Ten kitchen tools to make cooking easier

 

Fed up of novelty kitchen gadgets? Hrishikesh Desai, the former National Chef of the Year and Roux Scholar of the Year, picks the ten kitchen accessories that every home should have. Desai is Director of the new Lucknam Park Cookery School that opens on 19 November 2012 offering courses on Christmas baking, Michelin starred cooking and Indian street food.

  1. Robert Welch knife sharpener: I sharpen my home knives every Sunday with the Robert Welch roller. It has ceramic wheels set at the optimum sharpening angle. Hand-held knife steels are ok but it’s harder to maintain the precision angle. Weekly sharpening makes cooking so much easier and faster.
  2. Raymond Blanc saucepans for Analon: You can’t cook well without good quality pots and pans that retain heat well. I’ve tested plenty and I like those at Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Raymond Blanc pans. Choose non-stick and sauté pans for sweating or tossing vegetables. Cheaper pans warp and will not stay non-stick.
  3. Kenwood food processor: Find one with as many attachments as possible. I bought mine for £90 to practice for the National Chef of the Year competition 2010. It did the job well! Now it does everything from baby purees and curry spice mixtures to chicken mousse (for which you need a strong machine) and the initial stage of kneading pasta (to be hand-finished).
  4. KitchenAid planetary mixer: This is like Alice in Wonderland; when you have a KitchenAid, you can do whatever you want. It can do creams, mousses, breads, cakes, and meringues for macaroons or Eton Mess. You can even do bread with one – I don’t believe in bread makers because there is so much satisfaction in doing it alone.
  5. Electric weighing scales that measure up to 6kg. These are not that costly - £25 will get you a good weighing scales. I prefer electric scales that help with your calculations. They are an essential for making pastry.
  6. John Lewis hardwood chopping board, without which you can do nothing. They are not cheap, around £25, but it does what you want. It’s easy to clean, will not stain and most importantly, will not retain old flavours. I do not recommend plastic chopping boards because they absorb flavours and stain.
  7. Wooden rolling pin: These are versatile. They are good for making brandy snaps at an angle and decorating deserts.
  8. Measuring jugs and measuring scales: Use the right amount in your recipe. Whether it’s a teaspoon or tablespoon, don’t just throw it in.
  9. CuisinArt electric kettle: Measure the right amount of water in your kettle, and then boil it. I always cook rice by absorption method to make it sweeter with a better flavour. You need 200ml water to cook 100g rice. At home, I use an old-fashioned looking CuisinArt kettle. Avoid very cheap kettles that have a high chance of blowing up.
  10. IKEA glass mixing bowls: Use glass, not steel mixing bowls because metal reacts with different oils and can be scratched by a whisk. IKEA has stunning glass bowls that are very cheap. The smallest can cost 42p and the large one is £1.08. Make sure they stack as you will need six to eight bowls of each size (small, medium and large). The small is for pre-preparation, medium bowls for storing ingredients and large bowls are for tossing salads or marinating.

www.lucknampark.co.uk

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas