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How to Equip Your Kitchen to Cook Meals More Often

The Best Additions to Your Kitchen That Will Make You Cook More Often

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Want to cook more homemade meals and actually have fun doing it? The trick is to stock your kitchen with the right gear. These essential kitchen tools tools at your fingertips can make cooking faster, easier, and way more enjoyable. Let me walk you through the best kitchen tools that’ll get you fired up to whip up delicious meals every day.

1. A Quality Chef’s Knife

A sharp and reliable chef’s knife is a must-have in any kitchen. Invest in a high-quality chef’s knife that feels comfortable in your hand. A good knife will make chopping, dicing, and slicing a breeze, allowing you to prep ingredients quickly and efficiently. With a sharp knife, you’ll find joy in the art of cooking and be more motivated to try new recipes. If you’ve never used a high quality chef’s knife, this will change everything.

Below are three top-quality chef’s knives that stand out in the market for their exceptional craftsmanship, durability, and performance.

1. Shun Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

For those who appreciate both functionality and aesthetics, the Shun Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is a masterpiece. This knife features a hand-hammered finish that not only looks exquisite but also helps prevent food from sticking to the blade. Made from VG-MAX steel, it boasts incredible edge retention and is corrosion-resistant. Its walnut-finished Pakkawood handle fits comfortably in the hand, reflecting Shun’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. I own this knife, and it seriously kicks ass!

2. Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is a staple in both professional and home kitchens worldwide. Forged from a single block of high-carbon stainless steel, this knife offers unparalleled sharpness and outstanding edge retention. Its ergonomic handle ensures comfort and control, making it perfect for daily use. Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, the Wüsthof Classic provides reliability and precision with every cut.

3. Global G-2 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Global knives are famed for their modern design and exceptional balance, and the Global G-2 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is no exception. This knife is made from a single piece of high-quality Cromova stainless steel, which gives it a sleek, distinctive appearance and makes it remarkably lightweight. The textured grip ensures safety and control, making it an excellent choice for fast-paced cooking environments. Its razor-sharp edge and resistance to rust and stains make it a durable choice for everyday kitchen tasks.

2. Versatile Cutting Boards

A durable and versatile cutting board is another essential addition to your kitchen. Look for a cutting board that is large enough to accommodate various tasks and made of materials that won’t damage your knife. A cutting board with separate sections for meat, vegetables, and fruits can also help prevent cross-contamination and make cleaning up easier.

1. OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board

The OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board is a must-have for any kitchen due to its durability and functionality. Made from non-porous, odor-resistant polypropylene, it ensures that it won’t degrade over time or harbor bacteria. The board features soft, tapered handles for easy lifting and non-slip edges to keep the board stable while you chop. Its double-sided design allows for multi-purpose use, making it ideal for everything from slicing fruits to carving meats.

2. John Boos Block Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board

The John Boos Block Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board is renowned for its superb craftsmanship and quality. This board is made from sustainably sourced, high-quality maple wood, giving it a sturdy, yet gentle surface that is kind to your knives. The reversible design doubles the available cutting area and features grooves to catch juices, keeping your counter clean. Ideal for heavy-duty chopping as well as serving cheeses and charcuterie, this board combines functionality with aesthetic appeal, making it a stylish addition to any kitchen.

3. Magnetic Knife Holders

A magnetic knife holder is a smart addition to any kitchen, offering a stylish and space-saving solution to keep your knives and other metal utensils organized and easily accessible. By mounting knives on the wall, you free up valuable counter and drawer space while also preventing the blades from dulling, which can happen when they’re stored loosely with other utensils. Additionally, having knives displayed on a magnetic strip ensures that you can quickly find the right tool for the job.

Gorilla Grip Original Magnetic Knife Holder
The Gorilla Grip Original Magnetic Knife Holder is an efficient and affordable solution for storing your knives and tools neatly on the wall. Made with a heavy-duty magnet, this bar securely holds your kitchen tools, ensuring they remain in place and are easily accessible. The compact design is perfect for small spaces, helping to clear clutter from countertops and drawers. Simple to install and available in several sizes to fit any kitchen layout, this magnetic knife holder is a practical addition for any home chef seeking organization and convenience.

