Five Best Kitchen Items to Have on Hand

Posted on Dec 26 2012 at 04:32:53 PM in Food & Drink

Five Best Kitchen Items to Have on Hand

There are so many utensils and gadgets on the market today. These are five of the ones I would not want to live without. Useful almost daily, from expensive to downright cheap, these items are ones you will not want to miss.


Over the years, I have amassed a huge amount of things for my kitchen. Some are used daily and some rarely, though all have their place. The five items I will discuss here are ones I use all the time. From the most inexpensive little piece of molded plastic to a pricey item worth every penny, read on to learn more about them.


Item one is the Zyliss or Suzi Garlic Press.


Prior to owning this press, I had a generic garlic press that might manage to squeeze out a couple of drops of garlic juice. I figured garlic presses were not worth what they cost, so I just left it in the back of a drawer and forgot it. Then I discovered the Zyliss.

The first time I used my Zyliss garlic press, I was nearly in tears of joy, seeing the entire clove of garlic nicely and finely minced on the counter. I love using garlic, so this was a revelation. I use it nearly every day, and it is as easy to clean as it is to use.

Item two is the Jar Pop.


The Jar Pop is a little, inexpensive plastic gadget that just makes life simpler. That something so simple can do such a great job is a marvel. Any time I want to open a vacuum sealed jar, I pull out this little gadget. It hooks under the lip of the jar, you lift up a bit. The pop of the vacuum being broken is a delight to hear. Once the vacuum seal is broken, the jar is nearly always simple to unscrew. That little piece of plastic is almost worth its weight in gold.


Item three is the Thermapen.

This is an amazingly fast instant read thermometer. There are many instant read thermometers on the market. Most are a lot less than instant. While you may be able to use one that takes a whole minute to display properly, sometimes the oven door should not be open so long when something is baking. From reading the internal temperature of a baking loaf of bread to the most expensive prime rib roast, the Thermapen gives a reading in less than 5 seconds flat.


This wonderful technology comes at a price, of course. This is the high end of the scale, but once you have seen it in action, it is really hard to go back to those others. Anyone who is looking for a great gift for the chef of the household, think of the Thermapen.

Item four is the Oven Glove.


This is an oven glove, not a mitt. It has places for all the fingers, so there is flexibility and ease for gripping. It can be worn on either hand. It is a heavy woven cotton glove with silicone stripes or ridges on the outside. This provides good grip when handling hot pots or casseroles. It also has a very deep cuff, so it protects the wrist and lower arm. It is great for barbecuing, or flambaing. Such a simple design, yet the best I have come across as a heat barrier. You almost need to try it out to believe it.


Item five is mini ice cream scoops.


There are many types of mini cookie or ice cream scoops available on the market. These are less for ice cream than portion control. When making cookies, it is far too easy to have many sizes of cookie go into the oven, and some get done more quickly than others. With the little cookie scoop, each cookie is the same size. Any cookie that calls for dropping onto a baking sheet or forming into a ball will benefit by the scoop, giving equal amounts for each cookie.

Obviously these are not only for cookies. The little scoops come in various sizes. I currently own two. One is 1 1/4 inch across and holds just over two teaspoons. The other is 1 1/2 inch in diameter and holds one tablespoon. I use the larger one when making meatballs, and each meatball is the same perfect size. The scoops can be used for making truffles, or for scooping out the center of a candy or dough to insert something into, such as a cherry. Larger scoops can portion out cake or muffin batter. The uses are only limited by your imagination.


About The Author


My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.


My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.


Visit my Web site my Blog at
my Marketplace at or Facebook page A Harmony of Flavors. I share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.

  Article Information
Created: Dec 26 2012 at 04:32:53 PM
Updated: Dec 26 2012 at 04:35:02 PM
Category: Food & Drink
Language: English