Cooking more during quarantine and lockdown? So am I. Like so many of you, I embrace cooking as a1; and one with the added bonus of filling my stomach and intensifying my technique. ̵
The parade of meals has also given me a new-found appreciation of the kitchen tools I already have and love, things beyond the obvious wooden spoon, measuring cups and microplane. These are all products I actually own and use in real life. They are inexpensive to buy, versatile and easy to integrate into your cooking routine.
Here are the tools I never want to be without and how they make my kitchen better.
Xujia via Amazon
The wide, bowl-shaped bowl, long handle and nice weight make these beautiful long handles spoons perfect for almost everything – eating soup, curry, rice dish, spoon yogurt from the bath, spoon everything from any bathtub.
My Korean friend called them "jjigae spoons" to refer to the proper utensils for eating a category of stew. In my family, they are known as "life-changing spoons," which is how I first convinced my family to adopt them. That's what we still call them today. For example, "Can you please lay the table with the life-changing spoons?" I hardly use "regular" spoons anymore, unless all jjigae spoons are dirty and I don't feel like washing.
You can buy long-handled spoons online or in many Asian markets. My personal preference is to get a set with round handles, not the thin type with the flat ends. Prices vary, but they are not expensive either – say $ 16 for a package of 5 spoons of good quality.
Bench scrapers, also known as pastries or dough scraps or cutters, are usually used to prune dough from a work surface, but I use mine several times a day to either scrape or lift items from my cutting board to make a pan or cheers. I used to use the side of which knife I had in my hand, but this tool shoots more diced onions at a time and is safer anyway.
I have also used straight side scrapers, but the offset construction is much easier to lift chopped food. It works equally well for its intended purpose of working with bread and pastries. This Tovolo bench scraper is the one I use and costs about $ 10.
Jessica Dolcourt / CNET
My friend bought a nice new dishwasher with built-in wine racks and gave me three purple silicone tubes to help keep your wine glasses safe in the machine. "Here you like wine," she said. "You should use these."
She was right. They may look bland, but they have probably saved my wine glasses more than once. You fit one gripping end around your turned stoneware and slide the other end, a hollow tube, over a stick on the bottom of your dishwasher. A thread running two-thirds of the length of the accessory adds texture.
If a glass feels extra wobbly in the middle of the bottom coat, I've been known to clamp two of these silicone holders for extra stability, one on both sides. I used to wash my wine glasses and still managed to break one here or there. No longer. It costs about $ 12 for a set of eight. I've been running them in the dishwasher every week for almost two years.
Lifver Home via Amazon
Small bowls are hardly interesting or new, and I have plenty of them, especially grooved and ribbed ramekins. But these wonderful dip bowls, especially this design, have made cooking and serving food more of a delight. I just love them. They are useful enough for daily preparation and quite enough to earn.
You can assemble a surprising amount of food there, like lemon zest, wasabi or even finely grated cheese. They cost $ 18 for a set of eight 3-ounce bowls.
How I use them:
- Spoon Rest
- Used tea bag holder
- Salt piggy
- Egg holder
- Prepare bowl for small things like garlic, shallots, ginger
- Prepare the bowl for small quantities spice mix (it flows really easily into the pan without leftovers)
- Garnishing server
- Individual desserts, such as chocolate blocks or a small spoonful of ice cream
- Sugar for coffee or tea after dinner
- Ring attendant (especially when I start working with slimy or sticky food)
Sustainability via Amazon
I love a small saucepan for so many reasons, including frying perfectly round eggs at a time and reducing the broth and sauces. Melting butter and making small amounts of caramel or warm milk and cream is also good in a wild pan, especially if you try to prevent your liquid from evaporating too quickly.
I bought a cup that measures a pan that is a lot like this one, with a long handle, and I like it a lot, although it is not as thick as some of my other kitchen utensils. I would also like to consider a butter jug for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling single eggs, but I currently use a small milk jug for it, designed for espresso. It should cost between $ 15 and $ 25 and must be completely metal (unless you want to melt plastic on your hob).
Rich Brown / CNET
I had never heard of a pan or pot scraper until my colleague Rich Brown sang his praises. I have an elaborate and fine-tuned method for steaming and scraping solid raw from pots, pans and bakeries. But I started getting a lot of time back when I started using this $ 5 tool – or $ 8 for two.
It fits into your palm and easily scrapes debris with its flat and curved edges, which can also reach out into corners better. Still expect some sponge work. But it cuts through remnants faster and more efficiently than a hard plastic spatula and it will not scoop up the scrub side of a sponge with cheese or starchy structure. I recommend that you keep it visible on your sink, near your mushrooms and soap. I initially put it in a box and forgot about it, but now it's obvious.
Jessica Dolcourt / CNET
Elegant bottling of pasta, stretching for items on the top shelf, juicing lemons and even cleaning window blinds. A pair of 9-inch or 12-inch silicone tongs costs about $ 15 and has become a reliable kitchen companion that does much more than just flip vegetables and meats.
Prep Solutions via Amazon
My dad carefully referred to these as "rubber fingers." This set of two cost me $ 4 and is great for scraping, scooping and shooting down all kinds of food. Think of the last little bit of something meandering from the jar, or remove every little beaten egg from the small bowl. I still use larger spatulas for larger pots and pans, but these minis are good and fit really well in the box parts.
60 superb kitchen utensils that you can get for less than $ 50