These 5 Items Will Help You Cook in a Small Kitchen

While you may long for a large, gourmet kitchen to fulfill your culinary ambitions, being a good cook has nothing to do with the size of the space you’re cooking in.

According to the experts at Consumer Reports (CR), vast amounts of space and specialty equipment aren’t necessary to succeed in the kitchen. The secret to successful cooking in a small kitchen is all about having the right cookware, appliances and kitchen tools that serve multiple purposes as opposed to single-use items that take up space and gather dust.

CR recommends the following cooking tools that will help you achieve culinary success no matter how small your kitchen:

1. A good frying pan. According to CR, a good frying pan is the best possible tool for about 70% of anything you need to make on the stovetop. From sauteing to stir-frying, sauces to omelets, a quality frying pan can be your most versatile tool. While there are many attractive and quality styles available, from copper to cast iron, CR says that a 12-inch non-stick pan that can withstand high oven temperatures is probably your best bet.
2. A Dutch oven. A Dutch oven can hold large quantities of liquid for boiling, braising and even deep frying. This makes it a great choice for cooking pasta, stews or fried chicken. You can also bake in most Dutch ovens, up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, except for certain varieties. Make sure your Dutch oven has an enamel coating so that the metal of the pan doesn’t react with acidic foods like tomato sauce or anything with wine or lemon juice.
3. A food processor. A true kitchen work horse, a good food processor can take care of a variety of kitchen jobs, including chopping, slicing, shredding and even kneading dough or blending liquids when it comes to certain models. Ratings and price ranges vary widely, so take both into account when making your selection.
4. A convection toaster oven. Depending on the size, a toaster oven can roast a whole chicken or bake a 12-inch pizza. It also does a much better job of reheating foods, resulting in crisp leftovers as opposed to the soggy variety you get from a microwave. If you want to get even more use from your toaster oven, consider one that has an air-frying function as well.
5. A thermometer. While this may seem like a surprising addition to this list, an instant-read thermometer is a must for any cook, and will help you avoid a variety of disasters. This small device will help keep you safe from undercooked foods and help you avoid overcooking roasts and other menu items.

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