The Very Useful: Volume 3, Kitchen Essentials

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Below are some of our favorite kitchen tools and hacks to save you cash and heartache.

Kiwi Pairing Knives:While it’s great to have some fancy Wustof or Henckels chefs and pairing knives, it can also be a pain to properly care for them. Especially in a busy house with kids running around, sometime you need an option that does great and can be simply tossed in the dishwasher. These Kiwi knives are cheap, high quality and durable.

The Trick is to buy 5 of them and use them with reckless abandon. Feel free to grab a cheap sharpener (I’ve used this one for years with great results and it’s small/cheap) to give them a refresh on occasion. Even with heavy use you’ll be good for a few years, and at that point you can just buy another handful of them.

Chef’s Knife: Go for the Forschner for a great chef’s knife at a very affordable price and never buy full knife sets that make you buy sizes/shapes you don’t need. We’re not alone on this one, pretty much everyone recommends this, including America’s Test Kitchen and Serious Eats.

Knife Blocks/Packs: Skip these, they’re giving you a bunch of knives nobody wants or needs. A good chef’s knife and some pairing knives is enough for most people. A boning knife if you’re carving meat is worthwhile as well.

Instapot 6 in 1 Pressure Cooker: This is an easy swap for that mediocre slow cooker you probably already have. This can be a slow cooker, but solves the biggest problems with them – namely, searing and delayed cooker (can be set up to 24 hours in advance). This will also make you the best rice ever on par with your favorite Chinese restaurant. Want chili in 45 minutes that tastes like it’s been simmered for 4 hours?

Bamboo Steamer Baskets: Healthiest and fastest way to cook veggies. No need for a wok, just use a large size pot with a little water in in it.

Cast Iron Pans: Lodge is a solid choice. Here is a great guide on taking care of them/seasoning. Fun fact, it’s not 100% evil to use a little soap if needed. Also, buy these Chain Mail scrubbers to help with cleaning.

Two Approaches to Non-Stick Pans: Either buy cheap ones and replace consistently or don’t do it at all. Expensive ones are not any more durable and it’s incredibly unsafe to risk teflon scraping off into your food. If you do use them, NEVER use metal to stir, only wood. Also, hand wash to keep them much longer than tossing into the dishwasher. Honestly, the best and only completely durable non-stock solution is a well seasoned cast iron pan.

Alternatively, this is probably the best non stick pan we have ever come across. It’s lasted a year and nothing ever sticks. I would pay $100 for it, and use it probably 15 times a week. It’s such a good pan, hard to overstate.

Paper Towel HolderThis should be simple, but tends to be sooo frustrating. This one is easy to install, durable and easy to add/remove new rolls. Simplicity is key.

Broccoli Sprouting Kit: Dr. Rhonda Patrick has us convinced that broccoli sprouts are massively important because of their uniquely high levels of Sulforaphane – Read more from here notes here.Supplements are not highly bio-available and super expensive to buy at a store, so best to grow your own.

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