Nelson {vurb} editor shares five essential kitchen tools

Looking for some tools to make cooking more fun? Nelson {vurb} editor Megan Cole has some suggestions.

Nelson {vurb} editor Megan Cole dubs spoons as an essential cooking tool.

I am not a chef. Nor am I a culinary art expect. What I am is a food lover and a passionate home cook. I spend a lot of time reading cookbooks, food blogs, talking to chefs and people who know more about food, cooking and baking.

I started cooking when I was a teenager because simply I love food and because I was curious. I started buying cookbooks and just cooking things I had no idea how to make. I made samosas, pad Thai (even though I’d never eaten it), I roasted a turkey at 16 and just kept learning as much as I could.

In my experience as a home cook, I’ve come a few tools that make cooking at home a lot easier, and they are tools that you often see in the kitchens of professionals. These are five tools that will make cooking at home easier and even more fun.

1. Parchment paper: I could probably write an entire love song about how much I love parchment paper and how it has made my life in the kitchen easier. Basically parchment paper will keep everything from sticking to baking sheets, cake pans, muffin tins, etc. It’s as easy as rolling off a piece big enough to fit whatever you are cooking and putting your pizza, chicken, bacon or whatever on top and then putting it in the oven. You can wrap it around fish or veggies to steam them or garlic to roast it. It makes clean up easier too because basically all you need to do is crumple up the paper and toss it in the garbage. Use parchment paper!

2. Spoons: If you open my cutlery drawer right now you will notice there are a lot more spoons than any other tool. Spoons are great for everything. I taste with them, I add sauces, spices and other bits them. I stir with them. I turn things in frying pans over with them. I make cookies with them. Spoons are the ultimate cooking tool.

3. Tongs: If you’ve watched the Food Network I’m sure you’ve noticed chefs using tongs. They are a great tool for tossing pasta or flipping meat. They are definitely an essential tool and are very affordable.

4. Spare coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle: That’s right, I have two coffee grinders: One for my Oso coffee and the other for spices. I grind black pepper in it, make spice rubs for steaks and other meats, and cinnamon sticks if I need cinnamon for crisps and pies. If you want to go a bit higher end and buy a special tool, consider a mortar and pestle. It’s great for grinding spices and even making authentic curry pastes.

5. Cast iron frying pan: I love my cast iron frying pan. It makes perfect pancakes, is great for pan roasting meats and you can even bake bread or roast a chicken in it. The key to a cast iron frying pan is to season it and be careful when washing it. You don’t want it to sit with water in it or it will rust.

What are your favourite kitchen tools? What can’t you live without? Email me at vurb@nelsonstar.com

 

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