Do you walk into William & Sonoma and immediately get overwhelmed by all the gadgets and kitchen utensils available? My advice would be to stick to a concise list of everyday utensils that you will use over and over again. If after cooking for a while you realize that you are an egg white aficionado and an egg separator would be a needed addition to your kitchen, then go for it. In the meantime, use this list of practical must have items that will make your cooking life much easier. Have any other suggestions? Leave a reply and I can make a reader top 10 list!
I wish I could register for my wedding now. Some of the items I registered for at W&S I never use but think that one day I will. To list a few are my fondue pot, icecream maker, hot chocolate foamer, and Chinese wok. All of which I still have in my basement because I keep intending to use-maybe one day when I have free time. Um, I Just laughed out loud. My friend recently got married and requested this list so she can have a well equipped kitchen for all her everyday cooking needs without buying nonessentials. I added links to stores you can purchase the items online. If you have good tools, you are already half way to becoming a great cook!
1. A Good Chef’s Knife: I use my chef knife to chop basically anything. You don’t need 10 different knives to make food easily at home. If you want to spend money on one knife, get a chef’s knife that is good quality. You will keep it for years. Before dropping out of Le Cordon Bleu, I went through the knife skills class and this was the knife we used for almost everything. It’s versatile, light weight, and comfortable to hold. W&S has them on sale for $120.
2. A Knife Sharpener: My pet peeve is trying to cook will dull knives. It’s dangerous and I am already clumspy enough. Isaac daily has to tell me to just “slow down” in the kitchen. I have a basic knife sharpener that I use almost everyday before I start chopping. You don’t need a crazy electric one that has 8 steps. I like the Wustof 2 stage sharpener. W&S has them for $25.
3. Glass Liquid Measuring Cups: I use these for cooking and baking. It’s easy to read the bright writing on the sides. If you had to choose, get the one cup measuring cup. You can get a set of of 1 cup, 2 cup, and 4 cup on sale for $18 at W&S.
4. A Box Grater: I like the OXO brand because you can catch the cheese that you shred right in a container so it doesn’t splatter all over your cutting board. I like to buy cheese in big chunks and grate it at home to save money. Well, sometimes I get lazy and buy the pre-grated cheese but usually I try and save a few bucks. Crate & Barrel has the OXO brand for $18.
5. Citrus Juicer: I use fresh citrus like lemon and lime almost everyday in my cooking. You get so much more juice out of the fruit by using this handheld press. Plus you don’t have to worry about getting the lemon seeds in the recipe you are making. W&S has an OXO juicer for $16.
6. Microplane Zester: Again this is an item I use most every day. Lots of recipes call for thew zest of a lemon, lime, or orange. The zest adds so much flavor to any dish. If you cook very healthy and want to add flavor without adding fat, then zest is a great way to do it!
7. All Clad Measuring Cups & Spoons: The reason I love All Clad is because I have had the same cups and spoons since we got marrieds7 years ago. Over the years I have bought the fun colored ones at Homegoods for 8 dollars but I can never see the measurement on the handles and many of the have broke. I have found spending a little upfront is worth it for All Clad. The cups are $40 and the spoons are $20 at W&S.
8. Mini Spatula: I love my cute tiny spatula. I use it to get the remnants of honey, brownie mix, or whipped cream out of my measuring cups and large bowls. You many may be thinking you don’t know when you will use it, but I guarantee you will find plenty of reasons. Ever want to eat the rest of the cookie dough from the bottom of the mixing bowl. Yeah, it works great for that as my husband can attest to! Set of two at W&S is $20.
9. Cookie Dough Scoop: Since our family makes cookies on a regular basis, this is an essential in my book. It makes each cookie similar size and I hate rolling the dough in my hands and having dough stuck in my wedding ring for a week. $14 at W&S
10. Kuhn Rikon Paring Knife: A set of these cute little knives are only $20 on Amazon. I am obsessed with this knife. They come in fun colors, they are intensely sharp, and I use the daily to cut up fruits and vegetables into small pieces for my daughter. I have one regular paring knife and one ridged paring knife. These are my new favorite item and can’t believe I didn’t have one until recently. Thanks mom for buying me one! You know when you are a cooking nerd when a paring knife shows up in your stocking.