The inexpensive kitchen tools I love

Last week I saw this great post from Brett Terpstra, The best cheap stuff in my kitchen. In the course of teaching himself how to cook, Brett accumulated many tools, including “…inexpensive tools…that I’ve picked up either out of need or curiosity, and am repeatedly amazed at both how durable they are for the price, and how much they’ve helped make my kitchen life better.” The resulting list is a good one, and it has prompted me to look at the inexpensive and reliable kitchen tools that I love.

I’ve got a small kitchen so tools must earn their way in. As a result I’m very picky, and many would-be additions that don’t “pass the audition,” get the boot. One winner is an inexpensive cooling rack, much like this one from Wilton. I use it to cool baked goods, but also as a landing spot for almost anything that’s hot. When I’m not cooking, it doubles as a drying rack for glasses next to the sink.

Next, this great little colander from Oggi is a go-to item. The feet on the bottom make it nice and sturdy, the long handle keeps my hands away from hot water and steam and the hook on the end lets me hang it when not in use and rest over the edge of a sink when I need it to be out of the way. Finally, its small size lets me put it in a sauce pot for steaming veggies. It’s super versatile and I use it several times per week.

A good set of ramekins, like these from HIC are great multitaskers. They can hold chopped and measured ingredients when you’re working on your mise en place. They’re great for serving individual sauces or dips, holding spent tea bags and of course, you can bake in them.

I also have a microplane that I love dearly. It’s super for grating hard cheese and zesting citrus. I’ve even used it to grind nutmeg on occasion. It cleans up quickly and stores away easily.

I received the AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener as a Christmas gift, as I’m often complaining about dull knives. What I like like about the AccuSharp is that you don’t have to worry about holding the knife properly or maintaining the right angle. Just a few broad swipes and you’ve got a nice, sharp knife.

I’ll wrap this up the same way Brett ended his article, with a question to the readers. What else should I get? Any must-have kitchen tools I need to know about? Sound off.

3 Comments for “The inexpensive kitchen tools I love”

  1. posted by Robert Schock on

    A fish spatula – I have 2; one silicon for my coated pans and one metal for my cast iron. Great beyond fish for anything delicate – eggs, etc. Has become a favorite. Try it, you’ll like it.

  2. posted by Bette on

    A $1.29 vegetable peeler! I’ve tried pretty much every kind of peeler made, from the Euro style to a ridiculously expensive ceramic one. The absolute best is the cheap one you can find hanging in your grocery store’s miscellaneous aisle.

  3. posted by Pat on

    I love the set of ten glass nesting bowls from Crate and Barrel. They cost me about $30. I always have the perfect size bowl for whatever comes up. The smallest holds a couple of tablespoons. The largest would hold at least five pounds of mashed potatoes. The smaller bowls are great for mise en place, I have used the middling sizes for vegetables. Despite the different sizes, they go together and they are not out of place with whatever china you have. And because they nest, they are an efficient use of space.

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