Walnut Magnetic Knife Strip by wooDsom
The Walnut Magnetic Knife Strip by wooDsom combines elegance and functionality in a beautifully crafted tool. Made from premium American walnut, this magnetic holder brings a warm, natural look to your kitchen décor. The powerful magnets are hidden within the wood, offering a clean and uninterrupted surface that safely holds knives and keeps them sharp. It’s available in various lengths to accommodate any kitchen size, ensuring that your essential tools are displayed both securely and stylishly.

3. Organized Storage

Cabinets and Pantry: Maximize your kitchen’s storage potential by utilizing cabinets and pantry space effectively. Install shelves at varying heights to accommodate different-sized items, and use stackable storage containers to make the most of vertical space. Keep frequently used items within easy reach, and reserve higher or lower shelves for less-used items.

Clear Containers: Invest in clear, airtight containers for storing dry ingredients such as grains, pasta, flour, and sugar. Clear containers allow you to see the contents at a glance, making it easier to identify what you need and when to restock. Label each container with the item’s name and expiration date for quick reference.

Refrigerator Organization: Arrange your refrigerator strategically to keep perishable items fresh and easily accessible. Use designated compartments for fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats to maintain optimal storage conditions and prevent cross-contamination. Consider using stackable bins or drawer organizers to group similar items together and maximize space.

Freezer Management: Organize your freezer to make meal planning and preparation more efficient. Use freezer-safe containers or bags to store pre-prepped meals, leftovers, and bulk purchases like frozen vegetables or meats. Label each item with the contents and date of freezing to track freshness and minimize food waste.

Spice and Condiment Storage: Keep your spices and condiments organized for quick seasoning and flavoring during cooking. Use spice racks, drawer inserts, or wall-mounted shelves to store spices in alphabetical order or by frequency of use. Arrange condiments such as oils, vinegars, sauces, and dressings in a designated area for easy access while cooking.

Kitchen Tool Storage: Store cooking utensils, gadgets, and small appliances in designated drawers or organizers near your cooking area. Use utensil holders, knife blocks, and hanging racks to keep tools within reach and prevent clutter on countertops. Consider decluttering regularly to remove items you no longer use or need, creating more space for essential cooking tools.

4. Cookware

Cooked Vegetable on Pan

Investing in high-quality non-stick cookware will make your cooking experience more enjoyable. Non-stick pans and pots are easy to clean and require less oil or butter, making your meals healthier. From frying eggs to sautéing vegetables, non-stick cookware is a game-changer that will have you reaching for the skillet more often. Here are details about two highly regarded stainless steel cookware sets:

  1. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set:
    • Construction: Triple-ply construction with a stainless steel interior, aluminum core, and brushed exterior for heat retention and distribution.
    • Compatibility: Compatible with all stovetops, including induction, and oven safe up to 550°F.
    • Features: Cool Grip handles, tight-fitting lids, and drip-free pouring rims for convenience and precision while cooking.
    • Variety: Includes a range of pots, pans, and utensils like a steamer insert, allowing for versatile cooking techniques.
    • Easy Maintenance: Dishwasher safe and designed for easy cleaning and maintenance.
  2. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Set – 3-Piece:
    • Made with high-quality cast iron, known for its excellent heat retention and even cooking.
    • Suitable for use on all cooking surfaces, including stovetop, oven, grill, and campfire.
    • Comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil for a natural, easy-release finish.
    • Includes three skillet sizes (8 inches, 10.25 inches, and 12 inches) for cooking versatility.
  3. T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set – 17-Piece:
    • Features a durable hard-anodized aluminum construction with a scratch-resistant ceramic non-stick coating.
    • Thermo-Spot heat indicator shows when the pan is preheated for optimal cooking results.
    • Dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 400°F for convenience and versatility.
    • Includes a comprehensive set of cookware pieces for all your cooking tasks.

