Fall is here and winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time for stews, braises, roasts, and other delicious cooking that warms the soul—and the kitchen! In this article, we’ll dive into some essential kitchen tools for fall and winter cooking, including dutch ovens, instant pots, meat thermometers for a perfectly cooked bird or steak, and much more.
Dutch Oven for Mulled Wine
Dutch ovens are great for baking bread, making stew, or braising meat, but did you know they can also be used to make mulled wine? Stir red wine, spices, and fruit into a dutch oven, gently simmer until warm, and voilà! You’re ready to curl up with a warm cup of wine.
Dutch ovens are also ideal for making delicious, crusty bread—the best snack on a chilly winter morning. If you want to try out a dutch oven but don’t want to give up too much cabinet space, try out this small, .5 quart-sized dutch oven that’s perfect for making small, single-size loaves of bread. This is also a great starter dutch oven for beginner bakers, since it typically takes a few rounds of baking to get that perfect loaf.
If you’re ready to commit to a full-size dutch oven (and ready to splurge), Le Creuset makes a great 5.25-qt. cast iron dutch oven. Some more affordable options include a stainless steel dutch oven from Our Table, the dutch oven from Caraway, or The Dutchess from Great Jones.
Automatic Bread Maker
If baking bread in a dutch oven feels overwhelming, check out an automatic bread maker instead. You simply add the ingredients, select the cycle, and let the machine do the work. Hamilton Beach offers a great selection of bread makers, all of which come with gluten-free bake settings. Cuisinart also has a great automatic bread maker that makes up to 2-pound loaves, has gluten-free options, and includes settings that can make cakes, pizza, and other treats.
Who doesn’t love a warm, crispy panini on a cold day? Food & Wine ranked the Brentwood compact dual sandwich maker as the best space-saving panini press, making it ideal for apartment dwellers who want to optimize cabinet space. For those with a bit more room, Food & Wine ranked the Cuisinart Electric Griddler as best overall and the Breville panini press as the best for hearty sandwiches.
An Instant Pot can pretty much be used to cook anything, from soups and chilis to rice, corn on the cob, banana bread, and even yogurt. An instant pot serves as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, food warmer, and sauté helper all in one. It also uses less water and less energy than regular pots and pans or conventional ovens, helping you conserve energy and keep the utility bill down. The best part is: most instant pot meals are ready in 20-30 minutes vs. over an hour. The Instant Pot Ultra offers 10 different settings and an easy-to-use interface, while the Instant Pot Mini is a bit more affordable and won’t take up as much room in your kitchen.
Let’s face it, we all crave carbs a little bit more in the winter. An air fryer offers a wide range of cooking options for carbier foods without having to soak everything in oil. With an air fryer, you can make crispy chicken wings and crunchy french fries as well as salmon, rice, vegetables, potstickers, cookies, donuts, and a wide range of other delicious dishes. Some great air fryer options include the Instant Vortex, Philips XXL, Ninja air fryer, and the Breville air fryer.
Every household needs a Nutribullet. Not only does it blend smoothies, juices, and nut milk perfectly, but it’s also great for making sauces and soups. Nutribullet now makes a Souperblast Pitcher that includes a vented pitcher lid for handling hot soups.
Have you ever boiled water on the stovetop and then walked away and forgotten about it? With an electric kettle, you won’t have to worry about that happening anymore. An electric kettle heats water faster and more efficiently than boiling water on the stovetop and automatically shuts off when the water begins to boil. Hamilton Beach makes a great stainless steel electric kettle that was top-ranked by Wirecutter, along with the Goose Neck Kettle from Cuisinart.
Soups are a favorite food for many of us throughout winter, but they can be challenging to make from scratch. An immersion blender makes that task a whole lot easier, especially when making purées, bisques, and other creamier soups. Immersion blenders can also be used to make pesto, dressings, salsas, drinks, sauces, and even whipped cream. Breville makes a well-designed immersion blender with a control grip for easy use while Mueller and Cuisinart also offer great options that are a bit less expensive.
With the holiday season right around the corner, a meat thermometer will come in handy quite a bit over the next few months. Not only is a meat thermometer needed to prevent undercooking and foodborne illness, but it also eliminates the need to cut into the meat when assessing if it’s cooked, which lets out the juice and flavor and makes the meat dry.
We saved the best for last! There is nothing better than bringing your friends and family together on a cold day and dipping crispy bread into gooey, melted fondue cheese or simmering meat in an aromatic broth. After dinner, leave the fondue set out for a decadent dessert of melted chocolate with cookies, cake, and fruit for dipping. Fondue is great for hosting parties and is also a fun and interactive way to share dinner with kids. Cuisinart offers a 3-qt. electric fondue set and Swissmar makes a set that’s perfect for hosting larger groups.
Things to Consider
If you’re in the market for a new apartment, Draper and Kramer’s spacious and luxurious apartments offer large kitchens with plenty of space for storing your favorite cooking appliances and tools. Visit our website to browse our full selection of luxury apartment properties today.