Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Basic Kitchen Needs

Since you may have your own kitchen for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by all the options. Do you need a spice grinder? A food mill? A mandolin? Do you even know what these things are?

Besides your basic kitchen utensils and appliances, there are three must-haves I have found to be extremely helpful:

1) Slow Cooker (most commonly known as a Crockpot, but they ain't paying me to advertise for them)

Slow cookers are fantastic. All you have to do is drop a few ingredients in the cooker in the morning, turn it on, and let it slowly cook all day (hence, the name!) Then you walk in the door after a long day in class or at work, dinner is ready, and your house smells like yo mama has been slaving over a stove all day.

They generally are not that expensive (I got mine by by bartering an ugly rolling coffee table to a former roommate...guess who won that deal?)

Keep an eye out for some great upcoming slow cooker recipes!

2) George Foreman Grill (they ain't paying me either, but if I said "indoor electric grill," you would have no idea what I was talking about)

Foreman grills can be a wee pricy, so you might wanna hit up Mom and Dad for this as a gift. Just tell them you are trying to cook healthy!

Foremans are great cause you can cook up some meat SUPER fast. Like a steak takes about three minutes. If you miss the flavor of outdoor grilling, you can always add a couple drops of Liquid Smoke to the meat (found near the BBQ sauces at the grocery store.)

The only thing that sucks is cleanup. A lot of the newer ones have removable plates you can wash, but if not, run a paper towel over it while it's still hot for easy removal! Otherwise you get a stanky crust, and no one wants a stanky crust.

3) Olive Oil Pourer Thing

Kinda random, I know. But I am a big fan of these. It makes it WAY easer to pour olive oil so you dont end up dumping out a whole bunch at once when you are cooking. It also makes it easier to drizzle oil on top of food.

Less oil dumping out = saved calories and saved money. Also, you look like a bad ass chef using it.

What tools do you guys find indispensable in the kitchen?


  1. Personally, I'm all about having a cheese grater. Freshly grated cheese, whether it's cheddar or parmesan, just tastes better...and it melts better if you're baking something with shredded cheese on top. Or, if you're being adventures, it's great for mincing garlic/ginger/etc and for getting lemon or orange zest for those citrus-y meals. Bonus points if you have one with multiple sides or grating options.

  2. Ooh good call! I am a cheese freak myself...normally I just buy the pre-shredded stuff to melt on top of food, but when I really just want to eat the cheese itself, I use one of those triangle shaped slicer things. I really ought to invest in a grater though...

  3. The Breville Panini Press- like a George Foreman, but better. Salmon, grilled cheese, chicken, veggies, teriyaki pineapple, it cooks everything. And it's one of Oprah's favorite things.
    Plus it's always on sale- Sur la table for $69! :)

  4. Wow I had never even heard of that before...and if Oprah likes it, it must be good! Haha I'll definitely check it out.

  5. Im happy that ALL makes and ALL models can be done. Cooking Equipment