The kitchen is the center of the home. Whether you have a large family, are a couple, or are single, you probably find that entertaining at your home revolves around the kitchen. With this in mind, it is important to make the time that you spend in the kitchen as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. One way to do this is by investing in tools and gadgets that make food preparation and storage easier.
With the wide variety of kitchen gadgets available, it is easy to become overwhelmed when choosing items for your kitchen. Some kitchen gadgets make life easier for nearly everyone, while others depend on the type of cooking that you do.
Some things that nearly any cook would find helpful in their kitchen include spice grinders, electric kettles, slicing implements such as dicers, and salad spinners. Spice grinders are an excellent addition to the home kitchen. Freshly ground spices are more vibrant and the taste is unlike that of spices purchased already ground. If you have not tasted freshly ground spices, be prepared to add another dimension to your cooking.
An electric kettle is an excellent addition to the kitchen. Electric kettles heat water quickly and safely without using the microwave or stove. While an electric kettle is particularly nice when entertaining, as it allows you to serve tea without clearing off burners that may be holding other food, once you make the decision to add an electric kettle to your kitchen, you will find that you use it quite frequently. A similar appliance that is great for singles or small meals is the electric skillet that uses less energy than your standard stove.
Whether you are a stir fry master or only occasionally make a tossed salad, a dicer or other slicing implement is an excellent investment. Not only does a dicer allow you to quickly slice a variety of vegetables in uniform sizes, but it also protects your hands from cuts as you work.
A salad spinner is one of those gadgets that have only one use, but it does come in handy when you need to wash and dry lettuce, spinach or other greens. To clean greens without a salad spinner you probably rinse them thoroughly under running water and then gently dry them with paper towels. Even then, some greens, such as spinach, seem to hang onto every drop of grit and sand. With a salad spinner you simply rinse, spin and, in less than one minute, you have clean greens.
Some kitchen gadgets than may not be of interest to everyone, but are well designed, are microwave popcorn poppers, funnel pitchers, tiered oven racks and cookie presses. If you have kids in the house, you probably know the expense of providing snack food. With a microwave popcorn popper, you can save money by using regular popcorn kernels to make a snack. In addition to the cost savings, popcorn that you make yourself can be made healthier and tastier than what is available at the grocery store. You can control the amount of butter and salt, and add flavorful combinations such as parmesan cheese and chili powder to add variety to your snack. Microwave popcorn poppers are also simple to use, and after an initial lesson, most children that are comfortable in the kitchen can prepare their own snack.
Funnel pitchers are a great way to keep your kitchen neat and clean when preparing pancakes, waffles, muffins or cupcakes. Simply prepare your mix in the pitcher, and then use the pouring spout to add your batter to the griddle or muffin tin that you are using. This kitchen gadget is worth every penny if you frequently make these types of foods, or if you have frequent help from younger members of your family.
Tiered oven racks are a great gadget for the cook who frequently entertains. These racks go into your oven and allow you to stack casserole dishes or cookie sheets two or three high in your oven, effectively doubling or even tripling your oven space. While you may need to adjust the cooking time for some foods to make up for the crowded oven, tiered oven racks are still a great time saver.
Cookie presses are a lot of fun for families with children. Pressed cookies look very fancy and can be decorated with icing, sprinkles or other ornamentation. Using the cookie press is simple, and, with the variety of cookie plates available, you can make pressing cookies a tradition for every holiday.
As you can see, there are many kitchen gadgets available, with choices for every type of chef. Whether you routinely plan family meals and entertain on a regular basis, or only cook for special occasions, there are undoubtedly several kitchen gadgets available that will make your life easier.
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Lisa Parker is a freelance writer who writes about topics concerning staying organized as well as personal motivation. Ms. Parker also offers tips for living and managing a home, such as kitchen organization and kitchen storage.
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