Written by Laura Klein
- 8" or 10" Chef Knife. Owning a real chef's knife will change the way you think about chopping. It will make chopping much easier and make you a proud cook when you see how easy it is to make beautiful cuts. Some knives to consider are the Wusthof 10-in. Classic Black Wide Cook's Knife or Henckels 10-in. Pro S Chef's Knife. The secret to easy and safe chopping is keeping your knife sharp!
- The Ruler. I can't tell you how many times I've been cooking or baking and I've pulled out my handy ruler to measure the dimension of a pan when the size has rubbed off, or I want to make an exact cut (yes I am somewhat of a perfectionist).
- Cutting Boards. Why is it important to have a good one? The number one reason is sanitation. A good chopping block or cutting board will also help keep your knives sharp. I recommend keeping at least two cutting boards in the kitchen. I however have six, all different sizes and shapes. Believe me, they come in handy when throwing a huge dinner party and your friends want to help you in the kitchen. Let's not forget the small handy cutting boards that are great for throwing a block of cheese on or an appetizer. I recommend bamboo cutting boards as bamboo is a sustainable material. Check out the Totally Bamboo 11.5x14.5 Bamboo Cutting Board.
- Dental Floss. Believe it or not, it is handy to have dental floss in the kitchen. Use it to cut anything that is gooey or sticks to a knife and you need a clean cut like cheese cake.
- Kitchen Scale. Having a kitchen scale can be a real life saver. If you need to know how many pounds of tomatoes you have in the kitchen for tonight's pasta sauce, whip this sucker out and weigh them! Then you'll know if you need to make that last minute trip to the store.
- Potato Ricer. Do you or your family love mashed potatoes? Using a potato ricer to mash your potatoes will give you the elegant fluffy mashed potatoes you find in five-star restaurants. The potato ricer can also be used on turnips, carrots and other root vegetables. This kitchen utensil resembles a large garlic press. Check out the Cuisipro 9-in. Potato Ricer
- Zip Lock Bags. These handy baggies can be used in place of a pastry bag. Fill up the bag with whatever you might be decorating with, like buttercream, cut off one corner and you have a ready made pastry bag! For savory cooking you can use them to pound steak or chicken. The best part, it is disposable and easy to throw away.
- Scissors. A must have for any kitchen. When you want to snip that fresh basil and oregano from your organic garden for your tomato sauce, a pair of scissors will do the trick. Use them to trim chives to finish your sauce.
- Fine mesh strainer or chinois. A fine mesh strainer or chinois comes in very handy when you start to overcook your hollandaise or curdle your sauce. With this handy tool, you can strain out your mistakes or items you don't want your guests to eat such as seeds in a raspberry sauce. Or you can use it to strain your beautiful sauce or soup!
- Offset spatula for frosting those special cakes. These spatulas make frosting a cake a snap. I also use this tool to smooth out custards, creams or any dish that needs a smooth flat finish. This spatula is an essential tool for any baker.