My husband loves to work with wood. You could say he's a carpenter, though he is a computer programmer by trade. I'm sure there's something about the feel and smell of wood, pushing it through a table saw, squaring the edges on a jointer, and smoothing down the surfaces with several passes on a sander.
I love to work with food. I guess you could say I'm a baker/cook, though I'm a teacher by trade. There's something about the feel and smell of satiny, yeasty dough, pushing it across a liberally floured Silpat, rolling it with a rolling pin, shaping it and nesting it in a lightly greased loaf pan or using a pizza peel to slide it onto a hot stone in the oven.
We both need tools to accomplish our desired task. I could browse for hours in a kitchen store, just like my husband can wander the aisles of Home Depot. There are many tools out there, but there are also many that I consider gadgets ~ objects that are interesting for its ingenuity rather than being practical for its use.
Invest in tools that you would use often. Love soups? Purchase ladles, a dutch oven or an immersion blender. Love to bake? Silicone mats, a cookie scoop, or an extra set of measuring spoons/cups would be perfect.
Before purchasing, there are some questions you should ask yourself to see if the item you want is a gadget or a tool.
Does it feel comfortable to use? Hold it in your hand and check out the weight and grip.
Think about space. Where can I store this tool? On a counter, in a drawer or cupboard?
Is it easy to clean? The fewer the parts, the better. A lost or broken part won't work. Set up and clean up takes time for more parts.
Does it serve more than one purpose? If the answer is, "No," then don't buy it. A pineapple slicer-corer only does one thing.
How much does it cost? Will it save me time and money in the long run?
What is the quality of the tool? Is it made of plastic parts or metal?
How often will I use it?
A quality kitchen tool that you plan to use often will enhance your experience in the kitchen. My readers will often ask me, "Where did you get __________." Often times, I try to include a link to the item within my post to a location to purchase the item.
I have added a NEW page to my blog: Kitchen Tools! There, I will post an item, tell why I love it, where you can purchase it, and add links to previous posts of the tool being used.
What is YOUR favorite kitchen tool?