You love cooking, but work late and can’t find the time to actually do it. Or maybe you know your way around eggs, but want to experiment with that three-layer cake recipe you found on Pinterest. Success in the kitchen starts with the right time-saving tools. Here are the kitchen essentials we’d recommend for every aspiring cook on your shopping list — and for yourself.
1. Stay Sharp
Meal prep starts with the basics: Cutting boards. Keep track of which board you use for veggies and which you use for meat or fish with color-coded plastic cutting boards that are easy to throw in the dishwasher. We love Tovolo Lil’ Flex Cutting Mats (4 for $9.99).
The Catskill End Grain Chopping Block is a wooden cutting board that’s gentle on knives — no dulling blades — while being durable and resilient. The non-skid rubber feet protect your countertops and keep the board still as you chop, slice, and prepare food.
2. Go-Go Gadgets
Ever been caught mid-burger fry, only to realize your one spatula is dirty and sitting in the sink? Yeah, we’ve been there. In addition to spatulas in bulk, we recommend stocking up on a set of tools that will take you from eggs to eggplant parm and keeping them within arm’s reach. We’re fans of Sabatier’s Stainless Steel Tool & Gadget Set that comes packed with a can opener, slotted spoon, tongs, serving spoon, and spatula. Check for heat-resistant, dishwasher-safe labels to ensure they can take the heat.
3. Know What’s In Store
Nothing’s worse than getting ready for work in the morning and realizing you have no way to transport the delicious meal you so thoughtfully prepped the night before (ok, ok, or the leftover takeout you know you’ll be craving by 11 AM). While there are a lot of food storage options on the market, we recommend one that’s portable and comes in a variety of sizes so you can transport everything from salads to side dishes, like Prince & Spring Food Storage Containers. Need to transport lighter fare like trail mix or popcorn? Ziploc bags in a variety of sizes — snack bags, sandwich bags, and freezer bags — can be a life-saver. Or at the very least, a food-saver.
4. Get Oil Excited
Olive Oil is for way more than dipping in delicious bread at your favorite restaurant. It’s an omega-3 rich base for stir-frys, coating for meats and fish, and fantastic when drizzled on roasted veggies. We could go on, but we’ll stop right there and tell you that you just don’t want to run out of a staple like olive oil. Prince & Spring has a 3-liter bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for serious stocking up and a 33.8-ounce version if you like to travel light.
5. Spice It Up
A chicken breast is just a chicken breast without spice to make it sing. In addition to your classic salt, we like to keep a variety of essential spices on hand like oregano, garlic powder, pepper, and cinnamon. Even Better? A go-to mix of several spices to make the ultimate seasoning like in this universal spice rub recipe from Food52.
There you have it; five essential kitchen items for every home chef. What did we miss? Send your suggestions to us in the comments and happy cooking, Boxed fam.