Top 3 Kitchen Must-Haves

The Top Three Kitchen Tools You Must Have:

1. A good quality chef’s knife: There are a lot on the market to choose from. First determine what size you want. Large men may want a larger handle as opposed to a female needing something smaller in her hand. The size of the handle has no bearing on the size of the blade. The two best options are high carbon stainless steel and ceramic. The high carbon stainless steel knife has minimal rusting, maintains a sharp edge for a long time, and is the most popular. The ceramic blades are so hard they maintain their sharpness for potentially a lifetime. Ceramic blades need more special care. The tip is very fragile and a hard fall may cause a break. One thing you can do to determine which is best for you is to find a local cooking school and take a knife skills class. This will help you determine which feel and size is best for you and how to use it properly.

2. An instant read thermometer: This is essential for the quality of your food. How many times have you bit into a piece of chicken and it was dry or rubbery, or sliced into a steak that was too pink for your taste. This could all be avoided with an instant read thermometer. The probe on the thermometer should be very thin, sharp and short so to let out the minimal amount of juices. It should not be bulky or have any wires attached to it. There are both digital and classic instant read thermometers. One of the most important things to look for is accuracy, which can be tested by placing the probe in boiling water. You will only need one thermometer for sautéing, roasting or grilling so spending a little extra money on one is well worth it.

3. A slow cooker: These now come in single, double or even triple pots. You can be cooking your meat, vegetable, and dessert all at the same time. The size depends on how people you are cooking for. A good size would be 6 quarts but you can purchase one that has 2, 4, 6 quart interchangeable vessels. A nice feature is a programmable timer. This way you can set how long it should be placed on high, medium or low versus the standard cook times. Make sure it has a removable vessel and a stainless steel outside to help keep food warm. You can go from using the slow cooker from once to several times a week with the newer models that also let you roast, sauté vegetables, and sear. These versions are the Rolls Royce of slow cookers but can be used all year round instead of heating up your house in the summer or as an extra oven during the holidays.

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