The Best Kitchen Gadgets
One of the questions I always ask a chef is what his or her favourite gadget is. It’s not just an idle question used to fill in time or space. Gadgets are vital to the workings of any kitchen. What’s your favourite one? If it doesn’t come to mind immediately, think of the gadget that you reach for the most. Some chefs will tell you that it’s their hands. Fair enough. For people who are consistently slicing, mixing, kneading, having their hands in constant contact with the food makes perfect sense. I know one chef who refuses to even own a pair of oven mitts! So, I’m always surprised when the majority of chefs I ask actually do have a favourite gadget that they prefer to use above all other — and, that it isn’t their hands.
The most popular kitchen tool I’ve heard about is one that Chuck Hughes likes to call a “spoonula”. You guessed it. It’s the result of a mating between a spoon and a spatula. He uses it to scrape, stir and taste. Add one sharp edge to it and perhaps Chuck would even give up his knives in favour of it.
The point of these gadgets is to make our lives easier. Forks, knives, spoons, pestles, ice cream makers, mixers and dehydrators to name but a few take up counter space and line our cupboards. You could, if you were so inclined, find a gadget for practically every job in the kitchen. Maybe, all we need now is to make these gadgets Jetson-like. Give them robot capabilities so that they could just stir, pound, knead, whatever, until our meals are completely prepared. But, that just wouldn’t be as much fun as doing it ourselves, right?
My favourite kitchen tool? I had to think about the answer to that for a bit. I do a lot of cooking; so, I go through a lot of gadgets by the time the meal is completely ready, served and eaten. I have to say, though, that the most useful thing in my kitchen is the tong. Long, short, I have them all. Perfect for turning meat and vegetables on a grill, stirring, tasting, mixing. It’s the one gadget that typically ends up in the dishwasher practically every night.
Ok. Given that it’s another hot, humid, July day, my Alessi lemon squeezer will definitely have to come in a close second. Mmm … lemonade. Stirred with tongs, of course.