As gourmet cooking becomes more and more attainable for home cooks, a lot of new and shiny products are hitting the market. Products that were once reserved for restaurants and professional caterers are more accessible for personal use, and they make our lives a lot easier ... well, most of them. Well-chosen cookware and cooking gadgets can help to ensure that those who entertain will get larger cooking jobs done faster and more efficiently.
Even if you're a newbie home cook, you've probably seen a lot of products on the market that cater to your cooking needs. Many of these products promise to turn the newbie cook into a promising chef. While some of these products are better and more efficient than others, they all serve a specific purpose in your kitchen, and most of them can help you save time.
You've probably seen a lot of these products pop up on your social media feeds and in advertisements around the internet – but do you know what they are really capable of? Check out these pictures and see if you can match the cookware to the cooking technique. Only experienced chefs know all the answers. Can you cut it in the kitchen with them?
Dutch ovens were originally made of cast iron, and they can be used on open fires (especially for camping). Current models are made of cast aluminum and ceramic, but they are still excellent for stewing.
Tupperware's SmartSteamer technology actually allows you to put metal in the microwave, because it's encapsulated. Interestingly, the microwaves don't hit the food – they heat the water in the base for perfect steaming.
Coddling is the act of cooking food below the boiling point, somewhat like a simmer. An egg coddler is a small cup that holds an egg or eggs, along with cream, butter and other herbs, veggies, cheeses or meats, as desired, to be cooked in a pan of simmering water.
Dum pukht is a cooking technique using a heavy-bottomed pot, known as a handi, to cook foods slowly over a small flame. When meats are cooked slowly, they are more likely to come out tender and juicy.
A bread machine allows you to skip a lot of steps in the bread-making process. These steps include mixing, kneading, rising, proving and baking. While the act of making bread may seem tedious, the results can save you money and you control the ingredients – and your kitchen will smell like a bakery.
Earth ovens can be pretty basic – as simple as a hole in the ground – but they trap a lot of flavor and heat. The majority of earth ovens are made from a mixture of baked sand and mud.
Filleting is the technique used to remove thin slices of meat and fish from bones. It takes a long time to perfect this art, but using the proper equipment is essential for beginners. Fillet knives are long and thin and very sharp – the shape helps with accuracy.
Kalua is a method of cooking underground in an earth oven, called an imu. To roast a whole pig, a fire pit is layered with rocks and banana leaves, then the pig, then more banana leaves, a tarp and sand. The whole thing roasts for hours. Quite a process!
Oddly, ricing has nothing to do with making rice. Ricing is the technique of passing food through small holes to create a smooth consistency. While nearly any soft food can be riced, the technique is commonly used for potatoes.
The three-in-one avocado slicer is an excellent tool that makes prepping avocados so much easier. While some chefs like to use the knife to remove the pit from the avocado, this practice can be dangerous for those who aren't professionals.
Rotisserie cooking is also known as spit-roasting. It's the act of turning meat over an open flame. The meat is skewered and trussed as needed to ensure it doesn't fall into the fire or other heat source.
The Yolkfish Egg Separator may be adorable, but it also has an important function. It separates egg yolks from whites rather efficiently, using a suction technique. For some recipes, such as meringue, it's essential to remove all traces of yolk from your egg whites.
The Nostalgia Bacon Express Grill is designed to perfectly fry bacon. Frying bacon renders the fat and makes your kitchen smell amazing. The upright griddle allows bacon fat to drip while the bacon gets extra crispy.
Shredder claws can shred many kinds of meat, including beef, pork and poultry. To ensure the meat will be tender enough shredding, it's important to cook it over low heat for an extended period of time.
The hard-boiled egg peeler just takes a simple press or a few shakes, depending on the model. If you've never heard of this item, that's probably because it's a little superfluous. There are many hacks online for peeling eggs (or peeling pretty much anything) that don't require additional gadgets.
There are a lot of devices meant to help you shuck oysters. Shucking is the process of removing the outer casing of a food item – especially oysters and corn. Gadgets like this are meant for shellfish with hard outer shells.
