I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I love playing in my kitchen. I’ve always had a love of food and for experimenting with food. It started as a toddler with my much loved play kitchen. Soon I was able to help my grandmother bake bread in her kitchen and my mom with cookies. I was delighted to take home economics in middle school and learn how to make real recipes all by myself! (Do they even still teach home economics?) When I finally moved out on my own I loved re-creating my favourite recipes and started experimenting with different cuisines.
Cooking and baking is one of my favourite things to do and a great escape from the stresses of life but in a way that greatly benefits my family. Especially when it involves cake.
There are, of course, gadgets I have found to be indispensable in the kitchen over time and make working in the kitchen more efficient, more productive and a lot more fun! If you don’t already make use of these gadgets you will want to start right now!
My Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools
1) High Quality Blender
Over the years I have had and used several mediocre blenders. They quite simply just do not to the job. A blender that can’t make guacamole is next to useless.
I am in love with my Blendtec Designer Series Blender and definitely recommend making the commitment the next time your own blender fails. It is expensive but it is a one-time expense and well worth the investment. It has easily tackled every job I have put it to from soups to baby food to smoothies and more. It is able to achieve commercial grade smoothness in a way that other blenders just can’t and that is why this is number one on my list.
2) A Large Chef Knife
A Sharp and Large (8-10 inches) Chef’s knife can pretty much be considered the work horse of the kitchen. Invest in one good knife and sharpener rather than a mediocre knife set if you do not have the funds for a good set. You can use the Chef’s knife to power through chopping fruits and vegetables, cutting boneless meats and general cutting tasks.
3) 2-in-1 Hybrid Tablet
Wait. What does a tablet have to do with the kitchen and why is it on a list of essential kitchen gadgets? That’s easy! You know when you are trying to read off a recipe book only to have the page constantly flip away requiring you find random objects to hold it down? No more!
I love to use my ASUS Transformer 10.1 Tablet to bring up my recipes and the best part is that it is small enough that it takes up as much room or less than one of my cookbooks. Using a stand or even just clipped into the keyboard I never have to worry about losing my page anymore. I just bring the recipe I want to follow up and off I go. It’s so much easier to deal with, plus if I copy the recipe into Microsoft Word I can add my own notes for the next time I want to make the recipe.
Plus, once I get to the simmer for 40 minutes part I can switch to Netflix and sit down with a glass of wine and relax.
I can’t imagine having to deal with recipe books flipping around on me as I try to cook. What a life saver! Find out more about Intel 2 in 1s!
4) A Big Cutting Board
Having a large working surface can make a huge difference. There are all kind of boards out there and I like have to have a mixture of nice wood cutting boards, sustainable bamboo boards and pretty coloured plastic boards. Avoid glass at all costs, they can dull your knives.
5) A Cast Iron Skillet
I definitely recommend owning a cast-iron skillet to cook food — they don’t have toxic chemical coatings like most nonstick cookware plus they cook food more evenly and if properly maintained, they can last for several generations.
6) Silicone Spatulas
My life was changed the minute my mom gave me a set of pretty, brightly coloured silicone spatulas. They aren’t just pretty — they’re nonstick, heat-resistant, and food-safe too!
7) A Stand Mixer
When it comes to baking, a stand mixer is an irreplaceable tool for any kitchen. If you can find one that comes with a few different attachments you are golden. It can make mixing, whipping and kneading a breeze; no elbow grease required. I am currently lusting after this gorgeous KitchenAid Architect Stand Mixer in raspberry. Raspberry! Christmas Gift anyone?
8) A Zester
Invest in a Microplane Zester. You will thank me for it. My life has been changed since switching to a Microplane Zester and I’m not quite sure how I got along before. I use it for everything from hard cheese, spices and chocolate to citrus.
9) Kitchen Shears
Kitchen Shears are wonderful for tasks around the kitchen that a Chef’s Knife might not work for. I often pull mine out to cut up chicken for stir-frying, clipping twice, nip small amounts of herbs, to cut parchment paper, trim the fat off meat and the skin off poultry and for chopping the odd can of whole tomatoes I might accidentally buy. They also work great for other tasks, such as trimming the stems of fresh flowers.
10) A Sharp Vegetable Peeler
My husband and I are in different camps here. He prefers to use a simple knife and to spend ages peeling potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Personally, I prefer the ease of a peeler. They are faster but they are also more efficient and less likely to bite you than a knife. The blades do get dull though, so remember to replace yours every now and then to keep your kitchen working efficiently.
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Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!