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Top Kitchen Tools For Cooking Low FODMAP

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The low FODMAP diet might seem like a very different way of eating at first, but many things are actually the same – you can still cook with a large variety of whole foods and make delicious meals the entire family will love – but you do have to pay attention to amounts. This means that measuring and weighing ingredients is key.

top kitchen tools
The right tools in the kitchen can make the difference between success and failure!

And believe it or not, the right pots and pans will help you enjoy your time in the kitchen and give you the very best results.

This article is about the kitchen tools that will not only make it easier for you to follow low FODMAP recipes, but they will also help your recipes turn out the best they can be.

We think these tools belong in your kitchen.

A Digital Scale

Although the FODMAP Everyday® Test Kitchen is located in the U.S., we work hard to make sure that our recipes are as accessible as possible to those all over the world, so we provide imperial as well as metric amounts for all of our recipes. 

We think a scale a necessary tool for low FODMAP cooking and baking. Very often it is a matter of grams that shifts a food from a low FODMAP serving to a moderate or high FODMAP one – just take one look at the Monash University smartphone app and the FODMAP Friendly smartphone app. We prefer digital scales for their precision.

A tare feature is usually standard and a necessary feature. This allows you to place a bowl on the scale and re-set it to zero so that the bowl is not being weighed. Then you can place your ingredient, such as chopped chocolate, in the bowl, and the amount on the scale will show the weight of the chocolate only. Then if you want to add another ingredient, such as nuts, you can use the tare function again to zero it out, and then add your nuts.

We use an OXO scale in our kitchen and find them to be very well made. It has over 5,000 Amazon reviews and a full 5-star rating!

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Dry Measuring Tools & Liquid Measuring Tools

Whether you are measuring liquid or dry ingredients you need measuring cups and spoons that are calibrated properly. Ditch the dollar store, garage sale equipment or spoons that look like hearts or flowers.

In hands-on comparisons we discovered that poorly made measuring spoons portioned out ingredients with a variability of 100% from what is accurate! Cups can be just as poorly made. We use dry measuring cups and spoons from Cuisipro, and specific ones from King Arthur; we like particular Pyrex for liquid measuring cups for best accuracy.

Use cups that are close to what you are measuring. In other words, if you need ½ cup water, use a 1-cup measuring cup, not a 4-cup. It will not be as accurate.

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Notes On Tablespoons

Our U.S. tablespoons (the ones used in our recipes) are equivalent to 15 ml; in Australia their tablespoons are 20 ml. You can read more in our article, When Is A Tablespoons Is Not a Tablespoon?

Many low FODMAP recipes are coming out of Australia, as it is the birthplace of the low FODMAP diet. You must know what size tablespoons the recipe developers have used, or you will not get good results. Unfortunately, this is rarely stated. 

If a recipe is from an Australian source, and you live elsewhere in the world, assume that the tablespoon in the recipe is equivalent to 20 ml (1 US tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon). While this small variation might not have a huge impact on the amount of FODMAPs ingested, it WILL have a huge effect on your baking — and a negative effect at that. 

Imagine if a recipe is calling for salt or baking powder and your measurement is off by a third or a quarter! Cuisipro also has spoons in off sizes, like 1 ½ teaspoons (as seen in image above), which makes measuring even more accurate. Why? Because if you need ¾ of a teaspoon of something, it is more accurate to measure once with the exact size spoon than it is to measure out ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon.

Pots & Pans

This section might come as a surprise. If you need a 3- quart pot in which to simmer tomato sauce, any pot will do right? Not so fast. We know that not everyone cooks from scratch, but we think the low FODMAP diet is easier to follow if you do cook for yourself and use whole foods. This is because you will have fewer ingredients to keep track of – so this section is aimed at you home cooks.

Let’s say you take two 3-quart pans: one is lightweight aluminum and flimsy, as well as tall and narrow. The other is heavy triple-ply stainless steel with an aluminum core and is low and wide. Simmering the same sauce in each pot will yield very different results – from the timing of how the sauce cooks, which affects flavor and texture, to whether you experience scorching and burning and even ultimately the potential yield of the sauce. And clean-up can vary hugely, too.

So often we hear that folks dislike cooking or think they are not good at it, and when we dig a little deeper, we find out that they are using poor quality pots and pans. Now we know plenty of folks who have lesser quality pans and cook just fine, but that is because they have gotten a feel for their equipment and know how to work with it. If you are an inexperienced cook and/or are having trouble with your cooking and baking results, look to your pots and pans. They might need an upgrade.

Here are some pots and pans that we think should be in your low FODMAP kitchen:

  • 5 to 6.75-quart enamel coated Dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset, Staub or Lodge: We use our Dutch ovens to make braises, soups and stews. They get a constant workout.

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  • 8 to 12-quart Stock Pot: A large stock pot can be used to make stock and broths, of course, but the large capacity is also great for steaming lobsters and corn and so much more. They can vary from stouter in profile, to taller.
  • 2-quart Saucepan: Need to heat up a small amount of cream or melt butter, this is your pot.
  • 3-quart Deep Saucepan: This might be our most used pot for boiling pasta, steaming and blanching vegetables and making sauces.
  • 5-quart Sauté Pan: This pan shines for browning chicken pieces, shallow frying and more.

