If you’ve already rounded out the basics in your kitchen and acquired kitchen shears, you might be wondering what other items would help you level up your kitchen to achieve a wow factor. Here are my top five affordable items that have both practical applications and give the impression you have it all together in your kitchen.
1. Automatic wine opener – This little baby is one of my favorite kitchen tools. Most wine accessories give off an impressive air, but this one avoids some of the pretention and helps you avoid looking like a fool using a different opener.
2. Spoon rest – I went years thinking spoon rests weren’t necessary. What better would they be versus a plate or say, your plain old countertop? Turns out they can be super useful as long as you get one you will use! In my case I needed to get a large enough spoon rest to hold my cooking utensils and ladles, and I prefer stainless steel because it is easier to clean or avoid staining.
3. Toaster oven – I grew up with toaster ovens rather than a traditional toaster. While they typically take a little longer than a regular toaster for plain bread, a toaster oven has so many more functions and uses. You can make regular toast, cheesy or messy toast, bake cookies, roast vegetabls, broil, and so much more! Also, how does one even fit fancy bread into a traiditional toaster?? (rolls, croissants, thick cut, etc.) I’ve converted multiple friends, roommates, and family members to devoted toaster oven fans.
4. Food scale – Food scales are super helpful if you’re practicing recipes or do any baking. They help you understand approximate measures, portions, or how to scale your preparations to the ingredients you have on hand (e.g., you have 2 lbs of potatoes and not 5). For baking, it also helps with accuracy, as most recipes are developed with scaling or weighting of ingredients rather than measuring cups. If your flour settles, or maybe your eggs are large, your recipe will be just a tad off. The scale is also super helpful if you have any international recipes using different metrics.
5. Ingredients for a fancy cocktail – Hone in on your favorite drink of choice and get a few “fancy” ingredients to make that happen, alcoholic or not. You don’t need to stock up on a full bar to make a quality and impressive drink. Just one of something like bitters, vermouth, or a fancy soda can go a long way across multiple combinations.