Having good kitchen equipment can make a difference, however trying to decide which ones would be useful can be a challenge. I have listed my favourites below.
I love measuring spoons, they take all the guess work out when measuring very small quantities. After all, does anyone really know what a 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder looks like? They usually come in sets of 5 spoons, and include 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 tablespoon and 1 tablespoon. These convert to 1.25 ml, 2.5 ml, 5 ml, 7.5 ml and 15 ml. This spoon to ml conversion is not entirely exact, but as long as you use either spoon measurements, or ml measurements for a recipe, you will be fine.
Measuring spoon sets are widely available online, in supermarkets and cookery shops. My favourite measuring spoons are the Kitchen Craft Colourworks Set.These are fabulous spoons for a very decent price, they do exactly what it says on the tin.
Silicone kitchen utensils are fabulous. They are heat resistant and suitable for nonstick pans and are suitable to put in the dishwasher. You can get cooking spoons, spatulas, hand whisks and pastry brushes to mention a few. The spatulas scrape virtually every last scrap out of a bowl or pan, so if you like to lick the cake bowl, you may be disappointed! The pastry brush lasts much better than the normal type. The bristles don’t get misshapen, and since they can be put in the dishwasher, there is no need for fiddly cleaning. I use my silicone spoon and spatula all the time when I am cooking.
This 4-Piece Silicone Set from Homdox contains a spoon, pastry brush, 2 spatulas, and is great value for money.
Fine graters are They are ideal for grating parmesan, shredding nuts and zesting citrus fruit. I find them really useful for grating garlic and ginger, especially if you do not want pieces, however small, in a recipe.
My favourite fine grater is the Microplane Home Fine Grater, I have had mine for years and it still gives great results. It has an easy grip handle and the grating surface is a good size. The two way blade means you grate going up and going down, so you get great results even quicker. It is a bit more expensive than an ordinary grater. However, if you do decide to go for one, you will be well rewarded.
A great digital scale is the Salter 1036 Electronic Kitchen Scale. It can measure up to 5 kg in 1 g increments, up to 11 lb in 0.1 oz increments. You can also measure liquids with these scales, up to 5 L or 175 fl.oz. Salter are so confident they will not develop a fault they come with a 15 year manufacturers guarantee. It is compact and wipes clean easily with a cloth.
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Electric whisks make light work of all sorts of kitchen jobs. Beating egg whites for meringues, beating butter and sugar together, making an all-in-one sponge, the list goes on. They all come with at least 3 speed settings, some go up to 5. They also come in different wattages, 150-300, the higher the Watts the more power for the beaters. As standard they all come with two beaters, some come with extra beaters such as dough hooks and balloon whisks.
A great whisk whisk won’t break the bank is the Andrew James Hand Mixer has 5 speed settings and comes with, regular beaters, ideal for mixing cakes and batters, a balloon whisk, which will make light work of meringues and sauces, and dough hooks which means you can get a homemade loaf of bread without having to knead the dough. It is lightweight and has 5 speed settings, making them great for any level of baker.
Glass Chopping Board
his is another fabulous item to have in your kitchen. I use mine primarily for chopping raw chicken, meat and fish. When I have finished chopping, I pour boiling water over the board to get rid of any bacteria that can live on raw meats, then give it a good wash. Most glass chopping boards are heat resistant, but double check before you buy. Also, check for it’s suitability for going in a dishwasher if that is important for you. I sometimes cover my board in tin foil and use it to put birthday cakes on!
If you do an internet search for glass chopping boards, you will literally get nearly 2 million results! They come in all shapes and sizes, colours and prices. There is something for everyone.
A Decent Knife
There are so many knives out there I could have a whole website dedicated to them. The knives I am specifically talking about is one which will make light work of not only fruit and veg, but also raw meat, chicken and fish with. I got one of these about 5 years ago, and it made the whole chopping raw meat experience so much easier. You don’t need to be a professional chef to be able to afford a really good kitchen knife.
|Bread Knife||does exactly what it's name suggests and has a serrated edge to cut through bread easily|
|Chef's Knife||an all purpose knife with a broad and heavy blade|
|Carving Knife||a longer knife at 20-38 cm and allows you to cut thin slices of cooked meats|
|Paring Knife||good for peeling fruit and vegetables and for detailed cutting such as slicing garlic cloves|
|Utility Knife||a good general purpose knife and lies between a Chef's knife and paring knife|
|Santoku Knife||this knife is widely used in Japan as it copes really well when chopping really thinly and delicately|
Victorinox do a very decent 5″ Chefs Knife at £17.50 and it is a wee gem. It’s blade is 5 inches long and razor sharp and the handle fits well in your hand and gives a good grip. It can be used for all sorts of kitchen jobs including vegetables, meat and fish.
This is a hand held blender you can put it into a pot of soup or sauce and blend it all up. I find it easier to blend this way rather than decanting the pot into an electric food processor or blender. It also saves on the washing up. If you have a baby, then it makes light work of pureeing food. Quite often stick blenders come as part of a set, and you also get a chopper as well. The chopper is great for making breadcrumbs and chopping nuts or herbs.
This Braun Hand Blender is real value for money. It comes with a 600ml plastic beaker, with both ml and floz measurments, which is ideal for blending small amounts. The stainless steel blades makes light work of soups, sauces, shakes and pureeing food. The blending leg is detachable making cleaning easy. Both the beaker and blending leg are dishwasher safe. It does not come with any attachments, but you are getting something that is simple, effective and quick. This blender is a no frills basic one, but will cope with the vast majority of your blending needs. It is easy to use, blends quickly and is reliable. You can spend well over £100 on a stick blender. Sometimes it is worth spending a bit more on an item of equipment, but in this case there is no need. You may of course wish to upgrade at a latter date, but this little gem is a great place to start.
Once you have used a good garlic crusher you will wonder what took you so long to get one. Chefs don’t seem to use them, they bash a clove of garlic with the side of a knife and do it that way. I have never found that technique to be very successful. However, I am not a chef so there is no need to worry!
There is one garlic crusher available that is fantastic.It is the Buyku Mini Garlic Press It is acutally a garlic press and slicer and does not require good grip strength to use. You place the garlic on either the slicer or diver and press down the hinged top. It is a garlic lover’s dream and also loved by kids. It is really easy to clean, it can go on the top shelf of the dishwasher, or run it under the tap and it will be clean.
These are of course only my favourites, there are literally 100’s of products out there that you can use in your kitchen. Just use what you like. If you hunt about a bit on the internet you can quite often grab a bargain.
If you come across, or are already using, a great bit of kit and want to share it, just leave a message in the comments box to the right hand side of the screen.