Since recently moving house, we've been coping with a very small kitchen that sees heavy use with at least two cooked meals a every day and a significant amount of baking. Limitation has its benefits though, forcing us to consider quality over quantity as we winnow our cooking gadgets to the essentials and try to set up an efficient, working kitchen.
We welcomed the opportunity to start fresh in our new kitchen, with all new tools that were ours exclusively. But where to begin?
A decent kitchen timer
When you've got pans on all four burners and something in the oven, it helps to have an extra clock to keep track of things.
The CDN TM15t Design TM15 Extra Large Big Digit Timer ($9.99, down from $12.99) counts up or down and has multiple ways to attach it to or prop it up on various surfaces.
An electronic scale
We like this Ultra Thin LCD Stainless Steel Kitchen Scale ($16.97, on sale from $49.99) by kitchen, which has a tare feature to subtract container weight from the total displayed. Useful in baking, especially if you're following a recipe that uses weight measurements instead of metric units.
A handheld electric mixer
You don't think you'll need an electric mixer until the batter you're mixing starts causing you serious arm strain. The Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender in Brushed Chrome ($27.05, down from $55) is a nice, lightweight option.
A digital thermometer
The Taylor 9842 Commercial Waterproof Digital Thermometer ($12.99, down from $18) is a versatile thermometer, working equally well for proteins as for molten sugar, and doing so quickly.
More than tools
Despite their space-taking qualities, we'd be lost without small appliances like our blender and food processor, and our Crockpot gives us a hand with our limited cooking surfaces (we don't have a microwave, so it's been 100% oven so far). We're considering getting a rice cooker and a toaster oven, to boot.
What are your lightweight kitchen essentials, either in tools or appliances?