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  • 9-inch Cast Iron Skillet: Cook eggs, bacon, pancakes and even make skillet cakes in this cast-iron stand-by. And steak, of course.
  • Nonstick Skillet: You either love them or not, but we find a nonstick skillet comes in handy for eggs, pancakes and even weeknight burgers.
  • Roasting Pan: For the holidays in particular – when you have a large turkey or roast beef – a sturdy roasting pan with deep sides and optional rack will help you create your best main dish ever. They aren’t cheap, but they will last a lifetime and are investment pieces. If you have only roasted a turkey in a disposable pan and disliked the results, a pan like this will blow your mind.

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I used to work in commercial kitchens and would have a few things going on at once – cake layers in one oven, cookies in another, meringue whipping on high speed in the mixer, answering the phone and taking catering orders – and somehow, I never needed a timer. Yeah, that was over 30 years ago, and my brain just isn’t the same LOL.

I use a timer first thing every morning to make my tea and then it gets used again and again to keep track of – whatever! I really love this model that has sound, light and/or vibration. You can set it any way you like.

I usually just use sound, but let’s say you are entertaining guests and don’t want to forget checking the roast beef; clip it to your waistband or slide it into your pocket and set on vibrate! No one is the wiser. PS: These make fantastic host/hostess gifts and stocking stuffers.

Heavy Aluminum Half Sheet Baking Pan

You might see the terms “cookie sheet” or “sheet pan” bandied about, but what exactly do these terms mean? Who knows? But a “Half Sheet baking pan” is an actual thing, with certain dimensions – and we prefer the traditional commercial weight and approach, which means it is made from aluminum.

These are sturdy, will not warp, will last a lifetime and are the best heat conductors for perfectly browned cookies and roasted vegetables. I use mine for roasting chicken pieces as well – and making bacon in the oven, jellyroll cakes – the list goes on and on.

We use these Nordic Ware in the Test Kitchen; they are heavy gauge aluminum that measure 18 x 13-inches (46 cm x 33 cm) with a 1-inch (2.5 cm) lip all the way around. 

Cooling Racks

Speaking of half-sheet pans that we always use for cookies, your baked goods need to be cooled on racks for best results. Proper cooking truly affects final texture of baked goods. We like cooling racks with a grid, so small cookies do not slip through.

Try these, which also fit within your half-sheet pans, for when that is desirable.

Oven Thermometer

Actual oven temperatures often vary from the dial temperatures by as much as 25 to 50 degrees. Because of this I strongly suggest using a separate oven thermometer, adjusting your oven accordingly, and keeping an eye on your cooking and baking times.

Wondering why your chicken isn’t browning to the desired color, or your muffins aren’t rising well? Maybe your oven temperature is off!

Instant Read Thermometer

An instant read thermometer will be used often – to check if your chicken is done; to assess the temperature of water when making yeast recipes; checking sugar temperatures when making buttercreams and candies – and to make sure that steak is done just the way you want it.

Thermoworks makes our favorite – and they even have cool colors (mine is pink).

Tongs, Spoons, Spatulas & Servers

We reach for our tongs every single day. They are not just for grilling! Use then to toss salads, flip bacon, help rotate your browning chicken pieces…you get the idea. Having the right small tools will help you cook better and make it more enjoyable.

  • Tongs: We like tongs that can be used in nonstick pans, in hot ovens, on the grill – basically anywhere we might need them. We give these Duo Tongs as gifts. They do it all. They have a locking mechanism; there is a slit to help drain veggies; and they fit in the hand beautifully.
  • Spoons: You need wooden spoons for stirring and metal spoons for spooning sauces, serving and other uses.
    • Wooden Spoons: Long handled wooden spoons belong in every cook’s kitchen. One you have those, as the basics, you could expand to some other helpful shapes, like slotted and spatula shaped. A set is very economical.
    • Metal Spoons: We suggest at least one solid and one slotted. This OXO Steel Cooking Spoon is incredibly well made, as is its corresponding slotted version.
    • Silicone: Silicone is quite versatile and we have several items in the kitchen made from it, including spoons. They work beautifully for nonstick pans and delicate pots.
  • Spatulas: Flexible spatulas (like silicone), rigid metal pancake turners and slender icing spatulas are all very different in construction and usage.
    • Silicone/Rubber: We used to always say “rubber spatula” when describing this tool. These days they are mostly made from silicone and we use them all the time, to fold ingredients together, scrape batter out of bowls and ingredients out of cans. This is a great set.
    • Metal Spatulas: We reach for three quite often, one more rigid, one more flexible, and then one that is in the middle and the most versatile.
    • Icing Spatulas: If you do any cake decorating at all, you will want icing spatulas, both straight and offset, large and small. I also use them to spread batters into pans.
  • Servers: This category includes items like pie servers, cake servers, small spatulas for the perfect square brownie and more.

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Storage Containers

Once you have made your low FODMAP food, store it correctly! We always give storage instructions; they will help your food stay fresher, longer. We first bought these by Cambro for our Pizza Dough, but we find that we reach for them more than any others. We also love glass containers because they clean up so beautifully – even after holding tomato sauce, curry or chili.

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