Not only are cooking and serving made easier by a collection of funky gadgets and gizmos, even cleaning up has its fair share of labour saving devices. Some cooking tools quickly become indispensable, while others fall more into the niche favourites category, but all can help to make cooking fun. Here are some of the big names’ favourite cooking tools.
Essential cooking gadgets
Top chef Yotam Ottolenghi claims his mashed potato has been revolutionised since he discovered the simple potato ricer. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall feels the same, eulogising the soft, creamy consistency of riced produced mash. There are metal and plastic versions available and some double up as juicers.
Thomasina Miers, Mark Hix and Mary Berry are among the famous names who can’t live without a bit of electric help. A busy cook will make daily use of an electric mixer, food processor or hand blender. Consider your cooking habits carefully and research the market fully before deciding where to invest your money, but you’re unlikely to regret such a labour saving purchase.
A set of good knives comes high up on the list for a number of high profile cooking names, including Rick Stein, Stephen Harris, Tom Kitchin, Jane Baxter and Anissa Helou, while many others swear by microplaners and mandolines to make chopping easier.
Gizzi Erskine’s favourite cooking gadgets fit her retro image perfectly, in the form of a set of 1960s enamel pans passed down by her mother. She praises the heat regulating properties and durable finish of the pans for perfect results when cooking all sorts of dishes.
Other perennially popular cooking gadgets include the good old pestle and mortar, silicone tongs and spatulas and a set of heavy cast iron pots and griddle pan.
More unusual cooking gadgets
It’s a bit of a stretch to call Jamie Oliver’s favourite a cooking tool, but his top tip is empty jam jars, which he recommends for multiple uses including mixing up salad dressing to using as simple, airtight storage of any number of goods. It’s basic but very effective.
Nigella Lawson’s stated favourite is the simple plastic bin, which she claims is indispensable for her favourite brine soaked turkey.
Giorgio Locatelli goes for humanity when selecting his preferred cooking gadgets, selecting a Crustatun for cruelty free lobster killing.
Among London’s sophisticated restaurateurs, ice-cream, popcorn, espresso and pasta makers were popular, along with such esoteric fare as a Sri Lankan coconut grater, an electric pea and bean sheller and an antique butter churn.