Cooking is a much-dreaded activity, even for those who enjoy dining out and consider themselves foodies. Fortunately, with a few cooking essentials on hand, cooking can transform from a tedious chore into a bonding activity to be enjoyed by the entire family.
A sink organiser, a cutting board, a garlic press, and stackable shelving are just some of the staple items you need to transform your cooking experience into a much more pleasurable one.
Regardless of whether you are a kitchen newbie just starting out or a seasoned professional, it is important for every home cook to have these cooking staples stocked in their kitchen.
A garlic press is an essential acquisition that can save you huge amounts of time. This is particularly the case for those new to cooking, where mincing a large amount of garlic with a knife can be a struggle.
With a garlic press, all you need is a simple push for a batch of fresh garlic. This is perfect for those busy weeknights where you are forced to put together a scrumptious meal for the family on short notice.
Even with experienced cooks, a garlic press can bring out the extra flavours of the garlic by removing the heavier centre parts.
As per Cooking Illustrated, a garlic press is able to "break down cloves more finely and evenly". This results in a stronger garlic aroma that is better spread out, which is crucial for dishes that utilise garlic as the base ingredient.
Many garlic pressers are also built with dishwasher safe materials, which makes cleaning up afterwards a breeze.
Even the simplest of dishes requires at least a few ingredients to make. Most regular cooks would usually have at least cooking oil, olive oil, and soy sauce stocked up in their pantry. This is not even counting your spices, seasonings, and cooking condiments in general.
Inevitably, it can be overwhelming to have to find the correct ingredients for every dish you cook, especially if you have a kitchen that is cluttered and unorganised.
The trick to maintaining order in the kitchen is to have a kitchen organiser such as a storage basket where you put all your commonly used ingredients and condiments neatly in place. This makes looking for what you need a lot more efficient, not to mention, less stressful.
Well-designed storage baskets have the added benefit of being stackable, saving precious kitchen space for those with a small kitchen. They also allow easy transportation of all your ingredients at once for instances such as a barbecue on the patio.
Moreover, having all of your ingredients organised gives the kitchen a sense of order that can be incredibly visually appealing. A half-open bottle of soy sauce and packet of flour on the kitchen bench is not only an eyesore, but detracts from valuable bench space.
Many of us already own a strainer or salad spinner, which we use to drain excess water from an ingredient after it is washed. A colander is a larger variant of the conventional metal strainers that most of us have and that come with bigger drainage holes.
A colander is the perfect utensil to remove water from ingredients that are typically cooked in larger quantities, such as vegetables and pasta. Their increased size means that not only does excess water flow out faster, but extra water that small or oddly shaped holes may obstruct is also successfully drained.
This is useful when it comes to foods such as mushrooms, which are extremely high in water content, since any additional water that remains can impact the taste of your food.
Colanders are typically made from stainless steel or plastic, with the latter being the preferred choice as any sticky residue is easy to clean up. They are also cheaper to produce and, therefore, to purchase.
Plastic colanders are highly durable and less prone to rusting if left outside. This is an important consideration if you plan to use the colander as part of an outdoor cooking setup.
Even the occasional cook is more likely than not to already own a knife cutting board. So why invest in another one, or in this case, a new set?
Having a set of cutting boards comes down to productivity. It means that more than one person is able to chop ingredients at a time. This is great for couples attempting to follow an intricate recipe for the first time.
Furthermore, as you are preparing the ingredients, you can leave the ingredients on the chopping board once you are done cutting instead of transferring them onto a plate or bowl, which can mean extra washing up.
Extra cutting boards are also perfect for organising some cheese and cold-cut meats to create a beautiful charcuterie board. You can even use them to serve up hot plates, so as not to damage your kitchen countertops.
More importantly, investing in a high-quality cutting board made from premium materials is also beneficial for the knife. It will be less prone to wearing out and last longer if used against a solid cutting board.
Most people loathe doing the dishes, particularly those without a dishwasher. Investing in a sink organiser such as a cutlery drainer, to organise your cutlery can in this case be a godsend.
They provide a conducive place to put all your knives and forks together, whilst also letting them air out and thus dry faster than if they were placed lying down on a flat surface.
A cutlery drawer is also good for enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the space. They are available in metal or plastic and feature a wide variety of designs, so you are sure to find one that matches your home décor. This absolutely beats placing them all over your countertop.
Another useful idea for your sink organisation is to have a sink mat. These serve the dual function of protecting your sink from scratches and serving as a drainer for your cutlery.
Their large surface area makes them perfect for larger items like glasses, particularly if you have guests over and run out of space on your dish drying rack.
It is vital to have utensils organised in your kitchen. Choose minimalist and substantial items to add convenience and value to your kitchen space. No, you don't need something that costs an arm and a leg. In Singapore, shopping for kitchen essentials online is now simple.