words Al Woods
Certain jobs require specific tools. And like a carpenter needs a hammer or a painter a paintbrush, a home chef needs certain tools, too. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting your footing in the kitchen, these are the most worthwhile tools that you should have at your fingertips.
This indispensable kitchen tool, which is also called a wok skimmer, wire scoop or spider, is a handheld strainer that is equipped with a metal basket. A wire skimmer can hold a lot more than a traditional slotted spoon, which is great for when you need to remove items from boiling pots. And it’s great for blanching vegetables. Not just for veggies, a wire skimmer can be the perfect assistant for when you are frying up chicken or calamari. It is also ideal for removing pasta.
A home cook’s time to shine is at a dinner party. Entertaining gives you the chance to showcase your culinary skills, no matter what level. Don’t let your meal fall flat just because you don’t have the right utensils. Complement what you are cooking up with a matching flatware set. A timeless dining set can last a lifetime. And can be of use around the holidays, special occasions, dinner parties and other times when you are expected to entertain guests. Choose a style and finish that complements your style or the way that your kitchen is decorated. And opt for a traditional set, rather than a trendy one, that will last for decades.
There are certain kitchen tasks that require more than your hands. For these tasks, reach for tongs. This versatile kitchen tool can be used to serve salads to a dinner party, flip meat on a hot grill, grab hot pans from the oven and can even be implemented to open a wine bottle when you can’t seem to find your wine opener. There are a few different types of kitchen tongs:
- Locking tongs, which are sturdy and relatively inexpensive. These types have pincers that are spatula or scallop shape.
- Covered locking tongs provide a great grip. This type of kitchen tongs have covered pincers, typically silicone or nylon, and can be used on practically any surface.
- Pasta tongs make serving pasta effortless.
- Barbecue tongs give you a greater distance, often 18-inches, between a hot surface and your hand — which is great when you’re grilling for groups.
The microplane is a grater with a handle that can be used in a variety of different ways. Home cooks and experienced chefs alike can pick up a microplane to grate garlic, shave parmesan for pastas and help you get just the right amount of citrus zest without the bitter pith. This valuable kitchen tool can also be used to shred fresh coconut, mince ginger, ground a variety of different spices including nutmeg and cinnamon, or shave fine pieces of chocolate that can be sprinkled on top of frosted cakes or a bowl of ice cream.
No kitchen is complete without these tools. From the wire skimmer to the microplane, these four essential cooking tools can make your time spent in the kitchen more productive and more enjoyable, too. A deep fryer in the kitchen is a must-have especially if you love deep-fried foods.