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Monday, February 28, 2011

Indispensable Kitchen Tools

Tricia of Jonski Blogski Jonski Blogski challenged the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers to create a post in February about our most "indispensable kitchen tools".

So let's see, what are basic tools that I use every day and can't live without in the kitchen? At first I was thinking of things that I don't use very often but are handy when I do need them - like a submersible blender for soups and gravies, a scale for when I'm baking or weighing food for one reason or another, or my kitchenaid stand mixer, which I use for desserts more than anything else. The thing is, I don't use those items daily, and not even weekly. For tools that I really really can't live without, I had to get more basic.

The first thing that comes to mind are my knives.

Wusthof Classic 8Piece Block Set 8418

We never had fancy knives growing up and my mom is downright nervous around these things, but when I was getting married in 2006, the "thing to do" was to register for a fabulous set of knives and we were lucky enough to get these Wusthof Classics for our wedding! We also got the matching set of 6 steak knives but we don't need those as often so they don't make the "indispensable tools" cut! I was so pleased with how wonderful it was having a good quality knife in the kitchen that we got my mom a set and she enjoys them too - how did we cook for so long without them? It's one of those things. I use my super large chef's knife every day whether it is for cutting apples for a snack or chopping some onions and peppers for dinner mise en place. I even go as far as bringing it with me when we rent cottages for vacation. I love to do all the cooking on our vacations but I can't stand the crappy knives that the rental owners leave in the kitchens! (I don't blame them for stocking their rentals with crappy knives, actually, but I just work around it!)

Oneida® Colourgrip® Charcoal Handle Cutting Boards
Let's see, what else do I use in the kitchen all the time? Well with knives go cutting boards. I should probably just get a bunch of those plastic ones that can go into the dishwasher but I still have several wood ones. The Oneida ones shown above are dishwasher safe and I use them frequently. I particularly like the rubber ends which grip the countertop and mine also has a rim around it for catching juices and liquids - very handy. You just can't have your cutting board slip-sliding all around - you'll cut yourself! And you can't have juices leaking all over your counter, either. Honestly, every time some one mentions cutting boards on TV, they literally are changing their mind about whether wood or plastic is better. So I'm not about to throw out my wood ones yet, I just heard they were better last week! Ha. I try not to cut raw meat on any of my boards and just use a paper plate usually, just to make myself feel better sanitation-wise.

The third and final must-have item for me is my range. It was more expensive of a stove than The Husband was planning to get (this was before we were married), but it turns out the stupid layout in our kitchen meant that the dishwasher door would hit the handles of cheaper ranges so he got this Bosch gas stove, which is wonderful. Obviously I use this basically every day and it has never failed. I love gas stoves and I never want to go back to electric. That might be a problem when and if we ever get to move out into the country, but I'll deal with that then. Propane is expensive! For now, this is working out perfectly and the stove has gotten me through many-o-parties and entertaining, cake baking and simmering.

Well that sums up my most favorite kitchen basics. I use these items every day! Thanks for the challenge, Tricia!


  1. Nice post.

    Knives are absolutely important in the kitchen. I take mine on vacation as well. Hate cooking with crappy knives. On the downsite, I managed to leave my knife at my last vacation rental. Had to go and buy a new one.

    Envious of you gas stove. Love gas ranges. I'm so tired of my electric.

  2. Thanks for joining in! We put in a gas cooktop about 6 years ago, but I'm not experienced with gas ovens.

  3. Reading these posts about gadgets is so nice. I'd forgotten about my dear garlic press and a wooden spoon I'd be lost without, and now you're reminding me of our kitchen scissors. My mother-in-law recommended them when we were first married, and I simply took her at her word. I've not looked back since. Whenever we go visiting and are whipping up something for dinner with friends, I invariably ask for one. Often people have them, but sometimes they just give me a look, and I end up sharing my story. I've no idea how many folks have been converted or not, but I love mine to death.