If you’re like me, you use the heavens out of your kitchen. So much that when the year passes and December comes, you’re most likely hoping for Santa to sprinkle fresh kitchen glitter all over your pot holders, beet stained cutting board, and super dull knives.
Christmas is the perfect time to refreshen kitchen utensils. Between the sales, the white elephant parties, and stocking stuffers, what better way to gift (and be gifted) with the essentials that help keep all of the bellies full in the home?
While the list can go on and on, these 7 basic items are simply the start.
- Wooden spoons. I know that it seems a little basic but I think that you would be surprised by the amount of people still using metal or plastic when cooking. If you’re one of these folks, that’s okay! Now is the time to roll out the wood. There is a lot of controversy regarding wood and germs but I am one that believes in the power of tradition and if you’re cleaning your utensils properly, what is the harm? Plenty of people before me used wooden utensils and you know what? They didn’t all die from food born illnesses. Now that I have very rudely thrown that out there, let’s get to the real root of why wooden utensils are preferred. Your beloved pots and pans.
We have all been there. Your dream pots and pans come into the picture and then your husband, or someone else, takes a silver fork to the precious nonstick beauty. That feeling. OH THAT FEELING. Listen, a good cooking set can seriously last you decades. The more you care for them, the better use you will get and this starts with what you choose to stir, flip, and whisk with.
- Tongs. Non-metal tongs. These babies with be your best friend. You can flip bacon with them, stir up some vegetables, a big ‘ol pot roast, and delicately place garlic and herbs strategically into a skillet of herbed chicken thighs. They are the best kitchen essential and with the holidays here, you are going to want a pair or two!
- Measuring spoons & Measuring Cups. Specifically, these spoons that fit inside of spice jars! This seems like a no brainer but, I’ve built this list based on being nosey while cooking in the kitchens of others. This floors me! Sure, you can guestsmate a cup or a teaspoon but if you’re looking at baking anything from scratch this season, you will need to focus on your measurements a little more. In the spirit of Alton Brown, it’s science!
- Potato peeler. A potato peeler is a true need in my life. We make a lot of sweet potato shepherd’s pies year round and having a peeler in hand makes the process so much easier. You can also use a potato peeler to peel apples, slice zucchini for “pasta” and cheese, if that’s your thing.
- Meat thermometer. Something that I waited forever to purchase. For so long I used the palm test which works really well for things you can serve rare. However, the second I began cooking for folks who don’t eat raw cow, I quickly realized that I can’t trust myself. This meat thermometer WILL be your very best friend. Especially this season. I specifically love this version because of it’s an out of the oven reading. You stick the metal rod into the thickest part of meat and run the wire outside of the oven to the reader. You can set it for the perfect temperature and when it’s ready, it will relay a loud beep for your busy self. It’s the best. If you don’t invest in any of the items listed, please invest in this. Seriously, two months ago I served the most incredibly cooked ribeyes that finished in the oven and now I’m considering opening a steak house. I once heard that each time you open the oven while cooking, you let out 20 minutes of heat. So, stop doing that! Invest in this thermometer.
- Silicone whisk. Similar to wooden spoons, this one is another “must” for a kitchen. Especially when you’ve spent a pretty penny on quality pots and pans. Nothing hurts a cook like metal in a pan. Ouch! Put the fork down along with the metal whisk. Your sauces will be better, your eggs more scrambled, and your gravy even tastier without the metal. Not to mention that you’ll spend even more time with your pans.
- Mesh strainers. While a colander is fun, a mesh strainer has so many purposes! For example, you can quickly strain boiled squash, pasta, potatoes, dust the top of a cake with confectioners sugar, skim the bones and fat from bone broth, and rinse fruits, greens, and other vegetables. Mesh strainers stack easily and you can even use the smaller one to strain cold brew until a mason jar. So many uses!
So, what are your thoughts? What in your kitchen needs to be freshened up a bit? What are two or three kitchen utensils that you can not live without? Mine truly is the potato peeler. I go nuts with a knife and waste so much potato!