5. Blender

A blender is a versatile tool that can simplify many kitchen tasks. From blending soups to making perfectly smooth sauces, the blender will save you time and effort. It’s easy to store, ensuring it is readily accessible whenever you need it.

Blenders are versatile kitchen appliances that can be used to create a wide range of delicious and nutritious recipes. Here are some recipes you can make with a blender, including two healthy smoothies and other non-smoothie options:

Healthy Smoothies:

Green Power Smoothie:

  • Ingredients: Spinach, kale, banana, Greek yogurt, almond milk, honey, and a handful of mixed berries.
  • Instructions: Blend spinach, kale, banana, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and honey until smooth. Add mixed berries and blend again until well combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy this nutrient-packed green smoothie.

Berry Blast Smoothie:

  • Ingredients: Mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), banana, almond milk, chia seeds, and a scoop of protein powder (optional).
  • Instructions: Blend mixed berries, banana, almond milk, chia seeds, and protein powder (if using) until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, sprinkle with additional chia seeds, and serve for a refreshing and antioxidant-rich smoothie.

Other Blender Ideas:

Creamy Hummus:

  • Ingredients: Chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Instructions: Combine chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper in the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a splash of water if needed to reach the desired consistency. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita bread for a healthy snack or appetizer.

Avocado Basil Pesto:

  • Ingredients: Avocado, fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese (optional), olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Instructions: Blend avocado, basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese (if using), olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy. Toss with cooked pasta or use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps for a flavorful and nutritious twist on traditional pesto sauce.

Spicy Salsa:

  • Ingredients: Tomatoes, onion, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Instructions: Blend tomatoes, onion, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper until smooth or slightly chunky, depending on your preference. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos, salads, or grilled meats for a zesty and homemade salsa.

Blender recommendations:

  1. Vitamix 5200 Blender:
    • Powerful motor and variable speed control for precise blending.
    • Aircraft-grade stainless steel blades for efficient blending of tough ingredients.
    • Self-cleaning function and dishwasher-safe parts for easy maintenance.
  2. Ninja Professional Blender with Nutri Ninja Cups:
    • Total Crushing Technology for blending ice, whole fruits, and vegetables.
    • Includes Nutri Ninja cups for personalized drinks on the go.
    • Dishwasher-safe parts and BPA-free materials for convenience and safety.
  3. KitchenAid K400 Blender:
    • Powerful motor and Intelli-Speed Motor Control for optimal blending results.
    • Soft Start Feature for smooth blending and consistent textures.
    • Tamper accessory and easy-to-clean design for hassle-free use and maintenance.

6. Instant Pot or Air Fryer

If you’re looking to save time in the kitchen, an Instant Pot is a game-changer. This multicooker allows you to cook meals in a fraction of the time, making it perfect for anyone with a busy schedule.

Using an Instant Pot or an air fryer can revolutionize your cooking experience, offering convenience, speed, and versatility in preparing a wide range of delicious dishes. With endless possibilities for delicious soups, stews, and one-pot dishes, the Instant Pot will inspire you to step outside of your culinary comfort zone.

Here’s a breakdown of how each appliance works and some popular recipes you can try:

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a multi-functional electric pressure cooker that combines several cooking functions into one appliance, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, sautéing, steaming, and more. Its ability to cook meals quickly and retain flavors makes it a favorite among busy home cooks.

Recipes to Try:

Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Bell Peppers:

Cook quinoa in the Instant Pot according to package instructions. Meanwhile, sauté onions, garlic, and mixed vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots until tender. Combine cooked quinoa and vegetables, then stuff the mixture into halved bell peppers. Place the stuffed peppers in the Instant Pot with a little broth, then pressure cook until the peppers are tender. Top with a sprinkle of cheese or fresh herbs before serving.

