Kitchen tools you’ll want to keep on the counter

Handy items to make life easier

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Good kitchen tools can make our lives so much easier in the kitchen. But it’s easy to go overboard and end up with a cluttered counter. When it comes to keeping kitchen tools on the counter, go for the ones you use the most and want to move the least.

Prioritize the items on your kitchen counter based on what makes sense to you. If you only break out the stand mixer once a year, then you might want to pack it away the rest of the time. Or if you live in a tight city apartment, there might only be room for a mini food processor and some utensils. Here are some suggestions.

Coffee grinder and maker

If you rely on that morning cup of Joe to get you going, then you need the right equipment. For the freshest cup available, grind whole beans yourself with an electric grinder. Some can even do double duty as spice grinders. If you have an electric coffee maker, you’ll want to leave that on the counter as well (a French press or percolator can be stored in an accessible cabinet).

Food processor

You’ll want to keep this kitchen workhorse within arm’s reach. What size will depend on how much space you have available. If you can accommodate it, then a large food processor can chop, slice and shred as well as make dough and more. Those tight on space, though, can still get a lot of out a mini food processor for quick purees, dips, pesto and the like.

Kitchen scale

An electric kitchen scale is a really useful item to have in the kitchen, and often looks pretty on the counter as well. Bakers rely on weighted measurements to most accurately follow measurements — 125 grams of flour is a lot more precise than 1 cup, which can vary based on what type it is, whether it’s leveled or sifted, etc. A scale will also allow you to convert recipes from metric to imperial units. Dieters also rely on scales for portion control.

Knives

Good knives are perhaps the single most important item in a kitchen. Keep them on the counter for easy access. A knife block is a classic and stylish option, which keeps all your knives safely tucked away in one place. The sets usually come with a steel to keep your blades sharp. Alternately, if your counter is crowded try out a magnetic strip attached to the wall. Knives securely hang within reach and are kept out of the way.

Stand mixer

Although a bit of a luxury and a space hog, stand mixers are amazing in the kitchen. And if you have one, you don’t want to lug it out every time you want to make frosting so it’s best to keep it on the counter. Fortunately most models are pretty to look at, so they won’t be eyesores. Use your stand mixer to make just about everything, from cake batter to frosting, and from mashed potatoes to shredded meat. Plus they often have a wide range of exciting attachments so you can easily make fresh pasta or even homemade sausages.

Utensils

Finally, you’ll want to keep your most used utensils on your kitchen counter. Get a utensil holder that fits your décor (they come in a range of styles from sleek stainless steel to homey ceramic) and consolidate all your utensils in one place. Must haves include wooden as well as plastic or metal spoons, various spatulas,  whisks and tongs. Other useful items to have include a potato masher, meat tenderizer, and long zester/cheese grater.

What kitchen tools do you keep on the counter?

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Katherine Martinelli is an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer. In addition to writing for Fabulous Foods, Katherine also contributes to various sections of SheKnows She recently released her first cookbook, Puff Pastry at Brunch: 10 Sweet and Savory Recipes to Start Your Morning (Hang Time Press, 2012). Katherine writes about her adventures in food at KatherineMartinelli.com.