Kitchen tools are little gadgets that can make your dishes better executed and your life a lot easier. Whether it means slicing your potatoes expertly thin, achieving just the right temperature on your meat or producing the best callaloo texture, you’ll soon realise that these gadgets will provide more accurate cooking and baking results and make the chore of cooking a whole lot more fun. Pick and choose according to your needs which tools are worth the buy but, if you’re a foodie, we believe that all of these tools are worth your attention.
#1 Food Scale
A food scale will change the way that you bake. It allows you to get just the right amount of butter, flour or sugar down to the gram. Measuring in cups, especially for baking, can produce inconsistent results. Humidity, different brands of ingredients and whether it was tightly or loosely packed cups are just some of the variables that can affect the inconsistent measuring of an ingredient when using cups. Weight will never change so, you’ll be guaranteed to follow recipes correctly and produce accurate results every time when using a food scale.
#2 Kitchen Mandoline
The kitchen mandoline is an intimidating tool but, it helps you achieve paper-thin cuts of vegetables for your favourite dishes. Shave carrots and cucumbers for salads, slice thin cuts of potatoes for scalloped potatoes or homemade potato chips or experiment with different vegetables for a healthier alternative to potato chips (imagine crispy fried ochro!).
#3 Meat Thermometer
Meat thermometers take the guessing game out of perfectly cooked meats and dishes. They basically take the internal temperature of meats in order for you to determine whether it is cooked or up to your preferred temperature (for beef and lamb). Most meats are perfectly cooked around the 74C mark however, google to ensure the accurate temperature for each meat. Meat thermometers are also helpful for determining the internal temperature of casseroles. It will prevent overcooking of the meats, pasta and vegetables in the casserole and drying out of its sauce.
A microplane is a grater with tiny bladed holes that allow you to zest your citrus (remove the coloured portion of an orange or lemon) and finely grate ingredients to an almost paste-like substance. Though you can zest citrus on a grater, it is much more time-efficient to achieve on a microplane. Additionally, for seasonings, microplanes grate garlic and onion so finely that it turns into a paste and blends more effectively with other ingredients. Even though it may be one more tool to add to your drawer, it will definitely make adding a citrus kick a lot easier in your next dish.
#5 Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is a powerful handheld blender that can blend anything without the hassle of transferring it to the blender jug and then out. Puree soups in your pot, whip whipped cream and blend smoothies. Most importantly, you can blend your callaloo to just the right texture. Whether you like your callaloo velvety and smooth or with some texture, an immersion blender is the easiest way to go—minimal wash-up and easy results.
A pair of shears can do more tasks than most in the kitchen. Use it to easily trim the fat off meat and then dice (this is easier for more tender pieces of meat like chicken breasts). Additionally, shears can be used to trim herbs and then finely snip them into food. The most obvious job for a pair of shears is to open a packet—but, we’re guessing you figured that one already.