You need: A whisk
Sub in: Two forks. Whisks add in air when you’re blending ingredients such as eggs and whipping cream. If you don’t have a whisk handy, you can achieve the same effect by taping together two forks. Find forks with the same-sized handles and tines. Place one on top of the other so that their tines overlap. Create some space between the two eating implements by putting a small piece of folded paper towel between the upper parts of their handles—this will help aerate your mixture. Tape the handles and paper towel together, then whisk away. Tip: Avoid using this makeshift whisk on non-stick pans; the forks can damage the lining. These tricks can help you make perfect eggs every time.
You need: A meat mallet
Sub in: A heavy saucepan. Meat mallets flatten foods like chicken breasts so that they cook evenly. The pressure also tenderizes meat. If you don’t own a mallet—how many people do?—use a sauté pan to pound meat to the desired thickness. Sandwich the meat first in plastic wrap to avoid splatters and to keep the meat clean. Tip: You can also flatten meat with a rolling pin.
You need: A steamer basket
Sub in: Aluminum foil and a heat-proof plate. The purpose of these baskets is to place food over steam without letting water touch it. For a replacement, crumple some tin foil into three large balls (see a visual how-to at noshon.it). Place them in a triangle pattern at the bottom of a large pot. Top them with a heat-proof plate, like a pie plate, that’s smaller than the pot. Add water to just beneath the plate, then put flat items such as spinach, dumplings or salmon on top of the plate. Once the water comes to a simmer, cover the pot. Tip: For food with a lot of volume, like broccoli, use a colander instead of aluminum foil.