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10 Kitchen Must-Haves

Let’s talk basics for a moment. What are the most useful kitchen tools every home cook should have? And what can’t you live without?

1. Microplane

There are many imitations and cheap graters out there but Microplane is the very best. Super sharp, I have the medium grater and the zester and just love using them – for grating garlic, chocolate, parmesan ribbons, nutmeg, lemon zest. Plus they’re dishwasher safe.

2. Metal tongs

I have three pairs of tongs and find them indispensable. You need tongs that close easily, with good grip, say you’re carrying a steak from pan to plate, you don’t want it to slip out!

3. Mandolin

I always thought mandolins were unnecessary. But we all cut onions on a near-daily basis, and a mandolin zips through it. Potatoes and carrots too.

4. Heavy cutting board

Invest in a heavy bamboo cutting board and you’ll love it. It won’t move around while chopping, and it can also serve as a platter for antipasto, cheese…

5. A set of ramekins

No, not just for creme brulee (who makes creme brulee at home anyway?) but ramekins are great as small mixing bowls, for food prep (masterchef style), and well, for hot chocolate puddings.

6. 23cm springform cake tin

You could easily go and buy a stack of cake tins of all shapes and sizes, but a round springform tin is one you’ll use the most. Great for not just cakes, but quiches and other savoury dishes.

7. Wooden spoons

I learnt the other day that every kitchen needs more than one wooden spoon, when I made a curry and the smell and colour stuck to the spoon after numerous washes. So have a wooden spoon for savoury and one for sweet.

8. Muslin cloth

Cheap as chips – you can wash and reuse – muslin cloth is great for straining cheese like ricotta, yoghurt to make labne or even your to make own cheese like mascarpone.

9. Good knives

There are some great-value knife blocks out there, but you can easily get by with three good knives. A santoku knife, a cook’s knife, and a paring knife are indispensable. Get them professionally sharpened regularly.

10. Digital scales

Another gadget I thought I could live without, until I realised I was measuring all wrong. Quality digital scales allow you to measure as you add ingredients, just by reseting to zero as you go. A must especially if you love baking and require pinpoint accuracy.

What are your can’t-live-without kitchen tools?