Kitchen Gadgets – Part 1


I love cooking and spending time in the kitchen.  It would be very unusual for a day to pass without making a meal from scratch, or experimenting with a new recipe.  So, it’s no wonder my kitchen is full of a multitude of paraphernalia!  One of my favourite things to do in the UK is to browse for hours in Divertimenti and Lakeland.  A couple of months ago, I was reading a post on the wonderful Florence Finds authored by Rebecca Norris, about budget kitchen gadgets under £25, with the luxe version the following week.  It got me thinking … maybe I could share with The Domestic Princess readers the kitchen gadgets I have in my kitchen.  I always love hearing about the equipment in other cook’s kitchens – often resulting in me adding to my collection!  So let’s take a look inside my cupboards!

I’ve arranged my kitchen equipment into different categories: Basics; Pots & Pans; Baking and Electrical.  I’ve then decided which are essential and which are nice-to-haveEssentials – are items I pretty much use every day and nice-to-haves – those that I use less frequently.  This subject will appear over four posts; today will cover the basics with pots & pans, and baking and electronics, coming in the next few weeks.  Describing in one post the many kitchen gadgets that enthusiastic cooks accumulate would read like a large tome … yes that’s how many kitchen gadgets I have!  So, let’s take a look inside my cupboards!

1.  Oven thermometer.  It’s only since moving to India that I’ve needed to use this.  A lot of my cakes were burning and I couldn’t figure out why.  Turns out having relied on my oven thermometer I eventually discovered that it burns between 10C – 15C hotter than the gauge indicated.  And it varies day-to-day.

2.  Timer – self-explanatory!

3.  Selection of different sized wooden spoons and spatulas.  Resist buying expensive ones, I just buy the £1 ones from John Lewis or any supermarket will do.  Then, I never feel guilty for throwing them away when they start to look manky!

4.  Potato ricer for the best mashed potatoes ever!  My lovely friend Alice bought this for me one Christmas and I’ve never looked back.  It’s a bit messy, but the delicious lump-free mash is definitely worth it.

5.  Garlic crusher.  Until two weeks ago I had a regular stainless steel one, which I think I bought about 10 years ago from Sainsbury’s.  One day, I was watching one of the numerous cooking shows that I love, and saw this Zyliss crusher; I am so pleased I did.  It gets every last bit of the garlic out of the clove.  And the main reason I love it?  No need to peel the garlic cloves anymore, as the crusher removes the skin as it presses. A real bonus!

6.  Microplane grater.  Again, this is a new addition to the Domestic Princess kitchen, purchased after reading the impressive review by Esme on Florence Finds and I am so glad that I did.  It is so much better than my previous grater and handles zesting, chocolate, ginger and cheese extremely well.  A word of caution – it is very sharp, so mind your fingers and remember to keep the guard on when not in use!

7.  Silicone spatulas.  I have a few of these and they are brilliant for scraping the last drop of cake mixture out of the bowl (no more licking the bowl!) or the last smidgen of soup out of the saucepan.

8.  Silicone tongs.  I have an array of sizes that pretty much get used everyday.  But, the mini ones are my favourite!

9.  Good set of basic knives to include:

  • 7cm Peeling knife – for peeling small fruit and veg.  This is the Domestic Prince’s tool of choice for vegetable prep.
  • 12cm Utility knife – for peeling and slicing.
  • 14cm Sausage knife – hhhmm, I don’t really use this for sausages, but for chopping tomatoes!
  • 16cm Meat fork.
  • 20cm Bread knife – I don’t need to say anything here!
  • 20cm Carving knife – for carving roasts and filleting fish.
  • 20cm Cook’s knife – for everyday chopping and dicing.
  • 23cm Sharpening steel – great for ensuring my knives are always razor sharp.
  • Kitchen shears – brilliant for cutting up meat!

10.  Measuring jug.  I have a Pyrex one, but am considering getting the Oxo one on my next trip home, as it lets you see the measurements from above and the side.  Oh, and it’s plastic too, so probably safer in my hands than a glass one!

11.  Set of measuring spoons and cups.  I have two sets of measuring spoons and a set of measuring cups.  My one set of spoons go down to a quarter of a teaspoon, which I find extremely useful (thank you again Alice!) and the measuring cups are perfect when following US recipes.

12.  Set of different size glass bowls (small, medium and large).  I prefer glass ones – not sure why, maybe it’s because this is what my mum used to use?

13.  A selection of different size whisks, including some silicone ones for use in my non-stick pans and Le Creuset dishes.

14.  Silicone pastry / basting brush.  As I mentioned in the chicken pie recipe, I much prefer a silicone brush, as I feel it’s more hygienic and we’re less likely to find a rogue hair in our mouth when chomping on our pie!

15.  Pestle and mortar.  This is great for making spice mixes, however, I have been toying with the idea of getting an electric grinder, as I can’t always get the pestle and mortar to grind the spices as smooth as I like it.  Have any of you got an electric grinder?  If so, is it worth buying?

