Like most cooking enthusiasts, I’ve accumulated quite the collection of kitchen gadgets. I have 2+ junk drawers of “stuff” that I don’t really use often, but can’t bear to part with quite yet. (Hey, I might make spaetzle next week or need to grind some sausage, but that’s for another post!) Since I’ve been nesting so hard, I’ve been giving lots of thought to paring down to the essentials lately. My kitchen has gone through several purges as we make room for bottles and baby-related things. So today, I’ll be talking about my Top 8 Essential Kitchen Tools. By that, I’m talking about things I can’t live/cook/eat without. I use these things nearly every single day.
1. A very sharp knife. Particularly a chef’s knife, which makes cooking faster and safer. It’s versatile enough for fine chopping and dicing as it is for opening up a coconut. B got me this 8″ Shun Knife in 2005 (yes, over a decade ago!) and with regular sharpening, it’s still kicking butt. A worthy investment indeed. I use this multiple times a day so it deserves a spot at #1.
2. A high powered blender. It took me a while to invest in a Vitamix, but I’m glad I did. This is a workhorse. Daily green smoothie (which is actually smooth), check!
3. A mandolin. I like this Benriner Japanese one. You can adjust the thickness and it’s super sharp. I eat a lot of salads and this thing makes the prettiest slices of radish and carrots.
4. Cast iron skillet. I snagged this baby at the Le Creuset outlet (60% off!) on the way back from Palm Springs a few years ago. I bought it to make fritattas, but have ended up using it as my go-to pan for searing meats. It’s a nice size for cooking for two and not too heavy. Don’t forget to re-season your cast iron now and again.
5. Cutting boards. The right cutting board keeps your knives sharper for longer and don’t warp or crack over time–with proper care, of course. I love my Boo’s maple and cherry wood boards.
6. These peelers. They are the sharpest, and at $6 for 3, you can replace them as needed. Remember to dry them immediately after washing to avoid the rust situation.
7. The other night my friend Annie texted me for cookware advice. She was deciding between a 10-piece All-Clad or Le Creuset set of pots and pans. I told her neither, because nobody needs all 10 of those pieces–even if you’re an avid cook. I have this 4 quart stainless steel saute pan that is versatile enough to even braise or fry in. I remember hoarding gift cards until I could afford it. That was 10+ years ago and it’s still going strong!
8. Rimmed baking sheets. Totally utilitarian. I get these from the restaurant supply store and use them for roasting vegetables, making granola, and organizing props when I’m on set.
Did I miss anything? What are your essentials?
Note: I don’t do the whole affiliate linking thing, so I don’t profit from these recs. They are just products that really make my life easier.