Our Top Ten Kitchen Tools!

Our Top Ten Kitchen Tools!

Our Top 10 Kitchen Tools

The tools we love need to be multi-purpose, take up little space & crafted with quality!

This article includes affliate links. We receive a small commission on purchases from these links.

When it comes to cooking often as chefs we say that the ‘knife is an extension of your hand’.  While this no doubt is true (more on that later), we definitely have at ten ESSENTIAL tools we have close by us in the kitchen, the ones that seem to get used over and over again.   

  Our favourite kitchen tools generally meet a few requirements: they are multi-purpose (ie. you won’t see a garlic press listed below, it’s good only for one thing), take up little space and are crafted with quality. 

This list of our most used ‘smaller’ kitchen tools are work horses in the kitchen.   We’ll get into our favourite cutting boards, small appliances etc. in another blog.  

These tools help us be more efficient in the kitchen, zip through recipes quicker and have more control over your recipe!  

1. The Microplane!  A 'grate" tool!

 The ‘Microplane’ Zester/Grater: A compact zester or grater is perfect for adding citrus zest or grating cheese, chocolate, or spices.  This kitchen tool has become a must-have for many home cooks and professional chefs alike. It's a type of rasp-style grater that features small, sharp notches that create finely grated results, perfect for zesting citrus fruits or grating hard cheeses.   

We love the Microplane zester for their razor-sharp stainless steel blades, which don't rust and are dishwasher safe!. They come in various designs and colours, but the Classic Series Zester is particularly popular for its ergonomic design, non-slip handle, and the fact that it's made in the USA.  

The Microplane zester is not just limited to citrus and cheese. It can be used for grating chocolate, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, truffle, spices, nuts, and more.

Its versatility makes it a valuable addition to any kitchen.  So, if you're looking to add some zest (pun intended) to your cooking, consider investing in a Microplane zester. It might just change your life… or at least your culinary creations!

2. Mini Whisks

These small, handheld whisks are ideal for whisking eggs, dressings, or sauces in small bowls or containers. 

Here are some of the many uses for this compact kitchen tool:  

  • Dressings and Sauces: Whisk to emulsify vinaigrettes, marinades, or sauces, ensuring all the ingredients are well-combined.  We love the mini whisk here for smaller & thicker recipe sauces such as our Korean Gochujang Sauce or our Ginger-Scallion Sauce. 
  • Hot Drinks: Whip up a frothy cup of hot chocolate, matcha, or even a homemade latte with a mini whisk.  Try our ‘Cappuccino at Home!’ : A mini whisk is the perfect tool for creating velvety, foamy milk for your coffee drinks or hot cocoa.  
  • Baking: use it to blend dry ingredients for cakes, cookies, or bread.  
  • Cocktails: Mix and muddle cocktails with a mini whisk to incorporate flavours and create a smooth, well-blended drink

3.  Fine Mesh Strainer

Sometimes called a sieve or chinois, a fine mesh strainer is a versatile and essential tool in the kitchen. Here are some reasons why it's so important:

  • Sifting Dry Ingredients: When baking, using a fine mesh strainer to sift dry ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda helps remove lumps and aerate the mixture, resulting in lighter, more consistent baked goods.
  • Straining Liquids: Use a fine mesh strainer to remove solids or impurities from broths, sauces, or gravies, ensuring a smooth and silky texture.  It is essential for our Miso Ramen Recipe!  
  • Draining Pasta and Grains: A fine mesh strainer can easily drain cooked pasta, rice, or other grains without losing any of the smaller pieces down the drain.  Try making our recipe for Pasta Carbonara, the fine mesh strainer allows you to remove the pasta, leaving the precious pasta cooking liquid in the pot.  
  • Rinsing Fruits and Vegetables: Use a fine mesh strainer to rinse fresh produce under running water, removing dirt, pesticides, and debris.
  • Sifting Powdered Sugar: A fine mesh strainer is perfect for evenly dusting cakes, cookies, and desserts with a light coating of powdered sugar.
  • Making Smooth Purees or soups, such as our creamy Sunshine Soup. 

4. A Vegetable Peeler

  • A vegetable peeler is a crucial kitchen tool. We prefer Swissmar peelers they have sharp blades, ergonomic handles, &  the razor-sharp blade that's perfect for peeling hard fruits and vegetables.  We love the ‘Y’ peeler for so much more:  Creating Uniform Slices: Vegetable peelers can create thin, uniform slices of fruits and vegetables, which can be essential for certain recipes such as preparing many of the vegetables for our Bibimbap!. We use our sharp peelers to make beautiful vegetable ribbons for salads, stir-fries or appetizers, such as our Asparagus & Goat’s Cheese Crostini!   Vegetable peelers can also create decorative garnishes, such as thin curls of carrots, cucumbers, or zucchini, adding visual appeal to your dishes

5. The Asian Spider

Ah, the "Asian Spider" kitchen tool!   Also known as the  "Spider Strainer," also known as a "Wire Skimmer." It's a traditional East Asian utensil that resembles a shallow wire-mesh basket attached to a long, typically bamboo,  handle. The Spider Strainer is commonly used in Asian cooking for a variety of tasks, such as removing hot food from boiling liquids or hot oil, draining foods, scooping up noodles, dumplings, or other delicate items. Its unique design allows for easy and safe handling of hot food, as the long handle keeps your hands away from the heat.  It’s a toss up likely between this and the Microplane as to what gets used most in our kitchens!   Here’s why we love the Asian Spider:  

    • Essential for removing noodles from boiling water, getting them right into your bowls of broth or sauce, such as with our Dan Dan Noodles or even with Homemade Italian Pasta.  
    • Removing boiled eggs from hot water
    • Removing vegetables from blanching water, like our kid’s favourite Broccoli.
    • Frying foods like tempura, wontons, and our classic Fish & Chips.

