Favorite tools

This page contains some of our favorite kitchen tools that we’ve purchased or had purchased for us by friends and family from our registries. I typically do a lot of research before purchasing anything or adding anything to a registry and this is a way in which this research can hopefully be useful to others, as well.

The page is divided into the following sections:

  • Our favorite favorites. The cream of the crop. These items are a pleasure to use and reasonably priced.
  • Splurges. These items are pricey but we think worth the splurge.
  • Cookbooks. Our go-to cookbooks.

Our favorite favorites

Cookie sheets (Circulon nonstick cookie pan set)

These cookie sheets are really non-stick, easy to clean, thick, sturdy, have great heat distribution, and come with a cooling rack. They will stay looking brand new for a long time if you’re good to them. We’ve gifted this set several times.

Cast-iron skillets (Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet)

Pans made out of cast iron, unlike any other pans, get better with time and last a lifetime. They can be used on both the stovetop, in the oven, even over open fires. They are fairly easy to clean with hot water and a good scrub brush. We also have silicone handle holders for ours, which I need in order to not forget to touch the handle and burn myself. We have them in 9-inch and 12-Inch and we have the 10.25-inch on our wishlist. We use ours for pizza, frying, dutch babies, and almost all other purposes except cooking acidic foods, which strip the seasoning.

Cast-iron dutch oven (2-quart Lodge pre-seasoned cast-iron dutch oven)

I got this cast iron pot specifically for making bread, and I wanted this size so I could make Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe, which requires the dough to take the shape of the pot. The recipe I use now could be made in a larger dutch oven as well, so if I had to do it over, I would probably get the larger size.

Immersion blender (Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed 200-watt Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments)

Immersion blenders are great for small tasks like making refriend beans, pizza sauce, guacamole, salsas, and smoothies and they’re easier to clean than regular blenders. The attachments are not as sleek and sturdy as the immersion blender but they can be useful. The small food processor attachment is helpful if you don’t have a food processor. We use it to chop nuts and onions (no more onion tears!). The whisk attachment is a life-saver if you don’t have a mixer but you need to perfect the angle at which you use it to prevent some serious splashing.

Stainless steel measuring spoons (Amco Advanced Performance Measuring Spoons)

These measuring spoons are thick and very sturdy. The curved handles allow them to stand up on their own. Some of the spoons are a bit wide and don’t easily fit inside some spice bottles but it’s a small price to pay for their quality and aesthetically pleasing shapes.

Stainless steel measuring cups (Amco Advanced Performance Measuring Cup Set)

These matching measuring cups are not as thick and sturdy as the spoons. For example, the smallest cup does not stand up on its own when it is empty. And they share with their matching spoons the disadvantage of their aesthetically pleasing but impractical wide shape which prevents them from fitting into containers in which other sets would. But they’re still great. They each have half-measurement marks inside and stack.

Tongs with heat-resistant heads (OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Tongs with Black Silicone Heads)

These stainless steel tongs with silicone coating are great because they can be used in any pan without having to worry about scratching the surface or about their coating melting. We use them when frying and for tossing salads. It doesn’t open as smoothly as I would like, so it took a bit of getting used to.

Splurges

A heavy-duty grater (Rosle medium grater)

We use this to grate cheeses and also to grate carrots, beets, and other vegetables. The plate doesn’t bend, not even when grating hard things. The curved base makes it easy to grate over a large bowl, and the covered feet make it easy to grate over a plate or cutting board. A splurge but we use it almost daily.

Pepper mill (Chef Specialties 10″ Imperial Walnut Pepper Mill)

We used to buy our peppercorns in single-use pepper grinders which we didn’t realize were frustrating to use until we got this. The unit holds a lot of peppercorns and doesn’t need to be refilled often. It is sturdy, handsome, and photogenic.

Batter bowl with a spout (Le Creuset Stoneware 2-Quart Batter Bowl, Caribbean)

No splurge kitchen tool list would be complete without at least one Le Creuset item. This is ours, a batter bowl with a spout, most often used for pancakes (i.e. dutch babies) and popsicle batter. Be forewarned that you need some muscle power to use it as this bowl is quite heavy even on its own. Comes in lots of great colors and in white for the minimalists.

Scrub brush (Lodge Scrub Brush, 10-Inch)

It’s kind of hard to justify getting a brush that is almost as expensive as the cast-iron pan you get it for, but it’s one of the things that I didn’t realize I needed until I had it. In addition to using it to clean my cast iron pots and pans, I use it to clean off cutting boards, graters, and sticky dough which would otherwise make my sponge sticky.

Cookbooks

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

A wonderful cookbook from which we’ve made many recipes, most of which we’ve loved, including one of our all-time favorites recipes, the aptly named favorite chicken.

Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas

A popsicle book, because we went through a popsicle-making obsession last summer, and the summer before that. We’ve made the strawberry ice pop or a version of it more often than we can count, and the lime pie popsicles are a special treat. Others we’ve tried have also been great.

Disclaimers: The products are linked to the sites from which they were purchased. The pictures are taken from these sites and the actual product name is given in case these links break in the future. Some of the links are referral links. Referral links are a way in which you can support this site but if you’d prefer not to use them, copy and paste the product name to find the product listings on the web.

One thought on “Favorite tools

  1. Pingback: Aztec Soup (Spicy Tortilla Soup) | A lick of salt

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