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.
- Victorinox steak knife set. This set has been on my wish list for years.
- Lodge Logic 12-inch pre-seasoned cast iron skillet: Cast iron is as versatile and sturdy as it gets. Take care of cast iron, and it will last all your life.
- 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.
- Oxo Good Grips cutting board
But if you’ve got someone who wants to get you a beautiful, heirloom cutting board that you’ll hand down to your kids, get this one.
- Oxo Good Grips 3-piece stainless-steel mixing bowl set, or consider this multicolored bamboo bowl set.
- MIU stainless-steel 7-piece measuring cup set: The king of measuring cups.
- Progressive International 5-piece magnetic measuring spoons: Conveniently stick together for easy storage.
- Le Creuset Dutch oven: Still on my wish list.
- A couple of wooden spoons come in handy.
- Make your omelets in this nonstick pan.
- The king of all instant-read thermometers: the Thermapen, one of my favorite gadgets of any kind.