Top Time-Saving Kitchen Tools
Having a carefully selected collection of kitchen tools and appliances will save you a surprising amount of time when you bake. Here are my top five picks that will help ensure that you use your time in the kitchen most efficiently.
Electronic Scales – I love my scales (I know, it’s sad, really). I bought my first set of electronic scales about 20 years ago and they were expensive, but invaluable. Nowadays you can pick up a good set of electronic scales for about $40 (or less!), and my advice would be to buy a set before anything else because they will make measuring ingredients a breeze.
Electronic scales have a number of features that will save you time in the kitchen, including the ability to ‘zero’ the reading (the tare weight) so you can measure a number of ingredients, one after another, into the same bowl – brilliant for one-bowl mixes, not to mention the saving on washing up! Most electronic scales can also switch between metric and imperial measures – another very handy feature.
Timer – Even with my experience, I always like to use a timer, mainly because I get distracted easily with other things. A portable digital timer is an extremely handy tool for your kitchen, even if your oven already has a built-in one – they are accurate and can be taken with you if you leave the kitchen. It’s a small price to pay to prevent overcooking something, which can be incredibly frustrating.
Spoonula – Another of my favourite baking tools is called a ‘spoonula’ – basically a rubber or silicone spatula with a shallow bowl like a spoon. It makes light work of folding mixtures, transferring them to cake pans and then scraping the bowl. I would highly recommend you buying one (or three!) of these if you don’t have one already.
Ruler – You may not think this is essential but believe me a ruler can save a lot of time and bother in the kitchen. Cake and tart tins, biscuit cutters and piping nozzles are just some of the things that you will need to check the size of. Remember, what you may think is a 20cm round cake tin may in fact be a 24cm one – a little detail that could mean the difference between success and failure of your cake. It is also handy to have a ruler when you are rolling out biscuit dough or pastry so you can tell when you have reached the right thickness as this can affect the baking time dramatically. A clear plastic one with clear markings is preferable.
Food Processor – A food processor may not be considered an ‘essential’ when baking but I can tell you it will make some processes so much quicker and easier. From making pastry and mixing cake batters to chopping nuts and pureeing fruit, a food processor basically allows you to take shortcuts. When buying one, make sure it has a reasonable-sized bowl and is easy to clean.
Take a look at my Orange Cake in a Food Processor recipe that uses every one of these tools and appliances (and really not much more) – a great example of how they can really save you time.
Until next time... Happy Baking!