Every chef has his repertoire of masterpieces, and in creating these delectable dishes, they need great tools. To achieve excellence, they know that they need to arm themselves with the best! There is always that one tool that they just couldn’t do without; whether it’s Alton Brown’s (Food Network Star) Panini Press, Kyle Bailey’s (Birch and Barley) Immersion Blender, or Paula Deen’s (Paula’s Best Dishes) own grandmother’s spatula, even the best have that one thing they need in order to do their job.
Depending on the type of cuisine he or she creates, chefs will select those specific tools. Let’s go a step further and add that a chef’s tools give us an insight into his or her passion for their art as well as his or her attitude towards excellence.
Below is a list of some must-have tools to equip your kitchens with, along with the famous chefs who use them every day:.
- Bamboo steamer
- “It’s an elegant tool for cooking fish and vegetables to perfection.” – Tom Douglas (Dahlia Lounge, Seattle)
- Knuckle pounder
- “It makes smashing garlic and tenderizing meat so much fun—in an aggressive, beat-down kind of way.” – Nadia G (Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen)
- Donabe smoker
- “It infuses depths of flavor into meats, fish and vegetables. Smoking with tea leaves is an ancient Chinese technique with wonderfully exotic and fragrant results.” – Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA)
- Electric knife
- “I love the way an electric knife can slice up roasts beautifully and easily. I actually still have the same knife my mom used when I was little.” – Melissa d’Arabian (Ten Dollar Dinners)
- Microplane zester
- “I can’t live without it. Love the zest of citrus, freshly grated horseradish for a pop, or a rich salty hard cheese” – Michael Symon (Iron Chef America)
- “1. Easier to clean than box graters.
2. Shred, grates and zests all of these and more, perfectly: garlic, cheese, nutmeg, lemon, lime, orange, ginger, onion
3. Super sturdy.
4. Various sizes, shapes and gradients to choose.” – Sunny Anderson (Cooking for Real)
- Mortar and Pestle
- “I use it for many of my marinades, aiolis, rubs or pestos. I love it because it brings out all of the natural oils of the ingredients.” – Jose Garces (Iron Chef America)
- “I love a mortar and pestle. Grinding toasted spices, mashing garlic cloves, connects me to my ingredients and makes tasty food!” – Alex Guarnaschelli (Iron Chef America)
- Japanese fish scaler
- “It is great for scale removal and does the job without damaging the flesh.” – Chris Cosentino (Incanto, San Francisco)
- Laser thermometer
- “It’s neater to work with as far as chocolate is concerned. Using a traditional thermometer that you have to insert into the chocolate gets very messy.” – Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolate, New York City)
- Pressure cooker
- “Braised short ribs in 25 minutes? Chicken stock with intense flavor without reduction in 15 minutes? The pressure cooker is a must-have in your home kitchen.” – Richard Blais (The Spence, Atlanta)
- Cast-iron skillet
- “It heats food evenly, is easy to clean and maintain, and looks cool in the kitchen. It’s the best pan for cooking a steak.” – Joey Campanaro (The Little Owl, New York City)
So the question is….what’s your must-have cooking tool? Is it your mixer? Your zester? Or perhaps a special knife that has some sentimental value to you? Maybe your special tool isn’t a “tool” at all, but a garment worn that makes your life easier at every turn. It’s hard to argue with the fact that a good chef apron can make your life as a chef easier. Marcus Samuelsson from TV’s Chopped says “I love my denim apron. It’s designed and crafted so well.” So what’s your must have tool? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to see more famous chef must-have cooking tools? Visit http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/chefs-50-favorite-kitchen-tools/index.html for more.