Here are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and ingredients. Some items are on the pricy side, but I acquired them over many years. Keep in mind that you don’t need to run out and buy everything at once! I try to check these links periodically but if you notice something not working, leave a comment so I can fix it.
For an extended list of products and cookbooks I use at home, visit my Amazon Store!
- Vitamix Professional Series 200
I don’t know how I lived without this blender for so long. I know it’s expensive, but it’s so worth it if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Your soups, salad dressings, purees and smoothies will never be the same.
- KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer
Ideal for baking.
- Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor
I use my food processor for making pesto, dips, and dough. My model was passed down to me. That shows you how long they last!
- Digital Kitchen Scale
An absolute must for consistent baking. Shop around, it doesn’t need to be fancy.
- Stainless Steel Saucepan
You don’t need to get All-Clad, but please get stainless steel. I use this saucepan constantly.
- All-Clad Stainless Saute Pan with Lid
Perfect caramelization every time.
- Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Get some enameled cast-iron cookware for braising and soups.
- Sheet Pans
Get an assortment of sizes.
- Parchment Paper Sheets
I buy parchment sheets that are cut to fit my sheet trays. They’re fantastic. The parchment at the grocery store is rolled and I find trying to keep it flat a major annoyance.
- Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
I have an assortment of knives, but the one I use most often is my Global chef’s knife. Keep it sharp with a stone and a honing steel. The sharper the knife, the less likely you are to injure yourself.
- Rubbermaid High Heat Spatula
I almost never use wood spoons. Heat proof spatulas are the way to go.
- OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tong
I use these constantly. They’re my second pair of hands in the kitchen.
- Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls
Buy a set with an assortment of sizes.
- Ove’ Glove Hot Surface Handler
The best I’ve found for handling hot surfaces. They have a grip and can go in the washing machine.
- OXO Good Grips Bench Scraper
Find one with a ruler. It’s useful when working with dough and butter. Use the ruler for making even cuts.
- French Rolling Pin
French rolling pins are better. More surface space.
- OXO Good Grips Peeler
Make sure you have a good, sharp peeler.
- Norpro Silicone Mise en Place Bowls
Measure everything out before you start.
- Plugra European-Style Butter
It has more fat and makes every thing taste better. Many grocery stores carry it, you just have to look closely.
Try swapping out onions with shallots in a recipe. They elevate the flavors and are standard in restaurant cuisine.
- Vendage Wines
I always keep 2 bottles of wine in the refrigerator: Vendage Chardonnay and Vendage Cabernet. These are the wines we used at culinary school and I think they do a great job at a reasonable price. I use a wine vacuum seal to keep them fresh until needed. They’re perfect for sauces.
- Homemade Stock
It’s not difficult and it will last forever in the freezer. Store-bought stock is really broth, and it’s full of sodium.
- Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark
24% cocoa fat!
- The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity
I reach for this this book more than any other cookbook, though it doesn’t actually contain recipes. It includes thousands of ingredients, alphabetized and cross-referenced with with other compatible ingredients. It’s the perfect reference tool for kitchen creativity.
- The Best New Recipe
I use this cookbook for reference on a weekly basis.
- The Perfect Scoop
I’m a bit of an ice cream addict. This book has some of the most delicious, unique recipes I’ve ever tried. The milk chocolate stout ice cream is worth the price alone.
- Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating
This is the book that started me on my food journey. It has fantastic recipes, but it’s mostly an encyclopedia of top quality ingredients. Learn about balsamic vinegars, olive oil, bread, cheese, rice. Read about their regions, how they’re made, which brands to buy. My description cannot properly do this book justice. Just get it. Also, the Zingerman‘s website sells top notch ingredients. I trust their selection of oils and vinegars over anyone else.