With the launch of Jamie’s latest book 15-Minute Meals, we thought we’d ask him for his top 10 kitchen tools.
His choice isn’t full of those novelty gadgets, used once and doomed to forever collect dust in the garage, these are practical bits of kit to help you cook up a storm as easy as possible.
First up is a garlic gun or garlic crusher.
Jamie says: “To get the garlic in your pan quick as a flash, without getting the smell of raw garlic on anything else, this is a must. It also means the oils, essential to the flavours of garlic-infused dishes, get into the food and not into the chopping board.”
Next we have those essential tongs.
Jamie says: “These are never out of my hand when cooking in a frying pan, barbecue or grill. They are my bionic hand that can’t get burnt. Perfect for flipping my steak, checking my chicken and turning my tuna.”
Speed peeler is next up.
Jamie says: “Cheap as chips and completely brilliant for getting your veg prepared in super-quick time. It is the simple gadgets that are often the most useful in the kitchen and this is a must.”
The old workhorse the pestle and mortar comes next.
Jamie says: “Smash it, mix it and blend it by hand. This way of preparing ingredients goes back thousands of years and gets the maximum amount of flavour out of herbs and spices.” Have you tried putting meat into your mortar. Add pork mince to your crushed Vietnamese flavours – chilli, lemongrass, garlic, lime – add honey, continue bashing and then turn into tiny, sticky meatballs and cook through in a frying pan.
Box grater makes the list next.
Jamie says: “What a classic. Grate cheese, zest a lemon or prepare your coleslaw with this perfectly practical beauty. When something works this well, why change it?”
Three good quality knives (chefs, paring, bread).
Jamie says: “An obvious choice, but where would we be without a decent knife in the kitchen? They don’t have to be expensive, but as long as they are sharp and feel good in the hand (especially the chef’s knife) they will do the job. You don’t need dozens of knives for little jobs, make sure you have a small paring knife, a solid chef’s knife and one for slicing bread with a serrated edge.”
Good quality set of pans with lids.
Jamie says: “No need to tell you how useful good pans are in your kitchen. Just think of all the abuse they get, burning heat and bashed around, so get a good set and they’ll pay you back in no time.”
Griddle pan -
Jamie says: “The griddle pan is one of the most useful bits of kit in the kitchen. If you check out 15-Minute Meals, I use one a lot. Crank it up until it’s smoking hot and it’s ready for your meat, fish or veggies.”
Good quality food processor.
Jamie says: “You can save so much time preparing and slicing with one of these. Pastries and cakes as well are no problem if you’re in a hurry. Don’t forget your knife skills, and there’s nothing like getting stuck into your own doughs and batters, but to get the job done in double-quick time it’s brilliant.”
Last but by no means least is the blending stick.
Jamie says: “Whoever invented this needs a knighthood! Turning things to mush so quickly and cleanly in the same pan you cooked it in is ingenious. Soups, sauces, gravies and more are no problem with something so effective in your hand.”