When I agreed to follow in Faith's and Emma's footsteps and share my ten most-used kitchen tools, I had no idea just how difficult it would be! But after considering all the candidates, eliminating anything I hadn't touched in the past week, and reflecting on my daily cooking habits, this was the collection that emerged.
• 1 6.5-quart Dutch oven – I didn't own a Dutch oven until the No-Knead Bread Phenomenon convinced me I had to have one. Little did I realize it would become the workhorse of my kitchen. It lives on top of the stove and I use it to cook everything from soups to sautés.
• 2 Wooden turner – All of my wooden utensils are well-loved essentials, but this is my favorite turner/spatula/stirrer/scraper. It's sturdy and non-scratching and I reach for it ten times more often than my metal or silicone ones.
• 3 Nested glass bowls – These store easily in my small kitchen, and I use them all the time – perhaps even more than necessary, but I like preparing mise en place.
• 4 Timer – Whether I'm baking a cake or stepping away from the stove to read, clean, or blog, I always set the timer. I have been known to get distracted, and this is my disaster prevention tool!
• 5 Digital scale – Sara Kate has written about the virtues of kitchen scales, and I quite agree. I appreciate the precision of a scale (especially for baking), and it's essential when you use as many British recipes as I do.
• 6 Measuring cups and spoons – Although I prefer measuring by weight, I still use cups and spoons when following or developing recipes, or just for scooping grains, spices, and other ingredients out of jars. The elongated measuring spoons are smartly designed to reach into narrow bottles.
• 7 Microplane zester/grater – What don't I use this for? It comes in handy with citrus, ginger, garlic, cheese, spices…
• 8 Santoku/chef's knife – I felt a little embarrassed when I got this Füri RR East/West Coppertail knife; it wasn't just celebrity-branded, but Rachael Ray-branded. But I honestly love the way it feels and it's the knife I grab most often.
• 9 Tongs – Flipping, reaching, moving, tossing, protecting my hands from hot foods and dishes – the tongs do it all!
• 10 Chopsticks – Like tongs, chopsticks are one of the most versatile tools in my kitchen. I use metal or wood chopsticks to stir, flip, poke, and taste.
And finally, though I didn't include it on this list, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge my ever-useful over-the-sink cutting board.
What are your ten most-used kitchen tools?
(Images: Emily Ho)