Before Christmas I was looking for a recipe for a dried cranberry bread (thinking I wouldn’t be able to find fresh cranberries). The recipe called for ‘a stick of butter’.
I thought to myself: who writes a recipe like that anymore – and how much butter is in a ‘stick’?
I can see handing that recipe to a friend, but putting it on a food blog for the world to see? A world where most people don’t measure butter in sticks?
Then I remember that a local British friend had given me a recipe that called for a ‘knob of butter’. I believe that a knob is smaller than a stick but I can’t be certain.
That led my mind down the rabbit hole to think about kitchen equipment that I don’t think about…. Which led me to say yes to this article on kitchen equipment. Anything missing in your kitchen?
Kitchen equipment to consider
Cooks joke that innovations related to kitchen equipment is an inexhaustible topic – both for those who cooks and those who create convenient equipment for it. In fact, it should be noted that many tools in the kitchen don’t seem very necessary until you test them with your own hands. Then you feel the obvious difference and you don’t want to go back to the equipment you normally use. Let’s have a look at some kitchen equipment which may change your cooking:
Measuring cups. These are designed to measure the liquid or volume of ingredients you need for preparing food. If you are using cook books or finding recipes that originate in the U.S. measuring cups can make your day much easier. You won’t have to spend the extra time looking up conversions on the internet. You should have a glass measuring cup for liquids, a set of 4 stainless steel cups (in varying sizes) for dry ingredients and a set of spoons for small amounts of either.
Kitchen Scale. If you have are using a cook book or recipes from other parts of the world (or even more advanced American recipes) you need a scale. They are especially useful for baking bread as precise measurements are important. A scale can make life easier. Put your bowl on the scale and set it to ‘0’. Add your first ingredient, reset to ‘0’, add the second, and so on.
Cast iron wok. Another handy tool is a cast iron wok. If you love cast iron skillets this wok is for you! It is a flat-bottomed iron wok with two handles and a non-stick surface. This means you can produce everything from stir frying to deep frying. The glass lid also allows this high heat cooking wok to cook stews, prepare juicy meat or fish. Most importantly, this wok is long-lasting as well as multifunctional. It means, you can use it on any type of stovetop, you may use for cooking in the oven or even on the campfire.
Splatter guard. This is a tool designed to put on a frying pan. It’s simply a large screen that fits over most pans and prevents the hot oil from splattering all over the cook top when frying meat, fish or vegetables at high temperature. It saves on clean-up time for both kitchen surfaces and your clothes if you forget your apron (another useful tool). It’s also useful to allow foods to cool without being covered, letting steam escape – like fruit preserves in the summer.
Thermometer. This is the most valuable tool you can have in the kitchen. It allows you to cook the holiday turkey to the right temperature so it’s not over-cooked and dry; your steaks will be perfect, and your pork roast will be done the way you like it. You will know, without guessing, when your breads and cakes are ready to come out of the oven.
Knife sharpener. You can have the best set of knives, but if they are not sharp – there will be no benefit. It’s important to have a knife sharpener in your kitchen. Once the knives are sharpened, they can ensure that the food preparing process is fast, smooth and simple. Sharp knives are not to be feared – they are much safer than dull knives as less pressure is needed. Just remember to keep them sharp.