We often get asked by our customers whether our kitchen drawers are full to the brim with every imaginable kitchen gadget. Well the truth is they aren’t! We have tried many different kitchen tools and gadgets over the years and we have narrowed our selection to those that are useful, well designed and are good quality. Here is our shortlist of 10 kitchen tools and gadgets that every kitchen should have …
1. A Microplane Zester is indispensable in our kitchen. This tool is ideal for zesting citrus, finely grating parmesan, ginger, garlic or chocolate. The razor sharp stainless steel teeth are the key to this tool’s effectiveness. It originated as a smoothing tool for woodworkers however it is now firmly entrenched in the cook’s tool kit. Priced at $38.
2. A Citrus Squeezer such as this one is just so easy and fuss-free to use. Simply cut the lemon, lime or orange in half and place the cut side down in the cavity. Squeeze the two handles together and collect the juice in a glass or jug or squeeze directly into the dish you are making. To clean up simply rinse under the tap or wash in warm soapy water … that’s it! The pips are collected too. To ensure you are getting all of the juice out of the citrus piggy back two squeezed halves in the cavity and squeeze again, tilting to the side to get every last drop. There are three sizes available, small for limes, medium for lemons and large for oranges.
3. A Julienne Peeler makes preparing vegetables for salads, stir fry’s and rice paper rolls a breeze. We have tried a few brands over the years but have found this one by Savannah to be the best on the market for it’s ease of use, ergonomic design and durability. To use, simply glide the peeler along the length of the vegetable and voila you will have perfectly cut sticks of vegetables. It’s suitable for right or left handers.
4. The Euro Scrubby is our go to kitchen scourer. It is made from 100% cotton with a patented coating (that is safe for the environment) and is safe to use on all surfaces including glass, stainless steel, non-stick and ceramic coated cookware. They are also great for scrubbing vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and potatoes. It’s also great for cleaning in the bathroom and some customers say they use it for washing the car! At first the scrubby is quite stiff, so before cleaning delicate surfaces we suggest softening it up by washing it first. Keep it fresh and clean by throwing it into the wash with the tea towels and giving it some hang time on the clothes line. These scrubbing cloths last for ages and ages making them an economical purchase.
5. Eco Cloth Microfibre Cleaning Cloths have revolutionised the way we clean. They reduce the need to use chemical cleaning products which is great for both the environment and your hip pocket! We use the Eco Cloth range and there are a variety of cloths designed to do different jobs, such. We use the kitchen cloth to wipe over the kitchen benches and work surfaces for a streak free finish. The window and glass cloth is fantastic for windows, mirrors, shower screens, stainless steel surfaces, glass splash backs or any shiny surface. This cloth leaves the surface streak and lint free. We also love the Eco Cloth tea towels for their absorbancy and streak free drying. These tea towels are amazingly absorbent, we use just a couple each day in the cafe.
6. A Zyliss Swivel Peeler should have a place in everyone’s utensil drawer. This particular peeler is a firm favourite among the team at Kitchen to Table. The blade is sharp and made from high quality stainless steel, and the comfort grip handle makes it easy to hold and a dream to use. You will have this peeler for many, many years so long as you don’t toss it out with the veggie peelings!
7. A Salad Spinner is essential for washing and drying lettuce and herbs. I first came across a salad spinner about 20 years ago when I was working in a restaurant. It was one of those light bulb moments! So that’s how you dry lettuce! So I went and bought one from the local kitchen shop and I’ve used it countless times since. The centrifugal action spins the basket repelling the water from the leaves and depositing the excess water in the bowl, leaving the lettuce or herbs nice and dry. It’s definitely worth buying a good quality one, such as this one by Zyliss, for ease of use and durability. One customer told us that she stores her vegetables in the salad spinner to keep them super fresh.
8. A Dreamfarm Supoon is the best mixing and/or cooking spoon on the market. The silicone head is heat resistent, so it can be used when cooking anything on the stove, and it won’t scratch your non-stick cookware. The head is designed so that it scrapes out the pan or bowl, just like a spatula. The spoon also has a teaspoon and tablespoon measure mark, which is so handy when cooking a stir-fry. The bend in the handle keeps the head of the spoon off the bench, thereby not transferring any germs from the bench to your food. We love the mini supoon for getting the last bit of jam, honey, peanut butter or mustard from the jar. We also use the mini supoon in our small milk saucepan when making porridge. We couldn’t live without these spoons!
9. A Dreamfarm Smood, or potato masher, is the go to tool for making mashed potatoes or even guacamole. This guy makes smooth mash in seconds by forcing the potato through the thin gaps in the coil. This spring coil design of this potato masher gives makes mashing potatoes effortless and the clean up is easy too. The secret is to trap the potato under the coil and press down.
10. We think Poach Pods are the easiest way to poach eggs. We have been using these for years because they are simple to use, easy to clean up and our poached eggs are perfectly cooked every time (this takes a little bit of experimenting to get the timing spot on depending how you like your eggs cooked). Now this method is more about steaming than poaching, so for success you will need a saucepan with a lid. For the perfect ‘poached’ egg simply grease the cup with some butter or oil, break your egg into the cup and season with salt and pepper, place the cup(s) into a saucepan with an inch of water and pop a lid on top. Place the saucepan over medium high heat to bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat so that the water is simmering and start the timer. We like our eggs with a slightly runny yolk so we find 4 minutes is perfect. If you like a harder yolk, simply cook for a couple of minutes more. Remove the cup by gripping the silicone holes or use the Poach Pod lifter.
So there you have it, our edit of our favourite kitchen gadgets and tools. We have most of these in our cooking class/cafe kitchen that we can demonstrate for you. That way you can make an informed decision before you buy.
Happy cooking x