These high-tech, yet affordable tools can help make all the difference.
Progress for the sake of progress is something that Cooking Light never chases after – we’re always looking for ways to succeed in the kitchen and make meals easier, healthier, and more delicious. While many of our tips and techniques often come down to how you approach your own style of cooking, technology and kitchen accessories can sometimes be the key to advancing your abilities in the kitchen.
A few of these kitchen gadgets can be solutions to common cooking issues you’ve been searching for, while others are a solution you wouldn't necessarily seek out. Each of these items can help you put healthy meals on your table with increased speed, ease, and overall finesse.
Ranging in price from free to just under $30, these five tools are great ways to help your meals and snacks to be that much healthier and in tip top shape.
Have you ever cut into your steak only to find gray, tough patches of overcooked meat? It's a problem you could solve easily by using the classic technical prowess of a meat thermometer. A few seconds of checking your meat's temp could save your steak from becoming tasteless and rubbery.
The key to healthy eating is moderation, and you should be weighing your meats, pastas, and cheeses until you've done it enough times to accurately eyeball it. You'd be surprised at how much you underestimate when winging it: What looks to you like a 6-ounce chicken breast might really be 11 ounces—which means almost double the calories.
The same can be said for measurements in baking. Making a cake successfully depends on exact measurements. Lighter baking requires even more precision; there's a smaller margin of error when you're attempting to use less fat and sugar. It's equally as important to weigh your flour as it's the most accurate way to measure. Use a spouted liquid measuring cup for milk, oil, and other liquids, and check the amount at eye level. Your cakes (and your waistline) will thank you.
We recommend this all-purpose kitchen scale as an affordable and space-saving option for many home cooks.
You can make a difference in the health of the planet's fish by purchasing sustainable seafood, such as farmed mussels or salmon, or laying off species that are consistently overfished, such as Atlantic cod.
One of the most affordable ways to do so is to look to aquaculture—farmed fish and shellfish raised in a responsible way. Download the Seafood Watch app from Monterey Bay Aquarium for guidance, as the free app is always updated by the teams at Monterey Bay. And be sure to take the time to chat with your fishmonger about the cuts you are buying.
Many of you might already have this, but even some advanced home cooks might have foregone this basic necessity. How many times have you trusted yourself to take nuts out of the oven after 10 or so minutes, but then you forget about them – and burn them? Life has a way of constantly distracting us—we need the "ding."
Nuts taste nuttier when toasted, and butter takes on caramel richness when you brown it, making a small amount taste bigger. Toasting also enhances the flavor of everything from tomato paste to spices. This handy gadget ensures you can toast a wide array of nuts in under five minutes using your stovetop.