What are your can’t-live-without kitchen tools?  We both spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen and really enjoy cooking.  We’ve come to rely on our tried and true tools that make our lives easier and more enjoyable.  Depending on your cooking style and habits, a new, effective kitchen tool can feel like a gift from the kitchen gods! We also realized that when you’ve had a tool for years, sometimes you don’t even know what’s out there that might improve your life in the kitchen.  We thought we’d share some of our favorites:

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Prep is Time Consuming

Because prep is often the most labor and time-intensive part of cooking, we thought we would start there. There are so many time-saving and experience-improving tools out there.  Here are some we love:

Salt Pig

We both have Le Creuset Salt Pigs and love them.  Salt is probably the one ingredient we use most frequently and therefore it needs to be accessible.  Salt pigs have large openings, making it easy to grab, and they have an overhanging top to keep dust and other particles from tainting your salt.  The interiors are usually unglazed ceramic, which keeps your salt dry by absorbing moisture.  For us Florida cooks dealing with high humidity, this is a fabulous feature.

Quality Wooden Spoons

Another go-to for both of us are wooden (or bamboo) spoons. They are our friends in the kitchen.  Slow to conduct heat, they don’t react chemically with acidic foods, don’t scratch pans and don’t melt.  As long as you care for them properly and know when to replace them, they are awesome kitchen tools. We like these as well as Pampered Chef.

Good Knives

I love my Wusthof knives and have enjoyed them for more than 20 years.  A few years ago, at a cooking class, I was introduced to ceramic knives.  While not intended to cut hard food like bones or anything frozen, they are excellent for slicing pretty much anything else.  Ceramic knives are reasonably priced, lightweight and don’t absorb flavor or color.  I’ve had a paring knife and a chef’s knife for 3-4 years and they are both as sharp today as they were when I bought them.

Silicone Tongs

Once you’ve sliced everything and are ready to pan-fry or saute, silicone tongs allow you to easily move things around in a skillet or pan and turn things for easy, even browning.  Silicone has a high heat tolerance and won’t melt, plus it won’t scratch your pan.

Peeler

A good peeler can save you frustration.  I used a crappy one for years, not realizing there were better options available.  My mother-in-law couldn’t take it anymore, so she bought me a new one and it changed my peeling life!  I think sometimes we don’t even think to look for an improved product and very much appreciate when newer options are brought to our attention!

Lemon/Lime Squeezer

Squeeze lemon or lime juice in a jiff, without the worry of seeds invading your food.  Great when you’re making guacamole, sauces, adding juice to a dish, etc.  Easy to use and easy to clean!

Avocado Slicer/Peeler

We use lots of avocado in our house and when I found this gem, I felt like I had won the lottery! It seriously makes seeding and slicing an avocado so easy.  If you don’t have one and use avocados, order one immediately.  You won’t be sorry!

Cutting Boards

I love a wooden cutting board, but I feel like it can be challenging to keep it clean and bacteria-free.  I tend to use smaller, dishwasher-safe boards and I have certain ones I use for meats and others for vegetables and fruits.  I replace them periodically. These don’t slide all over the counter:

If there is one thing on this list that is useful to you, we are happy!  And we would love to hear about your go-to kitchen prep tools.

For more kitchen-related articles, see these links:

 

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