10 Kitchen Tools This Mom Can't Live Without

My love for cooking started as a curiosity. I'd spend idle mornings watching our house cook do her thing as a kid. Later on, that interest grew into cooking shows. Now, I can't say that I'm an expert chef or even a seasoned cook, but I've had my fair share of winner dishes!

Having spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I know for a fact that kitchen tools can make or break the day of any homemaker. The daily tasks that revolve around food-preparation is overwhelming, so handy helpers really make things a whole lot easier.

Honestly, there are some tools I can't live without. You remember (now-defunct mini-show) Quickfire's Chef Rosebud's electric pepper grinder and her garlic chopper? Well, here are my top 10 essential tools in the kitchen (in no particular order):

1. Heat resistant spatula - I wasn't a fan of spatula during its rubber days. I found them icky after a single use. But then the silicone types came along and I got hooked. They work great with pancake batter, pasta sauce (making sure nothing is left wasted in the pan) and mayonnaise. I prefer the flat ones with a tapered edge over the scoop types, but this set below that I found on Amazon looks like it can be my Christmas present!

2. Non-stick pan - Okay, cheating a little bit here. It's not a 'tool' per-se, but non-stick frying pans really make a big difference not only while cooking, but also during cleanup. It deserves to be in this list! I haven't tried the ceramic types yet, like this one below, which can even be popped in the oven up to 350F!

3. Peeler - Some home cooks are ninjas when it comes to peeling vegetables with just a knife. I'm not one of them. I need my peeler!

4. Kitchen scissors - Scissors, shears - whatever you call it - I use them to cut everything. And I mean everything. I cut whole chickens with it, make strips out of a wide cut of beef, cut celery, scallions, cut seasoning packets, herbs, foils, cartons, what-have-you. I've tried scissors with plastic handles and they're no good. It's a good idea to invest in all-steel scissors, or at least make sure the steel extends all the way to the end of the handle grips. Otherwise, the plastic handle will break and you are left with a stainless parrot beak puppet.

5. Wooden spoon - It's probably just the nature-lover in me that prefers wooden spoons over plastic or steel ones. I use wooden spoons mostly for stir-frying and mixing stews. Just the plain old ones made from lightweight wood (found at your friendly neighborhood Dollar Store) or the bamboo types. No slotted spoons, please - food can get stuck in there and they're difficult to clean.

6. Rice paddle - A true testament of my ethnicity. Asians can't live without rice. Hence, the rice paddle. Again, time has made me test different designs of this thing, and the prevailing design is the one with a dimpled surface (like a golf ball).

7. Silicone brush - It's the third time I'm going to mention the 'cleanup' aspect of my choice. Standard brushes with natural-like fibers, well, I have no idea how to clean them up. These silicone ones, though, can just be soaked in some warm water with dish soap. Simplicity sold.

8. Chef's knife - Behind every great chef is a sleek and sharp culinary sword. There are a lot of knives out there, but every home cook only has one favorite. Mine is the chef's knife that looks kind of like this(below). The holes are no good when cutting cheese or hard-boiled eggs because some of the food gets stuck in them, but I love it nonetheless!

9. Grater - When cooking for kids, there's always the additional challenge of including nutritional value to every meal. I'm sure other moms would back me up on this - adding grated carrots on spaghetti sauce or covering up green leafies with cheese. I prefer a simple fine grater in my kitchen. I've had the stand-up type, and even the interchangeable one, but I always go back to the simplest kind.

10. Tongs - Possibly the most over-used tool in my kitchen, aside from the knife. I use tongs for frying, for dipping stuff, as a server, etc. I prefer the ones without a hinge, mainly because hinges also come with springs and I think they take a little bit of getting used to to control.

There you have it! This mom's top 10 kitchen tools. What tools do you absolutely can't live without? Share it by leaving a comment below.

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