Living in NYC with limited kitchen (and everywhere else) space, I've always opted towards multi-use kitchen tools over one trick ponies. If I couldn't use it at least several different ways, forget it. Sure, some tasks were a little more tedious, but my cupboards retained their ability to close firmly and I didn't have to store anything kitchen-related under my bed.
That is, until I made one groundbreaking purchase.
I bought a salad spinner. Surely a no-brainer choice for many cooks, it took me years to give this fairly large piece of equipment a place in my kitchen. And I was amazed at how often I used it. Previously I'd been washing greens and herbs by running them under the faucet and then drying between towels. The greens never seemed to get totally dry, and I'd end up using all my kitchen towels making a salad. I dreaded it. However, after one batch of plunging greens into the deep spinner bowl and spinning them dry, I was hooked.
But still, new equipment has to earn its place in my kitchen. Recently, I started sharing videos of my favorite recipes with friends and one asked why I chose to juice a lemon with nothing more than a fork. Did it yield more juice that way? The truth was, I just never wanted to clutter my drawers with a proper lemon juicer. I liked the minimalist way of juicing lemons, but I did hate picking seeds out of everything. She nodded in agreement and then, the next time she came over, she presented me with a bright yellow hand juicer.
I have to admit I was really excited to try it out. And, probably news to no one, those things are amazing! I never realized how many lemons I go through on a typical week and I find myself using it constantly, never worrying about the seeds or whether I'm really squeezing enough juice out.
What piece of kitchen equipment has changed your life?
(Image credits: Williams-Sonoma)