Kitchen utensils are the items you need to prepare foods before cooking or baking. The variety of utensils available is endless. Selecting from the peelers, cutters and mashers, to stirrers and whiskers can be a daunting task. Add the types of materials each item is available in, and the decisions become even more difficult.
The main point to remember is that the most stylish utensils are not necessarily the most useful. Furthermore, kitchen tools have undergone a transformation in the last few years. Improvements have made tasks faster while minimizing waste and untidiness. We will help you systemically navigate this maze to make equipping your kitchen easier.
It is unnecessary to have 30 or 40 different utensils stuffed in your kitchen drawers. You can buy the most attractive pieces but are they really needed? The point to consider is, do the items match with your cooking style and cookware set? Stainless steel utensils are the ultimate when it comes to quality. However, if you use ceramic pots, the metal will harden the cookware’s surface.
Another point of consideration is the amount of time and patience you have for hand washing. Materials like silicone or steel can be put in the dishwasher, whereas wooden utensils will need hand washing.
Make a list of items you absolutely can’t do without. Then consider how much you are willing to spend without burdening yourself financially. It is always better to go for quality where possible. The cheaper items break easily. You will end up having to replace them frequently. If the budget is tight, purchase single pieces instead of sets. Build your collection of quality kitchenware over time. Quality items last decades.
Kitchen Utensil Categories
Knowing the pieces that belong together will help you to organize your space. You will also know which items not to combine and eliminate duplication.
Utensils for Prepping
Preparations of vegetables and fruits are carried out by peelers, slicers, pitters, can openers, or garlic press and juicers. These items are not an urgent necessity. Seriously, think about it. You can squeeze a lemon by hand and peel vegetables with a knife. But the use of specialized utensils will make the chore much faster! The first step is to recognize the types of foods you prepare regularly. Then select the items you will use most often.
Utensils for Cooking
Once the ingredients are ready, you will need utensils when actually cooking. This list includes tongs, spatulas, whisks, basters, brushes, pasta forks, slotted spoons etc. A lot of such pieces can actually be purchased in sets. Purchasing items like tongs or spatulas in sets that have more than one piece is actually a good idea. It eliminates cross-contamination if you are preparing multiple dishes simultaneously.
You will need specialized utensils for serving your meals. These are the items which will be seen on your table. You have the option here of going with the bare bones items that are low in cost. Perhaps you prefer to have a more visually appealing look at eating time. Depending on your personal preference, you will need service ladles, tongs, and spoons.
No kitchen can afford to be without proper measuring cups and spoons. Precise measurements are the key to the success of any dish. Make sure the markings on your collection are exact and easy to read. Depending on how much cooking you do, you may need more than one.
We recommend a four-piece set for the measurement of dry ingredients. Add to that a one-quart glass measuring cup. This makes the measuring of liquids more efficient and convenient. Additionally, you can use it to mix vinaigrettes and just pour where needed.
Regardless of their size, no kitchen can function without a knife. If your budget only allows you to purchase one knife, you need to opt for the chef’s knife. Ninety per cent of your food preparation will be taken care of with this one item. Hence invest in a good one and look after it.
A good quality cutting board is another one of the essential kitchen utensils. It prevents your knife from dulling prematurely and makes cutting and cleaning easier. Many people prefer plastic ones as they can go in the dishwasher for disinfection.
A heavy-duty colander is necessary for draining vegetables or pasta after boiling. It can also be used to drain canned beans or vegetables that have been freshly washed. Many varieties are available. Some fit on the sink for easy drainage without a mess. Others come as two-piece sets so you can allow the liquid to drain in the solid second container. Metal or ceramic ones tend to be more durable than plastic ones.
This is a handy kitchen tool. It is used for shredding vegetables like carrots or potatoes for making hash browns. It requires a bit more elbow grease compared to a food processor. However, it is more convenient for smaller quick jobs, and you only have to wash one piece.
This basic item comes in handy in more places than you can imagine. Whether it is used for opening packaging or cutting away stems from herbs. It is even great to trim pie crust or cut a whole chicken! Try to get one that can be dismantled for cleaning between the joints.
Prep Bowls Prep bowls are necessary to prepare and organize your ingredients. From mixing salads to preparing cake and cookie batter, they help to get the job done. The glass or metal ones are less porous compared to plastic. So they do not absorb odours or stains. The glass ones can do double duty and can be used as serving dishes.
Many people mistakenly call this a sharpening rod. The irony is that it does not sharpen knives at all! Instead, it merely hones the edges as you sweep the blade against the steel. It realigns the edges of the knives. When you purchase a good quality knife, it should be sharp. With use, the edges get bent out of shape, decreasing a knife’s efficiency. Regular maintenance by honing it will keep it sharp for a long time.
Canned goods aid in quick meal preparations and are a standard pantry staple in every household. Hence, the can opener is a necessity. Whether you choose to use a manual one or an electric that is entirely up to you. The electric ones are a bit bulky and take up counter space, whereas manual ones are compact.
A food thermometer is needed when cooking poultry, meat or even egg-based dishes. They help to prevent undercooking. More than that, they ensure that the food has reached a safe internal temperature and foodborne bacteria is killed.
Many people get confused between skillets and frying pans. In reality, it is the same item with two names. The word “skillet” is more commonly associated with iron cast skillets. A frying pan is more commonly a reference to nonstick or ceramic pans.
They both have similar designs and perform the same function. They are ideally suited to make fast cooking stir-fries, sautéing and a host of other jobs. The sloping sides make it easier to redistribute foods back towards the bottom centre of the pan.
This is a must-have tool for making pasta, boiling veggies and making broths. It comes in handy when you need to boil eggs, oatmeal or even rice. A 5 to 6-quart size is sufficient for an average-sized family, while the 2.5 quart is sufficient for single or couples.
There are many expensive and digitalized temperature-controlled Dutch ovens available in the market. However, a standard cast iron piece works just as well and can last a lifetime if looked after. A 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven will be sufficient for a family of three or four. It can go directly from the stovetop into the conventional oven. It can slow cook meat for hours due to its thick base and sides. It can even be used in place of a saucepan.
These are great for baking cookies or when preparing foil-covered fish, chicken or deep dish pizza. They are also great if you want to roast veggies. They are great for one-pan dinners as little cleanup is needed afterwards.
Baking Dish (13 X 9)
They are available in a variety of shapes but, square, rectangular and oval are the most common. Creating hearty casseroles is just not possible without a baking dish. They can be used to make a main dish or side dishes, including delicious desserts like brownies! They are very versatile. With a little imagination, the rimmed baking dishes can even double as roasting pan. Line the bottom and edges with aluminium foil to catch all the spills