Having well-made, efficient appliances, tools and gadgets in your kitchen arsenal will give you better control over your cooking, and more confidence in the results.
So check out his list and compare it with what you’re using now. Then fill in the gaps, and see how quick and efficient your cooking routine becomes!
The blender is an all-time favorite: for blending salad dressing ingredients, pureeing soups, making sauces, mayonnaise and iced drinks. General rule-of-thumb is that solids go in the food processor and liquids go in the blender.
People who have it absolutely love convection cooking. The benefits? Even cooking without hot spots, crisp pastry and juicy well-browned meats.
Just look at your recipe and lower the temperature by about 25 degrees. Convection cooks faster while using less energy and reduces cook time by about 25 percent. It’s especially efficient for roasting root vegetables like cauliflower.
A food processor can’t be beat for chopping herbs, grinding meats or grating cheese. It’s perfect for making dips, salsas and pesto, or for chopping nuts for toppings and fruit crisps. Another favorite way to use it is for pie crust or pasta.
A garlic gripper is a rubber or silicone tube that lets you peel garlic in a jiffy. Just put cloves inside, roll for a few seconds and the skin pops right off. Combined with a bench scraper, it makes peeling and chopping garlic or shallots simple.
Want to puree soup?
Just immerse your immersion blender and voila! Use it to emulsify shakes and smoothies – it makes them so very creamy.
The remarkable benefit to the induction cooktop is its ability to boil liquids or reheat stew or soup really fast – especially useful when preparing pasta.
Just be sure you have the right cookware – if a magnet sticks to the bottom of a pan, it’s good to use.
The instant marinator is a lifesaver for those times when you forget to plan ahead. Simply place meat and marinade inside the dish, close the lid, insert the pump and pull the air out.
The vacuum forces the air out of the marinating container and into the meat, which absorb the marinade. In five quick minutes, foods are tenderized and marinated.
Most efficient tools
A simple lemon press, reamer or electric juicer are efficient tools for making fruit juices and popsicles, or juicing wheat grass for health drinks.
A knife sharpener will keep your good knives sharp, which in turn makes them better (and safer) kitchen tools.
The microplane, also called a rasp, began life in the woodshop and made its way into the kitchen. It does a much better job than a rasp or zester because it doesn’t trap the pith (the bitter white rind of citrus fruits) or make it hard to remove the zest or clean the tool. Use it as your go-to gadget for citrus, chocolate, cheese, whole nutmeg, garlic, chocolate and ginger.
Favorite microwave uses
A favorite use for the microwave? Cooking bacon! Just place bacon strips on a paper towel and cover with another towel (or use a bacon tray if your microwave has one).
Cook for 3-5 minutes – perfect bacon, no mess. Use the “defrost” feature to soften butter just enough for blending into batters. Of course, the microwave is also great for baked potatoes (remember, no foil allowed).
More favorite uses
- Boil water for a nice cup of tea
- Heat soups and leftovers
- Soften honey
- Melt butter to grease a cake pan
- Melt small amounts of chocolate (heat slowly; remove and stir frequently)
Instead of spending time tending a pot of rice on the stove, a rice cooker cooks it to perfection. Some models let you know when rice is done by turning off the light; others have timers so you can set it to cook while you’re out.
For making any kind of mashed potatoes, use a ricer or food mill instead of a food processor, which can overdo the starch content.