6 Old-Fashioned Kitchen Basics for the Home Gourmet

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Do you have dozens of new-fangled kitchen gadgets? Don’t forget the basics that have stayed the same for centuries. Sometimes, the best way to do things is the old-fashioned way! Let’s identify the kitchen basics that never go out of style and that every gourmet swears by.

1. Knife Sharpeners

Are you the proud owner of a good, old-fashioned sharpening stone? No matter how good your knives are, their edge doesn’t last forever. Will you throw away a perfectly good knife? The smart money goes for sharpening it instead. All you need is a whetstone in your cutlery drawer and mastery of the simple art of using one. It makes the difference between hacking and slicing. And since the presentation of food matters so much, sharp knives are a basic kitchen necessity you can’t do without.

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2. Wooden Cutting Boards

For decades, manufacturers have been coming up with new materials for the cutting board. Have you ever wondered why wood is still the most popular choice? Sometimes, the old ideas remain unbeatable. A good, wooden cutting board can last a lifetime. It won’t dull your knives, it’s easy to keep clean, and cuts and scratches seem to “heal” themselves. If you do need to refinish it, the process is quick and easy. 

3. Wooden Spoons

What’s the best way to stir things up without hurting your cookware and without risking chemicals leaching into your food? You’ve guessed it! The wooden spoons your grandma used are still the best utensils you can use. Not convinced? Spend some time watching cookery shows and pay close attention. You’re sure to see those wooden spoons at work in the hands of your favorite TV cookery gurus. 

4. A Potato Ricer

Over-mashing potatoes makes for a sticky mess that’s nothing like the light and fluffy results you want to achieve. Letting a machine loose on your mash can be the best possible way to flop something as simple as your soss and mash combo. Use potato ricer and a bit of elbow-grease instead. A pinch of baking powder, a lump of butter and a dash of milk and you’re good to go.

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5. A Manual Can Opener

Electric can openers seem to be taking over the tin-opening market. But if you’re opening tins in the middle of a power failure or enjoy camping and picnicking, your electrical can opener is, quite literally, not going to cut it. Hats off to electric can opener makers! They’ve persuaded us to use something we don’t really need and that won’t always be useful. Your trusty manual can opener, on the other hand, is absolutely reliable.

6. A Metal Veg Steamer

Do you really need an electric steamer? Your grandma says you don’t. When I first discovered the little miracle that folds open to fit into any pot, I couldn’t believe how ingenious it was. It folds away to take up virtually no cupboard space, and it gets the job done without taking up room on your kitchen counter. I’ve never looked back! Add tasty steamed veg to your menu of healthy snacks. Your metal veg steamer makes it easy.

There’s a Gadget for Everything, but Do You Really Need It?

Think about all the kitchen gadgets you’ve bought and thrown away after a couple of years. Did they really save you much effort? Chances are, their more durable, old-fashioned counterparts are just as good, if not better. So before you head off in pursuit of the latest kitchen fad, consider your old-time alternatives. Newer ideas aren’t always better!