If you are singing the theme song to this show, then you are probably my age.
This post is not about clumsy French cartoon detectives, but about gadgets.
Just like inspector gadget, cooks need gadgets to make cool things happen in the kitchen and sometimes what appears to be cool, turns out to be useless. Every once in a while I will be featuring a little gadget post where I tell you what tools I find indispensable. Enjoy.
I love to say Spoonula. Made of Silicone, that resists temps of up to 450 degrees ℉, which enables you to use it in hot pans without melting it. This is probably one of the most used tools in my kitchen. The round and slightly concave shape makes it a perfect tool for sauteing or mixing anything in a bowl. I use a non-stick skillet frequently and cannot handle scratches on the surface. Not only does this shorten the life of the pan, but I am not sure I want non-stick coating particles in my food. If you cook in my kitchen and use a metal tool with my non-stick pan, watch out! The groovy thing is that you can buy one for $3 instead of the average price of $14. The more expensive versions have wooden handles, which can be practical if you tend to burn handles. I also highly recommend regular silicone spatulas of all shapes and sizes.
Cooks can be very serious about their knives. This is not a knife to be serious about. I was introduced to this, my favorite knife, by a Thai friend years ago. This knife goes against everything that knife purists value, the “tang” does not go all the way to the end, it is very light and it is made of regular stainless steel, no high carbon here. Years ago, my chef professor in culinary school gave it to me as the “grand prize” for doing well in his class. It is not that I wasn’t grateful, but I already owned 4 and they cost about $2-$4 a piece. If you have a Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese community nearby, you can find these knives. Or you can click here to order online and pay a little more. I love my KIWI knives because they are super easy to wield and sharpen and if one happens to fall to the ground, I will not cry because of a severed toe or because I broke the tip off a $100 knife. They also stay sharp for a long time. I cannot guarantee that these knives are not being made by children in dark caves, but I do know that Thai people can cook and you will find KIWI knives in every Thai kitchen, not to mention most Asian kitchens around the world, with the possible exception of Japan. Regarding the “easy sharpening part” without further ado, I introduce the…
I am frugal. I have tried many affordable sharpeners over the years and I am sticking with this one. I scoured the web for the one I own, which I purchased at Target for about $8, but I can’t seem to find it. The closest item is the one shown in the photo at $9.99+, which is not terrible. If you happen to be at Target, look for the $8 version. I am hard pressed to believe it is not the same item. I use this sharpener all the time with my KIWI knives and with my higher end knives as well. There is nothing worse in a kitchen than a dull knife and a dull host.
WHAT KITCHEN GADGET CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?