What?! How are kitchen and grill tools yummy? When they are used to create amazing food you… I’ll let you fill in the rest of that sentence on your own.
My kitchen drawers are literally overflowing with tools/utensils/gadgets and goodies for cooking, so we’ve had to move some of them into a ceramic vase just to keep them all handy! Some of these are specialized tools, like this watermelon slicer. Others are useful in many different ways (some of them even outside the kitchen), and you’ll come up with new uses for them.
Some of my favorite kitchen and grill tools, in no particular order…
At the top of my list come three very important kitchen and grill tools. I use three different types of thermometers to ensure safe, delicious, and repeatable cooking. An IR thermometer for checking cooking surface temps, an instant-read for meats (and others foods), and a grill/oven thermometer to measure the air/grill temp while cooking.
This Infrared Thermometer. I love this handy device because not only will it tell me the temps of my cooking
surfaces but because it can also be used to find cold spots around doors and windows of your house! I’ve also used it to make sure the glass cooktop of the range was a safe temp to clean and touch. The kids like when I use the laser to get the cat riled up and have her chase it up the wall. Now they think it’s a toy, but we don’t let them play with it since the laser can severely injure them.
If my IR Thermometer is a good investment, maybe my best investment is the Javelin Instant-read digital thermometer by Lavatools. This is probably the best $25 bucks I’ve ever spent. It reads quick (4-5 seconds) so you can easily figure out what the real temperature is through the thickness of the meat, or whatever else you’re measuring.
It’s the tool that will make or break your cooking. Plain and simple. I tell everyone that I know that it’s the one purchase I’ve made that’s singlehandedly made me a better cook. Why and how? It allows me to cook my chicken to PRECISELY 160 degrees, so it stays tender and
juicy, instead of tough and dry. It tells me exactly when my steaks have hit 125 degrees in the center. No more guessing. No more “another minute to be sure it’s fully cooked”. Guessing doesn’t give you repeatable results, but data does! Plus, it comes in a bunch of different colors!
It’s splash proof, which makes it really easy to clean, and the magnet is great, so you can stick it to the fridge for easy finding, or to the side of the grill without worrying about it falling! Lavatools has also introduced a Pro model that is a great new addition to their line of affordable thermometers. This new model adds a quicker reading, about 3 seconds, and a backlight so you can read the temps when grilling at twilight and into dusk!
Foods don’t just cook with conduction (food touching grate), they also cook via convection (air moving around the food) and infrared heat. You wouldn’t drive a car without a speedometer and risk getting a speeding ticket, so why would you use your grill without an accurate way to measure your temperatures?! This Maverick thermometer comes with a snazzy metal clip to hold the probe and stick between the grates so you can accurately measure the temp approx. 1 inch off of the grill surface, the right height for accuracy. Keeping your grill at the right temperature is the ultimate key to a successful cookout. Different air-temps can affect your grill temp, so you cannot always rely on the dial position as your heat indicator (and don’t get me started on the thermometers in the lids of gas grills…). Get a good thermometer and start making great meals consistently.
Other Important Tools
I love my OXO Good Grips tongs. They are the perfect length for the grill which helps keep your hands further away from the heat, though when grilling during a Minnesota fall/winter, having your hands near the heat is a good thing! I have a few other sets of tongs to eliminate cross-contamination, but these are the best that I have!
Safety in the kitchen, whether from bacteria, knives, or heat, is paramount. To keep from burning myself when grilling kebabs, or removing a turkey from the oven, I use the Ove Glove. My only regret about buying these a nubmer of years ago is that the price is so LOW now! I paid way more than this price for a SINGLE one. Get yourself a two-pack today! If you’re used to the normal oven mitts that lack fingers (or worse, pot holders), you’ll love how much dexterity you have with these, especially with the gripping material to help grab without slippage. They are noticeably thicker than normal oven mitts which allows you to hold onto hot items much longer which keeps you and the family safer!
These are just a few of the tools I use, and yes, I do use all of them. There is not, and will never be a product reviewed or recommended on this blog that I have never personally used (unless I say otherwise!).
Leave a comment or drop me a line and let me know about your go-to kitchen and grill tools. Check back for updates and other tools that I use to feed the family!