Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

My cooking is pretty simple these days - roasting meat and veggies, scrambling eggs, cutting up fruit, and some baking. Despite its simplicity I'm preparing more food more often and have a list of go-to gadgets and tools. Kitchen gadgets are a weakness of mine and I have lots - but here's what gets used week after week.

Thermapen // Game-changer, favorite, most useful. You can't spend $79 better in a more useful way. This was recommended by America's Test Kitchen and I finally bought it and my only regret is not purchasing it earlier. I used to fret about overcooking pricey steaks due to my old slow and inaccurate dial thermometer. Now everything turns out - HUMBLEBRAG - perfect.

Salad container // Handy for lunches al desko. I put greens in one compartment and goat cheese/salami/olives/sweet peppers/dried cherries/etc in the other and Tessemae's balsamic in the dressing container.

Cast iron skillet // I committed to getting rid of my nonstick pans after reading this terrifying NYT article on the evil and ubiquitous chemical PFOA and the coincident publication of an ATK cookbook Cook It In Cast Iron (ATK cookbooks are another weakness). I embarked on a multiday reseasoning process to restore mine to working order - a scrub, a stint in the auto clean cycle in the oven, and a warm/oil/bake cycle. Now I'm using it frequently to achieve a nonstick finish.

Vollrath baking sheets // Another ATK recommendation. These don't buckle in a hot oven and clean easily. I've used these at least 2-3 times a week for two years and they're still in great condition.

Frother // Jackie recommended this little gadget and we use it daily for bulletproof coffee (coffee + butter + oil, blended). A blender creates a better emulsion but this does a fine job (and quieter, if you creep around the house in the morning like I do).

Planet Boxes // I never use wasteful plastic baggies in the girls' lunches which feels awesome! These clean easily and dry quickly.

Garlic peeler // When I was cooking from recipes (RIP pasta), I used this a bunch. I never mastered the 'smash the clove with a chef's knife' technique because that sounds like a urgent care chief complaint if I've ever heard one.

All-Clad pots and pans // ATK recommendation. I gradually will replace my dark Calphalon cookware. These look great and clean easily (cleaning easily is a theme or maybe the sole criterion?) I like the light color which makes it easy to decide when the butter is browned, etc. Made in the USA!

What are your faves?

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