Most families spend a lot of time in their kitchen. As the heart of the home, the kitchen plays an important role in your day-to-day life. From grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning to enjoying informal dinners with family and friends, a well-equipped kitchen can enhance your home environment.
But what constitutes a well-equipped kitchen? You may not need a luxury interior and bespoke cabinets, but there are some necessities that can make your life a whole lot easier. To learn more, take a look at these seven kitchen essentials you can’t live without and make sure you have them in your home:
1. Chef’s Knives
If you love to cook, you’ll already know just how important it is to have good-quality knives in your kitchen. If you hate cooking, however, the quality of your knives might be why! Chef’s knives are a little more expensive than standard meal prep items but they’re an investment that offers great returns. Not only will they last for years, but they’ll make your food prep so much easier.
When you can chop, slice, and cut in seconds, it takes the effort out of cooking and enables you to prepare dishes in a fraction of the time. With a knife block or magnetic strip to keep them safely out of reach of young hands and a sharpener to keep them in pristine condition, chef’s knives can transform your kitchen – and your cooking!
2. Coffee Maker
It goes without saying that every kitchen should be equipped with a coffee maker but think carefully about which type of coffee maker you want to have at home. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might prefer a traditional cafetiere, a bean-to-cup machine, or an espresso maker, while a drip machine might be suitable if you simply grab a cup on your way to work. If you enjoy experimenting with new flavors and you’re looking for a hassle-free option, a single-serve capsule-based machine might be what you’re looking for.
This isn’t a thermometer designed for your medicine cupboard (although these are essential too!), but a food thermometer that will help you to perfect your dishes. They’re particularly useful if you’re cooking meat, although they come in handy for baking and preparing desserts too.
An instant-read thermometer allows you to determine exactly what temperature something is while it’s still in the oven. With a simple skewer, you can monitor the temperature of a dish or a piece of meat to ensure it’s high enough. As well as helping you to create delicious meals, instant-read thermometers are also a great idea for nervous or budding cooks. You can double-check that meat and other dishes have been cooked thoroughly, without risking burning or overcooking a dish.
They’re cheap to buy and require virtually no maintenance, but they’re a simple way to streamline meal preparation and take the stress out of cooking.
4. Drain Snake
Every householder has to deal with blocked or clogged pipes from time to time, so don’t assume that you’ll escape the task! Once you know how to use a drain snake, however, you can clear blockages in seconds and restore your kitchen to full working order without having to undertake major repair works.
Instead of having to dismantle the drain or using a plunger, a drain snake allows you to target the blockage without any other tools. If you’ve never used one before, take a look at TubShroom’s guide to using a drain snake and you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is. With a universal DrainShroom, you can clear clogs and blockages from virtually any drain in seconds, without having to take the drain apart or calling in a professional. Once cleared, add a Kitchen SinkShroom to keep your drain clog-free and you’ll keep your kitchen maintenance to a minimum.
5. Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is another time-saving appliance that every kitchen needs. Although meals will take longer to cook (hence the name), they require virtually no preparation time. Simply throw the ingredients into the slow cooker, set the timer and you’re good to go.
Slow cooking enhances the flavor of a dish and is a particularly effective way to ensure the meat is tender and ready to melt in the mouth. However, people rarely attempt slow cooking with a standard oven because you need to be present. With a plug-in slow cooker, however, you can typically leave the appliance unattended and let it do the hard work for you. Ideal if you want to enjoy home-cooked meals during the week, you can load up the slow cooker before heading out to work and look forward to a delicious meal upon your return.
6. Hand Mixer
Although a food processer comes in handy if you love to cook, a hand mixer can be even more convenient. When you’re preparing baked goods and desserts or even full dishes for just one or two people, a hand mixer is all you need to combine ingredients. Similarly, you can use them to whip cream or add froth to hot drinks, so they’re versatile and user-friendly.
What’s more – hand mixers are also relatively cheap to buy, so you don’t need to blow your budget to ensure you have the right gadgets. You can add the finishing touches to an array of dishes with a hand mixer and transform a standard meal or dessert into something spectacular within seconds.
7. Cast-Iron Skillet
Smart tech and modern appliances are making our lives easier than ever in the kitchen but there are some things that simply stand the test of time. Cast-iron skillets may have been around for more than 2,000 years but they’re still a must-have kitchen essential, which tells you just how good they are.
Buy your cast-iron skillet pre-seasoned so that you benefit from its non-stick properties and be careful how you wash it so that it retains its non-stick coating. Aside from this, you’ll have to do very little maintenance to keep your cast-iron skillet in great condition. Most people re-season a cast iron skillet once or twice a year, but this is easy to do with a little oil.
As well as being utterly versatile and easy to use, cast-iron skillets are highly durable too. Invest in a good quality one and it will last you a lifetime, so don’t hesitate to make a cast-iron skillet one of your kitchen essentials.
Taking Your Kitchen to the Next Level
Making sure your kitchen is well-equipped isn’t about having the latest gadgets or the most high-tech mod cons. Instead, it means ensuring you have everything you need to maximize the function of your kitchen and make your life easier. When you’ve got the right tools to hand, you can save time, prepare great-tasting food and use your kitchen more safely.
From creating innovative home-cooked recipes to whipping up quick snacks and delicious drinks, a well-equipped kitchen gives you the freedom to develop your skills and enjoy the time you spend at the stove. Of course, making sure you have a good range of kitchen essentials also means you can spend less time doing the tasks you loathe and more time doing what you love.