Plumbers, electricians and carpenters have tools they rely on to get the job done right.
Cooks and bakers have their own tools of the trade. Each is essential to achieving great results.
Mine are organized in a custom island. A drawer for measuring cups and spoons. Another for knives. Pots and pans. Cake molds and pie dishes. Mixing bowls. Slots for cookie sheets.
The running joke is that if I went blind, I could still find anything. There is a place for everything and everything in its place.
Were repeatedly asked about recommended essentials.
Here is the list of what I cannot do without.
silicone spatulas – Two sizes, two styles. Heat-resistant and one-piece (even when machine-washed two-piece spatulas can still trap bacteria). The rounded, pointed tip ensures nothing is wasted in a bowl or pan.
Years ago Mom demonstrated how much cake batter can be left over if you use a spoon. Two to three tablespoons can change the size of a cake.
Wire whisks – Two sizes for small or large recipes. Nothing keeps lumps in gravy or sauce better or makes scrambled eggs fluffier than a wire whisk.
Spoons – A wood for candy making (it can take the temperature) a split to remove solids from liquids and a solid to get everything.
Egg-turning spatulas – A strong silicone to transform fried eggs, pancakes or any grilled sandwich. A stainless steel slot for flipping burgers on the grill.
meat fork – Keep cooked meat, chicken or fish stable while cutting. Use it to pierce thick cuts to enhance flavor with a dry rub or marinade before cooking. It is easier to remove cooked meat or poultry from a pan.
pliers – As a safe extension of your hands while cooking or grilling. Use tongs to flip steaks or chops on the grill; pierce them with a fork and the essential juices flow out.
Stainless steel mixing bowls – Nested for better use of space, too many uses to list.
quality knives – 10 inch French (carving, chopping, chopping), serrated (slicing fruit, tomatoes, bread, dividing layers of cake), 6 inch chef’s knife (all purpose), paring knives in two sizes .
Have your knives sharpened once a year, preferably before the holidays. This makes work easier and an accidental cut with a sharp knife heals faster.
kitchen scissors – Chop herbs, chop dried fruit or dates, shape parchment paper to line cake pans, and even split a whole chicken across the spine to lay it flat for roasting.
vegetable peeler – A thick handle makes it easier to grip when peeling something slippery.
Measuring cups – There is a difference. Use stacked metal cups for dry ingredients and Pyrex pitchers for liquids (also useful for boiling water, melting butter or chocolate in the microwave). Have 2 cups and 4 cups.
measuring spoons – Use for dry or liquid ingredients.