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Top 7 must have Kitchen Tools

An image of some kitchen tools on a wooden board withthe text "7 items I use each week".

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I approach things differently than others in my field. It’s partly because of my nature. but also because I have been in this industry for a while and have had the chance to use a wide variety of tools and equipment. It frustrates me when I have to use or buy things that aren’t suitable for their intended purpose. After all, we buy items to help us in the kitchen, not to make our lives more difficult.

I prioritise quality, purpose, space, and enjoyment when considering any purchase. Although I do enjoy gadgets, I always ask myself how often I will use them, before buying them. If it makes my work more efficient and enjoyable and helps me create interesting food while saving time, then it’s worth investing in. We also don’t go out much or buy a lot of takeaway, so the cost savings assist me to justify my spending on things I’ll enjoy using.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere šŸ™‚

I always do my research before buying, possibly influenced by my husband. Those who know him might be amused by that statement. šŸ¤£šŸ¤£šŸ¤£ Just to let you in our little secret, he spends hours on the internet finding the truth about all sorts of things. For instance, if I’m looking to purchase something (and some of our friends, for that matter), we’ll get Wayne to do some checking. Give him a few hours with a keyboard and mouse, and he’ll find out the “how and why” for you. šŸ’–

Well, it’s about time I honed in on these seven must have kitchen items.

This is a list of things that I use every week.

Glass and plastic Vacum seal container for preserving food.

Vac-U-Seal is a product available at the MixShop

I have to be honest, I’m not a fan of plastic bags, but I love the glass containers with lids that seal. My main objective in cooking is to feed people and bring a smile to their faces. We all know cooking from scratch is the healthiest option. So, I usually cook double batches or plan for leftovers to use in another meal. You may have heard me talk about this if you’ve attended any of my menu planning Zoom sessions. These Vac-U-Seal containers are amazing. The glass section is oven, dishwasher, and freezer-safe, but the plastic top needs to be hand-washed. For example, you can cook a Sunday roast and store the leftovers in one of these containers. The Vac-U-Seal technology removes oxygen from the container, which helps in slowing down the growth of aerobic bacteria and fungi, the primary contributors to food spoilage. This results in a longer shelf life for your leftovers. Did you know that oxygen can cause fats to oxidize and flavours to deteriorate over time? Vacuum-sealing helps maintain the original flavours and textures of the food. By keeping food fresher for longer, you’re less likely to throw away spoiled leftovers, reducing food waste. I have a large fridge and a small freezer. Vac-U-seal containers allow me to store food in the fridge, which is visible every time I open the door. However, things can get thrown in the freezer and forgotten. That’s why I prefer to use Vac-U-Seal containers to store my leftovers.

a selection of USA pans

I’m a fan of USA pans

I’ve been using these for years now and love them. The link I’ve shared goes to the American site. You can’t purchase them from there if you’re in Australia. I suggest you do a Google search for “USA Pans Shopping,” and you’ll find them; just check the prices; some are crazy. They are fit for purpose.

Durability: USA Pans are made from heavy-gauge aluminized steel, which is known for its strength, corrosion resistance, and durability. The bakeware has a unique rib-like pattern that not only helps prevent warping but also enhances baking by allowing airflow. This increased air circulation aids heat distribution throughout your recipe.Nonstick Coating: This is what USA pans have to say about their coating. “The coating applied on most USA PAN bakeware is Americoatā„¢, our proprietary silicone release coating. It is a natural, non-stick, and non-toxic silicone that is PTFE, PFOA and BPA free. Americoatā„¢ is clear in appearance and lets baked goods release quickly and effortlessly. Simply wipe the surface or wash with warm, soapy water, and your USA PAN bakeware will last a lifetime.” So wash them in warm water using a soft cloth.

Do not put them in the dishwasher. I love the coating on these pans. It does wear over time, but I give them a lot of use here in the cooking school.

Even Baking: USA Pans’ heavy-duty construction promotes even heat distribution, resulting in consistent baking and browning of your favourite recipes.

Wide Range of Products: USA Pan offers a wide variety of bakeware, including loaf pans, cake pans, cookie sheets, muffin pans, and more. This extensive selection allows home bakers to find the perfect pan for any baking need. I pretty much have them all here in our Cooking School. My top choice to start. Cookie Sheet. round cake pans, biscotti tin and brownie tin are probably the most used in my kitchen.

hands washing a reusable baking sheet

Reusable baking mats

I don’t often need these because I use the above pans, but they’re brilliant for ease of cleaning and removal of cakes and slices.