1.  An avocado cutter and chopper.  This most definitely is a nice to have.  However, being quite klutzy, especially around certain times of the month, the Domestic Prince felt this was an essential addition to our kitchen to avoid me stabbing myself with a knife when cutting the avo!

2.  Blow torch.  I love using this and feel ever so professional when scorching the top of a crème brulee or caramelizing a mountain of meringue on a Baked Alaska!  Obviously anything that needs to be torched can be done under the grill – but this is so quick and easy!

3.  Potato chipper.  This is probably the height of laziness, but the control freak in me loves how uniform my chips are when I use this!

4.  Mezzaluna.  I use this for chopping up herbs, as you can get quite a good and quick action going.  However, a regular chopping board and a 12cm knife, will do the job just as well.

5.  Mandoline. This is great for getting vegetables and fruit in a uniform shape; perfect for potato dauphinoise.

6.  Baster.  I am a big fan of roasts, so anything that can help make it even tastier, is a winner with me.  It helps add extra juiciness and flavour to your meat.

7.  Fat separator.  This is perfect for making your gravy less fatty.  I don’t always use this though, as it’s the fat that helps give gravy its delicious flavour!  But when a joint or chicken has produced too much fat, it’s great for taking some of the fat our, but leaving the delicious juices behind.

8.  Flavour injector.  This is great for infusing flavour into meat, cakes, jam into doughnuts or surprises into cookies!

9.  Onion chopper.  If I weren’t living in India, this piece of kit would definitely be on my “essentials” list.  I bought this before coming to India, because I hated chopping onions for the normal reasons:  streaming eyes and smelly hands that lingered for days!  However, I’m now lucky enough to have help in the kitchen, so the onion chopper has been relegated to the back of the cupboard.  But rest assured, once I’m on onion chopping duties again, it’ll be back on the essentials list!

10.  Hot & cold food whipper.  Another new purchase and if I’m honest, yet to be used!  The purpose of this little gadget is to help you create mousses, whips and froths….I’ll let you know what it’s like when I’ve used it!

I tend to buy the majority of my kitchen gadgets from John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Lakeland, Divertimenti and Williams Sonoma, as they all have a wide-range of products.

So, there you have it, the basic items that are filling my cupboards!  Are there any basic items that I’ve missed that you can’t live without?  If so, please share them!  Keep a look out for what electrical kitchen gadgets are in my cupboards soon!

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

Comments

  1. Domestic Prince says:

    I might get to win a game of “Guess what this kitchen gadget is for?” with this handy guide!

  2. Stessy says:

    Knives by Robert Welch – truly wondrous to use…..!

    • Thanks for reading Stessy. Haven’t tried those – we’ve got Wusthof ones, that we’ve had for about 7 years and thankfully they’re going strong. When the time comes to get new ones, I’ll take a look at the Robert Welch range xoxo

  3. Am loving this new site DP. Would never have had you down as a domestic goddess back when we were studying GCSE physics!
    I also, believe it or not, have a huge love of kitchen gadgets and the Lakeland catalogue is required reading for me.
    I do not, however, have an impressive list like this. The best I have is a Nicer Dicer which is advertised on the TV Advert channels occasionally. It’s supposed to cut things into small dices (obviously) but unfortunately I have found you still need to cut large objects like onions into at least half or you can’t get enough leverage.
    Still saves a lot of time though.
    Am looking forward to more installments and now have some new kitchen sites to look at so thanks.
    Take care. J x

    • Was I really that bad at physics?! Oh, I do miss the Lakeland catalogue. Thankfully I can still get my fix online! Yes, I need to cut my onion in half for the onion chopper, but after that, it’s pretty good. Thanks for reading!
      DP
      xoxo

  4. Loving the new site DP. Great reading and would never have had you down as a domestic goddess all those years ago in GCSE physics.
    I have a love of kitchen gadgets and the Lakeland catalogue is required reading but I dot have anything like the range you have.
    I do have a “Nicer Dicer” which is advertised on TV now and again. Bit disappointed with it as you still have to cut large objects before putting them in – otherwise you can’t get the leverage.
    Anyway – looking forward to more installments and now have some new kitchen gadget websites to look at – thanks x
    Take care

Trackbacks

  1. […] of weeks ago I wrote about my love of kitchen paraphernalia and opened up my cupboards on the basic essentials and nice-to-have items in my kitchen.  This week I’m sharing with you my Electrical gadgets, amongst which are some of my […]

  2. […] gadgets series.  Then there are mixing bowls, spoons, whisks and spatulas that I shared in the first post.  And because baking is more a science than an art, I wouldn’t dream of making a cake without my […]

  3. […] in the series on kitchen gadgets / equipment.  Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about my Essential Kitchen Gadgets, the Electrical Equipment I love, and what I use to bake-up a storm.  So, today, I’m opening […]

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