Kitchen tools and accessories get me excited in a way which is only rivaled by office supplies. Some weekends, Johnny and I spend an afternoon perusing the surfeit of extraneous gadgets in Bed Bath & Beyond or politely declining the helpful salespeople of Williams-Sonoma. This is a dangerous game to play, though, as what begins as an innocent errand to purchase kitchen twine ends in a package of silicone trussing loops and a mandoline.
However enthusiastic I am for new kitchen tools, there are several faithful standbys that I cannot do without. They make cooking easier, faster, or simply more enjoyable. I haven’t been compensated for advertising these things, although they are products I fully endorse!
- Narrow measuring spoons from Williams-Sonoma: These stainless steel spoons are perfect in every way. The measurement is etched into the handle of the spoon, so it will not rub off. They are dishwasher safe. They are narrow enough to easily fit into most spice jars. These spoons are plain, unadorned, and absolutely essential. $16
- Oneida round pizza stone from Bed Bath & Beyond: While preheating the pizza stone is a long process, it’s well worth the time. This stone ensures every pizza has a crisp and even crust, regardless if it’s frozen or fresh. It can also be used to cook anything that requires a crispy crust, like frozen egg rolls. I typically cook everything directly on the stone; I like to think of the process as “seasoning”, although I suspect it’s closer to “laziness” as I have never washed the stone. $15
- Cuisinart Mini Prep food processor (link goes to Amazon, also available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma): A mini food processor may seem like a waste of money, but it’s worth its weight in gold for the time it saves. It can be used to mince or puree vegetables for sauces or soups. It can be used to break up chunky canned tomatoes. It can be used to grate cheese. Best of all, you can put it in the dishwasher. Second best of all, it is much more easily stored than the behemoth that is a regular food processor. $33
- Large Butcher Block from Totally Bamboo: You may think a cutting board is a cutting board, but it’s not so. This enormous, heavy bamboo cutting board has changed my life. It’s durable enough to sustain years of heavy use, large enough to chop anything, and the non-slip feet prevent the board from wiggling around during vigorous chopping. While it demands hand washing and the occasional oiling, it’s a fair exchange. $120
- Wusthof Classic knife set from Williams-Sonoma: Good knives make cooking easier, faster, and safer. This set from Wusthof has served us well for years. They are well-made, feel good in the hand, and maintain a very sharp edge. The set is expensive; if I had to recommend one knife from the whole set, it would be the 5″ Hollow-Ground Santoku ($85). I recommend saving up for the set, though, as these have made chopping a much more pleasant and less dangerous task than it used to be. $400
- OXO Good Grips Medium Grater from Amazon: A box grater is unwieldy and, more often than not, makes a mess. A hand grater is useful for grating cheese, zesting citrus, or grating spices like nutmeg. This piece from OXO is durable, dishwasher safe, and affordable. $10
Of course, there are many other kitchen tools I use when cooking (measuring cups, pans, citrus reamer, et cetera), but these are the things that I love! They’re also things I wholeheartedly recommend- I’ve used them in my kitchen with excellent results.
What kitchen tools and gadgets do you use? What can’t you do without?