We live in a wonderful time. We can access more information and data than we could ever process and we have gadgets to make simple tasks even easier. The only problem now is… sorting through all of it! The sheer amount of technology geared toward the kitchen alone is staggering. Choosing what to include in a new kitchen during a remodel can be a headache. Despite the thousands of little doodads and gadgets we could stuff into our kitchens, I still think simplicity is best. So, here are my personal favorite top 5 must have kitchen appliances!
Vegetable noodle maker is hard to duplicate and the sheer amount of dishes made easier to prepare with it is proof enough that it deserves a place in your kitchen. The dough for flakey French pastries can be made in seconds, fresh peanut and nut butters are simplicity itself to make, hummus is a breeze, dips of all sorts can’t be beat, hundreds of other dishes are made in a flash, and food processors are not too expensive for the workout they’ll get. In general, they last for years (mine has its 10 year birthday this year). Tip: get a size larger than what you think you’ll need. It’s easy to make a small batch in a large processor and you won’t regret your decision when you want to whip up a huge bowl of hummus for a party.
This one is a given and will set your mind at ease next time you roast meat at a party since you’ll have the assurance that the center of the roast or chicken is cooked. There are many style of meat thermometers, but the best kind are insta-read ones. Sure, the slow rising thermometers of olden days were find and quaint, but keeping a roast out of the oven for two minutes while you take the temperature can prolong roasting time– better do it accurately and swiftly.Tip: Buy one with as thin a tip as possible. The first meat thermometer I had featured a broad tip and my roast chickens were essentially puckered with holes by the end of roasting.
This isn’t as much of an appliance as it is a tool, but still a necessary one. Sure, there are other methods to zest citrus, but a good, microplane zester/grater just does it better. They last for years, take up almost no room, and clean up very nicely. Tip: Buy a good, sturdy one– you can use it to grate harder foods like fresh coconut, chocolate, and Parmesan as well as citrus of all varieties.
Save money and brew your own coffee at home rather than shelling out the big bucks at an artsy coffee house. Even if you are not a big coffee drinker, many people are and it is always polite to offer a cup to guests after dinner or in the morning if you have overnight visitors. I like these stove top coffee makers– you can buy a small, inexpensive one to keep around to use if a guest wants a quick cup.Tip: Never run out of coffee. If you are expecting an overnight guest, ask them how they like their morning java fix in advance of their arrival and prepare accordingly– they will certainly appreciate it!
Few things in life garner as much envy, praise, nostalgia, and criticism as stand mixers do. True– they’re expensive, but they commonly last for a decade or more. In fact, a friend of mine had to give hers away– the thing wouldn’t die, she had it for thirty years, hated the color, and wanted to replace it with a new one to match her kitchen. They aren’t a necessity in everyone’s kitchen, especially if you’re not a big baker. They are popular because what they do, they do perfectly. Fresh whipped cream couldn’t be easier to make, making cookie dough is turned into an almost hands-free process, and your back will thank you when you see how nicely these things can knead dough. Baking simply becomes easier with them and they’re worth the investment even if you only use it once or twice a month.Tip: If the sticker-shock is just too much, check online for listings of used machines. Just make sure that the engine is not burned out that it comes with all the basic attachments. Happy Baking!