We asked some of our favourite home cooks about their favourite kitchen tools that have truly improved their culinary game. The answers may surprise you!
CAST IRON SKILLET
"I use my cast iron skillet regularly," says Leslie of ALifeWellConsumed.com in Vancouver. It's my staple for peach cobblers. You can make almost anything in it and the more you use it, the more the natural seasoning improves. All cooks should have one in their kitchen."
BAKERS DECORATING TOOLS
Jackie of NYC's GlutenFreeFollowMe.com loves her OXO Baker Decorating Tool. "The unique design gives you control to create precise decorating. It allows you to create more beautiful cupcakes (or one of my favorites Avocado Chocolate Mousse!) in less time than it takes with a knife. It will make you look like a baking pro!"
Val behind The Experimental Approach in Calgary says, "My Cuisinart Digital Scale has made baking so much easier. Living at a higher altitude can cause all sorts of issues when baking. Ever since getting this scale, my breads (cheesy dill bread and pretzel buns are two of my faves!) turn out amazing. I also find a lot of British recipes use weighted measurements, so it's just that much easier. No conversions needed!"
LE CREUSET FRENCH OVEN
Rizwan from Chocolates & Chai has a particular love for his Le Creuset French Oven. "You can just make everything in it, and I do. I use it for everything from pot roasts to baking desserts. It's one of the most versitile pots you can buy. Use it on the stove, in the oven... And if you run out of cabinet space, it's beautiful to display on the stove!" For anyone wondering the difference between a French Oven and a Dutch Oven - a French Oven is simply type of Dutch Oven, that's covered in enamel.
Kirsty behind EatingWithKirby.com swears by her Anolon non-stick wok. "It's a one-pot wonder which makes clean-up a breeze. Cooking with a wok is all about high temperature, so it makes meals come together in minutes. It's a great staple for everything from stir-fries and fried rice (like my favourite Kimchi Fried Rice) to sautéed vegetables and pastas."
Christina behind the Seattle food blog, FoodieWithaLife.com says, "I couldn't live without a great peeler. I peel thin slivers of aged cheeses, peaches for summer compote, use orange peels for Campari sodas... peel raw beets before cooking in balsamic vinegar. A good peeler makes functional tasks easier, but it also gives flexibility to create different textures and beautiful presentations"
"As a busy young professional, the Instant Pot has absolutely been worth buying," says Sara of SaraintheCity.ca. "The pressure cooker setting makes last minute meals easy. But as a person who lives in a small condo, the 7-in-1 appliance replaces the need for additional appliances, saving me time from playing tetris in my cupboards!"
"This is the one investment I always say to splurge on", says Jenn Nicken, The Chef & The Dish CEO. "When I first started cooking seriously, I bought all the gadgets. I've stopped using most of them and now rely on my chef knife for everything from salsas to thin slicing. I prefer the German handling of Wüsthof, others prefer Japanese knives - but whatever you do, just don't skimp on it. Invest in a good one, and you'll have it for a lifetime.”
LE CREUSET CAST IRON BAKING DISH
Jacky of TheEveryDayFoodie.ca swears by his Le Creuset Enamelled Cast Iron Baking Dish. "It's a classic. First, the enamel provides a non-stick coating which makes it super easy to clean. And second, the cast iron provides even heat distribution which makes it difficult to burn things, so I don't have to keep a close eye on it while baking my lasagna. Even better!"
Olivia, Marketing Manager for The Chef & The Dish, says using plenty of prep bowls has changed her cooking. "For me, it's about organization. I like to have a bowl for every ingredient or step so things are measured out or are in sequence of how I add it to the dish. An organized kitchen let's me produce even better results because I'm less focused on what's next, and more focussed on the flavour developing from my cooking.”
Canadian blogger behind Mint & Heritage recommends a melon baller! "This little tool is more versatile than you might think. It makes things easier and prettier!" says Irene. "A melon baller is great for making fancier dinner presentations like balls of butter, melon or squash skewers. Plus, I eat a lot of squash and I find a regular spoon doesn't have the same utility at cleaning the insides."
For anyone looking to upgrade with a slightly more expensive tool, Krystle behind Toronto's DineandFash.com loves her new gas range. "When I moved into my new loft, I upgraded to a gas range. There's no comparison for me anymore. I love my instant ability to control temperature on my stove and how much quicker I can cook because of that. It's made a world of a difference in my cooking and made my favourite dish (Easy Shakshuka - find the recipe on my blog!) even better."
The Ultimate Night-In. Hang up the keys, open the wine, and Skype a Chef for a Private Cooking Class
The Chef & The Dish has been rated 'Best Gifts for Foodies' and the 'Person Who Has Everything' by SavvyMom.ca! Learn to cook with a chef or culinary expert from around the world - all without leaving your kitchen! Skype a chef into your home for a great date-night in, girls get-together, epic dinner party or gift for someone you love.