I enjoy cooking especially when I’m feeling inspired to invent a new dish or recreate what I’ve tasted somewhere else. But as my friends will tell you my kitchen isn’t glamorous – not at all. Think more functional and efficient. And that’s partly because I have limited space and any utensil that gets put away must be multipurpose or super functional. Whatever style of cuisine you are whipping up, buying the right tools for your kitchen is as important as the choice of ingredients. Stocking your kitchen with multipurpose utensils will help not only control the clutter but also add to the harmony in your home.
The kitchen is after all the centre of the home.
Multifunctional Kitchen Tools That Will Get You Cooking
I’ve left out the basic needs – good quality cutlery, crockery, knives, pots and pans instead these are the items I just cannot live without in my kitchen – my top 13 must-have multi-functional items for every well-equipped kitchen.
1. Silicon Spatulas
Spatulas are useful but a good quality silicon spatula is unbeatable in the kitchen. It can move from from scraping up batter to mixing to flipping and turning directly in the pan. Silicon will withstand high heats and is made for stove top cooking. Just don’t leave it in the pan, the handles are usually plastic and will burn.
Use: Mix the batter, and then use the silicon spatula to flip pancakes and crepes, rotis and french toast.
2. Mixing Bowls that come with a handle and pouring spout
I had to throw mine away just last week and now that I’m using a standard bowl, I miss the handle and lip that makes easier to mix batter and pour. Multipurpose and super functional. I need to get to the store now!
Use: Mix, and then hold and tip over to pour out. Less dishes and mess.
3. Kitchen Shears
Kitchen shears are stronger than regular scissors and truly multi functional. Buy those that are dishwasher-safe because who has the time for washing by hand. My favourite pair of kitchen shears are available at Ikea for $1.99. If there isn’t an Ikea close to you then try a Kitchen essentials store.
Use: Go from snipping the milk carton to trimming herbs to cutting chicken into small pieces.
4. Stainless Steel Frying pan with a metal handle
A steel frying pan can go from the stovetop to the oven without missing a beat. Less washing and all the flavour stays in the same pan.
Use: For casseroles and curries and grilling meats and fish.
5. Cutting board with a smooth surface
I have two, and though one is already showing it’s age I still use it daily. Just make sure whatever you buy is dishwasher safe.
Use: You need two, one to cut meat and the other for vegetables.
6. Hand Blender
Though mixers and food processors have an important place in the kitchen, a hand blender (or an immersion blender) is critical. With the added ability of using directly in the pot means less dishes and a better contained mess.
Use: Blend soups, make tomato sauce, whip cream (yes!), puree dal in the pressure cooker, the list is endless.
7. Colander with feet
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Don’t waste valuable kitchen space and go with a stainless steel colander with feet. One you can fit directly in your sink.
Use: For washing fruits and vegetable directly in the sink. Also use it to pour out the pasta along with the hot water.
8. Serrated Knife
You need a good set of knives to have a functioning kitchen, that’s true! But what sometimes gets overlooked is a knife with a serrated blade.
Use: Great for chopping vegetables that have a tough skin like ripe tomatoes and peppers. A larger blade can be also used for bread.
9. Tea Infuser
If you drink loose-leafed tea then you need this for sure. But if you make stews, rice pulao or even soups and use whole spices then a tea infuser is multi-functional like you wouldn’t believe.
Use: Put whole spices in the infuser, and then dip it in the pot during the cooking. Once you’re done you don’t need to fish the spices out. just take the infuser out and discard the spices.
10. Tongs that lock
Buy the ones with the locking rivet and tilt it down to unlock, and up to lock. And if it comes with a good claw and a comfortable grip, believe me you’ll use it everyday.
Use: flipping patties, deep frying beignets or pakoras, steaming broccoli, grilling chicken
11. A Butter Dish that fits your butter
Betty bought a bit of butter and she didn’t like cutting butter! So she bought a better butter dish to fit her butter better.
Use: Other than tongue twisters?
12. Reusable Jars with labels you can write on
Glass jars are great for storage, and easy to wash and reuse. It’s the labels that bug me. And then I discovered glass jars that come with blackboard labels.
Use: Use these for the items that are easy to mix up like salt and sugar, certain lentils, baking powder and soda etc.
13. Lid that fits many pots
You need one that will conveniently transfer from pot to pot and Ikea has one for $9.99. Best of all it has the look-through glass and a collapsible handle so it takes up less space in the cabinet.
The right tools may not transform me into Martha Stewart but I find cooking is so much easier and faster with the right equipment. And if the kitchen utensil can serve multiple purposes then for sure it earns a spot in my kitchen.