09 December 2011
Kitchen equipment and gadgets make me happy. I have some gadgets I never use, and I knew when I bought them I would never use them! But they don't take up much space, so ... But, like most of us, I don't have room in the kitchen for big items I don't use. Deciding what I really need and want to keep and what is simply taking up space and might be actually needed by someone else is a good thing to do once a year.
A massive garage purging, some of it excess kitchen stuff, inspired this list of 10 Favorite Pieces of Kitchen Equipment. First on the list, of course, is my tea "equipage"--all things tea, from kettles to sugar tongs. After that, the items are in no particular order.
And since the photo above is of whisks, and whisks aren't even on the list, I should tell you about them. Left to right: OXO Good Grips Nylon Balloon Whisk, a stainless steel balloon whisk, 15-inch Danish dough whisk from King Arthur Flour and an English cake whisk I got in England long ago. These are all frequently used items.
10 Favorite Pieces of Kitchen Equipment
Tea Equipage: Love my 1.8-quart white Chantal Enamel-On-Steel Classic Teakettle with two-tone Hohner harmonica whistle! For large parties (or even office use) there's my Zojirushi CV-DYC40 Super VE 4-Liter Vacuum Electric Dispensing Pot. Read my equipment review for more details.
Knives: I don't think most of us really need as many knives as a lot of us have. A good chef's knife, paring knife and bread/serrated slicer take care of most tasks quite nicely. My current favorite is the Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife. Read my equipment review for more details.
Salad Spinner: I can't believe the number of people who still don't have a salad spinner. I've had the same one for decades and can't imagine life without it. I don't even know what brand it is, but when it breaks I'm getting this one: OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner.
Manual Can Opener: OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener. This is THE best can opener, manual or electric, I've ever had. Works so smoothly, there's just no need to have an electric one taking up valuable counter space.
Roasting Pan: I made-do for years with a series of flimsy, handle-less, barely big enough roasting pans until I got fed-up one day and decided to invest in a "real" roasting pan that would not irritate me every time I used it and would last my entire life and beyond. I got the 16x13x4-inch Calphalon stainless roaster with nonstick roasting rack and never looked back!
Half-Sheet Pan: I use these, Sheet Pan Half Size - 12-7/8'' x 17-3/4'' Heavy Duty, 13 Gauge, for everything from cookies and hand pies to sheet cakes that will feed a crowd. They can also be pressed into service whenever you need an extra tray.
Dutch Oven: A Dutch oven (or French oven, as my favorite brand calls it) is a must. I have three, all enameled cast-iron: a 5-quart round Dutch oven, a 5.5-quart Le Creuset round French oven and a 6.75-quart oval French oven.
Scoop/Disher: You need a few different sizes for cookies and meatballs, as well as ice cream. This is my favorite for cookies and meatballs: 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher (13-0638) Category: Dishers. (I've never actually heard anyone say "disher;" have you?)
Ice Cream Maker: I love, love, love my Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream-Sorbet Maker. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can get the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment.
12-Inch Skillet: My All-Clad 5112 Stainless 12-Inch Fry Pan (flared sides) is probably the most frequently used skillet and takes the place of a 10-inch straight-sided skillet I used to have (you don't need both). If you already have that, a 12-inch straight-sided skillet is a good thing to have.
Of course, this list is far from comprehensive. What do you consider essential in your kitchen? And what do you love so much you keep it around even though you never actually use it?
Update 11/27/14: 10 Favorite Kitchen Essentials
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