8 tools everyone needs in their kitchen, according to chefs
Do you have all eight?
Do you consider yourself a serious home chef? Or are you just looking for new kitchen gadgets? With so many different options to choose from, it’s hard to know which tools really make a difference when trying to cook a special meal.
So we asked professional chefs what they use at home and at work. Their responses are both helpful and surprising. Here are eight tools that everyone needs in their kitchen, according to experts.
Related: These 10 cool kitchen products will up your cooking game
Stainless steel kitchen utensils
There are many types of cookware, but chef Sydney Willcox of Restaurant Associates tells me that stainless steel is the best choice for cooking at home. “It’s a great conductor of heat and a thick material, so it’s very efficient at cooking at high temperatures and maintaining that high heat. It’s also extremely durable and can last a lifetime if cared for properly,” says Willcox.
Another reason to opt for stainless steel cookware? It can be used to cook anything as it is a non-reactive material. “It will lend itself particularly well to foods that do better at higher temperatures, such as steak, or anytime you want to achieve golden browning or caramelization,” the chef explains.
In terms of specific pieces, she recommends a classic skillet between 9 and 12 inches with slanted sides, a skillet, an 8-quart soup or stockpot, and a 4-quart soup stockpot.
Related: How to Clean Stainless Steel Surfaces and Appliances Without Chemicals
Do you have trouble slicing or cutting vegetables thinly? Chef Fernando Navas, executive chef and owner of BALVANERA in New York advises keeping a Benriner Japanese mandolin in your kitchen. “I discovered it while working at Nobu and it’s been a staple of mine ever since. It’s super light and precise and easy to work with. It’s also super sharp. You can use it on anything “, he explains.
But Navas is not the only chef to praise this tool. Executive chef Amy Sur-Trevino of Ferry + Main in New Hope, Pennsylvania is also a fan, calling her a favorite. “The Benriner Mandoline comes with a range of easily adjustable blades for different needs – stays sharp longer to provide the perfect cut for any dish.”
Want to make margaritas or just brighten up a glass of water? Navas suggests keeping a metal juicer handy. “At home, our simple metal juicer wins the prize; daisy magic. This tool is easy to store and clean and is relatively inexpensive.
A reliable blender
Whether you’re making a smoothie or a soup, everyone needs a blender. Sur-Trevino loves the Vitamix Ascent series. “This blender can cover almost any recipe in our arsenal. Ideal for the perfect sauce consistency. Amazing for soups, smoothies, dips or frozen desserts too,” says Sur-Trevino.
A sharp knife
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to cook with a dull knife. Vasiliki Vourliotaki, Executive Chef at Kellari Tavern tells me: “Walking into a kitchen without a sharp knife is like going to war without a weapon.
A dutch oven
Vourliotaki also thinks everyone needs a Dutch oven in their kitchen. They are excellent multitaskers. “These pans can do the same job as a casserole dish or saucepan. You can cook, steam, poach or even bake! The perfect slow cooker too. The lid helps keep all the moisture in the pan, so it’s great for moist heat cooking,” she says.
Serious home chefs know the importance of food presentation. Executive chef Matteo Limoli of Hudson House in New Jersey recommends the Paderno 30cm tongs. “It’s the perfect tong to help you quickly roll out any long-shaped pasta while giving you the most sophisticated presentation,” says Limoli.
Who doesn’t love cheese on a salad or a bowl of fresh pasta? Executive Chef Joseph Tartamella of Felina, New Jersey recommends using a microplane zester/grater. “I love using one to grate cheeses like Pecorino and Parmigiano, giving the cheese a snowy effect when plating.”
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