When you are preparing meals for your family, you want to be able to prepare them quickly and without hassle. There is nothing worse than not being able to finish preparing a meal correctly because you have the wrong kitchen tool, gadget or cooking equipment. As someone who does not love to cook, I have tried to get by with inferior kitchen tools. I have always regretted it, because I have ruined dinners, burned dessert or had to improvise badly. This results in grumpy kids and wasted food. Two problems all busy moms want to avoid. If you are a busy mom, these are the essential kitchen tools you actually need to get meals and treats made with less stress.
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I have tried many brands of cookie sheets over the years, but I have never found a better tool than Air Bake insulated cookie sheets. My cookies come out evenly cooked every time and if they burn its my fault.
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Baking Pans with Lids
I recently upgraded my baking pans and I am so glad I did. I’m not sure which part I love more about my new pans, the non stick surface or the lid that came with them. It is much easier to transport baked goods to work or parties now when you have a lid.
Even if you don’t bake much, a high quality stand mixer can help you make many excellent recipes. Stand mixers are not just for making Martha Stewart quality desserts, they can also help you mix bread and other delicious foods. The Kitchen Aid Mixer is the go to mixers for most cooks, but if that is out of your price range, there are several other great mixers on the market.
You can mix up so many different foods in a blender from smoothies to sauces. Don’t skimp out on this tool because a good blender makes all the difference. There is a reason why there is a great difference in price. We like the Ninja Blender in our house. If you can afford a higher priced blender, I recommend the Vitamix.
Another handy tool for you to have in your kitchen is a food processor. Your blender and mixers will go a long way towards preparing food, but a food processor can put that finishing touch on many meals. It is also an awesome tool for making sauces and mixes.
On busy nights when you don’t have time to throw a meal together after a long day of work and school, a crockpot is a lifesaver. You can put the ingredients to your meal in, set them and go. When you get home the meal you put in your crockpot is ready to eat.
While stand mixers are awesome tools, sometimes it is just a pain to pull your entire stand mixer out for a small job like mashing potatoes for dinner. That is where a great hand mixer comes in. These tools are so handy and versatile in the kitchen. They are also easy to use and easy to store.
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Pots and Pans
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
I bought my first set of stainless steel mixing bowls in college and I still have them. I have gotten my moneys worth and then some. I love these bowls because you can mix just about anything in them. You can then cover and store your concoction for several days if you like.
Good Quality Pots and Pans
A good set of pots and pans is not cheap, but the right set can last you a life time. A few of the pots and pans we use at our home have been around for several generations. They were made that well. A good set of pots and pans is worth the money and usually a good value. You want to make sure you have a nice assortment of skillets and saucepans and a large stockpot.
Stir Fry Pan (Wok)
Stir Fry is one of the easiest meals to put together quickly that kids and adults like. If you don’t have the right pan though, it can be a much more difficult meal to cook. A good stir fry pan is also very versatile and you can use it for many other cooking projects. You want to get one that can withstand a beating and won’t scratch easily. Also, having a lid is convenient too.
My kids live for pancakes on the weekend. For the longest time I was making them one at a time on a small skillet. Until my husband bought me a pancake griddle just for making pancakes. Can you say gamechanger? I thought that I either had to buy a huge griddle that took up tons of room in my pantry or make do with a tiny skillet. I was so wrong!
High Quality Knives
High quality knives are another game changer in the kitchen. For years, I did not understand this, but they make food preparation so much easier. Bonus, if you know when to use each knife. Here is a terrific guide to knives and cutting for beginners.
Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups
I used to use plastic measuring spoons and cups, but I have found that the stainless steel ones are truly the way to go. I love that they now make magnetic spoons so you no longer have to deal with having them all on the same chain!
Liquid Measuring Cups
This is another one of those versatile must have items in the kitchen. It helps to separate your liquid from your dry measuring tools. It may make me seem old school, but I love my glass liquid measuring cups the most!
If you make many sauces or breakfast items like pancakes or scrambled eggs a good whisk is worth the investment. I prefer metal whisks to silicon because they are sturdier.
Ice Cream Scooper
There are many tools on this list far more important than an ice cream scooper. However, when you need one you will be glad to have one that works well. You want one that can easily cut through the coldest container of ice cream and will make nice round, even scoops.
Kitchen shears are another item I can’t function without in my kitchen. While they have many uses, my favorite one is cutting poultry. A good kitchen shears makes a disgusting job just a little bit easier to bear. I hate handling raw meat, so the faster I can be done cutting it the better.
Storage Containers for Dry Goods
Storing dry goods such as rice, flour, and sugar in their store packaging is just messy. If that bag of flour or sugar gets knocked over it a cleaning nightmare. I have stored my dry goods in OXO storage containers for years. I love that they keep the items fresh, they are see through and come in a variety of sizes. Once you make the switch you will never go back to the way you stored them before.
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It may seem archaic in the digital age to have a recipe binder. The reality is that you may have some keepsake family recipes that you want to store in a nice place. You may also just want to have a physical copy of your most favorite recipes in a place that is easily accessible to you or your family. A recipe binder is a great way to organize those recipes you just aren’t ready to digitize.
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