Fill out your kitchen with the right tools
Kitchen utensils are the gray area between your everyday cutlery set (knives, forks and spoons) and the small appliances (vegetable steamer, blender, food processor) that make your kitchen work. You'll find that handheld utensils are just as useful as any machine, and mastering them will help you reduce the time you spend on kitchen chores.
Having cooking utensils stored conveniently at hand can shave precious minutes of your cooking time. But you don't have to sacrifice your kitchen design to have these items out on display. These days, utensils come in stylish designs and colors, so you'll be happy to have them within view. Measuring cups and measuring spoons in bright reds and blues or modern stainless steel are a fun accessory on a wall hook or pot rack. A matching spatula, slotted spoon, tongs, ladle and whisk look great in a canister on your countertop, along with your wooden spoon set.
When it comes to utensils with style and substance, you might be surprised to see cheese graters and strainers leading the pack. You can find a cheese grater in nearly any color and design to suit your taste and technique. Standup and flat-panel graters, as well as graters with attachable bowls, all come in a variety of attractive finishes and designs. And strainers are no less creative – single-handled or double, plastic or metal, brightly colored or with a stainless steel finish, you won't want to tuck this item away in a cupboard!
A kitchen knife is invaluable in food prep, which means knife sets are a must for your kitchen. While you can buy these sets in zipped cases to store safely in a drawer, many kitchen knives are sold in attractive knife blocks, made either from traditional wood or from stainless steel for a sophisticated look.
Essential kitchen knives to have on hand are a paring knife, a carving knife (or an electric knife) and a large butcher knife. Others that can be helpful include a bread knife, a boning knife and a fillet knife.
Meat Preparation Tools
Tackling a large roast for a dinner party or even preparing the main course of a family dinner requires its own set of gadgets and goods. A sturdy meat tenderizer or meat hammer can make all the difference with beef, while a baster is essential for turkey or chicken. Keep a garlic press or herb grinder on hand, and you'll always be ready to season to perfection.
Though these tools are great, the real gadget to win your chef's heart will undoubtedly be a meat thermometer. If you haven't tried one of these devices, give it a shot. Not just for meat, it can help you prepare your entire dinner to perfection. Some models are inserted directly into the food as it cooks, providing you with an ongoing digital readout, while others you can pop into your dish at any time for a quick checkup – the choice is yours!