Desert Island Picks: Kitchen Essentials

by Sarah on September 13, 2010

I’m no Professor, or even the Skipper for that matter.  I’m probably more Gilligan.  I wouldn’t be able to fashion a French oven out of coconuts, nor function without my 10″ chefs knife.

I decided to make a few lists of my favorite kitchen and cooking-related items.  Please comment if there is something YOU feel is essential that I left out.

10.  Oxo vegetable peeler.  Good for peeling vegetable and fruits, plus I like to make ribbons of stuff too–especially carrot ribbons!  A plus is the big soft handle–comfortable even if you have 20 pounds of potatoes to peel.

9.  Oxo tongs.  Handy!  For the grill, for grabbing hot pasta, for mixing up salad greens.  Again with the Oxo–the handle is comfortable and they have a little lever on top that holds them closed.  The pair below even have silicone stuff on the tips so you don’t scratch your cookware.

8.  Oxo liquid measuring cup.  Look at the angled measurement thingy!  Never again will I have to bend over and look at the tiny numbers on the side.  I realize that it may seem that I’m totally pimping out Oxo brand products, but what can I say, I like them.  Psst!  Look at the fat squishy handle!

7.  Silicone spatula, preferably one that is a little curved like a spoon.  They don’t burn, y’all!  Never again will I accidentally leave the spatula in the pan to have the tips melted off when I return.  I have a heavy duty one with a round wooden handle that I especially love.  Plus, they come in really cute colors.

6.  Forschener 3-paring knife set.  This great set costs about $5 at Smart and Final.  Oh you lost or broke one?  Who cares!  Go buy some more.  At that price, why not?

5,  John Boos butcher block.  Listen, it’s not crucial that is a Boos chopping block, just get something large and heavy.   You’ll never go back to those floppy flimsy plastic ones again.

4.  All Clad or other similarly heavy 10″ saute pan.  This could feasibly double as a roasting pan too, because the whole thing can go in the oven.  Not non-stick.

3.  Le Creuset French Oven.  7.5 quarts is a good all-purpose size.  Again, very versatile–can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.  Good for simmering, braising, frying, whatever.  This guy is a workhorse.  I prefer the Flame color.

2.  Dishtowels!  Another versatile and I’m sure overlooked kitchen tool.  Can be used as a towel (duh), but also as a pot holder, an apron, or to snap at unruly children or spouses.

And, last but not least!

1.  A 10″ Chef’s knife.  The one below is crazy affordable– a Victorinox/Forschener for only $30.  The brand I own is Mundial and is similarly priced.  Spend more on a Global or Wustof if you must, but DO add one of these to your kitchen collection if you haven’t already.

So, there you have it!  My absolute essential tools for the kitchen.  Of course as soon as I post this, I’ll have remembered something else.  Oh look, I already did!  Baking sheets!  I guess you could make cookies on your 10″ saute pan if you had too……

Some of these items can be found at my Amazon store, or at Target or Smart and Final or restaurant supply stores wherever you live.

Stay tuned for more of UC’s Desert Island picks!

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