I’ve been asked about my favorite cooking/kitchen tools and gadgets a bunch of times by readers, family, and friends. Here are some of my must-haves for the kitchen. Big or small, I really couldn’t live without these products:
1. My Cuisinart food processor – I use this almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s great for pesto, sauces, pastry dough, homemade salsa…the list goes on and on!
2. My Blendtec blender – while this can definitely be considered an investment piece of equipment, I’ve gone through several other blenders over the years, and nothing compares to this one. Silky smooth purees, soups, sauces, and smoothies are pretty much guaranteed. I was not thrilled about spending so much on a blender (hello! I’d rather be buying shoes or handbags!), but it was soooo worth it.
3. My USA pans bakeware, specifically these, these, these, and these – this brand is the best non-commercial bakeware, in my opinion. Heavy-duty, durable, and nonstick. I use these all the time and plan to add to my collection.
4. Lodge cast-iron skillets – these are the workhorses of my kitchen. I have them in multiple sizes and use them for EVERYTHING, from cookies (on the grill!) to dips to roasting to braising. They are the best.
5. My Lodge Dutch ovens – I find these to be just as good as the pricier Le Creuset cookware but at a much more affordable price point. While I love Le Creuset, not everyone has $300 to invest in a single pot! A have a couple of these in varying sizes.
6. Speaking of Le Creuset, I love these spatulas – no other spatula compares when it comes to really getting every last drop of batter or sauce out of a bowl. They’re also perfect for cooking because they don’t melt! I also love the variety of colors and sizes available.
7. This coffee maker – I am not super picky when it comes to coffee (Dunkin Donuts is my most fav brew ever), but I love the idea of brewing freshly ground coffee, and this machine makes it so easy for both single cups and 12-cup carafes. It allows for complete customization for your perfect cup of coffee. It’s also a looker on my coffee cart. Can’t beat it’s sleek, stainless look. I spent a lot of time researching coffee makers after our Keurig bit the dust, and I have to say, this may be one of my most favorite kitchen purchases ever.
8. My OXO citrus juicer – I hate juicing fresh citrus by hand (I have weak hands!), and this makes it so easy to get ALL the juice out of the fruit. Love it.
9. These tongs – I use these for everything from flipping veggies on the grill to tossing salad. Super versatile and great quality.
10. This immersion blender – while the Blendtec is my preferred blender 95% of the time, I must say, sometimes I don’t feel like lugging it out of the cupboard and then cleaning the carafe when I’m done. For those times, I rely on this immersion blender. It makes pureeing a pot of creamy soup a cinch…with much less clean up. I love when I can puree right in the pot. It also makes homemade aioli in seconds with no whisking involved.
11. These glass storage containers – I have them in all shapes and sizes, and they are my go-to when it comes to storing prepped ingredients or cooked food. I love that they are glass instead of plastic, BPA free, and very easy to clean (no guck gets melted into these like you often see with plastic containers). They go from the fridge to the microwave to the dishwasher seamlessly.
12. Good-quality knives – I have been accumulating nice knives for years now. They are definitely an investment for your kitchen, but probably the most worthwhile of them all. Sharp, high-quality knives are safer to use (no slipping because of a dull blade), and much more efficient (they make so many aspects of food prep so much easier!). Once you slice and dice with a good knife, it’s really hard to go back to your old ways. I really like the Shun brand. These are my favorites:
Bread knife (this thing is a beast)
Carving/filet knife (this makes breaking down a roast or piece of fish a breeze)
13. These prep bowls – I use them every day for all sorts of things. Easy to clean and durable.
14. Le Creuset and Pyrex baking dishes – in addition to my USA pans, I love these for lasagnas, mac and cheese, and casseroles. I know Pyrex gets a bad rap sometimes because of breakage, but I have not run into this myself. I love that they come with lids as well.
What tools do you love/cannot live without in the kitchen? Tell me!
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