The kitchen is indeed the heart of the home, a place where family gathers, memorable meals are shared and culinary masterpieces are created. There are many gadgets created for home cooks to use and many of us have been suckered in to buying items that only serve one purpose, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. A butter spreader for corn on the cob, a specialty quesadilla maker or a strawberry slicer- these one-hit wonders only serve to clutter up your kitchen and waste your money.
Instead of drowning your kitchen with items you don’t use, focus on these gadgets that every home cook needs. Toss those useless, as-seen-on-TV items and put these items on heavy rotation in your home.
This must-have item thinly slices, creates small dices and juliennes vegetables for that finishing touch. It’s quick and easy to use; just be sure to watch your fingers! This item may take some practice to use, but the results are worth it.
Slow cookers are lifesavers for busy work days or lazy weekends. Not only can you have a complete meal ready for you when you get home, you can also create party dips, warm drinks and even desserts. You can roast a chicken, make pulled pork sandwiches or simmer a hearty vegetable soup. Slow cookers are easy to use and can even be programmed to turn on by themselves.
A splatter shield is great to have on hand when you’re cooking something really messy on your stovetop. Grease stains are tough to deal with and they can get everywhere: your clothes, your custom kitchen cabinets, any nearby appliances. It’s so much easier to just prevent them in the first place by placing a splatter shield over your sizzling pan.
Digital Meat Thermometer
Sure, you can try to judge based on the size of your roast and what time your recipe states, but it’s easier to just insert a digital meat thermometer to know for sure when dinner is done. There’s nothing worse than cutting into an undercooked, pink steak or an overcooked, dried-out piece roast.
Yes, it only has one use – grinding pepper – but there are so many recipes that call for fresh-ground pepper out there. That’s reason enough, but many people like fresh-ground pepper on salads or other items and you just can’t beat the taste.
Another item with only one use and a debatable one, but nothing beats a press if you often cook with garlic. Just peel your cloves, place in the press and squeeze minced garlic out the other end. It’s easy to use and can be put to work several times a week. It’s certainly easier and faster than chopping up those tiny cloves!
Today’s blenders do so much more than just make drinks. You can chop fruits and vegetables with them, crush ice, puree tomatoes for sauce – the list goes on. If you invest in a good blender it will serve you well for many years to come and even do the work of a pricy food processor.
Freshly washed salad greens are tough to get dry, but a salad spinner can get the job done in a snap. They’re quick and easy to use, and the results are well worth it. Also, you can use the bowl to store your washed greens. It’s certainly a worthwhile investment.
If you don’t already have these useful gadgets on hand, then make sure you put them on your shopping list. Clear your cabinets of the junk that rarely gets used and stock up on these basics. They make cooking so much easier, so you can spend more time enjoying your meals, rather than fiddling with silly ways to create them.
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