If you're stuck at home because of pandemics, bad weather, or just because you don't feel like going out, there's nothing more satisfying than cooking something really fantastic. Even if you are not an experienced or enthusiastic cook, sometimes it is really satisfying to create a new and tasty dish for you, your friends and / or family.
We asked The Verge staff what devices, equipment and tools they use to make their kitchen adventures taste better, easier, or just more fun. Here are some of the answers we received.
The Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick hand blender.
Photo: Müller Austria
This is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. It is a hand blender that can be used to prepare soups, smoothies, whipped coffee and more. I often use it in my Indian kitchen to smooth the sauce a bit and bring the dish together. It's a game changer and I honestly just have so much fun with it. We don't have a real blender either, so this has proven useful for making smoothies and shakes as well.
Social media manager, video
When I was in college I drove through a literal snowstorm in Maine to buy a hand blender because I really wanted soup.
Health Tech Reporter
I've made a lot of sauces and smoothies, and since I have a tiny kitchen, I don't have much storage space for more appliances. That's why I love my hand blender.
I love my Breville hand blender. It makes soups and things you don't want to put in a blender so easy. I love the model I have, but of course there are many good options.
Amelia Holowaty Krales
The Paprika Recipe Manager is now my entire cooking process. Paprika is good because it:
- Is not tied to a specific cooking service, so the functions are not tied to specific recipes
- Can download and convert recipes from almost any website pretty well, either via the built-in web browser or a bookmark widget
- Comes with a food calendar and grocery list feature that has become remarkably useful now that I do weekly shopping runs
I agree with Adi's recommendation of peppers, the best recipe app, bar-none. It also offers excellent app support with desktop and mobile apps on any platform (Mac ($ 15), Windows ($ 15), iOS ($ 5), and Android (free for up to 50 recipes) .
GoWise air fryer.
We just received a GoWise air fryer as a quarantine gift and couldn't be happier with it! It replaces our microwave 90 percent to warm it up, and the food tastes crispy and delicious. It is also great for cooking. We made stuffed mushrooms, fried chicken, and steak sandwiches – you name it, this thing does it.
Senior motion designer
In the UK where I come from, it is quite unusual for a kitchen to come without a kettle, and frankly I have no idea how anyone can do without it. The main thing my kettle is used for, of course, is brewing cups of tea, but it is just as happy to brew water for coffee if you brew it in a device like an AeroPress. When the water boils, the electricity turns off automatically, which certainly feels much safer than the risk of leaving a burner on. Unfortunately, the lower voltage in the US means that kettles aren't quite as quick as a burner when you boil water for cooking, but I think they're still a pretty useful addition to the kitchen.
It's so fast and I never have to worry about things catching fire.
Also + 1ing a kettle. I love my Bonavita kettle.
Deputy Editor in Chief
Mixer & processor
KitchenAid blenders are great for mixing cake mixes or for wiping, but what I use most often for is kneading dough with the dough hook accessory. I am sure that there are purists who claim that a machine can never keep up with kneading by hand, but for me it is worth preparing the dough for baking without having to cover an entire work surface with flour. I'll accept that using a blender means I'll never end up with Paul Hollywood's steel forearms, but that's my burden.
I can't stop buying KitchenAid accessories! Especially the sieve, the scales and the pasta roll.
There are so many great things you can do with the Cuisinart food processor: pesto, perfectly sliced vegetable slices for lasagna, babka batter, savory crackers, onion cubes without crying. My mother met a Cuisinart employee who swore the 11-Cup as the least repaired model.
Instant pot cooker.
Photo: Instant Pot
I've never been a great cook. To get me to eat more homemade food, my mother gave me an instant pot. That was years ago and I never looked back. I am the queen of the soups, but it is a practical tool to reduce the cooking time and effort for almost every dish. For the most part, just throw in all the ingredients, set the timer and do your business.
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Approximately 90 percent of our quarantine meals were prepared in an instant pot. There is simply no time left to do anything and we can make large quantities of healthy food and leftovers with little attention. I used to like it, but now I'm ready to build a shrine for it.
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+1 on everything above. The instant pot also makes delicious rice – just wash the rice a few times before putting it in!
Baratza coffee grinder.
I really like my overpriced Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder. It's expensive, but has served me well for almost five years. It works very well for everything from finely ground espresso to coarse French press. Almost every part is also interchangeable, which means that I can keep it going for many years to come. (Apparently the exact model I have has been replaced with this newer one with a digital timer.)
I firmly believe in the AeroPress. It is particularly suitable for camping.
Cast iron pot
Lodge cast iron Double Dutch Oven.
Cast iron pots are one of my most important kitchen tools. First of all, they are important to get a great crust on a homemade loaf of bread (especially sourdough). But they also have countless uses: soups, stews, roasts, frying and much more. They are also relatively cheap and if you take care of them they can last a lifetime.
I am a big fan of Lodge & # 39; s Double Dutch Oven because the lid doubles as a second cast iron pan and is therefore twice as useful.
Agrus fish spatula.
Full disclosure: I have never used my fish spatula for fish. Thanks to its thin, flexible edge, it is perfect for getting under the edges of fried eggs, roasted meat and grilled cheese.
We use our fish spatula for fish among other things and it works wonderfully, especially when we try to turn delicate fillets over. If you pick up a particularly large piece, two are better. And if you have one of the lodge's cast-iron pans (see above), you can use it to scrape off the burned parts.
Bamboo cutting board
Photo: Royal Craft Wood
I hate chopped vegetables rolling off the edge of a cutting board, so I insist on using one big enough to fill most of the counter. It can hold an onion and a garlic with enough space so that I don't feel cramped while concentrating on my (mediocre) knife skills.
A sous vide heats up your food using a mobile app.
I only use it once every few months, but I love my Joule Sous Vide. It takes a little bit, but once everything is in the water bath, my work is basically over for a few hours. It cooks everything to the perfect temperature every time, which means that it doesn't cook too much or too little. I get the perfect amount of pink with my steak, my vegetables don't get mushy, my chicken breast stays moist, and I don't have to stick it with a food thermometer 15 times to make sure I don't accidentally give my family food poisoning.
A sous vide is great. I use mine all the time – I can check bread in it, make garlic jam, lots of good meat / fish options.
Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker.
Is it big Yes. Is the performance extremely limited? Also yes. Can I make ice cream and sorbet whenever I want? Yes.
Garlic seesaw / mincer / crusher
Photo: Joseph Joseph
We use a lot of garlic in my household, and traditional garlic presses never did that for us – they usually produced a messy, mushy paste. A friend of ours introduced us to the garlic seesaw, which is not only fun, but also beautifully chopped pieces of garlic that are perfect for roasting and other purposes.
Ozeri Pronto digital scale.
A must to bake bread, especially if you've got your hands on a sourdough starter (or made your own). Everything measured in grams and ounces works – just get what is cheapest.