The Kitchen Gadgets Celebrity Chefs Can’t Live Without
Who better to learn from than the pros? From little to big, here are the kitchen gadgets these big-name chefs swear by.
Bakers and lovers of all things sweet surely know Christina Tosi. You might know her for her famous Milk Bar brand or for her stint as a judge on Master Chef. Christina is an absolute expert pastry chef who loves many tools (just check out her Amazon list!), but one item pops up time and time again on her Instagram: cake collars. This roll of acetate helps make decorating cakes and preserving pristine layers easy.
Non-stick, metal-handle frying pan
Included in Michelin-star Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant empire is a pizza-focused eatery: Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza, in London. So naturally he loves playing around with a pizza oven, as seen in this post on his Instagram page recently. For something a little more, um, on-budget, he suggests a frying pan that is non-stick and features a metal handle. Why do you want these two features? This way you can finish a dish by popping the frying pan into the oven on high heat.
Large cutting board
If kitchen space is tight, there’s a temptation to get pint-sized kitchen gadgets to match. Rachael Ray says “Don’t even think about it!” You’ve got to get a large cutting board, not one of those picnic-size ones. This way you aren’t running out of space on your board, and having to dump those pieces somewhere while you finish chopping. She told People that “a giant cutting board is a must. I put it over the sink and work next to the stove so I can chop and drop everything right into the pot.”
As anyone who loves to tinker in the kitchen knows, you have to own all kinds of spoons—slotted, stainless, wooden, etc. Giada De Laurentiis thinks every cook should own a wooden spoon. During a Today Show appearance, she even suggested using two as salad servers. Bingo!
Yogurt pots (or ceramic ramekins)
If you look closely at Nigella Lawson’s Instagram feed, you’ll see a lot of what she calls yogurt pots. Here, in the U.S., they’re just ceramic ramekins. But they can easily make your dishes look just a bit more swanky (plus they’re great for single-servings). Try baking a tasty chocolate chip cookie inside like Nigella with these recipes.
Step up your grill game with elegant and precise, um, tweezers. That’s what Marcus Samuelsson used to flip some meat on the grill. These tweezer-like tongs are perfect for turning delicate foods and smaller pieces of meat.
When asked about his must-have kitchen tools, Bobby Flay tells everyone that a meat thermometer is key. This should come as no surprise from this grill master. A thermometer will help you make sure your meats are properly cooked whether you’re roasting a turkey in the oven of flipping burgers on the grill.
If you’ve ever watched Alton Brown cook then you know he has a serious dislike for kitchen gadgets designed for just one purpose, what he calls “unitaskers” (hello, strawberry slicer!). He told Men’s Health, though, that one of his favorite multitasking tools is an immersion blender. This gadget can help you puree soups, smooth sauces and blend just about anything. Heck, you can even use it to froth milk for fancy coffee shop drinks at home.
Half-size sheet pans
Ina Garten explained to restauranteur Danny Meyer that half-sized sheet pans are a must for her. They’re perfect for making some of her favorite foods like roast chicken and toasted granola. You can also use them as cookie sheets as well, just pop on some parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez, owner of Johnny Sanchez restaurants and Master Chef mentor, dished on his dream holiday gifts for fellow chefs in this blog post on his website. He says for home chefs, a mocajete—similar to a mortar and pestle—is a must-have. With this dynamic duo, you can mash ingredients for guacamole (get our guac secrets here), grind spices and more.
A really good knife
It’s easy when you’re stocking your kitchen to want to buy fancy sets that include 20 different pieces. Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio (also co-founder of Gramercy Tavern in New York City) suggests a different approach. Buy one really good knife, so good that a Top Chef would slice and dice with it in his or her restaurant kitchen. Colicchio suggests Japanese knives, including the Korin brand.
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