A couple weeks about, my Twitter pal @XFPH asked, “What are your 3 favorite kitchen gadgets?” to which I immediately responded “knife, cast iron skillet and Crock Pot!”
Seriously folks, it’s important to have kitchen tools and gadgets that help make your life easier and cooking more enjoyable. Would you use a hammer to put a screw into wood? I think not. I’m not saying you have to spend your life savings on every gimmicky gadget out there but with some good quality basic supplies, cooking will not be as much of a struggle.
First up…a knife. DON’T BE CHEAP! You don’t need a 15 piece knife set to start out. My blade of choice is a 7″ JA Henckels santoku knife. It does a majority of the chopping/slicing/prep work that I need in the kitchen. Find a knife handle that fits comfortably in your hand and has good weight. While you’re at it, pick up a steel or sharpening stone and learn how to use it. Here’s a video link of Gordon Ramsey demonstrating how it’s done…because he’s bloody sarcastic and I love him. Dull knives suck…and are dangerous. Click here to see the one I showed in the video. $40-$70 will give you a good range to shop from.
Next…cast iron skillet. No icky, weird non-stick coating to flake up and you can use metal utensils. The iron will heat up evenly and goes easily from stove top to oven (just beware of hot handles). Plus, you can do bicep curls with it! Kidding…sort of. $20 or so will get you a decent-sized skillet.
And last but certainly not least…Crock Pot. Can’t say enough about this bad boy: it’s the epitome of lazy cooking. Throw in your ingredients, set it and forget it (did anyone flash back to Ron Popeil of infomercial fame there?!). Spend the extra $5-$10 and get one with a digital timer and auto-shut off so you can truly walk away. Keep your eye out at Target, etc and you can find them on sale. The crock (ceramic) part of mine recently broke and couldn’t be replaced so I picked up a new one for $29.99 on sale. Check out my free Crock Pot recipe guide here.
What are your 3 favorite kitchen gadgets?
(and p.s. If I could pick a 4th, it would be my Vitamix!)