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Surprisingly Handy Kitchen Tools That Rock The Recipe!

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Cooking and Kitchen

The right kitchen tools will helps to make cooking easier and less stressful. 

Consequently, if you haven't  (or even if you have) bought any kitchen tools, equipment  and accessories yet, go ahead and check the following tips and suggestions. You might find something that suits your preference or fits in to your needs.

By the way do let me know if you have any questions or if you would like me to add to this list to help other readers. Thanks !

BLENDERS

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blenders for green smoothies
strawberry smoothie
blenders for juicing
blenders for vegetables

DETAILS

APPLICATIONS

​A blender works well for puréeing ingredients (for example soups) and it is very useful for making smoothies and milkshakes.

BUILD

  1. If you want blenders that crush ice or blenders for juicing then buy a sturdier blender.
  2. People also prefer an immersion or hand-held “stick” blender for pureeing soups in the pot or whipping hot chocolate.​

BLENDER FOOD PROCESSOR COMBO

  • Some people prefer blender, food processors combos that help with storage.
  • However, these tend to be more expensive than a pure blender or a standalone blender for juicing.
blenders for purees

NINJA BLENDERS

Are you evaluating blenders to buy?

Click the link on the right to know more about the NINJA  blender range of products.

Ninja blenders seems to check most boxes and are rated quite high.

TIPS AND TRICKS

GLASS OR STEEL BLENDER?

  1. Stainless steel containers are more durable than plastic ones. Consequently, they can be more expensive than glass or plastic.
  2. You can see what you are blending or doing with a glass blender. Hence, if that is important to you then you should choose this variety over stainless steel.
  3. Don't fill the container more than about 2/3 full.

TAPERED OR WIDE?

  1. ​Buy a blender that is tapered at the bottom if you want to blend small volumes of food.
  2. A blender tends to force food up against the blender walls where it is re-directed back down on the blades and blended until the desired consistency is achieved.
  3. In a blender that is wide at the bottom, small volumes of food will remain in the bottom of the container and won’t undergo this mixing process.

GENERAL BUYING TIP

  • ​Blender food processors combos may not be a bad idea, if you can afford it.
  • Click the links below to see some highly rated blenders food processors.

COLANDERS

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the best colander for your kitchen
enamel colanders
colanders vs strainers

DETAILS

  1. Colanders are also known as Strainers or Sieves.
  2. They are basically a bowl-shaped container with holes used for draining liquids from solids, such as water from pasta.
  3. These are often made from a variety of materials,including stainless steel, plastic and wire mesh.
  4. Also, they usually have a footed or ring-type base at their bottom.
  5. If you have to drain heavier items you could use colanders with handles.
  6. ​Don't hold the container when pouring hot stuff. Set it in the kitchen sink to prevent injuries to you.

TIPS AND TRICKS

ENAMEL COLANDERS

  1. Enamel colanders are made by fusing porcelain into steel, which produces a hard and easy cleaning surface.
  2. The only real drawback with enamel colanders is that the porcelain coating will chip if treated roughly.

IDEAL COLANDERS

An ideal colander is one where it is stable and solid when set on a flat surface.

COLANDER VS STRAINERS

  1. A strainer is typically a fine mesh and bowl-shaped tool that is useful for rinsing a berries or draining some pasta. 
  2. Colanders are typically a larger bowl-shaped strainer.Also, they often have bigger holes to drain liquids from larger or heavier vegetables, fruits, etc.

CUTTING BOARDS

IMAGES

cutting boards for the kitchen
best material for cutting boards
why glass or acrylic cutting boards

DETAILS

EASE OF USE

Plastic cutting boards are easier to keep clean because they can be run through the dishwasher.

BEST MATERIAL FOR CUTTING BOARDS

  1. Look for a type of plastic cutting board that won’t dull your knives.
  2. Usually, it will state this on the packaging materials.
  3. Glass or acrylic plastic cutting boards can dull knives.

