Everyone has tools that they use all the time and we’d be lost without. I did a cooking class at a friend’s house recently and left my favorite spatula behind – you would have thought I left my dog there – I missed it so much! Yes, it’s probably weird that I have a favorite spatula.
In my quest to equip new cooks — including my 12 nieces and nephews — with solid recipes and other helpful cooking hints, I started downloading things from my brain onto my computer. I love getting texts asking things like “how does Grandmom make her crab soup?” and “Will you walk me through making chicken stock?” As they are starting to get their first places on their own, the texts and DMs have changed into “what knives do I really need?” and “what brand of pots and pans are the best ones in my price range?” And lots more, which warms my heart. I love my people so much.
So now, I am updating an old post to reflect the kitchen tools I love the most so they can see which things they should buy.
Microplane grater – grate cheese, zest lemons, mince garlic, onions, chocolate and more
OXO angled measuring cups – so easy to use – no more ‘eye balling’ your measurements
Victorinox chef’s knife – excellent quality for the price – I love this knife
Henckels paring knives – good quality for the price and the colors make them easy to find
Cuisinart immersion blender – great for soups, quick salad dressings
Black & Decker XL Blast Blender – an excellent choice when you can’t swing a Vitamix, purées soups very nicely, great for smoothies
Melamine mixing bowls – love these because they have no-slip bottoms and spouts, are very light and dishwasher-safe
Salt and pepper mills – using sea salt and peppercorns gives much fresher flavor and these mills are the best I have ever owned
Williams-Sonoma silicone spatulas – I have three and use them constantly, love my wooden spoons, too.
Bench Scraper – very helpful for moving chopped ingredients to a pan in one step, no dropping onions! Plus very useful in cutting dough when making bread, gnocchi and lots more.
Handheld Mandoline Slicer – I have found this to be much safer and easier than a traditional mandoline slicer.
Martha Stewart Dutch oven – very heavy when full, but you can make nice big batches of soups. Much more affordable than Le Creuset, which is important when you are starting out.
And, last but definitely not least — good basic kitchen towels – I like both the flour sack style and classics. I have a collection of favorites and use them over and over. And the Williams-Sonoma ones seem to really last. Workhorses.
And…my mom gifted her old cast iron skillet to me several years go. Circa 1955. (Get yourself a cast iron skillet!)
This list is just a starting point…there are so many other helpful kitchen tools out there. For example, I love my food processor, cutting boards, kitchen scale…the list could go on and on. And on.