- Food and Cooking
Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools, Gadgets, Equipment & Useless Items
Kitchen designs are changing dramatically as well as what and how people are cooking at home. Some new flats and apartments don’t have kitchens.
The technology for kitchen tools, utensils gadgets and equipment is a changing fast as new fad items and 'must have' things shine for a while only to end up in the back of drawers or cupboards somewhere.
Some items will always be essential such a sharp knife, a chopping board, good pots and pans, wooden spoons, slower cooker, spatulas but many of the other tools come and go as our needs and the technology evolves.
So what are the top 10 essential items that should be in every kitchen?
Also, what gadgets and tools are rendered useless by changing trends or better newer designs?
Many other items have fallen by the wayside - proven to be useless or simply never worked, despite the hype.
This article aims to list the top ten essential kitchen gadgets, tools and equipment that you should have. Some on the lists below may surprise you. You may disagree. There is a poll at the end of the article for you to cast your vote and you can always add a comment. I will check periodically and update the list with your suggestions.
1. The iPad, iPad Mini, and other Tablet Computers
This may seem unusual but iPads tablets have replaced recipe books in many kitchens.
The various apps provide ingredients lists, buying lists and lots of videos and instructions for the more difficult parts of the recipe.
2. The Rice Cooker
The rice cooker does a wonderful job cooking perfect rice every time - just load and forget.
You may have to adjust the ratio of rice and water for different varieties and brown rice can be a real problem.
But a rice cooker is far easier to use than older conventional methods of cooking rice
3. The Food processor
This may seem to be an error, but modern food processors are so versatile and can be used for many kitchen tasks beyond blending or homogenizing.
Vegetables can be chopped to various size by carefully 'pulsing' the switch.
Food processors can be used as an improvised stand mixer for blending sugar and butter and for preparing batters and the precursors of bread doughs and pie crust mixture. It is also ideal for preparing homemade salad dressing and mayonnaise.
4. Hand Mixer
A good quality hand mixer has substantially replaced the stand mixer, especially when a food processor is available.
There are a variety of new model available that have variable speeds and blades.
5. Good Quality Mandoline Slicer
Surprisingly the Mandoline slicer, that was popular 20-30 years ago has made a come back because of its elegant simplicity.
It can produce finely cut, shaved and julienned vegetables, quickly and easily. There are many modern alternatives but a Mandolin slicer can be used for slicing items from potato chips to vegetables for perfect gratins.
This slicer is particularly useful for Asian salads, where everything is chopped finely and combined.
6. Microplane grater
The Microplane grater is basically a rasp with very small scalpel-sharp ridges, and it is far better than the old box grater. It features very sharp blades that are ideal for cheese, orange, lime and lemon zest, nutmeg, various nuts and chocolate. One advantage is that you can grate things straight into mixing bowls, pots and saucepans and for sprinkling fine food particles over salads and cooked dishes prior to serving. The grater is very easy to clean. It is an ideal kitchen tool.
7. Digital Probe Meat Thermometer
No more guessing when a meat dish is properly cooked. There is a safety aspect to this as well as convenience. No more relying on watches and timers to know whether the roast is cooked. No more slicing the perfect beef or pork piece only to discover the meat is raw inside. It is the perfect way to ensure your roast meat is done just the way you like it. It can also be used for large whole fish and poultry. The performance of you oven can vary. Also the meat may be added to the oven when cold or at room temperature and this can affect cooking time.
8. Good Quality Electronic Kitchen Scales
Modern kitchen scales are very easy to use with instant zeroing, and can be easily switched from imperial to metric measurements
9. The Liquidizer
Unlike a food processor a liquidizer has a centrifugal action that blends liquids, oils and butter into silky and smooth sauces and even soups. The end product is simply fabulous - so smooth and well mixed. You need both a liquidizer and a food processor because the end products are so different. The food processor produces sauces that retain the ingredients in suspension so you can still taste the individual parts.
10. Ice Cream Maker
There is simply no other way to make delicious homemade ice-cream and sorbets using fresh fruits. The professional ones can be very expensive.
Ice cream makers provide a lovely way to showcase fruit in season, and there are so many ways to play around with various combinations and tastes
Gadgets You can Definitely Do Without
- Vertical grill - Did not cook the meat well and impossible to clean.
- Garlic presses - so many don't work - Use your Microplane tool.
- Electric knife - So old Fashioned!
- Electric bread baker - Doesn't bake the bread properly. A gadget that is unnecessary and performs poorly.