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6 cheap kitchen utensils that change the way you cook



My kitchen was the first room I really invested in as an adult: I bought one Kitchen help stand mixer, a Dutch oven, a high-end chef’s knife and fine plates and wine glasses. But apart from the chef’s knife, some smaller purchases have become more important for my daily cooking and food preparation routines than any of the luxury items. Over and over again, when I cook at a friend’s or family member’s house instead of mine, I get floored by the fact that people can cook. without some of these tools.

Here are six tools that can seriously enhance the quality and aesthetics of the food that comes out of your kitchen.

David Priest / CNET

The single best investment in my kitchen for the past four years has been a mandolin. It is basically an adjustable slicer for fruits and vegetables, and it makes it easy to prepare salads. All the intricate slicing you normally need to do for good salads is so much easier with a mandolin, and it’s just as easy to prepare vegetables for pickling. Not only does this make everything you slice look uniform and beautiful, it also gives you great opportunities to look up textures in your typical dishes.

David Priest / CNET

If you cook steak on a regular basis, you probably already have a cast iron pan. But these frying pans are equally useful for making all types of meat, from chicken to squid. One of my favorite recipes I have honed over the years is an octopus lime bagna cauda and well-wounded squid is one of the most important components. When it’s too cold, or if I’m too lazy to use the grill, my cast iron pan is perfect for burning the little tentacles.

David Priest / CNET

A good chef’s knife is not cheap, but it is an investment that will last for several years. The problem is that many of us settle for mediocre knives because our old ones get bored and we do not want to shoot for a $ 150 knife every two years. The tool that helps you keep your knife as good as possible is a sharpener. You can pick up a sharpener that works well for as little as $ 6 on Amazon.

David Priest / CNET

One of the biggest blockages to preparing complex dishes is prep. If you have to finely chop, dice or coarsely chop half a dozen ingredients, having a spacious cutting board makes a world of difference. Yes, you can pick up small plastic cutting boards for crazy cheap at playroom at TJ Maxx, but it’s a better investment to just run $ 20 for a board that is at least 18 to 14 inches. You will immediately be grateful when you can keep three separate piles of herbs on it, plus chop carrots without the slices rolling on the floor.

David Priest / CNET

If you really want to start baking high quality breads or desserts, a kitchen scale is a must-buy. You can get one for just over $ 10 on Amazon, and it will make your recipes so much more accurate. As they say, cooking is an art and baking is a science. Science depends on mathematics and good math starts with accurate measurements.

David Priest / CNET

Five degrees can separate a good steak from a perfect one, and if you are not an experienced chef, cooking with the eye is not a reliable way to get the perfect results. Especially if you are experimenting with different meats, a meat thermometer will be one of the most used tools in your boxes. Three years after I bought my first, I honestly do not know how I tried to cook meat without it.

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