Cooking and baking are two of the best activities you can do in your home. Lots of people find peace of mind while they’re cooking, as well as joy from serving others great food. To be a good home cook, however, you need the right tools. Equipment like knives and a heavy mixer make sense, while some are hilariously specific, but what are the gadgets that should be on your must-have list? Here are ten every chef cannot do without:
A silicone baking mat
Most baked goodies will stick to your cookie sheet unless you use something like parchment paper. If you bake a lot, that’s a lot of paper waste. To solve this problem, get a silicone baking mat! They’re durable, stain-resistant, and don’t get hot. Whether you’re making chocolate chip cookies or glazed carrots, a silicone baking mat ensures nothing gets stuck.
Nothing slices as perfectly-thin as a mandolin. You won’t need to spend time hand-chopping veggies or slicing cheese when you have one of these. There are lots of sizes available and ones with adjustable thinness settings. For easy cleaning, I recommend getting one with stainless-steel blades that can be removed.
An immersion blender
There are lots of sauces and soups that need to be pureed, and it’s a real pain to have to move them to a regular blender. Not every blender is even able to handle hot temperatures. With an immersion blender, you can smoothen out your dishes right in their pots. You can also use the little handheld tool for dips and homemade mayo.
This tool is basically a mini cheese grater, but with much smaller holes that are perfect for creating citrus zests and grating Parmesan cheese. Ginger and garlic are other ingredients that can benefit from a grate with a microplane.
A stainless-steel “soap” bar
Regular soap and water don’t reallycut it when your hands smell like garlic or fish after cooking. However, the chemical reaction between cold water and stainless steel does the trick! There are tons of options, but we like the one that’s shaped like a regular bar of soap. These bars last forever and don’t less their effectiveness as they age.
A meat tenderizer
For perfect chicken roll-ups or flank steak, that meat needs to be thin. You could spend forever trying to beat it with a rolling pin or another heavy object, or you could just get a meat tenderizer. You can get ones with both a flat and raised side for different meat types.
A stick ice cube tray
Regular ice cubes are great for drinks at dinner, but what about when you have a water bottle? The thin necks prevent you from using square-shaped ice. A stick ice cube tray makes long, thin ice, so you can have a cold drink on the go.
An avocado slicer and pitter
If you use avocado a lot in your cooking, you can’t afford to not have a slicer and pitter. With avocado hand becoming such a common injury, you want to stay safe while enjoying as much of your avocados as possible.
An instant thermometer
Never serve underdone food again. If you don’t have one, you need an instant thermometer, preferably instant. Just stick it in your chicken, fish, beef, pork, what have you, and know in seconds if you need to give it a few more minutes, or if it’s ready to eat.
A little food processor
A cheap food processor like a Ninja Chop is a must-have if you want to easily make small servings of salsa, dips, and even smoothies. It can also be used to shred cheese and cooked meat for tacos.