Having the right kitchen tools makes creating blissful meals easy. I’ve tried many kitchen tools over the years, and quickly came to realize that the simplest tools are usually the best. Here are a few of the essential tools that I use every day to prepare my family meals.
First, you must have a good set of knives. I have owned a variety of chopping gadgets, but a good quality knife is more versatile, easier to clean, and often faster to use. I love my J.A. Henckles knives! They are heavy, comfortable to hold, and still look new after years of use. I recommend investing in a quality 8-inch chef’s knife, since this knife can meet most chopping needs. The other knives that I use the most are actually a set of J.A. Henckles steak knives that we bought at Target. These babies are super sharp and great for cutting fruit for my kids and also for cutting tomatoes (which would otherwise be smashed to death by my big chef’s knife).
Along with good knives, you need to have a good cutting board. I use a big bamboo cutting board to cut everything except raw meat, which I cut on a plastic cutting board. Pick a cutting board that is heavy, or has a non-slip bottom so it won’t slide around and interfere with your chopping, slicing, and dicing.
Next, I use a stainless steel spatula and tongs. The tongs are great for everything from stir-frys to deep frying. I have heavy duty stainless steel pots and pans, which can take a beating from these durable metal tools. I also have a couple of plastic spatulas that I use with our non-stick skillet (but I only use them when I have to).
The Pampered Chef kitchen shears must have been a gift, because my practical-side would never think of buying “scissors” specifically for the kitchen. Well, my practical-side would be wrong, because I love my kitchen shears and I use them every day. They’re great for opening food packages, of course, but also for cutting herbs, tender veggies, and even trimming meat. The shears are dishwasher safe and also self-sharpening, so they’re always ready for use. Plus, I keep them in my baking drawer, away from my craft-loving daughter’s sight, so I never have to worry about finding them covered with dry glue and glitter.
Last, but not least, is my garlic press that is also from Pampered Chef. It is made from a nice, heavy metal and is very easy to use. Simply pop in a garlic clove (no need to peel it first), squeeze the handles together, and out pops crushed garlic. Garlic not only adds great flavor to food, but it has a lot of health benefits too, so I cook with it almost every day. This press is great for pressing other things too (see my Key Lime Pie recipe) and I even used it to crack open walnuts once!
So, there you have it: the “most valuable players” of my kitchen. Simple, durable, and reliable . . . hey, kind of like me! Happy cooking, my friends!