Kitchen Utensils: What You Need to Mix & Measure
Last week I shared with you what I think are the most important cookware tools – your kitchen knives. There’s nothing more frustrating than preparing a meal if you have a cheap, dull knife that won’t cut well, or worse, slips and cuts you!
Once you done all that dicing and slicing, you need to measure!
Measuring and mixing tools are the least expensive and most often overlooked kitchen utensils. You can’t function well without them, especially if you have a recipe calling for so many teaspoons of this or two thirds a cup of that.
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Many recipes call for dry or liquid ingredients by cups or milliliters. It’s helpful to have a set of measuring cups that range from ¼, ⅓, ½, ¾, ⅔ and 1 cup, and a 2-cup glass-measuring cup with metric equivalents (like in the picture) as part of your kitchen cookware (get the 4-cup size if you are cooking for a family).
This is handy for measuring large amounts of liquid and even mixing (or microwaving) in the measuring cup itself. I have a set of measuring spoons that lists both millilitres and the “North American” standard of teaspoons and tablespoons. If you need a quick measurements conversion chart, look on my Healthy Recipes page.
Spatulas, Mixing Spoons, Tools & Gadgets
Food preparation requires a number of tools. If you need to mix eggs or whisk cream you’ll need a whisk. You will need wooden spoons to stir soups, stews, or pasta so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. If you’re pan-frying eggs you’ll need a silicon spatula, which is best for nonstick-type surfaces that you don’t want to scratch. Wooden spoons are best for cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans.
- A box grater is used to grate or wedge vegetables like carrots or zucchini and for getting the rind from orange, lemons or limes;
- Tongs are used to grab hot items (like corn or lobster from boiling water);
- A peeler is a necessity to remove the skin from carrots and potatoes;
- A wooden basting spoon is used to baste a roast pork or beef with its juices while cooking.
Get a set of three mixing bowls in plastic, silicon or stainless steel. You will use these bowls for making a big salad, mixing ingredients for burgers, holding chopped vegetables as part of a recipe, etc. They can also be used for storage in the fridge – some sets come with lids for that purpose.
Strainers, Colanders & Salad Spinners
Strainers are used to drain pasta, rinse veggies or fruits. How much you cook will dictate the size you need. They come in plastic, silicon, and metal.
Most salad need to be washed. Cut up the salad into the size you want, rinse it in the colander insert to get rid of any dirt and then spin the salad to get rid of the excess water.
Moisture is what causes salad to get soggy. If you have leftover salad make sure it’s dry and kept in the salad spinner in the fridge. I like to squeeze some fresh lemon over the salad to keep it from browning – it’s best to eat a chopped up salad within 1-2 days.
Hand Held Juice Extractor
I use a lot of lemons and limes and other citrus fruits for cooking. I use a citrus reamer for a single lime, and a hand juice extractor for lemons (leaving no seeds in the juice!).
Once all the chopping, cutting, and measuring is done it’s time to get cooking. For that you will need a variety of pots and pans, which will be the focus of next week’s post!
Eat well to be well!