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Cooks Tools

By Robin Rodricks of Draeger's HOME

The Cook's Tools

Whether you cook often or infrequently, having the right equipment will make all the difference in your success as a home chef. The proper tools will save time, make you more efficient in the kitchen and yield better results.

.If you’re getting serious about cooking or simply want to make daily meal preparation easier, a good place to start is by assessing your cooking equipment. Take something as simple as a vegetable peeler. Is yours still sharp? Is it the right peeler for the task at hand? How does it feel in your hand? Zyliss makes several types including the Soft Skin Peeler, which is great for tomatoes and other soft-skinned vegetables, and the Julienne Peeler, which cuts your vegetables into neat strips with a stroke of the wrist. RÖsle’s comfortably weighted peeler is preferred by some people because they feel that it gives them more control.

When did you last sharpen your knives? Using a sharp knife of the correct type and size will greatly reduce risk of injury. Invest in quality knives and take Draeger’s Knife Skills class to build your confidence in working with knives. You’ll learn how to handle a knife safely, how to steel and sharpen knives and how to dice, julienne, mince, chop, chiffonade and concasse.

.To transfer your finely cut vegetables from cutting board to bowl, use a bench scraper. This handy, inexpensive tool can be used for a variety of tasks, including scraping dough from the counter, cutting and portioning out dough, and cleaning sticky messes off of the cutting board.

Perhaps you need a more efficient food processor or blender– immersion blenders are great for making soups, emulsifying salad dressings and blending smoothies. There is no need to wash an extra work bowl or fuss with transferring liquid from one container to another. Plus immersion blenders have the added bonus that they do not take up much space.

As technology improves, so does kitchen equipment. Replace worn or scratched Teflon pots and pans with newer-technology ones that are more scratch resistant, such as Berndes’ non-stick cookware.

..Another technological marvel is silicone. Potholders now come in silicone and double as trivets– Silicone Zone makes a large size one that does triple duty as a universal pot lid. Flexible and thin with a no-slip texture, these potholders feel, unlike bulky traditional potholders, comfortable in the hand.

Silicone’s high melting point is a boon for other kitchen tools, such as the spatulas and brushes that can withstand temperatures of 500° to 800° F. Unlike the traditional nylon or natural bristle pastry or grilling brushes, the Sili basting brushes don’t shed and are easy to clean.

Take some time to see what’s in your kitchen drawers and cabinets, and invest in modern equipment that will help you cook more easily and efficiently. Your dividends will be delicious!