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A Chef's Tools

Essential (and Eclectic) Tools for the Kitchen

The basics:

  • 3- and 4-inch paring knife, 8-inch chef's knife, 10-inch slicing knife, bread knife  tomato knife, cleaver, poultry shears, sharpening steel (or electric sharpener)


  • 1 wooden chopping board, 1 - 2 polyurethane chopping boards (You can never have enough  chopping boards - remember to use 1 for your raw meats and a different one for everything  else)


  • At least 3 sizes of mixing bowls; try to stay away from porous plastic. Metal bowls and  high-quality hard plastic bowls are best. Remember never to mix anything acidic in a metal  bowl.


  • Vegetable peeler, can opener, corkscrew (Bartenders corkscrews are the best - practice  opening a few bottles with it - you'll get the hang of it easily - and have fun doing so!)


  • Several wooden spoons, stainless steel cook's spoons, stainless steel slotted spoons,  spatula.


  • Strainer, colander, fine mesh skimmer, whisks (I use a large one for sauces etc. and a  teensy one for salad dressing), rubber spatula, ladle, cook's fork, grater, tongs, garlic  press, citrus juicer, potato masher


  • Measuring spoons, liquid 4-cup (at least) measure, set of dry measuring cups, sifter


  • Instant read thermometer, pepper mill, coffee/spice grinder, can opener, jar opener


  • Rolling pin, springform pans, loose-bottom tart tin, cookie sheets, layer cake pans


  • 12-inch sauté pan, 8-inch skillet, 1- and 2-1/2-quart saucepans, 4- and 6 quart  casseroles


  • Gratin baking dish, roasting pan with rack, 8-quart stock/pasta pot, double boiler,  colander


  • Food processor, mixer, oven mitts :-)


The eclectics:

  • Slicing tools:

Fun to have - boning knife, fish fillet knife, salmon slicer, 2-pronged tomato knife, grapefruit knife, chestnut knife (yes there is a chestnut knife), hard cheese knife, parmesan blade, oyster knife, clam knife, butchers knife, bakers knife, cake knife, confectioners knife, sandwich spreader/cutter, Mezzaluna, cake saw.


  • Other pointed tools:

Lobster pincers, sea urchin scissors, grape scissors, eggshell cutter, fish scaler, shrimp deveiner apple corer/slicer, zucchini, and grapefruit corers, fruit and vegetable pitter, strawberry huller, corn stripper, lemon zester, orange peeler, melon "baller", butter curler, radish decorator, string bean slicer, mandoline, french fry cutter, slicers (egg, butter, mushroom), cheese wires, pastry blender, pastry/pizza cutting wheel, roller-docker (to prick the dough), bakers blade (cake tester), Cutters (cookie, ravioli, croissant, lattice, donut, canapé), ice pick, trussing needle, poultry lacers, potato nails, skewers, hatelets (fancy skewers), corn cob holders, manche a gigot (to hold that leg of lamb for carving)


  • Kitchen tools:

Griddle scraper, bowl scraper, fish lifter, bread or pizza peel, ice-cream scoop, escargot forks, fondue forks, lobster forks, mortar & pestle, salt mill, lobster crackers, tortilla basket fryer, meat tenderizer, gravy separator, egg separator, pasta machine, ice cream maker, bulb baster, baking stone, trivets


  • Pots & pans

Butter melter, couscoussier, steamers, bamboo steamers, fish poachers, egg poachers, omelet pans, paella pans, crepe pans, griddles, deep fryers, wok, pressure cookers, assorted b.b.q. grillers


  • Ovenware

Soufflé dishes, ramekins, creme brulee dishes, escargot dishes, custard dishes, terrines


  • Bakeware

Jelly roll pans, brioche molds, pizza pans, tube pans, tarte tatin mold, flan rings, quiche dishes, cake rings, cannoli forms, charlotte molds


  • Assorted pastry tools

Cooling racks, cake decorating turntable, pastry comb, pastry bag and decorating tubes, rose nails, whipped cream siphon, copper egg white bowl, pastry boards, pastry brush, cheesecloth, butchers twine, parchment paper, chocolate dipping forks, chocolate decorating sets


  • Tableside cookware

Chafing dishes, crepe suzettes pan, flambé pan, fondue pot, rechaud, stone cooker 

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