By Chef Judi Gallagher –
Every cook looks for innovations in meal preparation convenience and time-saving kitchen equipment. Here are five on my must-buy list for 2012. It’s time for the cook to go shopping.
1. KitchenArt Pro’s Adjust-a-Cup. It allows cooks to measure out sticky ingredients and then push them out of the device into a bowl or baking pan. An article at MainStreet.com, praises the ease with which it helps measure and dispense ingredients.
2. A 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Every home cook should have one; a high-quality cast iron skillet is practically indestructible and perfect for baking, frying and searing a multitude of items. It goes from stovetop to the oven. Season it correctly, and you’ve got a kitchen friend for a lifetime.
3. Thermapen. At $93, this is one expensive thermometer. But it gives a truly instant read, has a thinner probe than other thermometers and doesn’t need to be inserted too far into whatever you’re cooking to get an accurate read, be it a piece of meat or a pan of caramel.
4. Mandoline. If you want perfect, thin slices of whatever you happen to be cooking you need a mandoline. It doesn’t take up much counter space, stores easily and you’ll love it. Professional chefs wouldn’t be without one. I use mine to slice potatoes for potato chips more often than I should admit. You’ll find many uses for this “old” tool that is new again this year.
5. A Chinese chopping block. Asian cooking is popular, so invest in authentic equipment to make great Asian meals. The chopping block is great example of a multifunctional kitchen tool. Use it for everything for chopping and mincing or as a cheese plate or trivet. It’s good-looking, but even better, it’s super durable. Chinese chopping blocks are tall, heavy and cheap, and you can find them at all prices at Asian grocery stores, specialty kitchen shops and online at Amazon.