One of French's favorite kitchen tools, a sieve or strainer can be utilized for a wide range of kitchen needs. You can use it to drain pasta, rinse canned beans, make yogurt cheese, remove berry seeds from berry sauces or coulis, strain herbs and spices from sauces, remove blanched vegetables from boiling water, sift dry ingredients and even make citrus juice. Sieves and strainers come in a variety of sizes and can be nested in the cabinet to save space.
Whisks are another invaluable kitchen tool that can be used for both wet and dry ingredients. A small whisk can mix up a brown sugar cinnamon topping for muffins and be used to beat the eggs needed for the muffin recipe. A larger whisk can combine the dry ingredients for a cake then be used to make whipped cream.
Electric mixers are definitely the way to go for big jobs or if you happen to whip and beat ingredients on a frequent basis. But an assortment of whisks can make small jobs a breeze.
Wooden spoons are ideal for stirring sauces and batters as well as serving food and tossing salads. Wooden spoons, which come in an array of different woods, shapes and sizes, won't scratch nonstick cookware and won't melt like some plastic or synthetic spoons. Buy a variety of different types of wooden spoons and keep them within arm's reach while cooking.
Spatulas, also called turners or scrapers depending on the shape, encompass a large array of different-sized utensils. Turners, which are wide and flat can be used to flip or transfer food. Baking and pastry spatulas, which are long and skinny, make short work of frosting cakes and other desserts. Scrapers, which come in an array of shapes and sizes, can be used to scrape batter or other wet ingredients from mixing bowls. Keep your kitchen utensil drawer stocked with one or two of each.
Another nifty kitchen tool, kitchen tongs can meet many kitchen needs. Tongs can be used to toss pasta, vegetables and salad before serving. They can safely transfer hot food from the grill or pan to a dinner plate. You can use tongs to protect your hands from freezing when you are rummaging through your freezer. Tongs are also an ideal utensil to serve foods included in a buffet.
There are certainly far more kitchen tools to choose from, but no cook should be without these 10 kitchen must-haves. French says, "While there are variations with each of these utensils (i.e., slots, sizes, materials, etc.), I am fairly content with this assortment and believe them to be sufficient for most tasks in the kitchen."
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