If you spend much time cooking and/or baking, you no doubt have a few tools you consider essential. Sure, you can never go without the basics – bowls, pans, spoons – but if you’re anything like me, you rely on a few (or more than a few) less-standard, can’t-live-without items.
So! I thought I would share mine. From a beater to graters to cleaner (I guess I like a lot of “ers”), here are my Top 10 Must-Have Kitchen Items, along with a little bit about why I find them so essential. And the best part? Most of them fit into a stocking!
Clockwise from left:
- Microplane Zester – I have no idea how I zested citrus fruits, grated nutmeg or shredded Parmesan cheese before I had one of these. Actually, I have two – and I could use one or two more.
- Ikea CHOSIGT Grater – The oval metal graters fit right over the sturdy plastic bowl – no paper towels, plates, or mess. Plus, it even comes with a lid so you can, say, grate cheese and then store it in the fridge until you’re ready. So freakin’ awesome. And – AND! – it’s only $4.95!
- NewMetro Design Beater Blade – A beater blade with little scrapers built in. I seriously can’t remember the last time I had to scrape down the sides of my mixer bowl. Best. Invention. Ever.
- Envirosax Grocery Bags – I started using these because it felt like the right thing to do. I kept using them because they’re completely awesome. Each one carries an insane amount of groceries, and you can just sling it over your shoulder. No fumbling with paper grocery sacks, no tissue-thin plastic sacks that burst open in the parking lot. Plus, they roll up into a compact, purse-friendly package so you can just stick it in your bag as soon as you’re done with it and you’re prepared for your next shopping trip.
- Fiestaware – Pretty much the best dinnerware and serveware ever. They don’t chip, and they hardly ever break. And around here, we are not gentle with our dishes. Plus, they come in the most cheerful mix-and-match colors.
- Fire King Salt Jar – I picked one of these up several years ago at a long-forgotten department store, and never looked back. I keep it filled with kosher salt, set next to the oven, and use it several times per day.
- OXO Digital Kitchen Scale – This is an incredible tool for any cook or baker, but it’s especially useful to me as a food blogger. It makes it so much easier for me to provide both measurements and weight in my recipes, especially with fruits and vegetables.
- Method All-Purpose Natural Surface Cleaner – No harmful ingredients, incredible scents, cute designs on their bottles, and, oh, it works great.
- Norpro Cookie Scoop – Another lifesaver, this thing makes quick work of shaping and dispensing drop cookies – and it makes every single one look almost perfect!
- Silpat – I use this for cookies, tarts, biscuits … it helps eliminate the need for non-stick cooking spray, and it makes clean-up a breeze.