Kitchen,  Ramblings

Essential kitchen utensils I cannot live without

When it comes to being in the kitchen, I am always looking for ways to save time, space, and create less of a mess. My kitchen utensils that I turn to everyday help me stay organized and efficient. This post is inspired by my friend, Carolyn, who made a post on Facebook, asking about kitchen equipment suggestions. My brain immediately launched into every direction listing all my favorite items in my kitchen. 

Le Creuset and Kitchen Aid need to throw me a bone because I will promote their products till the day I die. I am not affiliated with any of these brands, I’m just a die-hard fan and have spent my fair share in a kitchen around many-a product. 

Springform Pan

A springform pan is not only used for just delicate cakes and cheesecakes. It can be used for a variety of things. I have the 10 inch springform pan from Le Creuset, but they have a fabulous 8 inch pan that would be the perfect addition to any kitchen around the world. I will be adding at least 2 other sizes to my collection. 

I use this for cakes, brownies, quiche, roasting items, breads and anything in-between. The fact that you can pop off the sides is a game changer. And it makes cleaning a heck of a lot easier too. You can put down parchment paper before baking your dish and it stays put. 

Dutch Oven

I currently have two and I am obsessed. I feel like I do not need any other cooking vessel because the dutch oven can literally do anything and everything. Except maybe a cast-iron skillet, a steamer canner and pressure canner, but that’s for another day and another kitchen. 

I recently just purchased a 4.5 quart dutch oven that I feel is perfect for Thomas and myself. I also have a 2 quart dutch oven that I have been cooking the majority of everything in for 2 of the 3 lockdowns France has had during 2020/2021. I have a ceramic cooktop and know that my dutch oven will go on any cooktop so it will follow me to the grave. 

Fish Spatula

Don’t be fooled by its name… it is more than just a spatula for fish. It is one of my most beloved spatulas for flipping and turning things in pans. I used my spatula in line with my tongs as well. They are nice because they allow you to scoop up a larger quantity of item as well as allow any excess oil or fat to drip off when manipulating the cooked item. It’s a double whammy !  

Here’s a great standard you can’t go wrong with. 

French Rolling Pin

A solid rolling pin also comes in handy in many ways than just rolling out dough. They are great for whacking brittles and breaking down nuts and other harder ingredients. I’ve used them to pound out chicken and pork. I may or may not have used one in self-defense against an 8-legged invader. 

I am a huge fan of these tapered French-style rolling pins . The same company also makes these fabulous pre-sized rolling pins to ensure perfect pastry width every time. My mum got me a set for Christmas and they are a life-saver. 

Immersion Blender

So I’m going to be honest and say something I’ve never told anyone before. When I go this as a gift, I honestly didn’t know what to do with it and I wasn’t so zipped about it. It wasn’t until I had to use it for a recipe that I was hooked, that it changed my life.

I ended up leaving the set that my Mum got me for my birthday with my Mum because that’s what a good daughter does and figured I’d be okay without it for a while. I was not planning on a world-wide pandemic happening nor having a new kitchen with the bare minimum when it comes to equipment. 

My husband, bless him, ordered this set for me and it changed my world ! It came with 3 different head attachments for the stick blender, a whisk attachment, a small food processor bowl and a pitcher. Hello ! The endless possibilities. Well worth the investment and price. 

Stand Mixer

This. Do I even need to give it an intro ? Depending on what you plan on doing with it, I highly recommend the 5 quart bowl. It’s not too big and it’s not too small, it’s just the right size. (If you want to splurge for the professional 6 or 7 quart bowl lift version, I used this in the bakery and in my pastry program and for larger batches, it’s perfect. I’ll be saving my Euros for this model for the new apartment). 

Microplane

Adding zest into any dish kicks up the flavor profile a few notches as well as enhances certain flavors. It’s not only good for citrus, but spices, garlic, onion, chocolate, you name it, you can grate it ! I love when a recipe calls for a citrus juice, adding the zest to enhance the flavor and make it more bright. 

I have the classic model and am completely happy with it. I have been eyeing several of their other zesters and products, but I think if I purchase any more kitchen equipment items, my kitchen may explode. 

Silpat

This is a game changer. I will never go back to parchment paper (I will always have a box “just in case” though) again. And you need to seriously consider this brand and no other brand. Honestly. Their whole line of pastry, baking, cooking, and bread items is drool-worthy !

Not only do they have mats for your traditional sheet tray, they have a mat for macarons, for the various scone, brownie, mini loaf, madeleine mold, and now their own line of baking sheets ! These are all certainly the perfect little helpers you want in the kitchen with you . 

Tongs

I never realized the versatility of a pair of tongs until I went to pastry school. They are like a second pair of hands. Why didn’t I know this sooner? You do not need a fancy pair of tongs to get the job done. I prefer locking ones because they hang nicely (and I have a thing with hanging utensils). I have this same pair, minus the silicone ends, which they were out of when I bought them. But I am not complaining. I just don’t go near certain pans with the stainless steel edges (aka my Du Buyer pan). 

Ramekins

Ramekins are something I didn’t get into until I was in pastry school. We’d have to pre-weigh all our ingredients and we had these fabulous little ramekins we’d use for smaller ingredients.

These are seriously multipurpose. I love the ones from World Market, classic white stoneware that’s oven, freezer and microwave safe.  You can usually buy them in sets of 4, but you can also find them individually. I love using them when I am prepping a recipe and need to have onions and garlic and herbs and whatever else cut and chopped before hand. These are also perfect for crème brûlée, pudding, and/or lemon curd. 

Other Items that may be of interest

Biscuit cutters: These are create not just for biscuits, they make great molds or guides for baking / cooking . 

Off-set icing spatulas : I have used these for more than just icing. 

Rolling pin cover & Pastry Mat  : You can cover both cloths in flour and keep them wrapped up in your fridge. Never will a dough stick to either ever again. You won’t need to excessively flour your table surface. Can wash in the washing machine (hang to dry, wash with towels). 

Other Brands I love

Emile Henry : Ceramic baking and oven dishes and other items that go very well with Le Creuset. I love their ceramic dishes for baking breads, brownies, and pies. 

OXO : simple, sturdy, and consistent. Their entire line is the basic of kitchen equipment because they have thought of it all. My favorite is my little 4 TBSP measuring cup ! This thing is perfect for not only cooking, but also cocktail mixing ! 

Pampered Chef : I am glad my Mum has a hook-up. My favorite unique kitchen items are from Pampered Chef. My beloved bamboo cutting board was from them. I have some amazing little gizmos (tiny spatula, icing spatulas, and knives) that are an essential part in my kitchen. 

Pyrex : If you need it when it comes to bowls, pans, containers, these are your go-to. I love their pie dished to use for not just pie. They make excellent roasting dished for my beef bones for bone broth. 

Silverwood Bakeware : Excellent line of baking tins, trays, molds, pans from England. I do not own any yet, but I have drooled enough on their website that once I can get to the UK I will be bringing an entire empty suitcase with me to fill up. 🙂

Nordic Bakeware : Excellent of baking / cooking wares. These are also State-side. 

Du Buyer : I will only ask for Du Buyer pans. I have a 32 cm sautée pan and it is heavenly. I need to find out if they do a cast-iron skillet; if they do, I’ll be in heaven. 

Ateco : this will meet all your pastry and baking needs when it comes to small equipment . Pastry tips, brushes, mats, boards, bags, you name it, they have it. 

What are the kitchen utensils you can’t live without? Drop a comment below and let me know !

Happy cooking and baking ! 

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