Our top 12 kitchen tools (and how they can help you be healthy)

Our top 12 kitchen tools (and how they can help you be healthy)

Priced from $2 to more than $200, here are our pick of kitchen tools that contribute to a healthier eating lifestyle.

Fat separator

Price: From $20, at kitchen stores

How it helps you be healthy

The nifty design of this jug means the fat from meat juices rises to the top so you can pour off the tasty, low-fat juices from the lower part of the jug. It makes for sauces and gravies with great texture and much less fat.

Our top tip

Pour juices from slow cooker dishes into the fat separator to create healthier sauces for these dishes.


Price: From $99

How it helps you be healthy

While not a substitute for whole vegetables and fruit, juices are a good way to get one of your five plus a day, and it is an especially good way to get kids to eat veges (without even realising they are!).

Our top tip

Combine sweet fruits such as apple and pineapple with veges such as carrot, beetroot and even spinach. Ginger adds an extra tasty zing.


Price: Stand-alone from $250

How it helps you be healthy

Where would we be without this essential way of preserving our food? From bread to meat to leftovers and preserves, the freezer makes it possible to safely keep and eat later all the foods we would otherwise have to shop for daily. A time and money saver.

Our top tip

Buy milk and cheese when they are on special and store them in the freezer until ready to use. They will last several months.


Price: From $17

How it helps you be healthy

Steamers – from humble bamboo baskets to all-in-one appliances – are an easy way to cook all kinds of foods without fat while keeping delicate flavours, textures and aromas intact.

Our top tip

Wrap fish fillets in baking paper with lime slices, sliced chilli and sliced ginger. Steam until just cooked through. Unwrap parcels at the table for a delicious, aromatic dinner.

Pressure cooker

Price: From $149

How it helps you be healthy

This old-fashioned appliance is enjoying a renaissance thanks to better-designed (and less scary) cookers. Perfect for busy people, the pressure cooker delivers slow-cooked results in double-quick time – think whole chickens in 30 minutes, lamb shanks in 40 minutes and hearty stews in under an hour.

Our top tip

Cook slow-cooking cuts of meat in the pressure cooker then set aside cooked meat and stock from the cooker to add to stove-top chillies and curries.


Price: From $100

How it helps you be healthy

This versatile kitchen stalwart is not glamorous but it is super-useful. It cooks food quickly without fat, steams, defrosts, reheats and melts.

Our top tips

  • Melt chocolate by placing in a bowl and cooking on medium in one-minute bursts.
  • Scramble eggs easily and without mess by cooking beaten eggs in a pyrex jug on medium for 30 second bursts, stirring in between.

Yoghurt maker

Price: From $21

How it helps you be healthy

A yoghurt maker is a low-tech, money-saving device that lets you make good quantities of fresh, healthy yoghurt. We think there is a place for this in every kitchen!

Our top tip

Make low-fat, plain yoghurt and you can use it for many things – replace sour cream in recipes, make smoothies, add fruit for breakfast and snacks.

Slow cooker

Price: From $40

How it helps you be healthy

Being able to produce a hot, home-cooked meal while you’re at work, that’s ready when you get home, is a huge boon to busy people. You control what goes into your dishes and eat less takeaways.

Our top tips

  • Prepare and chop all the ingredients for several slow-cooker dishes all at once on a Sunday, and pop them in plastic bags in the fridge, ready to simply assemble in the cooker before you head out the door each day.
  • Get a large slow cooker so you can make double batches of your favourite dishes, then freeze in single portions for a homemade ready meal.
  • At the weekend make a big batch of vege soup (with a ham hock if you have it), so the family can help themselves to DIY lunch.

Pro favourites

“I love my electronic scales. They help me get really accurate measurements when I’m writing and testing recipes, and they’re especially useful in baking, since you need to be precise to get good results.” – Niki Bezzant, HFG editor

“I wouldn’t be without a really good non-stick frying pan (or two!). Not only do they help prevent the frustration of things sticking, but they really cut down on the amount of oil you need for frying.” – Simon Holst, food writer

“I love my lemon zester! It lets me easily add intense lemony flavour to all sorts of dishes, which is a great way to keep the salt down. I use it every day.” – Rose Carr, HFG senior nutritionist

“The tools I could least do without are my knives. I keep them really sharp and even take them away on holiday with me! My favourite is a medium-sized cook’s knife that I cannot do without. Good knives make food preparation a joy and given that healthy eating is about lots of vegetables, chopping with ease is a must for me!” – Bronwen King, nutritionist

Author: HFG staff

Healthy Food Guide

First published: Jul 2011

2017-12-05 14:25:31

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