Cooking in the kitchen can be a joy or a nightmare. Food is an essential part of our daily lives, and there are numerous ways to prepare food, too. Having a selection of the top kitchen accessories to hand makes the whole process more enjoyable. We reached out to kitchen professionals to ask what time-saving accessories they love, and what kitchen tools make cooking a breeze.
So if you’re getting ready to step up your cooking game, or considering what to look for during your kitchen renovation, read on.
Knives and a Knife Sharpener
Top of the list for any home cook looking to up their game is to get yourself a decent knife set. The difference between a crappy set and a sharp knife is a total game changer to your cooking experience. It’s also a lot safer to have a sharper knife. Why? Blunt knives require more pressure to slice and chop than a sharp knife. Additionally, if you try to imagine cutting a tomato, a dull knife is more likely to skid and slip along the surface (and potentially into your fingers).
But also consider, while high-quality knives can last you a lifetime, they gotta maintain their edge. Top tip: get a sharpener too.
The type of knife and brand you go for will vary depending on how much you use the knife, what kind of material works for you and how much time you’re willing to put into maintaining the blade. So don’t be scared to shop around to see what sort of knife is best for you. Some chefs like to buy their blades separately to build their set over time. If so, start with a small paring knife and a larger chef’s knife (around six to eight inches).
Shop for knives and find the set that’s right for you here! (External Link)
Just like a sharp knife yields fruitful results, you want your zesters and graters to do the job of grating your food (and not your fingers). Microplane graters are much sharper than a duller generic grater, so you’ll spend less energy and release more flavor.
Health-conscious chef Julie Hartigan from Cooking w/ Julie blog says “I love these so much I even give them as gifts and travel with them! They mince garlic cloves in seconds and are also invaluable for finely grating citrus zest – a trick I often use to impart flavor to both sweet and savory dishes without making them too tart.”
There are a range of sizes so depends what sort of thing you’re grating; nutmeg, cheese or carrots might require a different blade.
Explore the world of Microplane grater here! (External Link)
More of a basic piece of kit than an accessory, but definitely worth mentioning if you’re currently looking to renovate your kitchen. Growing up I had a gas stove at home, and I love it. A gas stove is great for being able to control the temperature easily. Now, living in an apartment, I use an induction plate to save space. But it’s just not as satisfying as a gas stove.
For amateur and professional cooks alike, gas stove often comes out top. As testimony to this, Empire City Casino executive chef Sanjay Gussain prefers to use a gas stove for both work and home. “My favorite piece of equipment at home is our new gas stove; it is commercial grade and is very efficient for quick and serious cooking.”
See a range of gas stoves here! (External Link)
Good Quality Pans
Approach buying a new pan or skillet with quality in mind. You use these things daily, and pans have a significant life-span, so it’s good to invest in pans that are well made.
NY chef Shawn Burnett from Putnam’s Pub & Cooker in Brooklyn swears by cast iron pans from boutique metal casting workshop Borough Furnace for their “usability and consistent intense heat as well as balance and ease of use. I have one that no one is allowed to use but me because I love it so much.”
See more about Borough Furnace here. (External Link)
A main staple of the barbecue, bring these useful tools inside. A set of tongs works like an extension of your fingers allowing you to grab, pick up, and grip onto things with ease. How else are you going to wrangle with pulling trays out of the oven without burning yourself?
Tongs are similar to tweezers (useful for fishbone picking), and large cooking chopsticks often used in Asian cooking for stirring, grabbing ingredients and pulling toast out of the toaster (not metal ones, mind).
Pick up a pair of tongs here! (External Link)
A not-so-obvious but oh-so-useful accessory in the kitchen is the humble fish spatula. Fish spatulas are longer and sharper that your usual flexible rubber spatulas; adaptable to a wide variety of tasks from flipping to mixing and spreading.
“A less obvious piece of equipment that is an absolute go-to for me is my fish spatula. Its slim design and slotted face make it incredibly adaptable to any task,” according to executive chef Jason Daly from South Carolina’s Warehouse. “Whether it’s taking poached eggs out of their water bath, searing meats on the flat top, removing a delicate piece of fried fish from the fryer basket, or any one of hundreds of uses for this simple kitchen tool, my fish spatula never fails me.”
Rubber, wood, metal or silicone, the ode to the spatula is sung throughout kitchens across the globe.
Get yourself a fish spatula here! (External Link)
Blenders are really useful in the kitchen, but it’s the strength and durability of a Vitamix that makes it a hands down winner in the blender game. They’re so confident in their machine that there’s a seven-year warranty on them.
Soups and dips, smoothies and juices, it’s nice to have a machine that does the job without a fuss.
Find your Vitamix here. (External Link)
Lackluster soggy salads are a thing of the past when you’re able to dry your veggies off. Recipe developer Ryan Goodwin pits the salad spinner as an important piece of kit.
“A salad spinner isn’t glamorous and I’ve found that it’s one of the most important tools that is commonly missing from modern kitchens. Washing your greens is important to food safety, but it’s a step that many inexperienced cooks assume can be skipped.”
Goodwin recommends the Oxo Salad Spinner, “I love the push-drive design and considering that I’ve got limited space in my kitchen, I really appreciate that the handle collapses into the spinner to save space.”
Give your salad a spin by taking a whirl here. (External Link)
One of the best accessories is to be able to accessorize, according to Chelsea Cole from A Duck’s Oven. One item that dramatically improved Cole’s cooking experience is “a comfortable apron with pockets, especially if I’m referencing a recipe on my phone.”
What’s important to you in finding the right apron? Consider whether you’ll want adjustable neck straps for a bib apron, or something that only ties around the waist. Make sure it has all the pocket space you will need!
Find the deep-pocketed apron of your dreams (without reaching deep into your pocket) here. (External Link)
Those were some of the top kitchen accessory recommendations, did we miss anything essential out? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
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