Whether you want to kit out your brand new kitchen, or your old kitchen is overflowing with bits and bobs that you have no use for, it can be confusing knowing what you really need. Heck, there are whole shops dedicated just to kitchen equipment, and the prices can vary hugely depending where you go. So how do you know what is worth splurging for, and what you can do without?
We’ve compiled a list of 10 gadgets that our resident chef recommends for every kitchen:
1) A good cooking knife and paring knife
Ask any chef what their essential kitchen item is and a good cook’s knife is always going to be at the top of their list. A good knife doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do need to maintain it properly with regular sharpening.
Along with a good cook’s knife, a razor sharp paring knife is another essential blade in the kitchen. This is the smaller knife that is handy for slicing tomatoes or cutting up fruit/smaller things.
2) Quality garlic crusher
Yes, there is a difference when it comes to garlic crushers. You want to look for one that’s sturdy and easy to clean, preferably with a removable basket. You should be able to throw an unpeeled clove into the crusher and have it do all the work for you.
3) Food processor
Don’t take up valuable space with juicers, stand mixers and other appliances that you use rarely. If you only have one, make it a food processor, which will make pastry in seconds, blend ingredients for burger patties, puree a soup or whip up a dip. These can be expensive for a good quality one, but you’ll save so much time on harder meals and will also encourage you to make more things from scratch.
Do you automatically exit out of any recipe that’s measured in grams? Adding some scales to your kitchen will open a whole wide world of recipes, and the good thing here is that they don’t have to be expensive! Any scales should do the same job.
5) Stick blender
You might think we’re doubling up on the food processor here, but a stick blender adds a whole other element. You can blend things while they’re still in the pot that you’re using, or make a quick smoothie to take on the go. The stick blender is handy for smaller jobs as they’re quick to clean and take up little space.
6) Good peeler
If you haven’t already learnt, a cheap vegetable peeler can be more pain than it’s worth. With the right peeler you can do so much more than peel potatoes. Hello vegetable ribbons or homemade potato chips! And there are even peelers that will peel pumpkin! This is a tool worth looking into and investing in.
7) Measuring cups and spoons
Baking is a science and requires precise measurements. If you want to be the next Nigella, get some quality stainless steel measuring cups and spoons that are easy to keep clean.
This may seem redundant in the time of cell phones, but a designated kitchen timer isn’t to be overlooked. Timing is essential for quality meals and baking. While you may be tempted to rely on your cell phone, you can easily get caught out by pushing the snooze button on your phone (just until this scene on TV ends…) and then forgetting.
Stand mixers can be big, bulky and expensive, and while they’re handy, they’re not essential. However, you do need at least a hand mixer. Have you ever tried to whip egg whites by hand?? A good workout, yet, but a huge waste of time when a mixer can do it in one tenth of the time. You may want to upgrade to a stand mixer once your baking goes up a notch, as it’s easier to add ingredients while you mix.
10) Non-stick cookware
If you’re still using cookware that you have to scrub and scour after dinner, it’s time to upgrade to non-stick – because ain’t nobody got time for that! Not only will it save you time, but it may also save your waistline as you’ll be using less oil!