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Pare Down the Clutter with These 16 Kitchen Tool Essentials

November 6, 2017

 

​You can get lost in a sea of kitchen gadgets. But after using many of them, there are definitely those you can’t live without.  To reduce kitchen drawer clutter, we have narrowed down what you need to just 16 tools. 

 

Tongs

Tongs are much more versatile than most people realize and can be used to pick up and turn over food in a pan, or toss salads and veggies. Silicone coating is only necessary when using nonstick cookware. Two great options are shown below.

 

Premium Stainless Steel Locking Kitchen Serving Tongs with Stainless Steel Tips, The Artful Homemaker Grippers, 9 and 12 Inch Set

 

 

 

 

StarPack Premium Silicone Kitchen Tongs 2 Pack (9-Inch & 12-Inch)

 

 

 

Offset Fish Spatula and Turners

Two tools meet virtually all your cooking needs, a standard turner and a fish spatula.  A fish spatula can be used to turn over fish and anything else from pancakes to latkas to cookies. 

 

 

Wusthof Gourmet Offset Slotted Spatula, 6-1/2-Inch

 

 

AdeptChef Stainless Steel, Slotted Turner

 

If you need a standard turner, then look for a robust ones; something that can really get under the toughest of foods that is solid and rigid.  Look for solid stainless steel construction with some weight and rigidity and a wide blade. 

 

This LIANYU Stainless Steel Wide Spatula Turner Set works great for the price.  Solid single piece stainless steel construction and feels good in your hand.

 

If you want to turn something delicate like fish or eggs, then use the fish spatula. For all other turning jobs, you can use a turner. 

 

Thermometers

Another tool essential is a meat or food thermometer.  You don’t want to guess on the temperature of anything.  It can be dangerous and embarrassing when people cut into their meat.  Unless you cook meat day in and day out or can judge candy temperature by the look and texture, then you need one.  I prefer 2 types, a meat thermometer with a probe, digital readout, and alarm to alert you when something is done and a collapsible instant read thermometer to use for candy making or on the fly.  

 

Victagen Remote Wireless Digital Kitchen Food Meat Thermometer is a great choice because it is digital and will alert you when your dish is at the desired temperature.  A simple tip is when you are cooking a protein, be aware of carry over cooking while it rests. 

 

You want meat to rest for a certain time frame after you take it off the heat so the juices can redistribute and create a moist result.  Otherwise you will find all the juices on your cutting board, not in your meat. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes for a small steak and up to 30 minutes for larger roasts.  The meat will increase in temperature by about 10 degrees or so in that resting time. 

 

Review your guide for temperatures of doneness and then subtract 10 degrees and that’s the temperature you want to take it off the heat source and let it rest.  

 

GDEALER Instant Read Thermometer is a great collapsible version

 

 

Colander and strainers

 

Colanders and strainers are used for rinsing and draining products.  Look for sturdy stainless-steel construction with good no-slip handles.  The over-the-sink basket style is a nice choice. It’s great for jobs large and small. 

 

 

The  Cuisinart CTG-00-OSC Over-The-Sink Colander, 5.5 Qt is an excellent choice for it’s strength and durability. 

 

For small jobs like straining wine with floating cork, juicing a lemon, or sifting powdered sugar over pastries, try a mini strainer. 

 

The OXO Good Grips 3-Inch Mini Strainer is a great choice. It stays stiff and strong and is a great little tool.

 

Storage

 

We have all dealt with the frustration of a storage drawer full of lids that don't match the  containers. A wonderful option is a set of oven-safe glass containers. You can store, microwave, bake and serve in them and they won't get misshapen over time.

 

Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set provides many sizes and air tight lids that lock into place.  Your storage drawer will thank you.

 

 

Kitchen Utensils

 

Choices are limitless but there are a handful that will serve you well.  Purchase sturdy stainless steal single piece utensils if possible.  They will last longer and do the job better for you, day in and day out.  

 

  1. Cooking spoon, medium and large sizes.- Cuisinart CTG-08-SSS Stainless Steel Solid Spoon

  2. Ladle-Cuisinart CTG-08-SLD Stainless Steel Ladle

  3. Hand whisk-OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk

  4. Silicon spatula-Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set

  5. Slotted spoon-Cuisinart CTG-08-SLS Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon

  6. Masher-Potato Masher by Shanasana

  7. Meat hammer/tenderizer-Norpro 18/10 Stainless Steel Ultimate Meat Pounder Tenderizer

  8. Ice cream scoop-Jenaluca Ice Cream Scoop Cookie Scoop Melon Baller 3 Pc Set

  9. Pastry Brush-OXO Good Grips Silicone Basting & Pastry Brush

 

Salt and Pepper Mills

 

There’s nothing like freshly ground salt and pepper. Since it’s something you use for every dish, you need one that can perform flawlessly. 

 

 

The OXO Good Grips Lua Salt and Pepper Mill Set with Adjustable Grind Size consistently gives the perfect grind size and is a durable choice.

 

If you have tools you are not using, or many duplicates, do yourself a favor and pare down to the essentials and rejoice in having organized drawers that are stocked with just what you need.

 

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