In 2018, US consumers spent a whopping $3,459 on food away from home. That includes food like take-outs or "on-the-go" as well as restaurant meals.
With so much money spent on dining out, it's no wonder that more people want to start eating more homemade meals. In fact, a 2019 survey found that three in four Americans now prefer this over dining out.
Sounds familiar? If so, then you need to invest in the best kitchen utensils & gadgets so you can prepare more meals at home. With these must-have cooking and baking tools, you can whip up delish meals whenever you fancy.
Ready to learn what tools and supplies to equip your kitchen with? Feel free to use this guide as your ultimate shopping list then!
Did you know that the first-ever knives used by our ancestors date back to at least 2.5 million years ago? That makes them among the oldest cooking-related implements.
There are many types of knives, but the chef's knife is arguably the most important in the kitchen. It's an all-rounder knife that can fulfill almost all slicing and chopping tasks. Whether you need to mince, dice, or even pound, a chef's knife can do all that and more.
A few other bladed kitchen tools you'd want to have are utility, paring, bread, and carving knives. These are task-specific knives that can complement your chef's knife's versatility.
Note, though, that the blades of kitchen knives can become dull over time. A professional knife sharpener will help keep them sharp and functional at all times.
There are six basic knife cuts: baton, batonnet, julienne, brunoise, paysanne, and chiffonade. Mincing and dicing actually fall under the "sub-class" cuts. Either way, these knife cuts aren't only for show; they do impact the flavor of ingredients.
It's because of this that size uniformity plays an integral role in cooking. Take root crops like carrots and potatoes, as an example. If they aren't of the same size, the smaller pieces can ruin the consistency of a dish.
This is why a mandoline slicer is one of the best kitchen gadgets you could ever have. It's a tool designed to provide uniform cuts or slices. It also comes with a variety of changeable blade attachments made to mimic most types of knife cuts.
Some stainless steel kitchen products have finishes that help lower bacterial attachment. As is, though, this metal already boasts fair to excellent corrosion resistance. It also has impressive overall durability, hardness, and strength.
That's why stainless steel is a preferred material for kitchen utensils and gadgets. There's a lot of them, from cookware and bakeware to cups, bowls, and everything in between. You'll even find multi-purpose stainless steel basins with strainers and graters.
If you plan to buy non-stick pots and pans, you need to use non-abrasive utensils with them. That's because metal spatulas, ladles, and tongs can scratch their surfaces. If this happens, their coating breaks down, which then diminishes their "non-stick" feature.
Silicone kitchen utensils are often the best choice for non-stick cookware and bakeware. These are heat-resistant, capable of withstanding up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Best of all, their silicone tips won't scratch away at sensitive surface coatings.
Food processors are some of the best kitchen gadgets for making sauces and soup bases. You can also use portable blenders to make not only smoothies but also pastry fillings. You can use either to make salad dressings, purees, and even baby food.
Use too much flour, and you can end up with baked items that are too dense. Use too little, and your cakes, pastries, and cookies can turn out too "airy" or soft. Inaccurate measurements of liquids can also make your sauces too watery or too thick.
In terms of cooking temperatures, high heats can quickly burn sensitive ingredients. If the heat is too low, it'll take forever to cook meals, and the extended cooking time can dry the ingredients out.
Fortunately, you can avoid food waste by using kitchen scales and thermometers. Rather than ending up with inedible stuff, these kitchen gadgets can be the key to perfect dishes.
Salads are no doubt super easy to prepare, but they are also easy to mess up if the leafy greens have excess water on them. In this case, the dressing can become too runny, which, in turn, can ruin the salad's overall taste.
The thing is, waving or swishing your leafy greens won't properly dry them out. The best way to clean and remove as much of their external moisture is to use a salad spinner. This handled tool looks like a strainer placed inside a bowl.
Traditional spinners come with a manual-turn handle. The modern ones, however, only require a slight push. Pushing it spins the strainer-like component, which in turn, helps to dry the salad greens.
Over 400,000 knife-related injuries occur each year in the US alone. Lacerations or cuts to the fingers, especially the thumbs, are the most common.
Burn and scald injuries are also common, with many of them occurring in the kitchen. An estimated 486,000 cases of these injuries take place every year.
While these accidents can happen to anyone, beginner chefs may be at an even higher risk. After all, knife skills come with practice and experience. These two are things that budding cooks have yet to earn.
To avoid such injuries, don cut-resistant gloves or potholders whenever you cook. These wearables can protect your precious hands from lacerations, burns, or scalds. With these, you get to stay in the kitchen and not in the ER or the hospital.
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the necessary kitchen utensils & gadgets to invest in. Even with just these basics, you'll be able to whip up tasty yet nutritious meals and dishes. Then, once you become more adept in the kitchen, you can start adding more tools to your arsenal.
Ready to shop for the best kitchen must-haves? Then please feel free to check out our extensive collection of cooking essentials!