There are SO many kitchen tools constantly marketed to the unsuspecting home cook.
This barrage of advertisements makes you feel like you need a garlic press to mince garlic, a special chopping gadget to chop onions, or a magical microwaveable container to make scrambled eggs.
The truth is, you don’t need 90% of these gadgets. You can accomplish most cooking tasks with basic kitchen essentials. That being said, there ARE some awesome tools that can take your cooking to the next level.
Here are my favorite kitchen tools that I actually use.
Hope this helps you separate the winners from the fluff & inspires you to try a new kitchen tool!
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This tool makes my cooking-life SO much easier. Basting brushes are perfect for spreading glazes over meats, basting bread or pastries with egg wash or butter, or spreading olive oil over grilled crostini. The silicone bristles make it SO easy to clean, and they don’t stain or retain odors. A HUGE upgrade from the old school paint brush-esque models made with bristles.
You can get 4 small basting brushes on Amazon for just $10. That’s a steal!
Okay, this one is a throwback to my childhood. We always ate our grapefruits with a grapefruit spoon! They are basically pointy spoons with slightly serrated edges to help you scoop all the delicious goodness out of your grapefruit. Watch- once you have a grapefruit spoon you’ll eat WAY more grapefruits.
Bonus: They’re also fabulous for scooping the seeds out of the center of melons & then digging right in! These spoons go for about $5 or $6 for a pair or a set, depending on the brand you choose.
I don’t know about you, but I use A LOT of lemon juice in my meals. It’s amazing on quick sautéed veggies, in salad dressings, squeezed into a crisp glass of ice water, and makes a great addition to quick pan sauces.
I love my lemon juicer, because you can make a lot of juice super quickly, and don’t have to worry about pesky seeds getting into your food! Simply place the lemon cut side down inside the juicer (facing the holes), and press. The lemon is squeezed almost inside out, and the juice quickly pours out, ready for use! Yes, it’s an extra thing to wash, but it’s a great time saver for me!
You can even purchase a combo juicer that has a larger bowl for lemons, and a smaller bowl for limes, all in one! They’re less than $10 for a single citrus juicer or $20 for a combo lemon-lime juicer.
I don’t use my meat mallet every day, but boy am I glad I have one when I’m trying to make chicken scallopine, chicken milanese, or any other recipe that requires thin, evenly pounded cutlets of meat. Simply cover your meat in plastic wrap (to avoid flying juices), place on a large cutting board, & pound it flat with this mallet.
Most meat mallets come with a flat side for pounding chicken breasts, & a textured side for tenderizing steak (think cube-steak). I definitely use the flat side the most, but it’s nice to have options!
Yes, you could just purchase chicken cutlets at the store, but they’re never quite as tender and delicious as hand pounded meat! Plus, when you pound a regular chicken breast into a thin, uniform piece, you get a much larger delicious surface area for coating, topping, and dousing in sauce. Winning!
Meat mallets go for about $15 on Amazon.
This tool is an absolute essential! This is how you get super delicious citrus zest, delicate chocolate shavings, freshly grated nutmeg, or perfectly fluffy shreds of parmesan cheese. EVERY home cook should have one of these in their kitchens.
Don’t believe me? Check out the 1,600 five star reviews on Amazon!! You can get them for under $10 online 🙂