The Art of Housewifery: Kitchen Gadgets Part 2

The Art of Housewifery-Kitchen Gadgets Part 2

Last week we talked about knives, pots and pans, and baking ware.  This week we’re going to talk about other important kitchen gadgets, and I’m also including a list of my most used kitchen gadgets.  Ok, let’s get started!

So I have pots and pans, I have bake ware, I have knives, what else do I need?

Well, technically you could get by on just those things.  However there are some modern conveniences that most of us can’t live without!  Here is a fairly long list of the most important and most used gadgets:

  • bottle/can opener
  • colander-perforated bowl-shaped utensil to rinse food or drain liquid from solid food
  • corkscrew
  • cutting board
  • egg separator-used to separate egg yolks from whites
  • food mill-hand operated kitchen device for pureeing fruits and veggies
  • funnel
  • grater
  • kitchen shears-scissors for the kitchen
  • ladle-long-handled utensil with a cup-shaped bowl for dipping or conveying liquids
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowls
  • pastry blender
  • pastry brush
  • pepper grinder
  • rolling pin
  • rotary beater-usually used as an eggbeater, rotary blades beat, whip, or mix
  • rubber scraper-small hand sized rubber square used to scrape mixtures out of bowls
  • sieves-has a meshed or perforated bottom used to separate coarse from fine parts of loose matter
  • sifter-cup like device you put flour in, press a button and it sifts your flour
  • skewers 
  • spatulas
  • thermometers
  • timer
  • tongs
  • vegetable brush-small brush designed to clean your veggies
  • vegetable peeler
  • wire cooking rack-cools cakes, cookies, etc. after they are pulled from the oven
  • wire whisks
  • wooden spoons
Are there any items on this list that I could do without?

Well, on this list I think the most un-needed items are the egg separator, food mill, rotary beater, sieves, skewers, and veggie brush.  The rest can really come in handy.  It doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy it all at once though; you can buy the most important and slowly build on the others.

Ok, so what are the most important items on this list?

The most important items are the colander, can opener, corkscrew, cutting boards, grater, mixing bowls, spatulas, thermometer, tongs, veggie peeler, wire whisks, and wooden spoons.

The Kitchen Thermometer

A kitchen thermometer is a thermometer meant for ensuring foods are cooked to a safe temperature, or that they have reached the needed temperatures.

Is this really something I need?

I guess no, BUT I couldn’t imagine cooking without one after having used one.  So many people don’t realize they are eating overcooked chicken, and I never have to worry about killing my yeast for having too cold or too hot of water! 

What are the different types of thermometers?

There are disposable thermometers, electronic oven cord thermometers, fork thermometer, instant-read thermometers, meat thermometer, candy/deep-frying thermometer, and pop-up thermometers.

Wow, that’s a lot of thermometers!  What type should I get?  How many do I need?
I really recommend getting a digital instant-read thermometer.  I personally just have this one thermometer.  I've tried using a meat thermometer in addition to my instant read, but it didn't work well at all.  So I’ve always just used my instant-read, even for deep frying and candy.  You could get a separate one for meats and candy/deep-frying, but really you can make it with just one!

Countertop Appliances

Countertop appliances range from blenders to indoor grills.  These are the types of small appliances that would sit on your countertop.  Here’s a list of the most common, and most used of these appliances.

  • blender
  • immersion blender
  • bread machine
  • electric mixer
  • food processor
  • indoor grill
  • slow cooker/crock pot
  • toaster oven

What would be on your list of the top three out of this list?

Out of these, my favorites are the food processor, electric mixer, and crockpot.  I have all of these.  I really love and enjoy my food processor because it not only chops; it shreds and slices foods for me.  My electric mixer (kitchen aid) has multiple speeds, and different attachments like a paddle for regular mixing, a whisk and a bread hook for kneading dough.  Crock pots are great because at the start of the day you can throw some stuff together, turn it on, and then have dinner ready at dinnertime with very little work involved!

How do I know what I need?

I think with this it really depends on what you want to do.  If you love smoothies, a blender would be great for you.  However if smoothies aren’t your thing, a blender probably isn’t a need for you.  Similarly, if you do a lot of baking an electric mixer is going to be a great help.  To know what you need, I would review what each item does, and then figure out what your cooking goals are.

That concludes our kitchen gadgets sections.  If you have any questions about any of these kitchen gadgets, or other gadgets you’ve heard of, feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment!

I also wanted to add that on last week’s post Whitney from Reviving Homemaking commented that for her and her husband a boning knife was a much needed and used item.  They use it when buying whole chickens or large cuts of beef in order to make it smaller and stock their freezer!  I personally do use a boning knife quite often for cutting meat because it really, really cuts meat well!  So I thought I’d mention in this post if you work with meat a lot, or want to buy larger cuts of meat to make into smaller portions, a boning knife really is extremely helpful!

Hope to see you guys here next week for the next installment of cooking basics!


Jennifer Dawn McLucas said...

Great list! Talk about thorough!!! There are a lot of items on your list that I would love but don't have in my kitchen... Maybe it's time to go shopping! Thank you. ;)

Pamela said...

This was fun and interesting. I don't have an egg separator, rotary beaters sifter and corkscrew. Great post for homemakers.

Elizabeth @ Virginia Is For Mothers said...

This is probably a totally unnecessarily specific item, but my mother in law introduced me to the French wisk. I love it! It is the perfect type of wisk for beating eggs; they whip up smoothly every time!

I resisted the stand mixer for a LONG time, convinced that a hand mixer was all one needed. And then I caved at Christmas time and I can't imagine why I was resisting. It makes things so much easier and I make many more things that I was too lazy to make before (pizza dough, bread, etc).