Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools

March 20th, 2009

The following tools are a definite must for any home chef.  There are all sorts of gadgets you can use, but these are the items that a cook should never have to live without. 

Chef knife – a sharp knife changed my cooking life forever.  The first time I cut into a raw carrot with my chef knife, it felt like slicing through soft butter.  It’s safer to use a sharp knife rather than a dull one anyway–a clean cut heals faster. 

Stainless Steel Vegetable Peeler- Peel potatoes, carrots, apples, make curls from vegetables, cheese or chocolate.  The peelers with a rubber coated handle are most comfortable to grip.

Digital Thermometer/Timer – You can use this for anything.  I check the temperature of grilled steaks to ensure I’m cooking the meat to perfection.  I also use it for breads and cakes because the toothpick test isn’t always accurate.  It’s also perfect for cooked sugar recipes when you need the temperature to be exact.  I use the timer for EVERYTHING!

Oven Thermometer – This is a must.  I always wondered why my chocolate chip cookies were always burning.  Came to find out my oven was off by 50 degrees!!

Measuring tools – You can’t really bake without measuring spoons and measuring cups.  Food chemistry depends on them.

Digital Kitchen Scale – This is very handy for those recipes that are measured by weight rather than volume.  Also great for people who need to weigh out portions for their diets.

Stainless Steel Whisk – Always use a stainless steel whisk.  They are rust resistant and they get the job done right.  A must have for scrambled eggs, sauces or anything you need to mix by hand.

High-Heat Rubber Spatula – You’ll use this everyday.  A great way to scoop up all that expensive food product that usually gets left behind in the bowl.  Also works great for cooking scrambled eggs!

Microplane – There are countless uses for this tool.  I bought this mainly for the purpose of zesting citrus fruits, but I also use it to mince ginger, garlic, and onion and grate nutmeg & chocolate.

Magic Bullet – While I was in culinary school, my husband surprised me and bought a Magic Bullet.  At the time, I thought of it as an expensive, useless gadget.  But after a couple months, I found many uses for it–puree soups, make hummus, blend pesto, grind spices… It’s also really compact–great for small kitchens.  It ended up being one of the best buys “we” ever made!