TIPS AND TRICKS

PREVENT SKIDDING

If your cutting board doesn’t have non-skid materials on the underside, use a damp towel underneath to prevent it from moving while cutting.

CONTAMINATION

  1. Avoid cross-contamination when cutting different foods for the same meal.
  2. This is especially important if cutting raw meats,poultry or seafood and cutting ready-to eat foods.
cutting raw meats or poultry

CUTTING BOARDS WOOD

  1. Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Teak, Bamboo are some of the best wood for cutting boards.
  2. Avoid cutting boards wood like cedar and pine.
  3. Consider these additional aspects when choosing a suitable cutting board material. Specifically,

DURABILITY

  1. Hardwoods (Maple, Oak, Birch) are preferred over softwoods (pine, fir, redwood)
  2. This is because of reasons such as hardwoods having a higher density than softwoods making them more harder and durable so they will last longer.
  3. If the cutting board is not durable, knife cuts and scratches cause uneven surfaces allowing bacteria and water to enter the board.

TOXICITY FACTOR IN CUTTING BOARDS WOOD

Some woods like redwoods are prized for the rich, dark brown timber but they leach oils that some people can be sensitive to.

MAPLE
  1. It is abundantly available in North America and it is more affordable than walnut, pecan, teak cutting boards or bamboo boards.
  2. Maple also resist pests because of its growth in colder climates. Consequently, this has a reduced environmental impact on locally harvested tree wood. 
BAMBOO AND TEAK

These wood boards are prevalent outside north america due to their availability in those geographies.

GRATERS

IMAGES

lime graters
cheese graters

DETAILS

  1. Graters are used for shredding hard foods into smaller pieces. These includes foods such as cheese and carrots.
  2. They are available in several shapes and sizes.
  3. Graters are also available by specific purpose. As an example, there are garlic graters, ginger graters, cheese graters, etc.
multipurpose graters

TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. A stainless steel grater will not rust.
  2. Box-type graters with a handle at the top are a multi-purpose grater. Additionally, they have several sizes of holes to create different size pieces.
  3. Buy a grater with a wide base that sits stable on a surface. This avoids hurting your fingers
stainless steel graters

Cheese Graters

KITCHEN TIMERS

IMAGES

manual wind-up kitchen timer
kitchen timer

DETAILS

DIGITAL KITCHEN TIMERS

  1. A digital kitchen timer is battery-operated and consequently it is helpful to have one that times in seconds, minutes and hours.
  2. Look for a kitchen timer that continues counting after the alarm has sounded.

MANUAL WIND UP KITCHEN TIMER

  1. These kitchen timers are less expensive than a digital one.
  2. However, it offers fewer features and doesn’t count in seconds.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. ​Buy more than one kitchen timer, if you intend to time several things or tasks at one time.
  2. On the other hand, you can purchase a kitchen timer that tracks 2 or more things at the same time.
digital kitchen timer

KITCHEN THERMOMETERS

IMAGES

Using kitchen thermometers
insert the kitchen thermometer in to the meat
temperature display on a kitchen  thermometer

DETAILS

WHEN TO USE

  1. These thermometers are not designed to stay in food during cooking.
  2. Look to use them towards the end of the cooking period.

HOW TO USE

  1. To use insert the full length of the kitchen thermometers sensing area.
  2. These are usually 2 to 2 1/2 inches for dial and 1 or less for digital thermometers(check manufacturer's directions).
  3. Insert in a way that the sensing area is in the center of the thickest part of the food and not touching bone, fat or gristle.
  4. Ideally you would require about 15 to 20 seconds for the temperature to be accurately displayed on a dial thermometer and about 10 seconds on a digital thermometer.

TIPS AND TRICKS

THINNER FOODS

Insert the thermometer sideways with the sensing area in the center for a thin foods, like hamburger patty or boneless chicken breast.

