The Right Tools for the Right Job

Every kitchen should have a basic set of utensils (or kitchen tools) used for cooking. The things that come to mind immediately are wooden spoons (for stirring things, not to be used as a behavior modification tool), spatulas and flippers, but there are others such as whisks, ladles, and tongs. I’ve known people who could cook a full meal with a spoon, fork and butter knife, but other utensils make it so much easier.

In my experience, the most cost-effective way to build your stash of utensils is to buy a pre-packaged set at a big box store, or there are some decent buys at Dollar stores. A great time to find sets is during back-to-school season, as they make good off to college gifts. I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of money until you figure out what tools you’ll use most often. Once you are comfortable in the kitchen, then feel free to find higher end spoons, pans, and/or measuring cups.

In my kitchen, I have:

  • Wooden spoons
  • Slotted metal spoons
  • Spatulas
  • Flippers
  • Whisks
  • Tongs
  • A spider (a small basket attached to a handle for removing food from hot oil)
  • A cheese grater
  • A garlic press
  • A pizza cutter
  • A food thermometer
  • Measuring cups

…and countless other things. I will talk about knives, pans, cutlery and serving dishware in later posts.

If you are going to cook, having the right tools makes the process so much less frustrating. Not to mention that doing the work yourself can save you money. For example, block cheese is usually less expensive than shredded cheese, so if you have a cheese grater you’ll save some pennies, and maybe get an arm workout in.

What other utensils can you think of, or do you already have and use?

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