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All a Kitchen Needs

The kitchen doesn’t have to be a confusing place. All you need to cook up a storm is the right equipment.

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These days, stores are stocked with kitchen gadgets that proclaim to simplify your life. You can purchase an ergonomic bottle-opener, which resembles an odd spacecraft, or a $300 vegetable peeler with a lifetime warranty.

With all this choice it’s easy to find yourself drowning in plies of silicone, or stainless steel, microwavable, and dishwasher-safe tools. As you collect quirky appliances your kitchen becomes a cluttered and complex realm. Perhaps you decide to avoid entering at all, lest you recall the ostentatious sum you dropped on the latest can opener.

To save yourself from the perils of the kitchen gadget realm check out this list. Believe it or not these tools are all a basic kitchen needs.

 

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Say Sayanora to Soggy Lettuce

Take your greens for a spin to ensure crisp salad. A salad spinner helps dry salad greens and fresh herbs quickly and evenly. Just remember to rinse first.

Fresco Salad Spinner,  $24.99, canadiantire.ca

 

 

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Get Straight As in Slicing

A mandoline makes perfect slices a breeze. It’s also faster than a knife for julienne or baton cuts. Keep a mandoline’s guard in place to prevent injury.

Zyliss Mandoline, $56.99, kitchenniche.ca

 

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‘Chop & Serve’ Cutting Board

Cutting boards come in all shapes, colours, and materials. This is a chance for the kitchen gadget-phile to splurge and pick out a fun piece. Don’t worry about being innovative: there’s no evidence that a board made of wood, hard rubber, acrylic, or plastic is better, or safer, than another. Experts recommend using separate cutting boards for animal foods and plant foods to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination from raw meat, poultry, or seafood to uncooked vegetables or fruit.

 

‘Chop & Serve’ Bamboo Board, $69.99, sears.ca

 

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Chop It Up

This one is the big man on the cutting board. The eight to ten inch blade is ideal for quick and easy slicing, dicing, or chopping.

 

Cook’s Knife, $55.00, kitcherama.com

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A Knife of All Trades

A medium-size serrated knife is a definite must-have. Its’ versatile blade slices anything from tomatoes to steaks. It can also be used for slicing bread.

Four-inch Tomato/Steak, $23.03, knifezone.ca

 

 

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Littlest But Not Least

This one might look tiny, but it can do a lot. A small paring knife is perfect for jobs like scraping carrots, paring asparagus stalks, peeling avocados, and “de-stringing” celery.

 

Mundial 5100 3.5″ Paring, $27.99, houseofknives.ca

 

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For Perfect Pureeing

A potato masher makes fast and smooth mashed taters.  You can also use it to mash cooked carrots, beets, winter squash, and other vegetables.

 

Potato Masher, $12.99, calphalon.ca

 

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A Snippy Shortcut

Shears are useful for quickly snipping fresh parsley and other herbs. Having a set can help with many other culinary tasks, like trimming pastries and cutting through bones.

 

Zyliss Kitchen Shears, $20.00, citychef.ca

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Peel Away the Easy Way

No need to slave over peeling potatoes. Do it the easy way with a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler. It’s easier to use than a knife to pare vegetables, and usually inexpensive, so you can throw it out when it gets dull.

 

Peeler Stainless Steel Long Style, $1.00, bakedeco.com

 

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For Grate Meals

Graters come in a variety of sizes and grates. A four-sided box grater is the most versatile. Its’ varied grates work for grating, shredding, or slicing vegetables and cheese.

 

Microplane Grater, $24.95, microplane.com

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All-Purpose Appliance

A food processor is handy for shredding, chopping, grating, slicing, or pureeing large quantities of vegetables. Compact or “mini” food processors can be used to chop or grind smaller amounts of food or herbs.

Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup Food Processor, $299.99, canada.Int.com

 

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For A Quick Fix

A blender is the best tool to use when only a small amount of food is involved. It’s great for making sauces, purees, and smoothies. Best of all, you can stick a hand blender right into a cooking pot or glass to save yourself clean-up time.


One-Touch Blender System, $29.99, presidentschoice.ca

 

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Double Agent

A colander is usually made of plastic or metal with large holes to allow liquids to drain quickly. Metal is your best bet because it can be inserted into a large saucepan and double as a steamer.

 

Colander – Red, $25.00, goldaskitchen.com

 

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Simple Separator

Strainers come in different sizes and are made of different gauges of wire mesh attached to a ring frame. They’re generally used over a bowl to drain liquids from solids, but can also come in handy for sifting and separating out fine particles.

ABS & Stainless Steel Strainers, $8.50, ashtongreen.com