A friend asked me yesterday what kitchen tools I use the most, as a scratch cook. Here are the Top 10, in no particular order. Everything available on Amazon, unless specified.
- Ball jars. Easy to clean, easy to sterilize, available in every size, and inexpensive. At K2.0, they store everything from chia seeds to croutons, applesauce to dried chilis. Plus, because they are glass, we can see the amount left inside the jar with a glance. Great for fast inventory before running to the store.
2. Chain Mail scrubber for cast iron pans. Delicate enough to respect the pan, tough enough to do the job well.
3. Atlas Pasta Machine for dough, crackers, whole wheat pasta.
4. Chinois strainer for everything from straining yogurt to making applesauce.
5. Cheese Lyre for über thin slices of cheese.
6. Metal and wood dish rack by Yamakazi. Minimal, small profile, unique and utilitarian. Find it at Food52.com
7. Kyocera Adjustable Mini Mandolin. Perfect for the small jobs when you want uniform slices but don’t want to drag out the big mandolin.
8. Victoria Tortilla Press. Good quality for a good price.
9. Cookbook/Tablet Stand by Yamakazi. We love the minimal design. K2.0 cookbook lives on this stand 24/7. Find it at Food52.com
10. Our Wüsthof knives round out the list. We know there are naysayers who say these knives are too heavy, but it’s all what you are used to, and these are our favorites. They have great balance, great hand-feel, and last forever as long as they are hand washed. Some of ours are over 30 years old, and they’re still going strong.
We don’t have any pots and pans listed here. We prefer high end brands like All Clad, LeCreuset and Calphalon; just not for the reasons you think. Our great-grandmother always said: “Poor people can’t afford to buy cheap things.” Wise advice. We started out with new pots and pans 30 years ago, but one by one, they failed us. Handles got loose, bottoms burned, and dents occurred. Over many, many years, by finding things on sale, we have finally replaced everything with the brands named above. They will never need replacing.
11. (Okay, we lied.) Bar Keeper’s Friend is the best cleaner out there. It’s great on stainless steel and cast iron cookware.
What are YOUR can’t-do-without cooking tools? Drop us a reply below, with the things you covet, and why!