Here's a little more detail about five of the kitchen tools that have improved my life - none of them are fancy or expensive but they all make cooking and baking easier and more fun.
1. Microplane Zester - the perfect tool for grating cheese and spices, zesting citrus, shaving chocolate, and more. They're light and easy to wield and produce very fine shavings although there are various sizes of these should you prefer one that does coarser grating. And it's stocking-shaped, to boot. They cost between $8 and $20, in general. Read more.
2. Mandoline - this little tool takes all the tedium and inconsistency out of slicing. There are two kinds -- adjustable and fixed. The adjustable ones allow you to slice thick or thin or anywhere in between and often include attachments that let you julienne, shred, or crinkle cut but even the cheaper, non-adjustable kind is awesome - I actually have both and I mostly use the cheaper, non-adjustable one (shown below making quick work of some celeriac) because it is lighter and easier to handle. You can get a non-adjustable one for under $20 and the adjustable kind for roughly $35 and up, depending on the brand and attachments.
3. Silpat Baking Mat - every baker's best friend. I love making cookies and scones and free-form breads and even fruit leathers on this thing since it lets you bake without any fear of sticking whatsoever. It's also very easy to clean. Read more.
4. Kitchen Scale - a lot of what goes on in the kitchen is science-based and a reliable kitchen scale that takes the guesswork out of amounts is a must for your baking and preserving experiments. I love my little OXO digital scale - it's small and simple and lets me know how many ounces of flour or tomatoes or strawberries or sugar or whatnot I am dealing with. At just $30, it's pretty affordable, too.
5. Immersion Blender - I've said it many times before but I'll just say it again... I think this is the single most useful kitchen gadget I own. This handy little wand blender allows you to puree sauces, soups, jams and more right in the pot or bowl without having to deal with pouring hot (or cold) liquids into a blender or food processor. And it makes the clean up wonderfully easy, too -- no need to mess with the Cuisinart's millions of hard to clean parts or cut your fingers dealing with the blade on your blender. Prices vary widely by brand with the cheapest coming in at under $20 and the priciest at around $200 but if my own experience is any guide, you probably don't need one of the expensive ones. Read more.
Please note: the product links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy something, I will earn a small commission from Amazon. The product recommendations and opinions are 100% my own and no one is paying me to write this (sadly :()
You might also like:
- Hooked on a Frieling - Why I Love My Stainless Steel French Press
- 22 Wonderful Kids' Books About Growing, Cooking & Eating Food
- Kitchen Tools for Kids Who Wanna Cook