? Ditto. Seriously. Instead of standing around waiting for your water to boil, simply put the water in the kettle, press the on switch, and you have hot water in a few seconds!
You know what I love? Adding freshly-pressed garlic to recipes. It adds so much flavor and depth to the dish. You know what I hate? Spending forever cleaning out all the garlic bits stuck in the holes of the garlic press. That’s where this garlic press with built in cleaner comes in. Just use the cleaning tool to clean out all the holes in the garlic press at once. Neat!
I get so frustrated when recipes say things like “blend the soup in batches, then return to the pot.” I am so not interested in transferring hot soup to a blender, blending it, and then transferring it back. That’s where an immersion blender comes in. An immersion blender (commonly known as a “joojer” by just about everyone I know who uses one…) can be stuck right into your pot of soup to make the blending a breeze.
If you have a large family, or ever cook food for a lot of people, then an extra-large frying pan is a must. You can fry all your chicken cutlets at once, instead of standing by the stove for hours making batch after batch after batch.
Kitchen shears are a must for slicing chicken breast into small pieces for recipes that call for cubed/diced chicken. I also use them to slice chicken cutlets horizontally to make them thinner, instead of bothering with a hammer to pound them out. Who has time for that?
Slow cooker liner bags are essential whenever using a slow cooker or crockpot. They prevent you having to stand forever at the sink, trying to scrape all the crud off the bottom of the slow cooker. There are many brands of liner bags, but personally, I have found that the only good ones are these from Reynolds. (The other brands sometimes melted. Into my food. That was fun.)
This silicone measuring cup is way more useful than it looks. It is heat-proof and microwave safe, so you can measure out your chocolate chips, or butter, or anything else that needs to be melted, stick it in the microwave, and then pour it into your batter. No double boiler necessary.
I also recently used the silicone measuring cup to pour out my cupcake batter into the cupcake tins, and it was sooo much easier and less messy than using a spoon to scoop and portion out the batter. I will definitely be doing that again.
Don’t you hate that song-and-dance of filling up your measuring cup, bending down to check at eye-level if it’s the proper amount, pouring some out, checking again, putting a drop more in, checking again… That’s where this angled measuring cup comes in. The measurements are – you guessed it! – angled, so you can look from above and actually see how much liquid you have in the measuring cup.
I picked one of these measuring cups up on a whim once and boy, am I glad I did. This 4 oz measuring cup has markings for teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, and milliliters, making measuring small amounts really convenient. I use it for wet and dry measuring – 3 teaspoons of salt, 4 tablespoons of oil, you name it, this thing can help with it.
And that’s it! I hope you found this list of helpful kitchen tools to actually be, well, helpful! If you have any kitchen must haves of your own, be sure to let me know in the comments!