As you might suspect, I cook…a lot. Whether I’m making salads, soups, entrees or desserts, I find myself using the same kitchen tools over and over again. Friends and readers often ask me what my favorite tools and gadgets are, so I thought it was high time that I put together a list of my top 10 favorite kitchen tools. There’s a little bit of everything here, from the bigger items (that will hopefully last for years) to some simple tools that you may or may not already use in your kitchen.
Whether you are stocking your own kitchen drawers with the must-have tools or looking for gift ideas for newlyweds, there may be something on here that catches your eye.
If you’ve stopped by my blog before, you likely know that the Everyday Pan from Calphalon is, without a doubt, the most used pan in my kitchen. In our house, it lives up to its name…we truly use it everyday, for everything from eggs to stir-fried veggies to risotto. My mother-in-law bought this pan for us several years ago because she found that she was using hers almost exclusively. Trust me…you want this one in your cooking arsenal.
See it on Amazon: Simply Calphalon Nonstick 12″ Everyday Pan & Cover
OXO Cookie Scoops
These handy tools from OXO may be called “cookie scoops”, but we use them for so much more, particularly meatballs and muffin batter. I use the medium and large scoops the most, but the small one can come in handy if you’re making mini muffins or cookies.
There’s nothing important than having a flimsy, dull chef’s knife when prepping dinner. This Shun knife feels great in my hand and slices through veggies and meat beautifully. I have the 10-inch knife, but if you prefer something smaller, they also have an 8-Inch version. If you’re a cooking beast, you might want to go for the 12-inch.
Are these the cheapest knives around? Nope. But the money is well worth it when you find yourself still using these knives 20 years from now.
Glass bowl set
When I’m prepping food or storing leftovers in the fridge, I use far too many bowls. My glass bowl set has been going strong for almost 15 years and are some of the most-used items in my kitchen. There are several good sets available, such as this one and this one, and they are very reasonably priced.
Le Creuset French Oven
The French ovens from Le Creuset have been around for years for a good reason. They are the perfect size for soups, risottos and stews, and they last forever. I was lucky enough to inherit my grandparents’ Le Creuset that they made curry in for years and years, and it looks as though it came straight from the factory just yesterday.
OXO Measuring cups
Once you use these measuring cups, you will never use any others. The beauty of these OXO measuring cups is that you can look from above to gauge the correct amount of liquid, rather than stooping down to examine the measuring cup at eye level. They come in various sizes and we have two of each…they are THAT good.
See it on Amazon: OXO 3-Piece Measuring Cup Set
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this slow cooker from KitchenAid. It’s 6 quarts, which means that it can fit a huge amount of food, there are four different temperature settings (including “warm” to maintain the temperature of cooked food) and you can set the timer so your meal will stop cooking even if you’re not home (it automatically switches to the warm setting).
See it on Amazon: KitchenAid 6 Quart Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel
In my early cooking years, I never saw the use for cast-iron skillet. Now I wonder what I was thinking because there is nothing like a steak or pork tenderloin seared in a cast-iron pan, then finished in the oven. Seriously, the crust on the outside is like no other! Cast-iron pans are also great for making hashes and for pretty much any camping meal.
See it on Amazon: Lodge 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet
Yeah, I know…this is the third OXO item on the list. Their products are just so functional that I can’t help but fill my kitchen with their products. In my post on Portion Control for Weight Loss & Healthy Living, I talked about how helpful the OXO scale was in helping me to figure out the proper portions for my meal. This scale also has a handy feature…you can pull out the display so that it can still be viewed when large bowls are on the scale.
See it on Amazon: OXO Stainless Steel Food Scale
There are several things that I love about these cutting boards. First, they are dishwasher safe. Score! Second, the surface is safe for all knives, meaning that it won’t dull or damage them. Also, the cutting boards are heat resistant up to 350 degrees F, so they can double as trivets for serving.
See it on Amazon: Prep Series Cutting Boards by Epicurean, 2 Piece
What are your favorite kitchen tools? Are there any others that you would add to this list?
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