This week for Foodie Friday, I’m going to talk to you about must-have kitchen tools. Do me a favor, go into your kitchen real quick and open some of the drawers and cabinets and take a quick inventory of what you see. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
How full are your drawers and cabinets? Do you have an endless supply of kitchen gadgets? How many things do you need to pull out in order to reach that one thing in the back of the cabinet? Do you have a junk drawer?
One of my family’s goals for 2020 is to declutter our house. We’ve been quarantined since March and our decluttering has gone into overdrive! We still have a long way to go, but one of the first places we touched after my office was our kitchen. We actually declutter our kitchen rather frequently. I think we have gone through our kitchen, decluttered and organized probably twice a year at least since we’ve lived here. Everyone knows we love to cook so we’re constantly being gifted kitchen tools and accessories.
When we declutter, we get ruthless. We pull everything out of every drawer and cabinet and quickly go through and make decisions. The last time we decluttered I think we got rid of a full one quarter of the items in our kitchen. It was amazing to see the space we found!
When we’re in the process of ruthless decluttering in the kitchen, we have a couple of benchmarks each item has to pass:
- Is this item a unitasker?
- Is this item essential to how we utilize our space?
The first question comes from Alton Brown. We are big fans of “Good Eats” around here, and if you are as well you know that Alton hates unitaskers (ie, gadgets that have one job only). They take up space and usually the job they are created to accomplish can be accomplished by something else. We have very few unitaskers in our kitchen.
Secondly, we take into account how we use our kitchen. We do cook a lot, and bake as well. We set up zones for our utensils in order to make the space work for us. I’m happy to announce that this year, we finally got rid of our junk drawer!
So, what do we have in our kitchen? What do we consider essential? Here are a few must-have items that we love, and that everyone should have in their kitchen.
Must-Have Kitchen Tools
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Cast Iron Skillets
As our grandmothers knew, a cast iron skillet is the most versatile cooking (and baking) vessel there is. We have a 10-inch and a 12-inch and use them regularly for anything. Personally, I’d like to get a couple of smaller ones for desserts, but that’s just me. Investing in a good cast iron skillet is a must-have for any kitchen.
Use your cast iron skillet to make my Quick & Easy Fish Tacos!
A good blender is another must-have. We got this one for our wedding and it is hands-down one of our favorite and most-used kitchen tools. We use it for making anything from smoothies and milkshakes to soup. The bottom of the pitcher is shaped like a bowl, allowing the food to really get air into it while it’s blending. That allows this bad boy to make the best frozen margarita you’ve ever had.
Yes, I realize Alton Brown would say that you could pick one up at the hardware store for much less, however I like the handle on this. A microplane is so incredibly versatile. You can use it for zesting citrus and also for grating cheese and garlic (get rid of that garlic press, it’s a unitasker!)
Use a microplane to make my Easy Citrus Baked Chicken!
A Good Set of Knives
Every home chef needs a good set of knives. We have one similar to this set and we love it. I recommend doing a little research before you invest in your knife set. Read reviews (by chefs) and learn how to use your good quality knives. You’ll spend a pretty penny for a nice set but it’s an investment worth making.
Practice your slicing skills with my Grilled Veggies with Greek Dressing!
This book was our guide when we were first building our kitchen. Alton explains why you need each must-have item and what characteristics to look for when making purchasing decisions. This book belongs up there with your cookbooks.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. I know there are gadgets for just about any small task in the kitchen, but just because they’re selling it doesn’t necessarily make it a must-have. With the right tools, and some practice you can sharpen your kitchen skills and find that you really only need a few must-have tools for your kitchen.