If you’ve been following along with the blog for awhile, you know I love to cook. We definitely can’t afford to eat out often, so I love being able to get creative and make cost-efficient meals at home.
I have a lot of DIY recipes for commonly-purchased items (black beans, garlic bread, etc.) which I plan to cover soon, but for today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite tools I use on a regular basis.
Tools can be extremely useful for getting things done in the kitchen, but there’s nothing worse than buying a kitschy gadget and never using it again. I’m sure not one among us can say their parents didn’t have a cupboard with reject appliances (ours was a deep fryer!).
Because I hate wasting money (and space!), I’m extremely selective with what we buy. I typically wait until I really really need something, and then wonder how I ever lived without it!
So here are my favorite kitchen tools, all inexpensive and all incredibly useful:
Electric kettle // If you’re like me and drink a lot of tea or cocoa, this thing is magical. It’s much faster than a stovetop kettle, and handy if you need boiling water in a pinch. I’ve also switched to using Better Than Bullion cubes to make chicken broth — something I would have never done if I didn’t have this kettle!
Garlic press // I used to hate mincing garlic so much that I would buy the pre-minced jars — y’all know that if I’m willing to spend extra money on something, it’s a big deal. A garlic press seemed a bit indulgent, but whole garlic is so much cheaper than pre-minced that it quickly became worth it. You still have to peel the garlic, but it’s worth it to save money and get the extra flavor from the fresh cloves.
Potato masher // You’re probably thinking “I am never going to make homemade mashed potatoes,” but bear with me here! Even if you’re certain you never want to go down that road, if you brown ground beef or turkey a potato masher is still worthwhile. Brown your meat like normal, and then once it’s nearly done, use the potato masher to break it up further. I learned this trick from my mom and it produces the finest, most consistent ground beef ever! From tacos to meat sauce, this makes such a big difference in both the texture and the consistency of the seasoning.
Silicon brushes // These probably wouldn’t be useful for everyone, but depending on the type of recipes you cook, you might find yourself reaching for them quite a bit. If you’re often roasting veggies, cooking chicken/fish covered in sauce, or toasting bread with olive oil, it’s worth picking up a pack. These particular brushes are tiny, so I stash them in my silverware drawer until it’s time to whip up some bruschetta!
Silicon spatula // I actually found our silicon spatula in Target’s clearance section after Thanksgiving, but having four would be wonderful! This is a low-cost item that can cut down on your food waste when baking or cooking with sauces. Whether I’m making a dough or a glaze, I feel much better knowing I can get the last bit out of the bowl instead of wasting it or defending it from the cat.
Whisk // I didn’t find I wanted a whisk until I started cooking a lot, but now that I have one I reach for it often. I made sure to get a silicon-tipped one since most of our pans are non-stick, but ours is not dishwasher safe so that’s definitely something to consider! (P.S. This is another Target clearance find, but this Amazon link will take you to almost the same model)
Whether you’re just getting your own place or you’ve decided to start cooking, having the tools for the job will make a big difference in your efficiency and your stress levels!
What are some of the kitchen tools you can’t live without?
This post may contain affiliate links.