If someone asked me to name my “Top 5″ cooking tools, it would be a tough decision. But here’s what I would go with:
1) My “Go to” Knives:
Years ago, I bought a set of Wustof knives. I love them, but there is one that I use everyday. It’s the Wustof Classic 5″ Tomato Knife (pictured below, right). It it is the most comfortable and versatile knife I have ever used. At our house, we use it for EVERYTHING. I think one of my girlfriends recommended it … maybe Stacey or Danielle?
My other “go to” knives are the Shun 6″ Utility Knife (pictured below, left) and the Shun Paring Knife. The utility knife will cut through anything (think artichokes, pineapple, etc.) And the paring knife is so sharp and precise, I was afraid to use it at first.
2) Mini Measuring Cup:
I have two of these tiny measuring cups (shot glass size) … which I use almost everyday. They are the greatest for measuring small amounts of liquids (teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces). I always use one when a recipe calls for multiple tablespoons of liquid. Don’t you hate it when you’ve used all your measuring spoons for liquids and now you need to measure dry ingredients? With these, you can save your measuring spoons for dry ingredients.
These come in handy when you are doubling recipes. And, they also serve as a great conversion tool (e.g., Tablespoons to Ounces, etc.)
This is the best tool for grating or zesting. I use this frequently with ginger, citrus, hard cheeses, chocolate, nutmeg and more. It’s so easy to use with the handle — and easy to clean up.
4) Apple iPad:
I never thought an iPad would be so valuable in the kitchen! (Jeff laughs at this, as he kept telling me that it was a “household appliance” that we would all use in every room of the house.)
I do use the iPad everyday — reading news and my RSS feeds (from blogs I subscribe to) every morning. But it comes in extremely handy in the kitchen! I use it to look up recipes all the time. And, I often use it to type in several ingredients (which are in our fridge) to see what recipe ideas it can come up with for dinner. And that’s just using Google Search on the iPad (and not any of the cooking apps).
Personally, I would have waited for the price to come down before buying an iPad. But being married to a “gadget and technology geek” does have it’s benefits! In our family, someone is always using the iPad.
5) Cook’s Illustrated Magazine:
In my opinion, this is the best cooking magazine available. The recipes are tested thoroughly to find the best methods to make a particular recipe. They include the “scientific” information behind the food selection and cooking processes — for people like my husband. And, they provide several options to many recipes, to account for the differences in people’s tastes.
I subscribed to the magazine for many years (and have saved all my copies). Now, I just pick up a copy at Costco when I see new recipes and like the monthly content.
- My Immersion Blender — it’s great for blending/pureeing soups and sauces.
- Onion Goggles – I cry every time I chop onions. No more with my funky new goggles (a gift from the kids!)