A Few Tools I Wouldn’t Go Without

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One of my favorite parts about cooking is all of the cool tools and utensils available for the kitchen.  In the last 50 years there has been a tool invented for nearly every task a cook has to perform.  But are most of them worth the money?  Let’s take a look at a few and give an honest assessment as to whether they are must haves or simply clever marketing.

An Electric Knife Sharpener

If you use your kitchen knives with any sort of regularity then you know that they become dull.  But there are several things you can do to help prolong the life and sharpness of your blades.

 

It all starts with your cutting board.  Glass or marble cutting boards may look beautiful, but they are tough on the blade of a knife.  Try using a cutting board made of wood or plastic.  The wooden cutting boards that are comprised of the end pieces of wood are best.  The end grain of the wood is softer, allowing the knife to cut very effectively without dulling it.

 

Plastic is your next best bet.  Along the same lines as a wood cutting block, a plastic block will allow the knife to cut effectively without dulling the blade.

 

Eventually, even with the proper care and cutting board, your knives will get dull.  And when it comes to sharpening you have several options.  In terms of convenience and time, an good electric knife sharpener is your best bet.  They range in price from $50 to $150 and can quickly and easily restore your knife’s blade to it’s original razor’s edge.  The best electric knife sharpener reviews can be found at Keep It Sharp.  They showcase everything from electric models to diamond sharpening stones.

 

A Cherry Pitter?

This tool may sound like a frivolous item, but if you’ve ever attempted to make cherry pie from fresh cherries you’ll understand why this tool makes the list.

 

Some pits easily separate from the flesh of the cherry while others are quite difficult to remove.  A cherry pitter makes this job go SO much faster.  You simply place a cherry into the slot, and press the handle down.  The pressure causes the pit to pop right out, leaving you with a delicious cherry that’s ready for a pie.

 

Pitters are really inexpensive and can save you a ton of time.  They typically range in price from $10 to $40 for more advanced pitters.  Either way, it’s money well spent.

 

Ice Cream Machine

Summer is here and what better time to cool off with a cold treat.  Today’s ice cream makers are so far beyond the ice and rock salt contraptions of your youth.

 

Most modern day ice cream makers come in a couple varieties.  They either have a bowl that must be removed and placed in your freezer, or they contain their own cooling system.

 

Typically the removable bowl models are less expensive, but they require that you place the bowl in the freezer at least 6-8 hour before you want to make ice cream.  So make sure you plan ahead.

 

These are 3 great tools to have in your kitchen. None of them will break the bank.  Although a $500 ice cream maker might seem extravagant, unless you have an ultrasound technician salary, you can find many for less than $100.

 

The models that contain their own refrigerant are pricier, up to $500, but they are quick and easy to use.  As with any recipe, the right mix is the most important part.  Do your research on ice cream making before throwing a bunch of ingredients together.  Find out more by reading this article and others like it.  The quality is amazing.  And it uses very little power.  We were even able to run it at a local event using our little inverter generator from Honda.

 

A Sturdy Apron

Let’s face it, accidents happen in the kitchen.  Sometimes it’s better to be covered, literally.  A good apron is a great place to start.  A handmade apron that is fitted for you can be a real luxury.  Just like custom home decor, you can get exactly what  you want.  For example, while looking online for elephant pillows, I know, random right, I found an awesome Julia Child apron. It featured, the phrase if you’re afraid of butter, just use cream.  Love it.

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