I know this is bold of me to say but I whole heartedly believe that kitchen tools may very well be as vital as the ingredients you use them with. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this post, there is nothing more frustrating or time consuming than trying to prepare a meal without the right tools and appliances. I myself used to avoid cooking because I knew I didn’t have a proper knife or because it took me far too long to whisk something by hand. Once I realized that the tools in this post and my previous post could not only save me time, but actually make cooking far more enjoyable, I was sold.
So, without further ado, here are 5 more essential kitchen tools that will make your life in the kitchen so much easier.
1. Bacon Fork
Yes, you read that right. Bacon fork. Technically, this tool isn’t called a bacon fork but it really should be. I use a lot of stainless pans and cookware that I don’t want to scratch. My metal tongs don’t work too well with these pans (and they aren’t safe to use on non-stick pans either), so this handy tool is my go-to when I cook bacon. This little guy makes flipping bacon a breeze.
Amazon sells this for bamboo fork for under $10. A pretty sweet deal for how often I you will use it. I’ve had mine for years and it was such a good investment… if you can even call a $7 tool an investment. 🙂
2. Instant Pot
I recently ditched my old school slow-cooker for this brilliant appliance. Props to Michelle over at Nom Nom Paleo for introducing me to it. For under $150, you will have a fully functioning slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, steamer… the list goes on. 7 tools in 1! I had never had a pressure cooker before and when it came time to buy one, I was a little worried about where I would put another appliance in my small kitchen. Thankfully, this allowed me to sell my old slow cooker and added 7 tools to my kitchen, all jam packed into one appliance. If you’re pressed for space, I would definitely recommend it.
I will definitely be posting a lot of slow cooker and pressure cooker recipes in the near future, all of which will use my Instant Pot. If you don’t believe me about how amazing it is, just read the reviews on Amazon.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of microwaves. While I trust Chris Kresser that they probably aren’t all that dangerous, I don’t own one and haven’t in about 5 years. As new-agey as it may sound, I believe that all of the food we eat contains a natural energy. I much prefer to consume food that is cooked at home, using fire and tools that I believe are a lot more natural than a microwave. I just can’t get over the thought of consuming food that has been “zapped”, not to mention the fact that it completely changes the texture of food and makes it a lot less enjoyable to consume. I’m sure everyone has experienced the rubbery effect microwaves have on certain foods, specifically doughs, meat and fish. Ga-ross.
How do I reheat food then, you ask? A steamer of course! Most people think that steamers are only for steaming veggies like broccoli or spinach, but I use this constantly to reheat my food. Specifically things I don’t want to burn in a pan like pieces of meat and fish. There is literally nothing worse than a rubbery piece of microwaved meat. When you use a steamer, it ensures that you won’t overcook the food you’re reheating and keeps the texture from changing into something that’s less enjoyable. This is yet another kitchen essential for under $10. Can’t get any better than that!
4. Electric Hand Mixer
One of my fondest memories as a child was when my Mom used to make homemade whipped cream and give my brother and I the whipped cream-covered beaters to lick clean. And lets be honest, I still lick the beaters, even as a fully grown adult. It always makes me feel like a kid again and one day, I hope to pass that tradition down to my children as well.
Whisking manually can be pretty darn time-consuming. Electric hand-mixers make preparing things like pancake batter, whipped cream, dressings and beating egg whites a breeze. The best news is that it’s totally unnecessary to buy something fancy. Hand mixers under $20 like this one are completely capable of doing anything a fancier/pricier one would do.
5. Nut Milk Bag
This one is a no-brainer. Nut milk bags are super cheap and are 100% necessary for making homemade almond and other nut milks. If you aren’t sure whether or not making nut milk is worth it, read my post about homemade almond milk. In a nut shell, store-bought nut milks pale in comparison. It’s basically like comparing apples to oranges. Once you try the homemade kind, I promise you will never want to go back. Of course, you’ll also need a high powered blender to do the job – something I wrote about in Part 1 of this post. Keep in mind that cheese cloths do not work for nut milks, it’s imperative that you get a nut milk bag.
Well, that wraps up Part 2 of my essential kitchen tools post. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 if you haven’t already. I hope you learn to love kitchen tools as much as I do!
Do you guys use these tools? Are there any other that you love that I didn’t mention? I would love to know!