kitchen toolsThere’s an old saying that you use only 20 percent of your tools to do 80 percent of your work. That is certainly true in the case of these essential kitchen tools. When it comes to kitchen essentials, choose good quality tools, and they will serve you for many years.

While every chef or cook will have their own personal favorites, here are some of the tools we consider essential in the kitchen:

A frying pan or skillet:

  • Can be used for pan frying, sauteeing, and many other types of cooking
  • Should be made of heavy metal to evenly disperse and maintain heat
  • Should be able to go from stove top to oven (this means no plastic handles)
  • Nonstick coatings are optional, you should have at least one good cast iron skillet
  • You will probably want frying pans in several different sizes

Quality knives:

  • Sharp knives are actually less likely to cause cuts
  • The blade should be at least 1.5 inches wide
  • The blade should be made of a quality steel that will take a good edge
  • The handle should be heavy and fit well in your hand
  • Most manufacturers make a sharpening steel; buy one, learn to use it, and use it regularly; it will keep your knives in good shape between professional sharpenings

Spring loaded tongs:

  • In the kitchen, a good pair of tongs is like having a heat proof hand
  • You can reach into hot ovens with these, pick things up, turn foods over, or stir
  • This is one of those tools you may not have used before but will soon find indispensable

Quality strainer:

  • Good for draining pasta or cooked vegetables
  • Best way to rinse fruit
  • Essential for straining sauces
  • Essential for separating seeds from juices
  • Should be made of good quality stainless steel
  • Mesh net should be firmly attached so that you can press against it to extract liquids from purees

Wooden spoons:

  • Inexpensive
  • Almost impossible to destroy
  • Strong enough to stir almost anything
  • Will not transfer heat

Microplane grater:

  • Available in a variety of grater sizes
  • Easiest way to zest citrus, mince garlic, shred hard cheese or manage whole spices like nutmeg
  • Larger ones make short work of any shredding job
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