I am pretty passionate about my kitchen tools. I believe every good cook needs to have the right tools on hand to be a wizard in their space. The tools I’ve listed are my most commonly used items in the kitchen. I use all of these every single day, and if I don’t work with them every day, they they still need to be in your cooking life. Now I am talking about basic necessities here, not gadgets that you only use ONCE and hope to re gift to someone, such as a whoopie pie maker or an egg whisk (Yes…they make a whisk JUST for eggs, really?), I’m talking about tools that will cut your time in half or more, tools that will zest up your dishes and basic essentials that need to be in any chefs kitchen.
In fact, if you want a good laugh, read The Hater’s Guide to Williams Sonoma Catalog, it’s pretty funny.
And just to be clear, I have no affiliation with any of the products listed. All of these opnions are mine and am in no way in business with any of the brands/products mentioned.
In no particular order…
12-cup food processor: I know this may seem like a big jump to take, and I thought so too when I first got it, but trust me, it has changed the way I cook and has cut my time in half. During Hanukkah, I made several kinds of latkes and I would remember the times my mom would sit and grate those potatoes over and over again. Well this amazing food processor has a shredding blade that I just pop on top and shreds everything in seconds! I’ve also made hummus, baba ghanouh and several marinades. All I do is throw the ingredients in and press “On”. Seriously, the best tool I have in the kitchen.
Pizza Stone: I can not stress how much we love our pizza stone. You can get them at most food supply stores and the wonderful thing about it is how perfectly crisp it makes your pizza. We leave ours at the bottom of our stove and turn the stove on to 500 degrees F about 30 minutes before we’re ready to slide that baby in. The stone stays screaming hot and your pizza is cooked in well LESS than 10 minutes! We also use it for garlic bread, pizza and naan. Any bread really. You will love this!
Microplane: I have this little gadget handy all the time. You have probably seen this on every other “must have” list, and I have to agree. It is mostly used for zesting, which is when you scrape the outter part of citrus skin. I use zest in most of my baking, salad dressings and roasted vegetables. and it is perfect for grating fresh nutmeg. There is something bright and airy about adding fresh zest to your dish. Plus it makes you look fancy.
Hand grater: Ok, so this may look similar to a microplane, and technically it kinda is, but this hand grater is so much more! It has larger holes and is perfect for grating fresh Parmegiana and larger pieces of citrus zest. I always keep my hand grater on the counter wo I can just grab it and grate fresh cheese on top of bread, pizza, pasta…well..everything!
Hand juicer: simple and effective and saves you from spraining your back! You need this to get ALL the juice out of your citrus. Don’t pass up this guy in the aisle, he is very useful. Want even juicier lemons? Roll them on the counter a few times, gets the juices flowin’.
A basic mason jar: I don’t know why I didn’t have a simple jar until recently. This has changed my entire life and I now have an intimate relationship with homemade salad dressings. You used to have to whisk and whisk the oil into your dressing until it emulsified which could take forever. But with a simple mason jar, just throw it all in and shake up a storm. Done.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven: I debated whether I should mention what kind of dutch oven I use, but why not, I am so in love with this piece of cook ware. Le Creuset is known to be expensive, and yes you’re going to shell out some serious moolah for this piece, but I beg you, you need this in your kitchen. When we decided to purchase the infamous Le Creset, we did our research and made sure our money was going to something that will last us a lifetime of good use. I have used this gorgeous pot from everything to sauces, soups and stews. I have started it on the stove top and threw it in the oven. It looks like it could stand on a store shelf, it is just perfect.
Sharp chefs knife: This is an obvious choice but so important and sorry to say, often overlooked. Joe does the knife sharpening in this house but I just wanted to mention how crucial it is to have a good and sharp knife. Educate and invest in one.
*Tip: Some butchers will sharpen your knives for free. By us, Bristol Farms will sharpen them for free on the weekdays.
Tools you can live without but still deserve a have a shout-out
Immersion blender: I love this tool, but again, I think you can live without it. It’s great for pureeing a large pot of soup without having to pour the whole batch into a blender, but that’s really about the only time I use this guy.
What are your favorite and must have kitchen tools?