I enjoy cooking. Especially after moving to a mostly primal/paleo way of eating more than four years ago, I’ve taken over the family kitchen almost completely. Cooking is yet another outlet for my love of thoughtfully designed tools and gadgets. I have been asked recently, especially by couples putting together wedding gift registries, to share a list of tools I recommend.
Here’s my current list of recommended kitchen tools:

  • Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife: You really need just about three good knives, but you can probably do just fine with only a chef’s knife. This Victorinox gets rave reviews and is very affordable. Many restaurant kitchens are stocked with this knife. If you’re willing to spend more money on a chef’s knife, try this Wusthof. And if you want an heirloom, check out Bloodroot Blades, a blacksmith shop in Athens, GA, where they repurpose old metal like saw blades and files for amazing custom made knives. (Their straight razor is a beauty, too.)
  • Always grind pepper as you need it. Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill: I LOVE this pepper mill. Here’s a smaller, less expensive key-top version. Here’s a new pepper mill contender: this highly rated model from a different company doesn’t have the one disadvantage of the Unicorn – it was too easy to accidentally open the hole where you fill the peppercorns. This model looks like a great choice.
  • Get a knife magnet to store your knives on the wall instead of in a drawer or in a block.
  • Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press: The Porsche of garlic presses. Has a good heft to it and is very efficient and easy to clean.
  • Half sheet pan (get 2): We use these pans often. I bake big batches of bacon in them weekly. (Baking bacon is much neater and more effective than frying it. Bacon comes out flat and crisp.) We use these pans to bake green beans and broccoli and sweet potato fries. Also a good size for prepping food for the grill.
  • Oxo Good Grips locking tongs: These tongs are very useful. I would get all three sizes. I use the small ones daily, and the long ones are perfect for grilling.
  • The Aeropress coffee maker gets raves from coffee nerds. I use it every morning to make my wife’s coffee, and it’s just fun to use and easy to clean. (I’m a tea man, myself.) Nice video tribute to the Aeropress here. My wife has this coffee bean grinder, and it works great.
  • This tea glass is beautiful and comes with a stainless steel infuser for loose leaf tea. Loose leaf is better than tea bags. I’m an Irish Breakfast tea fan.
  • The king of all instant-read thermometers: the Thermapen, one of my favorite gadgets of any kind.