I’ve been running professional kitchens over a decade (OMG OVER A DECADE?!!?!?! WTF… anyway) and very good chef has their favorite set of tools they carry. Ask any of them. We spend hundreds of dollars curating a collection of tools for our knife kits. It’s almost like a right of passage. My work buddies and I always show off any new toys we’ve acquired, a new knife, a cool spoon, any of our knick knacks we chose that we felt were practical and pretty. One year for Adams birthday I bought him a super cool pocket knife I ended up borrowing for work (for a long time until he took it back). It’s almost like a Swiss Army Knife with a bunch of other trinkets attached and every time I’d use it the guys would admire it and of course I’d be like: “Oh this ol’ thing…”. We like to keep pocket knives on our uniform to break down boxes or just a tool to have if your away from your actualkit. The same way I have my favorite “go to” items in my knife bag for work, I have my favorite items for my home. I literally use these everyday or just about. Some of these are simple items but def my go to’s. I cook at home a couple times a week so having the right tools and my favorite tools makes life so much easier. What tools are in your kitchen that you HAVE TO have? Here’s a list of my faves.
1. A great cutting board. This is almost like the foundation; where it all starts. I LOVE my cutting board. It’s heavy duty and so pretty. I’ve had my board for a good 8 years maybe and this guy is looking as pristine as the day I bought it. It does require some maintenance but it’s SO worth it. It’s a great addition to any kitchen. The year I got this cutting board I bought a beautiful kitchen island and i knew that I HAD to have a beautiful board to put on it. Years later that board is the one item that is used everyday in my kitchen.
2. Second most important is a good knife. I can’t stress this enough. A well taken care of knife is obviously my tool of choice. I recently bought this one and so far I love it. I like my knives to have some weight on them and this is just in the middle, not too light.
3. The cast iron pan I have my mother gave me. I hope to pass my cast iron to one of my kids some day. A seasoned cast iron pan is so versatile in a kitchen. You can easily take it from baking to shallow frying. You can even put that puppy on an open flame. Def great investment, it’ll literally outlive you if you take care of it.
4. A fish spatula. I prefer to use this type of spatula because it doesn’t have too much surface coverage so food doesn’t stick to it easily and it has enough give so it’s not too floppy. EVERY chef has one or more in their knife kit. And it’s not just for fish either people! I use it for anything that needs to be flipped.
5. Dude, I love Pyrex so hard… it’s unhealthy. For a long time I was buying those disposable plastic storage containers they sell at the grocery store that are all flimsy and you end up having a cupboard full of all this disposable plastic crap that starts missing lids out of nowhere and attacks you every timeyou open the cabinet door! Well, I made the executive decisions to throw all those away and invest in the Pyrex storage set and it’s seriously one of the best decisions. We have great antique shops in San Antonio and I love all the vintage Pyrex in pretty pastel colors. I should really start a collection.
6. I mean, anything Le Creuset or Staub is legit. I got some of these Mini Cocotte as a gift, one in orange and another in heart shaped red. I use them to store my salt and garlic. These are on my countertop 24/7 next to my cutting board.
7. A set of spatulas is great to have for simple sandwich making to icing a cake. I used mine last week to make crepes. I prefer the offset because I usually use them for more delicate tasks and the offset gives a little more reach.
8. Kitchen shears are so boss. You can almost clean a whole chicken with them. I use mine to trim fins off fish and a TON of butchers twine. It’s good to have a set of shears specifically for the kitchen to prevent any food getting on the scissors your kid uses to do homework.
9. I know this isn’t some small kitchen tool but this has to be by far my favorite appliance in the kitchen, especially in my home kitchen. Baking is SO much easier with a stand mixer. They have a ton of attachments which is where all the fun starts. A pasta maker, sausage maker and so on. I’m sure theres an extensive list of KitchenAid attachments. I was fortunate enough to get one as a gift many moons ago. It’s beautiful to have on your countertop and so useful too. If you can… treat yo self!