Spiralizing is a rather modern cooking technique in which you cut items (mainly vegetables) into spirals. It has been all the craze with low-carb dieters. The spiralizer essentially helps you make noodles out of vegetables.
There are many Juicers on the market, and the major consensus with Juicers is that you get what you pay for. Low-quality juicers will leave juice in your fruits and vegetables, as well as take a long (loud) time to finish.
This is basically a hand mill. When you crush your herbs and spices instead of cutting them, you release more of their natural oils. The mortar is the bowl part, while the pestle is the grinding tool.
Steeping is the act of soaking something solid in a hot liquid to extract the flavors. A steeper strains the beverage, allowing you to enjoy it sooner (and without getting leaves in your teeth).
Tempering is the act of melting chocolate slowly and carefully, to make it shiny and suitable for dipped chocolate confections. There are expensive tempering machines on the market, but most people just use a pot of boiling water and a glass or metal bowl.
A meat mallet is a handy thing to have in the kitchen. While there are many tools available to help you tenderize meat, a mallet is the OG way to go. The side with teeth is used to break up connective tissue in raw meat, while the smooth side is used to pound meat to an even thickness.
The design of the whisk hasn't changed much over the years. Whisks are generally used to emulsify foods and aerate sauces, but they can also be used to mix things together and even whip heavy cream.
Microplanes are great for quick zesting projects. Zesting is basically removing the skin (but not the rind) from citrus fruit to release natural oils and intense flavors, for both sweet and savory foods.
The julienne technique of slicing food is a great way to ensure consistent sizing and beautiful plating. The technique involves slicing in long strips to make things like coleslaw, salad and stir-fries.
Food mills aren't seen in a lot of kitchens these days, but this gadget can be considered somewhere between a sieve and a potato ricer. It is most commonly used to crush foods and remove seeds.
Ceramic beans for blind baking are a great alternative to using coffee beans. Blind baking is baking a pastry before adding the filling. It's a great way to ensure your crusts are cooked through.
Sous vide is a cooking technique that locks in flavors with vacuum sealing. The food is cooked to the proper temperature, then all you have to do is sear it. Many consider the cooking technique worth the additional steps.
Food dehydrators are used for so much more than making beef jerky. You can make your own spices and even fruit leathers. They use extremely low heat over several hours to remove all of the moisture from food.
Yes, there is a grill for your microwave. The Tupperware MicroPro Grill can heat up to 400 degrees in 30 seconds. It boasts faster cooking times, crispy outer layers and the perfect sear for meats.
Piping bags are an excellent way to frost and decorate your baked goods. While they can be used for a variety of different things, their main function is to give you more control while applying icing.
Larding is the act of threading pork fat through a roast to add fat that will render into the meat as it cooks. It might not sound like the most appetizing technique, but it makes food pretty delicious.
A meat grinder is a great tool that can help you save a lot of money. Grinding meat is the act of cutting it into small pieces so that it takes on a different texture. Use this tool to make sausage. loaves or patties from beef, pork, poultry or just about any meat.
Pressure cookers can be used for a variety of different dishes, especially foods that usually need long cooking times. Pressure cooking leads to tender meats, stews and soups that retain a lot of flavor.
Air fryers are all the rage, because they require less oil and give you the same results as deep frying for most items. They use circulated air to ensure that food is fried evenly without you having to monitor it.
Deep fryers made a splash when they entered our homes. Deep frying is the act of completely submerging food in extremely hot oil to cook it quickly and make it crispy. However, with the health-conscious culture we now live in, deep fryers are losing their popularity to air fryers.
Personal smokers are becoming more popular because they are easy to set up, and they create excellent flavor. They lock in flavor and juices of meats and fish, but they require a lot of attention.
Many who love the taste of rice have rice cookers available to them at low prices. No more worrying about the clock or burnt rice. Those who are dedicated to rice have them going all the time.
Woks, which originated in China, are meant to be used with high heat. This helps lock flavors in vegetables and meats, but it also helps create tender texture in the smaller pieces of food.