My Favorite Must-Have Kitchen Tools

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eHow Food Blog

If you want to cook from scratch more often, start with the right tools. Just like you would set up your work desk with essential items like a stapler and calendar, set up your kitchen with some key pieces of equipment. The following are tools I use every single day in my kitchen. These items make cooking and cleanup faster and easier. Plus, your food will come out looking much nicer.

Offset metal spatula, stiff and wide. These are great for getting under things. Uses include:

  • Lifting a fried egg from a pan while keeping the brown underside intact
  • Flipping a burger
  • Transferring something delicate from pan to plate
  • Slicing quiche or lasagna
  • Scraping burnt bits from a baking sheet or sautée pan

Fine mesh strainer. These are much more convenient than a full-sized colander. Uses include:

  • Straining tea
  • Washing handfuls of vegetables or fresh herbs
  • Washing grains or beans that would fall through the holes in a colander
  • Skimming fat off the top of homemade chicken soup
  • Sifting a small amount of flour or sugar

Tongs. Think of these as an extension of your hands in the kitchen. Uses include:

  • Pulling a hot pan out of the oven when you can’t find an oven mitt
  • Lifting a steamer out of a pot
  • Sautéing
  • Tossing a salad or stir-fry
  • Retrieving things that dropped behind the stove

Rubber spatula. Nothing beats these for scraping every last drop of food out of a container. Uses include:

  • Smoothing on frosting
  • Scraping out a food processor or blender
  • Stirring hot food
  • Folding an ingredient into a batter

Long wooden spoon, at least 12 inches. These stay cool while you cook, unlike metal spoons. Uses include:

  • Reaching into the oven and tossing roasted vegetables
  • Stirring a tall pot of tomato sauce, risotto, or chili
  • Stirring sautéed vegetables in a pan
  • Stirring anything acidic, like tomato sauce, where metal can alter the taste
Read Previous: Cooking with Kids
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