What gets the most use in your kitchen? As we close out the Kitchen Cure this fall, we're going to take mini-trips through our own cupboards and cabinets and look at the humble, unassuming tools that really make our kitchens work. They may not have the glitz of a blender, or the brawny glamour of a stand mixer, but they're the things we reach for over and over when starting a recipe. Here are mine (Faith's) - ten kitchen tools that are always in the dish drainer, waiting to be used again!
It was hard to narrow down exactly what gets the most use, but after a little thought, it seems like these are the tools and cookware that get pulled out of the cupboard over and over again.
• 1 Metal mixing bowls - Is any explanation required? I use these for everything, especially the biggest one, which is necessary for everything from mixing coleslaw to big batches of cookies. These bowls are practical and inexpensive.
• 2 Mesh strainer - Multi-use, and lightweight. I reach for this to drain pasta, wash fruit and greens, and to strain tea and soups.
• 3 Chef'n Switchit spatula - My favorite spatula. See more about it here.
• 4 Wooden "tasting" spoon - From Crate & Barrel. There's something about the long handle and the small bowl that makes me reach for this first out of all my many wooden spoons.
• 5 Wood cutting board - Cutting boards are always out in my kitchen. They hold cheese and charcuterie, and then of course I pull them out every time I need to chop something!
• 6 Paring knife - I love this knife. I bought it at the Wok Shop in San Francisco's Chinatown. It's small, but not too small, and wicked sharp. It's almost like a mini chef's knife.
• 7 Chef's knife - My favorite chef's knife is this inexpensive Victorinox 8-inch knife. It's under $30, and a fantastic restaurant-quality knife.
• 8 Microplane - Cheese, spices, lemon — my Microplane handles it all. I am constantly using it.
• 9 3-quart pots - For nightly cooking, I reach for my 3-quart pots. The sauté pan is just right for frittatas and cooking meat. The saucepan is big enough for small batches of pasta, soups, and everything else. When you're cooking for just two or three, these are handy sizes to have around. (These are from Sur La Table's now-discontinued Lagostina line.)
• 10 Commercial-quality jelly roll pans - These steel baking sheets are about $10 or $15 apiece at restaurant supply stores (or Sur La Table and other cooking shops, although you'll probably pay more there). They don't warp, bend, or scratch. They're completely functional and no-nonsense and they're the only kind of baking sheet I use now.
What are your ten most-used kitchen tools? Look for more peeks into our kitchens next week, as The Kitchn staff shows you their own ten most-used.
Related: Ten Things I Love From My Mother's Kitchen
(Images: Faith Durand)