    6.   Kitchen Tongs

    Having a good pair of tongs in your kitchen is essential for a variety of tasks. This may seem like an obvious one, but so often we’ll step into someone’s kitchen and a GOOD PAIR of tongs is not at the ready.  Like a knife, the tongs are also an extension of a chef’s hand.  Here are some features to look for when selecting tongs:

      • Material: Look for tongs made from durable stainless steel.  Silicone is fine, (heat-resistant and easy to clean), but it they can be slippy, especially if you’re cooking over a hot BBQ or frying pan.  We definitely recommend stainless steel when turning over foods in hot oil, such as our Panko-Crusted Fish sticks!  
      • Length: Choose tongs with a length that suits your needs. Longer tongs (usually around 12-16 inches) are ideal for grilling or cooking over high heat, while shorter tongs (around 9-12 inches) are better suited for general cooking tasks.
      • Grip: Ensure that the tongs have a comfortable and secure grip.  Some tongs feature silicone or rubber handles, which can provide a better grip and help protect your hands from heat.
      • Locking Mechanism: Many tongs come with a locking mechanism, which allows you to close and store them easily, taking up less space in your kitchen drawers.  
      • Scalloped or Flat Edges: Tongs with scalloped edges can help you grip slippery or delicate foods more easily, while tongs with flat edges are better for flipping and turning larger, heavier items

      7. A flat-sided wooden spoon

      • 7.   A flat-sided wooden spoon is a unique kitchen tool that combines the features of a spoon and a spatula. Its flat edge is ideal for scraping, flipping, stirring, and serving, making it incredibly versatile in the kitchen.   One of the benefits of using a wooden spoon is that it's gentle on non-stick cookware, so you don't have to worry about scratching your pans. Plus, they're usually made from natural, eco-friendly materials like sheesham wood or teak.   A flat-sided wooden spoon can be a game-changer in your cooking routine:  it is our primary go to for: 
      • Breaking down ground beef or other meats, such as beef for Tacos
      • Scraping up the ‘fond’ on the bottom of our pots and pans after searing meat or vegetables to help us Deglaze the pan
      • Perfect for sweating mirepoix 

      For our Thai curry recipe, nothing else breaks down that palm sugar better! 

      8. A mandoline
        The Japanese mandoline!  If you're looking for a tool that can slice fruits and vegetables into beautifully consistent, thin pieces, the Japanese mandoline is a game-changer. Unlike bulky French mandolines, Japanese mandolines are lighter, smaller, and easier to use, making them perfect for home kitchens.   One of the most popular brands is the Benriner mandoline which has been around since 1940. We’ve both had ours since chef school!  It features a super-sharp blade that sits at a diagonal angle for better control and accuracy. And because of their compact size, Japanese mandolines are great for kitchens with limited space.  Just be aware that the blade is extremely sharp, so make sure to handle it with care and follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe use. From Coleslaw to Hot Pink Pickled Cabbage to Crispy Fried Shallots, the Japanese mandolin is never far out of reach.  

      9. A portion scoop

      A Portion Scooper: from Meatballs to Cookies, tasks are done quickly, cleanly and evenly!  Portion scoops are handy tools designed to help you measure and portion out food consistently and efficiently. 

      A portion scoop is ideal for a variety on tasks in the kitchen:

        • Proteins: Use a portion scoop to measure and portion out ground meat for burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can do this now!  
        • Starches: A portion scoop can help you consistently measure and serve rice, mashed potatoes, or quinoa.
        • Desserts: Use a portion scoop for cookies, ice cream, or cupcake or Muffin batter to ensure each serving is uniform.   Portion scoops are typically made from stainless steel, making them durable and easy to clean. They usually feature a spring-loaded handle that allows you to release the food easily.

        10. The Wüsthof Fish Spatula

        The Wüsthof Fish Spatula, also known as a slotted fish spatula, turner, or what we lovingly refer to it as (and every other restaurant chef): The FISHULA!   It's a versatile kitchen tool that's not just limited to flipping delicate fish fillets—although it does that incredibly well. 

        The fish spatula features a long, narrow head that's designed to easily slide under foods without crumbling, making it perfect for flipping and serving a variety of dishes like burgers, hash browns, and even cookies. Plus, its sharpened edge is great for portioning and serving casseroles or lasagna.   Made from high-quality materials like high-carbon stainless steel and synthetic polypropylene, the Wüsthof Fish Spatula is durable, sturdy, and easy to clean. 

        We love this tool because it can handle both delicate and heavier items without wavering or losing its strength.  It is a one-time, lifetime purchase!  So, whether you're a fish lover or just looking for a versatile spatula for your kitchen, the Wüsthof Fish Spatula might just be the perfect choice for you!