DISHWASHERS

  1. Kitchen thermometers are not dishwasher safe.
  2. Wash by hand with hot soapy water and consequently rinse with water before and after use.
Dial or Digital Instant-Read Food Thermometers
meat thermometer

cornish, game, hens, oven, rack, with, meat, thermometer

TONGS

IMAGES

tongs for frying
tongs for turning the food
  • Frying Chicken
  • Turning the food inside the oven.
  • Removing the food from the grill.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. ​The most common type of tongs are metal, spring-loaded kitchen tongs. These have scalloped edges.
  2. Use a thick rubberband to lock kitchen tongs that don’t lock in the closed position.
  3. Additionally, this can also help you fit them in a drawer.
  4. Test several types of tongs for food, for comfort,before you buy one.
kitchen tongs that have edges

TURNERS

IMAGE

TURNERS IN THE KITCHEN

DETAILS

  1. Turners are used for lifting/turning and removing foods such as pancakes, hamburgers,cookies and eggs.
  2. They come in many sizes and shapes and are most often made of nylon or stainless steel.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. ​Some turners have holes or slots in the head section for draining off liquids or fats when lifting foods.
  2. Purchase a nylon-type turner for use in nonstick cookware to avoid scratching the nonstick surface.

 VEGETABLE PEELERS

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peelers to remove the fruit skin
vegetable peeler for removing
  • Remove thin skins, such as on apples, potatoes and carrots.
  • Slice off thin sections of cheese.
  • Shave chocolate for the chocolate curls.
  • These are also known as "Y" or "Harp" peelers because of their shape.
  • They are more common in Europe.

 SLICERS

using a pineapple slicer

Using A Pineapple Slicer

using a potato slicer

Using A Potato Slicer

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SLICER ?

  1. A good slicer will slice multiple fruits and vegetables.
  2. Consequently, whether you want a pineapple slicer or spiral apple cutter or potato slicer or veg slicer you should look to buy one that is adjustable.
  3. Additionally, it should have blades that can carve out huge or minor chunks of the fruit or vegetable effortlessly.
using an apple slicer

Using an Apple Slicer

 WIRE WHISKS OR WIRE WHIPS

electronic wire whisks or wire whips

TIPS AND TRICKS

SIZE AND SHAPE

Match the size and shape of wire whips to the task. Some wire whips are longer and narrower while others are like big balloons.

size and shape of wire whips

BALLOON TYPE WIRE WHISKS​

Use a balloon-type wire whisk to beat a lot of air into a mix. An example would be whipped cream or meringue.

balloon type wire whisks

NARROW WIRE WHISKS​

Try narrow wire whisks for soups,sauces and mixing salad dressings.

WIRE WHIPS​

  1. ​Choose wire whips that have a sealed area. Keep in mind, this is where wires go into the handle to prevent food from becoming trapped.
  2. These whisks are more expensive but they will probably last longer and cost lesser over time.
  3. Use  “dishwasher safe” wire whips so that you can save time on cleaning.

BAMBOO WHISKS

bamboo whisks or chasen

Bamboo Whisks

  • These whisks are also known as "Chasen"​ in Japan and they have been used there for centuries.
  • Bamboo whisks get their strength and flexibility from bamboo and they have special significance in zen buddhism.

STRAINER OR FINE MESH

IMAGES

strainer or fine mesh
sift flour and/or powdered sugar

DETAILS

  • This tool strains liquids and semi-liquids such as chicken stocks, lumpy gravy, seeds from fruit sauces, etc.
  • It can be used to sift flour and/or powdered sugar.
stainless steel strainer

TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. Buy a stainless steel rather than an aluminum strainer because the aluminium strainer can become discolored if used with a food containing acid.
  2. For convenience use a strainer with a handle on one end and a hook on the other end.
  3. You can start by buying a multi-purpose, medium size strainer which is about 7- to 9-inches across. Consequently, add more sizes as the need arises.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF KITCHEN TOOLS

DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF HANDY KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENTS

Handy Kitchen Tools

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