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Mary Berg's favourite cooking tools and appliances at every price point

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With endless rows of kitchen appliances at almost every home store, you might be wondering what products are worth spending your money on. Quality kitchen appliances have the potential to make cooking a breeze, but sometimes the state-of-the-art tools aren’t a worthwhile investment. Cooking Expert Mary Berg walked us through her top tips when it comes to saving vs. splurging on kitchen appliances!

MIXERS

Owning a Kitchenaid stand mixer is almost like having an extra set of hands to help you through your daily baking, juicing, pasta-making and almost all food-prepping. This is likely a product that you’ll have around for years and use regularly. While owning a Kitchenaid stand mixer isn’t a complete necessity, they’re high quality and will save you lots of time in the kitchen. A stand mixer is definitely something worth splurging on!

When it comes to hand mixers, don’t feel pressured to spend over your budget. It’s important to remember that sometimes practical and good-quality products don’t come with a high price tag. There are several hand mixers, like the LivingBasic 8-Speed, that have all the important elements one would need. It’s dishwasher safe, quiet, has 8-speed settings and is affordable!

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, $359.99 at Amazon.ca

LivingBasic 8-Speed Hand Mixer, $29.99 at Amazon.ca

POTS AND PANS

Pots and pans are arguably the most used kitchen appliances in an average household. Whether you’re frying eggs or making fresh soup, having durable pots and pans is the key to a seamless cooking process. Heavy-bottom stainless steel is something that will last a lifetime. Rather than switching out basic cookware sets every few years, investing in something that has better heat conduction and won’t warp is worth it.

While there are tons of beautifully enamelled pans and Dutch ovens, a classic “cowboy” cast iron is perfect for daily use. A cast-iron skillet isn’t something you really need to splurge on, even though it’s an essential item. The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet was made for versatility and simplicity while also offering a lifetime warranty.

All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, $775.99 at Amazon.ca

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, $34.39 at Amazon.ca

KNIVES

Wondering whether or not knives are worth the splurge? We vote that they are! A good quality set can last a lifetime and also save you lots of work in the kitchen. Cheaping out on kitchen knives is a short term solution that will require many replacements over the years. Rather than purchasing lower-quality knives, invest in a set that will last you the long haul. 

Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set, $414.45

CUTTING BOARDS

Deciding whether or not you want to splurge on cutting boards depends on the material that you’re looking for. In terms of wood cutting boards, opting for something durable with self-healing end grain construction will give you an impact-resistant cutting service that won’t destroy your knives. 

If you’re hoping to save a bit of money on cutting boards, go for plastic ones instead. You can find affordable plastic cutting boards almost anywhere and we recommend going for one that’s lightweight, easy to clean and anti-bacterial!

Larch Wood Cutting Board, $165 at Amazon.ca

Set of 3 Plastic Cutting Boards, $24.99 at Amazon.ca

BAKEWARE

From sheet pants to cake pans, cooking supply stores have all the bakeware you could ever need at a reasonable price! This category of kitchen appliances is definitely one to save your money on. The only bakeware items we recommend splurging on? Specialty pans! Anything from bundt pans to baked doughnut pans is a good investment if you use them more than 4 times a year. 

Wilton Cookie Sheet Pan Set, $12.99

COOKING UTENSILS

Whether you’re sautéing vegetables or scrambling eggs, heatproof utensils made of silicone are the perfect complement to quality pans. For starters, you won’t have to worry about scratching or ruining your cookware. The heatproof quality is a huge bonus as you’ll never accidentally melt your favourite spatula again! Splurging on heatproof utensils, from flippers to tongs, is worth every penny. 

Those that enjoy hosting family-style dinners can save money on metal and wooden utensils. Large serving spoons and metal tongs are easy to toss into the salad bowl without having to worry about it being an expensive item. 

Di Oro 3-Piece Silicone Spatulas, $35.97

COOKING OILS

While splurging on cooking oil might seem unnecessary, we can assure you that it makes all the difference in a homecooked meal! Canola and veggie oil are options that you can save your money on, but good quality olive oil requires a little splurge. From fish to salads, olive oil is an essential part of most dishes we make. You won’t regret opting for a premium one!

“Hojiblanca Ultra Premium” Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $18.95 at Olive Oil Emporium