An image of spatulas I prefer to use

Spatulas

You need a good spatula. I don’t use wooden spoons; there are many reasons why I think silicone is better these days. Finding a good-quality, firm silicone spatula to use in your Thermomix is hard. They’re all going to get nicks in them, but firmer, better-quality ones will last much longer. I really like the spatula that comes with the TM6 these days. I never really used the older version much, but this new one (being more flexible) is really quite good.

bowl scraper Loyal brand

Scrapers

The price for these starts at around $1.50. I love the loyal brand, the ones that are shaped to fit in the base of a bowl.

A thermoserver being used as a proving chamber

ThermoserverĀ®

ThermoserverĀ®- I know you can’t buy these from the mix shop, but come to a demo or one of my Zooms with a couple of friends, and you can earn yourself one. I love mine; I use them weekly as proving chambers, keeping food warm, cooking noodles that need hydrating in boiling water, and saving leftovers till the next day for hubby to have for lunch. I have four altogether. 2 of the large round and 1 oval. I also have the small round, but I have to admit that I don’t use that one much. Serving food up in these at dinner parties or even when the kids pop around is brilliant; they look terrific on a dining table. If you want one (or another), you just have to join one of my Zooms or onsite classes with a couple of friends.

an image of a white IKEA salad spinner

Salad Spinner:

I have a couple of these. The one I use the most is a small one from IKEA, which is used daily. Have I said I love IKEA? šŸ¤£šŸ¤£šŸ¤£ At $7 I use it to wash, rinse and drain vegetables. The main reason is that it’s small and light and I can stick it in the dishwasher when I need to. I can spin my salad dry so I can get more dressing stuck to it. We have a lot of leafy greens in this house. I grow them.

What about other Appliances?

Just in case you thought this post was going to be about appliances (which is isn’t), I thought I’d add the two I use the most.

  1. Thermomix TM6. You knew I had to add this to the list. I’m not going to tell you I use it three times a day because that would be a lie, but I can say that I use it more than my stove top and oven. TM6 is a no-brainer for me. You probably don’t need one if you love standing in the kitchen doing menial tasks like stirring and watching pots and pans. I’m not going to go into what I use it for because I’m pretty sure the rest of my food blog will answer that one for you.
  2. Air Fryer. I’ve owned four different units over the last 15 years. I couldn’t be without one now. They’re quick and easy and sit alongside my Thermomix. These two items in my kitchen are my most used appliances. I’ve had drawer and door unit styles, and I have to say that the door setup is much easier to clean. They usually come with shelves and a catching tray underneath. I currently have one with a draw; I’ll research the best door model available when it dies. I think you also get what you pay here, so if you’re looking for accurate temperatures and something that will last, do a little research.

What I don’t really like?

Image of silicone baking mats

Silicone mats

For some things, they’re brilliant, but for others, not so much. I use my ThermomixĀ® server to prove bread dough rather than wrapping it in a mat. The dough needs to expand; if you trap it, it can’t. I don’t use silicone mats so much for baking either. They’re great in a commercial oven, but if you want the base of your bake to cook at the same rate as the top, shielding it with a thick silicone mat isn’t the best idea. Think about those silicone cake moulds and how slow they are to cook through. If you’ve had one, I’m sure you’ll get it. That’s why I use those reusable baking mats above.

an image wtih 2 silicone pastry brushes

Silicone pastry brush

What were they thinking? There are so many on the market. Silicone pastry brushes don’t hold much liquid; if you want to brush your pastry or dough with a wash, do yourself a favour and get one with hair or thin nylon fibres. We used to sell some here at the cooking school, but the last couple I picked up were from Woolies. They were made of fine nylon fibres, probably not great on a hot pan, but perfect for egg wash and such.

An image of 5 old wooden spoons

Wooden Spoons

I don’t like to use wooden spoons; they trap flavours and stay wet for a long time after washing, which can cause issues with many pastry chef recipes. I stick to silicon and metal.

10 Comments

  1. A fabulous list – gospel according to Bec – love it! Thanks so much for pulling it together. Very grateful.

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