My kitchen is full of workhorses that I take for granted: the wooden cutting board, the balloon whisk, measuring cup, microplane and. But since I spend even more time cooking at home I’ll appreciate all the little extras that I don’t necessarily need but that make my cooking life easier.
After singing their praises to family and friends, I thought I’d share them with you. These are all products that I actually own and use in real life that every home cook would like to have in their kitchen. They̵
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The wide, saucer-shaped bowl, the long handle and the comfortable weight make these beautiful spoons perfect for almost everything – eating soup, curries, rice dishes, spooning yoghurt out of the tub, spoons something really from every tub.
My Korean friend calls them “jjigae spoons” (a type of stew) or rice spoons, but they are known as “life-changing spoons” in my family. So I first convinced my family to adopt her. I hardly ever use “normal” spoons.
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 one with the flat ends. Prices vary, but are not expensive either way – let’s say $ 16 for a pack of 5 high quality spoons, or even $ 15 for a pack of 8 spoons.
I’m sure I could live without kitchen scissors like these from Henckels (also known for making reliable knives), but I don’t particularly want to. Special scissors make it easier to open food bags, cut meat and fish, and cut green beans. Keeping them with your knives or paraphernalia will keep them accessible where you need them and avoid cross-contamination with your other scissors. Robust scissors can put make-up on poultry and this model comes off for washing dishes. This particular model costs less than $ 20.
Table scrapers, also known as pastry or dough scrapers or cutters, are typically used to pry dough off a work surface, although I use mine several times a day to scrape or lift items from my cutting board into a pan or bowl. I used to use the side of the knife that I had in hand, but this useful kitchen tool scoops more diced onions at once and is still safer.
I also used straight line bench scrapers, but the staggered design is much easier to slide under a pile of chopped food. It is equally adept in its intended purpose of working with bread and dough. This Tovolo bank scraper is the one I use and costs around $ 10.
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Small bowls are hardly interesting or new and I have a lot of them, especially fluted and ribbed casserole dishes. But these wonderful dip bowls have made cooking and serving food a pleasure. I just love them. They are useful enough for daily preparation and pretty enough to serve on.
You can collect a surprising amount of foods like lemon peel, olive oil, wasabi, or even grated cheese like fresh parmesan in the hollow. They cost $ 18 for a set of eight 3-ounce bowls.
This is how I use them:
- Resting spoon
- Used tea bag holder
- Salt piggy
- Egg holder
- Prepare the bowl for ingredients like garlic, shallots, and ginger
- Prepare the bowl for mixing spices (the mixture flows very easily into the pan without getting creased)
- Garnish the server
- Server for individual desserts such as chocolate squares, a brownie or a small scoop of ice cream
- Sugar bowl for coffee or tea after dinner
- Ring servant (especially when taking off with slimy or sticky foods)
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My father kindly referred to these as “rubber fingers”. This set of 2 – one with a pointed end (pictured) and one that looks more like a paddle – is $ 8 and is great for scraping, scooping, and pushing down all types of food. Think of the last bit of something sticky like peanut butter out of the jar or grab each small piece of beaten egg from a small bowl. I still use full size spatulas on large work bowls, pots and pans, but these non-stick minis work better than spoons or my finger and fit very well in drawer dividers. They are also machine washable.
Lodge via Amazon
I had never heard of a pan or pot scraper until my colleague Rich Brown sang his praises. I have an elaborate and finely tuned method of steaming and scraping stuck-on crude oil off pots, pans, and bakeware, but got a lot of time back when I started using that $ 5 tool – or $ 8 for two.
This kitchen appliance fits in the palm of your hand and easily scrapes away dirt with its flat and curved edges, which are also easier to grip into corners. Still expect a little sponge work, but mostly to wipe away any loosened and leftover items. I was amazed how my lodge pot scraper erases the foam that collects in a ring around the pan, say the remnants of reduced marinara.
It cuts debris faster and more efficiently than a hard plastic spatula, and won’t soil the scrubby side of a sponge with cheese, eggs, or starchy debris. I recommend keeping it visible on your sink near your sponges and dish soap. I initially put it in a drawer and forgot about it, but now it’s top of mind.
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My friend bought a fancy new dishwasher with built-in wine racks and gave me three purple silicone tubes to keep your wine glasses safe in the machine. “You like wine here,” she said. “You should use these.”
She was right. They may look derpy, but this perfect gift has probably saved my wine glasses more than once. You wrap one grippy end around your overturned stemmed glass (as pictured) and slide the other end, a hollow tube, over a pin on the lower grate of your dishwasher. A wire that runs two thirds the length of the attachment supplies the structure.
If a jar feels particularly shaky in the middle of the lower rack, I’ve known I attach two of these silicone holders, one on each side, for added stability. I washed my wine glasses by hand and still managed to break one here or there. No longer. It costs about $ 12 for a set of eight. I ran it in the dishwasher every week for almost two years.
Jessica Dolcourt / CNET
Ideal for elegantly draining pasta, reaching for items on the top shelf, juicing lemons and even cleaning blinds. 9-inch or 12-inch silicone-tipped tongs cost about $ 15 and have become a reliable kitchen companion that does a lot more for a cook than just browning vegetables and meat. Here are seven clever uses for kitchen tongs.
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I love a small saucepan for so many reasons, including frying perfectly round eggs one at a time and reducing broths and sauces. Melting butter and making modest amounts of caramel or hot milk and cream are also great for a small pan, especially if you’re trying to keep a small amount of liquid from evaporating too quickly.
I bought a “cup measuring pan” very similar to this one, with a long handle, and I like it, even though it’s not as thick as some of my other kitchen pots. I would also like to consider a butter melting pot for butter, sauces, warming milk, and boiling individual eggs, but I’m currently using a tiny milk foam jug for this, which is meant for espresso. Whichever pan you get, it should cost between $ 15 and $ 25. Mine was about $ 15.
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