Lemon Garlic Herb Chicken:

Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, lemon zest, minced garlic, and your favorite herbs (such as thyme or rosemary). Sauté the chicken in the Instant Pot until browned on both sides. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, and a splash of white wine (optional), then pressure cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Serve with steamed vegetables for a light and flavorful meal.

Here are two top-rated air fryers:

  1. Ninja Foodi 8-Quart 9-in-1 Deluxe XL Pressure Cooker & Air Fryer:
    • Versatile 9-in-1 appliance with an 8-quart capacity.
    • Crisp Technology for golden, oil-free cooking.
    • Smart programs and easy cleanup with dishwasher-safe parts.
  2. Cosori 5.8-Quart Max XL Air Fryer:
    • Large 5.8-quart capacity for family meals.
    • Even cooking with rapid air circulation technology.
    • User-friendly digital interface and safety features like auto-shutoff.

Air Fryer

An air fryer uses hot air circulation to cook food, producing crispy and evenly cooked results without the need for excess oil. It’s great for frying, baking, roasting, and even reheating leftovers, offering a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods.

Recipes to Try:

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings: Toss chicken wings with seasoning and a light coat of oil. Cook in the air fryer until crispy and golden brown, then toss with your favorite sauce for irresistible wings.

Salmon with Roasted Vegetables: Marinate salmon fillets in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, and herbs like dill or parsley. Place the marinated salmon and a selection of vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes) in the air fryer basket. Air fry until the salmon is cooked through and the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Serve with a side of quinoa or brown rice for a nutritious and satisfying dish.

Crispy Tofu Stir-Fry: Toss cubed tofu with cornstarch and a pinch of salt until coated. Air fry the tofu until golden and crispy. In a separate pan, stir-fry bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, and onions in a light sauce made from soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a touch of honey or maple syrup. Combine the crispy tofu with the stir-fried vegetables and serve over steamed rice or quinoa for a flavorful and protein-rich vegetarian meal.

Here are two top-rated air fryers:

  1. Philips Premium Digital Airfryer XXL:
    • Large 4-quart capacity suitable for family-sized meals.
    • Digital interface with pre-set cooking programs for convenience.
    • Twin TurboStar technology for even cooking and crispy results.
    • Dishwasher-safe parts for easy cleanup.
  2. Instant Vortex Plus 7-in-1 Air Fryer Oven:
    • 10-quart capacity with multiple cooking functions, including air frying, roasting, baking, broiling, and dehydrating.
    • Easy-to-use digital interface with pre-set cooking programs.
    • EvenCrisp technology for golden, crispy results without excess oil.
    • Dishwasher-safe cooking trays and accessories for hassle-free cleanup.

7. Herb Garden

Close-Up Photo of Herbs Near Pot

Bringing a touch of nature into your kitchen can elevate your cooking experience. Start a small herb garden on your windowsill or balcony, and you’ll have fresh herbs at your fingertips all year round. The vibrant colors and enticing aromas of herbs will make you eager to use them in your dishes. Plus, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel from nurturing and harvesting your own herbs will further motivate you to cook more often.

AeroGarden Harvest Elite:

  • Sleek stainless steel design suitable for modern kitchens.
  • LED grow lights and automated watering system for easy herb cultivation.
  • Includes gourmet herb seed pod kit with basil, parsley, dill, thyme, and mint.
  • Compact size ideal for countertop herb gardening.

Click and Grow Smart Garden:

  • Compact and stylish design with built-in LED grow lights.
  • Automated watering system and pre-seeded plant pods for effortless herb cultivation.
  • Includes basil plant pods for immediate planting and growth.
  • Perfect for small spaces like kitchens, offices, or apartments.

By incorporating these essential additions into your kitchen, you’ll create a space that inspires and motivates you to cook more often. So roll up your sleeves, put on an apron, and embrace the joy of preparing delicious meals at home. Happy cooking!

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