I am a kitchen gadget fanatic. Try as I might to cull the ever-growing craziness that flows from my kitchen cabinets, counters, and shelves….it’s a losing battle. I can’t stop, and when I get rid of something, I have to replace it with something else. There are a few that I probably don’t use enough to really justify keeping them around, but when you are DIY-er like I am, you can stand to have a stash of useful tools. Still, there are some I use more than others. Here are my top ten kitchen tools, including small appliances.
10) Cuisinart Food Processor. The old school kind, with the paddle switch to control the functions, not the “newfangled” keypad buttons. By the way, the one in the link is way fancier than mine. It’s very basic! The simpler something is, the less likely it is to break….or at least that’s my philosophy. I use it for salsa, pesto, hummus, pastry doughs, etc., etc.
9) The mixer bowl from my KitchenAid stand mixer. I love my mixer but the bowl is indispensable. Since it’s large I can use it for all manner of functions, including raising bread dough…and since it has a handle, it’s easy to…handle.
8) My KitchenAid stand mixer. Not only can I mix things in it…but when I have über thick bread doughs that are too exhausting to stir by hand, I use it for bread dough. I also make ice cream in it, and use it to whip cream. Oh, and I grind meat with it (using a special attachment). I am currently waiting for my KitchenAid grain mill attachment to arrive in the mail, and one of these days I’m going to get the pasta roller attachment. By the way, the one in the link is the same one I have (heavy-duty 5-quart) but costs like $450-$750. Mine did not cost that much. Nowhere near!
7) Whisks….a large balloon whisk, a medium-sized wire whisk, a small whisk, and a silicone whisk. There’s always a whisk in my diswasher. When I cook at my mom’s I take my own whisks (I’ve got to get her some!).
6) Pampered Chef stoneware-a large and mini bar pan, a pizza stone, and a deep covered baker. I preheat these in the oven and use them to bake pizzas, biscuits, free-formed bread, french fries, tortilla chips, and roasted chicken. Nothing sticks to them, and I love how the uglier they are the better they work.
5) Metal half-sheet pans. I have three and I want more. I buy them for like $9 at the restaurant supply store. They’re strong and sturdy and a much higher quality than the much more flimsy and much more expensive ones that you can purchase at Target, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, etc.
4) Wooden spoons and spatulas. Lots and lots of wooden spoons and spatulas. Actually, most of mine are bamboo, which I love because I can stick them in the dishwasher. They’re super sturdy and they’re great for stirring in my nonstick cookware. I use them every single day.
3) My beautiful Shun knives. Philip bought me a set for my birthday several years back and completed it with a slicer last year. They are sharp and gorgeous and decorate my wall on the magnetic strip better than any purchased art could. I am totally obsessed with honing them. The odds are good that I’ll never have to purchase another set of knives. They were expensive but totally worth it. If you don’t have good knives, know that they’re worth the cost to have good, sharp knives (dull knives are a real danger in the kitchen!). Do it!
2) Breville Burr Grinder. My first coffee grinder was just a little blade model, but once I really got serious about my freshly ground coffee, I knew that I had to upgrade. A burr grinder provides a more even texture, which results in a better cup of coffee because the extraction is better. And yes, freshly ground coffee is totally worth it.
1) Cuisinart coffee pot. Paired with number two, this is how I get my morning started. A gigantic cup of freshly ground coffee with honey and half and half. This is also an important part of Saturday and Sunday afternoons…..
It’s quite a collection I’ve amassed over the years. These are the things I use daily or weekly. What are your favorite tools?