13 Gadgets Every Kitchen Should Have
Welcome to Cooking 101, a fun, weekly series of cooking lessons and hands-on learning fromAmerica’s Test Kitchen. Who are we? Our knowledge and techniques are based on 20 years of test kitchen work creating foolproof recipes for Cook’s Illustrated magazine and for our television shows. We believe that everybody, whether novice or advanced, can gain the skills and confidence tobecome a better cook.
Week 2: ESSENTIAL GADGETS
Many home cooks assume they need hundreds of items in order to cook at home. We’re here to tell you that just isn’t true. Think about your grandmother’s kitchen. It probably wasn’t all that well equipped, yet she turned out great food.
Countless gadgets promise convenience but deliver disappointment and lost drawer space. Read on for the Test Kitchen’s list of the 13 most useful gadgets in any kitchen. We’ll tell you exactly what to look for so you can be a savvy shopper and save money.
Why You Need It: Most people have some kind of peeler that does an OK job on carrots and potatoes. But for other peeling jobs—say, the thick peel of a winter squash or the delicate skin of a pear—we rely on vegetable peelers that have maneuverable blades.
A rubberized handle is best. Given that our hands are constantly wet in the kitchen, we like a rubberized handle that’s easy to grip.
Heavy is best. We find hefty weight adds force to the sharpness of the blade, which can easily follow rounded contours.
Why You Need It: A sharp box grater is indispensable for many tasks, from uniformly grating blocks of cheddar cheese to shredding potatoes.
Razor-sharp teeth are a must. If you want to grate quickly and efficiently, sharp teeth are a must.
A snap-on base is nice. While not essential, a snap-on base that catches cheese (or whatever you’re grating) is nice.
Make sure the handle is comfortable. A thin, curved handle is more comfortable than a thick handle.