Kitchen gadgets review and compare

A whizz in the kitchen
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03.What else to look for

Pepper grinder Look for one with an adjustable grind, from fine to coarse.

Vegetable shredder These give professional results and are great if you don’t have a food processor.

Citrus juicer A plastic type with a jug attached is best. Look for one that traps the seeds and some of the pith, and is easy to clean. To get the most juice out of your citrus roll it first on your bench, applying pressure.

Box grater Look for one that’s stainless steel, with a comfortable handle, that sits sturdily on your bench.

Knives Come in a variety of sizes, weights and handle types – try them out first to see which suit you best. Look for a knife that is well-balanced and has a full tang (the metal of the blade runs right through to the handle).

micro-planeMicroplane This can be quite an expensive gadget, but is useful where a fine grate is needed. You can also get them in different grades to suit your needs. They’re quick and effortless to use – just take care not to grate your fingers in the process. Some come with a safety guard, but look for one that has a comfortable grip and a large surface area.

Cork screw Most wines now come in screw top bottles, however it’s still a handy gadget to have if you regularly cook with wines and come across a bottle without a screw top.

Strainer These are inexpensive and a must-have for cooking noodles or pasta. It’s handy to have three different sizes – small, medium and large.

rolling-pinRolling pin
If you make pizza dough or shortcrust pastry, you’ll need a rolling pin. Look for one that’s slightly heavy and about 30cm wide; they’re usually made of wood and come with or without handles (which can get in the way but make for easier grip and control). Before using, put the rolling pin in the fridge and dust with flour. This should stop the pastry sticking to the pin.

Pastry brush
is great for basting, marinating, glazing and greasing. A bristle brush retains the most liquid and is flexible. Nylon brushes are durable but don’t hold as much liquid or give a very even coating, plus they’re not very heat-resistant. Silicon brushes are very heat-resistant and don’t soak up flavours or odours. To make a herb basting brush, tie a bunch of herbs together (such as rosemary, thyme and sage), dip into any oil or marinade, baste your meat and then discard after use.

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