Friday, January 28, 2011

Kitchen Tools we Love!

Marcie and I were thinking about everything we use in the kitchen and what pieces have been worth the money. Here are the items that even though we paid premium, it was worth every penny. (by we paid, I mean our wedding guests gave us ;) Thanks!)

1) Cutting Boards

You can never have enough cutting boards. They take up almost no space and if you actually cook, you'll constantly be using them. We have three of the epicurean boards as well as several smaller plastic ones. It's nice not having to wash a board after cutting meat so that veggies won't be contaminated. It speeds up time in the kitchen and with our arrangement (Marcie - cook, Brantley - dishes) it works out well having a few extra. Plus they're dishwasher safe so that makes my job easy too.

2) Silicone Mats

We mostly never have to wash our cookie pans because of these. This makes them last much longer and you avoid rust that comes from sitting in the dishwasher overnight. We can cook meat, cookies, etc and they never stick which is another good point. We have three mats and use almost anytime we bake something.

3) 12 in Caphalon Frying Pan

Even when the task is small, we'll turn to this pan. We bought it on sale last December and haven't stopped using it. It's the Slide Nonstick type which means it can be heated up to 550 degrees, can handle heat high enough to sear mean, and is dishwasher safe. It also cooks evenly which keeps food from overcooking in parts. Just yesterday Marcie was thinking about how nice it is to be able to cook all 6 pork chops in one pan and still have room to add if necessary.

4) Full Knife Set

Like cutting boards, you need knives for almost everything in the kitchen and having not only sharp knives but knives made for the task you're doing makes buying them a no brainier. If you don't want to buy the full set, buy a nice chef's knife since you can use that on almost anything and then at least 3 paring knives. A santoku knife is also nice for potatoes where you need a thick blade to allow you to apply pressure even when the knife is halfway down.

5) Silicone or bamboo cooking utensils

We use silicone but bamboo works great also. It doesn't harm non-stick surfaces and is easy to clean. I like thin metal handles and not the Kitchen Aid type since they tend to absorb water in the dishwasher and take up more room in your drawer. They're also much cheaper and that I like. The only problem with silicone is it's flexibility. On spatulas you'll need strength which means you'll also need nylon. For silicone to be tough, it has to surround metal making it thick. Bamboo can be thinner but too thin and it would break. Nylon although will melt on a hot pan works great if you use it right.

6) Nonstick Cooking Pots

We'll likely go with Caphalon at some point (when Williams & Sonoma decides to put them on crazy sale) but right now we have the traditional nonstick kind. Although nice (pampered chef), you have to be a little careful about the dishwasher and super high heat. Almost every meal we'll have 2-3 pots going so having a good set of those is nice. Carolina Pottery Outlet has nice ones and it won't break the bank. If you're a skilled cook, steel and other metals are nice. It took a while but I learned how to boil rice without it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then I married Marcie and she had her nonstick pans. It's easier and much more forgiving but not necessary.

Actually we use almost everything in our kitchen since Marcie cooks so much. Above are the six most used items but you'll quickly find how nice it is to have a fully stocked kitchen.

No comments: