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  • Writer's pictureDonna

Kitchen Tools I Can't Do Without

My top ten kitchen tools that are essential and make cooking easier.

There are the basic kitchen tools (i.e., spatulas, hot pads, measuring cups and spoons, etc.) we need, however, there are a host of special tools that help tremendously and make cooking easier. The items in my kitchen that fit that bill for me at:

#1: Immersion (or Stick) Blender

I have had my immersion blender for years and use it all the time. Immersion blenders are great for blending sauces in a pot like pizza sauce, homemade marina, and a variety of other sauces like the blueberry Merlot sauce I use on my elk meatballs. While you can use a regular blender, this item is smaller, easy to clean and keeps you from spilling your sauces when transferring to a blender. This is definitely the tool I would replace immediately if it died.

#2: Beeswax Soaked Cloth

Sounds odd, but they work great for storing left over smelly items like onions. Beeswax soaked cloth easily wrap around many oddly shaped items (like half an onion). They also trap strong the odors, unlike plastic wrap or bags, and they keep items fresh longer. No more stinky fridge!

#3 - Food Processor

A huge time saver. Mine also has a blender and single serve blender attachments. I use the single serve blender attachment every day to make my breakfast "sorbet;" a blend of low fat yogurt and frozen berries. Yum!

#4 - Good Knives

A good set of knives doesn't mean you have to run out and buy an expensive set. Finding a few knives that fit your hand size and feel balanced when you hold them is important. I have small hands and finding the right knives wasn't easy, however, once I found some that fit me they quickly became my favorites and make cutting easier. It is also important to sharpen them frequently .

#5 - Juicer

Nearly 20 years ago, I go this little electric juicer as a gift and I love it. When I need to juice a lot of fruit, this is a huge time saver.

#6 - Meat Hook

A meat hook is a long metal stick with a handle and a sharp, curved end. This is absolutely fantastic for grabbing meat, like steak, off the grill so that you can easily flip it.

#7 - Mortar and Pestle

These have been around for centuries and are great for grinding dried herbs and seeds. Some herbs are difficult to find as a a ground herb, like fennel or celery seed, without salt mixed in. This tool transforms those items into as course or fine a grind you want. Of course, this is a little more work than just opening a seasoning container, but it is worth it.

#8 - Mandolin

Nothing beats a mandolin for slicing vegetables to a consistent thickness. Great for dishes like ratatouille, scalloped potatoes, or even french onion soup. It also saves prep time when cutting these vegetables.

#9 - Pasta Roller

Nothing compares to fresh made pasta! There is a delicacy in homemade noodles, ravioli, and lasagna sheets that store bought can't duplicate. It is fairly simple to make pasta and use a pasta roller. The little bit of extra work in creating homemade pasta is well worth it.

10# - Stand Mixer

There are so many things you can make with it, aside from cookie dough, that is why it is one of my key essential tools. I use it for making bread dough, creaming dairy items, and sometimes to shred chicken. Of course, I also use it for making cookies and cakes, but not too often. I have had mine for more than 20 years and use it regularly.

Bonus Tip: Patience

Don't rush! Taking time to be careful can help you avoid any injuries when cooking. Slow down when prepping and cutting food. Open the oven door fully when reaching in to turn meat, stir, or remove a pan. Small, seemingly obvious, steps but when we rush we forget about them and safety is important.

There are a lot of other cool tools and gadgets that I use a lot as well, such as: cheese grater, pizza cutter, thermometer, and a scale to name a few.

While writing this, my husband felt that I lied on my #1 as that should have been wine (a little for the recipe and a little for me... he may be on to something)!

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