So you’ve signed up to Blue Apron, meaning all the ingredients for cooking tonight’s dinner are sorted. You know they’ll arrive in just the right amounts. But cooking requires careful preparation, as any sous-chef will tell you. Make sure you have the right tools to prep and cook your feast…
1 Togiharu Handcrafted Japanese Chef’s Knife
Top of many a chef’s list of priorities is the right knife. A good knife is more precise and makes prep simpler and faster. You could save half the time you spend if you have the right tool. Japanese steel is perfect for this. Togiharu is a favorite of Blue Apron co-founder Matt Wadiak, who persuaded Togiharu to create a chef’s knife suited to experienced chefs and newbies alike.
It’s brilliantly sharp, works for left-handed chefs as effectively as right-handers, and is a real all-rounder, though not meant for heavy-duty tasks like boning. It’s handcrafted in Japan and has an eco-friendly composite wood handle.
2 Microplane Zester-grater
Don’t be fooled: this may look simple but it’s a highly capable tool. It’s perfect for grating hard cheeses into fine wisps for Italian dishes. You can effortlessly grate garlic, onion and ginger. But it also zests citrus fruits efficiently, too. The stainless steel blade is cut with a modern etching process to ensure it’s super-sharp. Oh, and you can even grate chocolate. Now you’re talking.
3 Amco Rub Away Bar
Mind you, however carefully you handle some ingredients, and I’m especially looking at you, garlic and onion, you end up with fingers whose smells will remind you what you've done long after you’ve finished cooking. Try this stainless steel bar which you use just as you would a regular bar of soap. As you rub it on your hands, the smells gently vanish. Best used straight after you’ve put the last clove of garlic or onion down, but definitely before you handle the sweet ingredients for dessert!
4 Yolkfish Egg Separator
This is another small but effective kitchen helper. Separating the yolk from the white of an egg can be tricky or difficult if you’re simply tipping the yolk from one end of the egg shell to the other. Maybe the yolk will burst or you’ll get shell in the cooking. With Yolkfish you crack the egg into a bowl and then simply place the fish’s open mouth over the yolk. It sucks it up and then you can squeeze it out into another bowl with no damage and no waste.
5 Philips Airfyer Avance Turbo Star
The modern chef knows there’s a challenge to make popular, desirable items like French fries, say, both tasty and as healthy as possible. Philips air fryers use 80 per cent less oil for healthy but still delicious results. As well as frying, you can grill, bake and roast. Less smell than regular fryers, too. The latest Airfryer models, like this one, are instantly hot and quickly ready to use. It’s easy to use, too.
6 KitchenAid KSM150PSMY Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer
Kitchen gadgets that look great as well as working well can be hard to find, but the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer will look great in any kitchen. Whatever you’re mixing, from kneading dough to whipping cream, the Artisan will do it well and is powerful, fast and effective. There are over a dozen optional attachments so you can do more, like make pasta from scratch or shred a block of cheese in no time. It comes in more than 20 colours so you can be sure it’ll work with your kitchen décor.
7 Cole & Mason Hampstead Electric Pepper Grinder
Whether you’re seasoning in the kitchen or on the table, a decent pepper grinder is essential. This one, from highly-regarded British company Cole & Mason, is battery-powered for extra convenience. And having power in a pepper grinder means it can also incorporate an LED light so you can see exactly where you’re seasoning. Like any grinder, you can adjust the coarseness or fineness of the peppercorns, in this case by twisting the knob I the base.
8 Sage by Heston Blumenthal food processor
Every kitchen needs a food processor, so you might as well have a really good one. A long feed chute means you can insert longer and larger food in. There are extra blades in the accessory box. The food processor has four blades (many similar machines only have two) so it’s fast and efficient. What’s more there are 24 exact thickness settings.
9 Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
Some ice cream makers require you to put the bowl in the freezer before you can start making ice cream. This model has a self-refrigerating compressor and a powerful motor so that the paddle that mixes the ice cream can turn effectively. There are automatic and manual settings with plenty of versatility so you an add chocolate chips or fresh fruit, say when the machine beeps to tell you it’s time. It makes sorbet, frozen yogurt, gelato and ice cream. Yum yum.
10 Stainless steel wine chiller
At last, it’s time to enjoy the results of your cooking. And that means a glass of wine to go with it. This chiller is designed for Blue Apron’s pairing-size wine bottles as well as regular sized 750ml bottles.
It has four reusable freezer gel packs so there’s no ice melting round the bottle and it’ll keep a pre-chilled bottle cold for three hours though, honestly, you’ll have drunk it well before that, right?