I love kitchen tools. Spoons, tongs, beautiful cast iron. I spend time
perusing kitchen stores and the kitchen aisle at discount stores. I
received a “vintage” Pyrex double boiler for Christmas and I was like
a kid with a new bicycle.
I know there are many lists when it comes to tools and gadgets,
but I wanted to list a few of my favorite items. This
is by no means an essentials list. I do try to steer clear of “One use
Wonders” (or as Alton Brown might say, uni-taskers), and purchase
quality kitchen items.
Tongs– a good pair of locking tongs is a must-have in my opinion.
There are several brands out there but I am partial to http://amzn.to/gMHjGi , they are sturdy, you can throw them in the dishwasher, and they’re are easy to store because they lock. I purchased mine a local discount store, but this brand is readily available.
Good Sharp Knives – I was lucky enough to receive a set of Furi
Knives as a gift. My set includes a paring knife, a
santuko (my go-to), a bread knife, a chef’s knife (2nd favorite), and
serrated utility knife. A few other great brands are out there
(Henckels, Wustof, etc.), but theses have served me well for
years and they are affordable.
If you are unsure of what you need for your kitchen, I would start off
with a chef’s knife (about 8″), a santuko (5-7″), an offset bread
knife (my bread knife is not offset and works just fine, but if I
was buying a new one I would get an offset knife), and a paring knife.
Of course, the key to any knife is keeping it sharp. There are several
places here in Richmond that sharpen knives. Some charge by the inch, others
by the knife. You can keep an edge on your knife with a steel, but a
few times a year I would highly recommend having your knives
This is a link to a set similar to the one I have http://amzn.to/eAl3FZ
Mandoline – Not a necessity, but a great tool. Warning, USE THE
HAND GUARD! I had an incident involving a freshly washed potato that
left an inch scar, OUCH!. This is great for slicing veggies to a uniform thickness (think
scalloped potatoes), also makes waffle and julienne cuts. Again, check
discount stores and online to find one that suits your budget.
Salt Pigs/Salt Cellars – by no means are these a necessity. I happen
to collect salt pigs, and think they are a great addition to kitchen
decor, and are practical. I have a bamboo one that can house two
types of salt; on top I keep flake salts for finishing, and in the
bottom I keep my everyday salt, either sea salt or kosher. You’ll see a
lot of TV chefs use these, to make it easy to pinch or spoon measure salt into your dishes.
Also, I am hoping everyone is
using a pepper grinder and not buying the pre-ground from the can.
More on fresh spices and herbs another time.
Food Processor-I feel this is a must-have for every kitchen.
I use for blending, grating, chopping, etc., I even make pie crust in mine.
Again, find one that fits your budget, but make sure it’s a quality
product that will last. I inherited mine from my mother and it is over
25 years old.
Of course there are other essentials, wooden spoons, measuring cups,
mixing bowls, pots and pans (another entry to come about those as
well). Send me your questions and I will try to
Answer. I am by no means an “expert” but I am always share my experience and help
you find answers.