So, what kind of kitchen gadgets does it take to run a real food kitchen? Here's what I actually use and can recommend – all are simple and inexpensive. They make my life easier!
Howdy Real Food Friends! I've got another post today sharing more of my favorite kitchen tools. You can read part one here. Like I said before, I'm only sharing tools that I actually use (most I use daily) in my own kitchen.
Once I began my real food journey, I found myself falling into the “I need all the kitchen gadgets” trap. Most real food websites and cookbooks have a section with recommended kitchen tools and pantry items. These lists are definitely helpful, especially if you haven't spent much time in the kitchen but I found myself buying tools without knowing if I'd like them or use them often. I ended up with a cluttered kitchen and a wallet that looked like mother Hubbard's cupboard.
As I've traveled down this journey over the past several years, I've found my groove when it comes to tools in the kitchen. I like things that have multiple uses and aren't too bulky. I prefer simple tools that are easy to use and clean. And honestly, a lot of kitchen gadgets can just make food prep seem overwhelming and overly complicated. Let's take a look at 4 of my favorites!
1. Silicone Mold. This is probably my most favorite kitchen tool! I purchased this originally to make gelatin gummies (like these – kids love them!) but have found a lot more uses for it. I have most recently used it to make coffee ice cubes and smoothie cubes. I poured my liquid smoothie mix into the molds and now when I want to have a fresh smoothie I just grab several cubes and thaw. Tip: before filling, place the mold on a baking sheet or cutting board. It's flexible and hard to pick up without spilling. Ask me how I know! Molds similar to this can be found in really cute shapes like legos and gingerbread men.
2. Large Ladle. I used to have a drawer full of various serving spoons (wooden/plastic/metal) and found myself reaching towards this ladle more often then the other tools. I'm not actually sure where this specific ladle came from (inherited from my hubby when we moved in together) but there are similar ones online. It's big enough to use to serve soups/stews and is also my favorite tool to use when making bone broth. I prefer the ladles with a straight handle to help get down into taller pots/jars and ones made of metal not plastic. And your toddler will love using it as a drumstick. A loud one.
3. Cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is perfect for when you want a fine strain of a liquid like both broth or ghee. I really like the natural unbleached type of cotton cheesecloth. It comes in one giant piece, but for most applications it works best to cut a section big enough to double up or even triple up. It's pretty inexpensive so I just toss after each use.
4. Tongs. Simple and useful for so many things. Like pretending you're a crab and making your toddler laugh a big belly laugh. The best. But really, these are workhorses. I have two sizes which are both handy. The smaller ones are great for flipping things in a pan and the longer ones are used for the grill. I use these as a serving tool almost daily as well. Great for grabbing steamed broccoli. I love them for stir-frying in my wok or deep frying in my cast iron skillets. I prefer the metal ones over the tongs with the silicone ends as I find these grab onto food much better. I try to steer clear of non-stick type pans so I don't have to worry about scratching my pans with these.
Do you use any of these tools? What are your favorites? I hope you are enjoying this series and stay tuned for part three soon!