I have more kitchen gadgets than I can count, but some get more use than others. Here are the top kitchen tools in my house!
I am a kitchen gadget fanatic. Try as I might to cull the ever-growing craziness that flows from my kitchen cabinets, counters, and shelves….it’s a losing battle. I can’t stop, and when I get rid of something, I have to replace it with something else. There are a few that I probably don’t use enough to really justify keeping them around, but when you are DIY-er like I am, you can stand to have a stash of useful tools. Still, there are some I use more than others. Here are the 10 top kitchen tools in my house, including small appliances.
10) KitchenAid food processor. After using a basic, no frills Cuisinart for years, I ran into this one dirt-cheap at Tuesday morning. It has a mini work bowl, a dough blade (that I’ll admit I never use, since I make all my dough in my stand mixer), and shredding/slicing disks. I use it for salsa, pesto, hummus, pastry doughs, etc., etc. Plus when I have a ton of cheese or cabbage to shred it makes my life so much easier.
9) Vitamix. I had a pretty nice KitchenAid blender before, but when Philip came home with this baby I was beside myself. I use it mostly to make smoothies, salsa, and dressings, but you can use it for any number of things…including making soup. Like, from start to finish. That’s how fast the motor runs – it heats the food up eventually. You can even get a special container for grinding grains (I haven’t made it to that point yet). The Vitamix is pricey, but I have heard of people who have owned theirs since the seventies. If you do a lot of blending, this will be your kitchen workhorse.
8) My KitchenAid stand mixer. Not only can I mix things in it…but when I have über thick bread doughs that are too exhausting to stir by hand, I use it for bread dough. I also make ice cream in it, and use it to whip cream. Oh, and I grind meat with it (using a special attachment). I have the grain mill attachment but I’ll admit that I don’t use it much, and one of these days (when I’m a lot wealthier!) I’m going to get the pasta roller attachment. By the way, the one in the link is very similar to mine, but a little bit bigger and a little more expensive.
7) Instant Pot. This is a new one. I got it for Christmas last year and I am pretty much obsessed with it. It’s a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a saute pot, a steamer, a yogurt maker….it’s pretty much amazing. I’ve been working on developing some pressure cooker recipes, so I can’t wait to share them with you. I am so glad I asked for this handy-dandy tool…I use it at least twice a week.
6) A kitchen scale. I know a lot of people probably think that I’m crazy, but I use my kitchen scale every single day. I use it for cooking, baking, and weighing out nuts, chips, etc. to pack in my lunch (I’m really not obsessive about portions, but it’s really easy to over-do it).
5) Metal half-sheet pans. I have three and I want more. I buy them for like $9 at the restaurant supply store. They’re strong and sturdy and a much higher quality than the much more flimsy and much more expensive ones that you can purchase at Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, etc.
4) I have ten different mixing bowls in nine different sizes and I use them all frequently, sometimes simultaneously. And I need more, to be perfectly honest with you.
3) Wooden spoons and spatulas. Lots and lots of wooden spoons and spatulas. Actually, most of mine are bamboo, which I love because I can stick them in the dishwasher. They’re super sturdy and they’re great for stirring in my nonstick cookware. I use them every single day.
2) My Shun knives. Philip bought me a set for my birthday several years back and completed it with a slicer last year. They are sharp and gorgeous and decorate my wall on the magnetic strip better than any purchased art could. I am totally obsessed with honing them. The odds are good that I’ll never have to purchase another set of knives. They were expensive but totally worth it. If you don’t have good knives, know that they’re worth the cost to have good, sharp knives (dull knives are a real danger in the kitchen!). Do it!
1) Lodge Cast Iron. Lodge is manufactured 50 miles from my house, so I feel like I’m supporting local business when I buy Lodge (and I usually buy it from their factory store, located right by the manufacturing facility, so even better!). I have the skillets in four different sizes, from 6 inches to 12 inches, a 6-quart Dutch oven, and several gratin dishes. It’s the best stuff in the world…indestructible, conducts the heat well, etc. There’s no better vessel for making a burger or a pan of cornbread.
It’s quite a collection I’ve amassed over the years. These are the things I use daily or weekly…my top kitchen tools.
What are your top kitchen tools?
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