Kitchen tools

SCHROEDER: Over 30 Time-Saving Kitchen Utensils (Part 3) | Journal of the Herald of Monticello

Making meals is a bit like doing magic. You mix a few ingredients together and viola…they turn into muffins or a mixed vegetable mix!

Some days you may wish your magic wand was faster, that it didn’t take you so long to clean, peel, chop and toss fresh vegetables for a salad, or to measure, toss, beat, toss and cook a pan.

In search of faster cooking magic, several internet discussion groups made up of dieticians, home economists, chefs and other food professionals were asked to indicate their favorite cooking tools to win time.

The response was overwhelming! Here are numbers 21-30 of 30+ tools to speed up your kitchen performance.

Tool 21: Salad Spinner – If you’re washing lettuce, spinach leaves, etc., this tool is a must. Just throw in your washed greens and “wring” them dry. These products work in different ways. Some have knobs that you turn. Others work through a push-down mechanism. Check around to find one with the features you like.

Tool 22: Long Handled Bottle Brush – This cleaning tool is ideal for cleaning crevices in jars and bottles. It also works well if you’re trying to get your brush closer around the bottom inside edges of pots and pans.

Tool 23: Multi-Function Baking Dishes and Mixing Bowls – Save cabinet space and cleaning time by purchasing bakeware that is suitable for cooking, microwaving and storing food. Likewise, buy microwave/oven safe mixing bowls that are suitable for storage and attractive enough to put on the table!

Some baking and mixing dishes come with their own lids, which makes them especially convenient for storing food. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with these dishes and bowls to avoid breakage.

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Tool 24: Nonstick Pan with Slanted Sides – This utensil helps you cook with a very small amount of oil, and cleanup is fast! Sloped sides make it easy to flip and remove food. To protect the nonstick surface, use spatulas, stirring spoons, etc. designed for use with this type of coating.

Tool 25: Heat Resistant Spoon Spatulas – Mix, scrape and stir again on the stovetop with this utensil. Once you try them on, you might want them in multiple sizes.

Tool 26: Jar Opener – If your only jar opener is a flat piece of rubber or you don’t have a jar opener at all, check out the kitchen gadgets section of your favorite store. Some of the latest designs allow you to stick the lid of the jar between two prongs and twist it. If you’re tired of holding jars under hot water, banging lids on the counter, or giving up and reaching for another food item, this may be the tool for you.

Tool 27: Cheese Slicer – If you eat a lot of cheese sandwiches, this tool will quickly slice through a block of cheese. These are especially handy if you’re making grilled cheese sandwiches; all the cheese is the same width and melts at the same speed.

Tool 28: Small, narrow, long-handled rubber spatula – Use this kitchen utensil to scrape the last morsel of food from the nooks and crannies of jars.

Tool 29: Tiered Food Storage Shelves – A convenient way to store your spices for quick and easy access is to purchase the small stair step type storage shelves. Many have three tiers for storing spices and other small containers. Some will expand to fit different cabinet widths. Larger sizes may be available to store larger containers such as cans, olive oil, etc.

Tool 30: Food clips – Plastic clips that close and lock like hair clips are ideal for securing open bags. Keep a bunch on hand in your kitchen to quickly seal bags of frozen vegetables, nuts, etc. Another suggestion is to use small binder clips instead of buying the more expensive fry clips. Fold the bag and close it with a clip.