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It sounds kind of sad but like most cooks, I have favourite utensils. And some that I just can’t cook and bake without. This is a list of the Kitchen Utensils that I Couldn’t Live Without. In truth I could probably live without some of them but I certainly wouldn’t want to!
There are certain kitchen basics that are just a necessity. Tin openers, scissors and knives to name but three. There are others that we could technically get by without but as life is made so much easier with them, no one can be blamed for not wanting to.
So I’ve put together a list of my personal most essential items. They’re what I use day in day out and what I would go out and replace immediately if any of them broke.
I’ve included some of the reasons why I choose the utensils I do, what I use them for and what I look for when buying that item. I hope that this will give you some ideas for new and improved utensils in your kitchen!
It makes much more sense to buy a fab set of silicone utensils so that is what I’ve linked to here. But I want to focus on the importance of silicone spatulas and fish slices.
There are four main benefits to using them over wooden, nylon or metal utensils/spoons.
First up is the ability to properly and fully scrape food out of bowls/blenders/pans. This not only minimises food waste but makes washing up easier too.
Secondly, using silicone will not ruin the non-stick on your pans/tins. Watching people use metal utensils in pans drives me to absolute distraction. If you only have silicone options then there is no risk.
Thirdly, they won’t melt if you lean them on the side of your frying pan. My father insists on using a grubby old nylon fish slice which is so melted and out of shape I just don’t see the point!
And lastly, the spatulas are super multipurpose. I have at least 8 of them in various sizes and I grab one for almost every kitchen task. Having some other silicone utensils like in this set is also handy, especially the slotted and serving spoons and ladle.
My preference is to get wooden handled version with silicone down at the business end so they are as nice to use as they are practical.
I use my silicone spatulas to make this recipe:
If I’m not grabbing a silicone spatula, I’m usually grabbing a pair of silicone tongs. I keep two larger and two smaller sets next to the hob for easy reaching.
My preference for tongs is for them to be metal, with silicone ends and grip. It is also important that they lock shut by pulling the loop at the end out. Some of them have a little metal ring that slips over the tongs to close them but these are a pain in the bum and usually fall off.
I use tongs almost any time that I need to pick food up. Whether thats turning my Southern Baked Chicken Wings over, plucking Har Gow dumplings out of the steamer or serving up my Bacon Cherry Bites. The important thing is that I’m not chasing them around with a fish slice, burning my fingers or having the food delicately slide off a serving spoon.
I use my silicone tongs to make this recipe:
The last item of silicone on this list is a whisk. Not all silicone whisks are made equal and I do try to look for one that is relatively thin but sturdy.
Many of them are either too waffy or so thick that you can’t get into the corner of the bowl so food gets wasted.
The reasons for using a silicone whisk over a nylon or metal are effectively the same as for the other silicone utensils. The ability to make a great cheese sauce in the pan without scratching it is my biggest reason!
I use my silicone whisk to make this recipe:
A decent set of knives does not need to be expensive. Other than a Sabatier cleaver that I got when I was 16, none of my knives are remotely pricey.
But they are all nicely weighted, feel nice in my hand and most importantly of all, they are sharp. Blunt knives cause injuries, sharp knives are much less risky. And they make chopping so much easier!
I use a knife steel to keep mine sharp. I’ve tried all manner of other options but at the end of the day, the old fashioned way works best.
You also don’t need lots of knives. A few well chosen ones will do you perfectly well. You do need a small pairing knife like I use to cut avocados and smaller items. You also need a large serrated knife for cutting bread and sandwiches and a large carving knife for pretty much everything else.
More knives are helpful especially to save you having to wash one knife before moving on to cutting something else. I’d never use a knife to cut raw meat then move onto chopping salad etc.
I use my sharp knives to make this recipe:
I find that metal sieves are much longer lasting than the nylon kind which tend to get out of shape and stained quite quickly. The metal kind always feel easier to clean and more hygienic too.
I use my metal sieve to make this recipe:
I feel that this one is really quite self explanatory.
Many tinned goods manufacturers have not yet become involved with ring-pull technology and until that time comes, a tin opener is just essential.
I use my tin opener when making this recipe:
Whilst a set of sharp knives is absolutely essential and you can do everything with them, I do often turn to a pair of decent kitchen scissors for certain tasks.
I actually keep several pairs on hand as I end up using them quite a lot!
I use my heavy duty kitchen scissors to make this recipe:
There are many ways to extract the juice from a lemon or a lime. But the vast majority of them either don’t extract all the juice or are quite large contraptions which result in way too much washing up for the size of the task.
A good pointy wooden lemon reamer is therefore my go-to utensil. That could be just a little bit of lime for Guacamole, quite a lot of lime for my Chocolate Lime Pie or even oranges for my Baked Oatmeal. Every time I get maximum juice with little effort and barely any dishes to clean.
I use my lemon reamer to make this recipe:
I cannot believe that I lived without a Microplane grater for nearly 32 years. I know that sounds quite dramatic but I absolutely love the fine wispy lemon zest or Parmesan that the Microplane gives you.
And I am talking about the branded grater. They aren’t the cheapest but they’re worth every penny. I’ve owned other similar graters and they just weren’t anywhere near as good. P.S. I have zero affiliation with the brand, I just really like them!
I use my fine Microplane grater to make this recipe:
Peelers seem to be a real divisive subject. Some people like to risk all of their fingers by just using a small knife and others use a peeler where the blade runs in the same direction as the handle. But I am firmly a speed peeler girl.
A ‘T’ or ‘Y’ shaped peeler makes peeling any veg really easy. I even find that peeling thick skinned veg like butternut squash is a breeze. And with the handle placed like it is, I never slip or risk injuring myself.
I use my speed peeler to make this recipe:
So these are the utensils that I can’t live without. What have I missed that you can’t live without? Head down to the comments section and let me know!
Want More Ideas?
Check out my Kitchen Shop which is park of my wider Shop section. I’ve added loads of links to products which I recommend or use myself. There is everything from cookbooks to mixing bowls and pots & pans.
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