1. A good chef’s knife – This is really the only knife you need. If you take good care of it you can pretty much to anything with it. A good sharp chef’s knife can slice bread, slice the fat off a roast, or dice onions no problem. If you want to know what kind of knives you should buy check out my review post on different knives here.
2. Sharpening Steel – There are many kinds you can buy, but I like this version to help keep the knife clean of burrs and keep you safe while cutting. You can also get into ceramic steels, or a stone with honing oil, but that’s another topic altogether.
3. An immersion blender – These little handheld wonders do amazing things in the kitchen. You can puree a soup or sauce. You don’t have to transfer hot liquids to a food processor. Just put the hand blender into the pot and puree until smooth. Cuisinart makes a really great model with different speeds, and lots of extra attachments.
4. A meat thermometer – leave the poking and prodding of cooked meat to the professionals. An electric thermometer will always stay calibrated and allow for the perfectly cooked turkey or roast for any occasion. This Taylor brand one is the same type I use in the kitchen daily.
5. Steamer insert – I hate boiled vegetables. I have had them too many times, but these little steamer inserts for your pots are fantastic. Your vegetables should be bright, colorful and vibrant and grabbing one of these gadgets will make life so much easier for you.
6. Garlic Press – Peeling garlic itself can be a pain, and chopping it can be even worse. If you don’t feel like making your hands smell of garlic than you should get one of these guys.
7. Mortar and Pestle - you would think that food processors have made these guys obsolete, but I really like using them when making pesto. A food processor can blend things quickly which can end up heating them up and can ruin some of their nutritional value or flavor. Crushing herbs and spices in this classic gadget keep the foods integrity intact. Plus they look really great on display in your kitchen.
8. Crockpot – These guys followed the motto of “set it and forget it” way before Ron Popeil ever did. It can be used for soups, stews, breakfasts or casseroles. Everything can be thrown into one pot and you just turn it on and come back later and the food is cooked. You do need to do a bit of homework on what you are going to cook in there, especially if you have to stew a tough cut of meat. Crockpots also don’t need to be used for hours at a time, as you can easily cook your favourite soup in just 45 minutes to an hour.
9. Spatula – this seems like an obvious choice, but how many times have you rinsed off bowls in the sink, when you could have used a spatula to scrape the bowl out? These guys are extremely inexpensive but have so many uses. You can use them with breakfast cooking or baking. They will help to save you money in the kitchen too. You’ll waste less food.
10. Steel Mesh Tea Ball - I particularly like these guys when making soups or stews. Instead of putting loose tea leaves in there, they are perfect for whole herbs that you want to take out when the soup is done. Just put the ball of herbs into the soup and simmer away!
11. Microplane - These guys are perfect for zesting citrus fruits, or grating nutmeg or hard cheeses. This can allow you to purchase some of your spices in bulk so they would last longer than the already ground variety. They are fairly inexpensive, and always stay nice and sharp.
What other kitchen gadgets do you guys like having in your kitchen? Post your answers in the comment section.