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We Asked Our 1.3 Million Instagram Followers to Name-Drop Their Favorite Tools — Here’s What Came Up Again and Again

updated Sep 21, 2020
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We talk a lot (like, pretty much every day) about our favorite tools — the gear, gadgets, and cookware that help our professional home cooks do their jobs, so that they can bring you all those yummy recipes and smart tips. But we wanted to turn the tables and hear from you guys: We asked our (very vocal) Instagram followers to name their favorite tools. Then, we culled through all of the suggestions and pulled out the items and brand names that came up again and again.

Here’s that list. Take a look and let us know, in the comments at the end, how many of these things you have in your kitchen! Fun fact: We just so happen to love each and every item on this list, too.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Knives

A good knife is perhaps the most important tool for any cook. So we were very excited to see what knives our readers like to use at home. We got a lot of different nominations, but these were the most popular ones.

Credit: Misen

Misen Chef’s Knife

There have been all sorts of direct-to-consumer kitchen brands popping up on the market these last few years, and Misen is a popular one that makes cookware, knives, and more. The Chef’s Knife is their best-selling item and we can see why: It’s relatively inexpensive, made with extra-durable steel that’s got two times the carbon content compared to other knives, and has an acute 15-degree blade angle for a sharper-than-usual face.

Buy: Misen Chef’s Knife, $85

Credit: Amazon

Wüsthof

Readers name-dropped a few different knives from Wüsthof. Among the most popular: the Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, the Classic IKON 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, the Classic 6-Inch Chef’s Knife, and the 7-Inch Santoku. For anyone who’s unfamiliar, Wüsthof is one of our favorite brands of German knives, and is known for reliably churning out knives that are sturdy, well-balanced, durable, and, most importantly, sharp.

Buy: Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, $170

Credit: Sur la Table

Global

Global knives are an easy entry into the world of Japanese knives. They’re very similar in shape and size to the Western-style chef’s knife you’re used to — they’re just lighter and have a thinner, sharper blade. We heard from readers who like the Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, the giant 10-Inch Chef’s Knife, and the entire Ukon line.

Buy: Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, $99.96 at Sur la Table

Credit: Amazon

Shun

Shun is another line of Japanese knives, and these knives tend to skew a little less Western-style than Global knives. They’re ridiculously sharp and will make incredibly clean cuts. The 7-Inch Shun Santoku Knife came up the most.

Buy: 7-Inch Shun Classic Santoku Knife, $169.95

Credit: Zwilling

Zwilling Pro

A few different Zwilling knives came up, but the Zwilling Pro line was definitely the most popular. The company bills the Zwilling Pro Chef’s Knife as “the most user-friendly knife available to market” because of its comfortable grip and easy-to-rock blade.

Buy: Zwilling Pro Chef’s Knife, $159.99 at Zwilling

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Cookware

You’re gonna need to cook all those chopped-up ingredients, right? Here’s what readers had to suggest in terms of skillets and Dutch ovens.

Credit: All-Clad

All-Clad Skillets

All-Clad cookware got lots of mentions. Yes, the stuff is expensive, but we find it’s totally worth it in the long run. If you’re going to buy just one All-Clad piece, there’s a lot to be said for having one really good skillet in your arsenal.

Buy: All-Clad D3 12-Inch Traditional Covered Fry Pan, $129.95 at Williams Sonoma

Credit: Amazon

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

The classic Lodge cast iron skillet got more mentions than anything else on this entire list. Lodge is the best name in the biz when it comes to cast iron. They make inexpensive skillets that become virtually nonstick when seasoned properly, and these pieces will last many lifetimes (they’re literally handed down through generations!).

Buy: Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, $19.90

Credit: Le Creuset

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Actually, we lied: The Le Creuset Dutch oven tied with Lodge for number of mentions. These pots often earn a permanent spot on the stove because they’re so darn gorgeous. And they’re total workhorses, too: Use them for soups, stews, pasta, braising, and more. These pots have a white enameled interior, so you can see how your food is progressing.

Buy: 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven, $420 at Le Creuset

Credit: Zwilling

Staub Dutch Oven

Of course, Le Creuset isn’t the only name in the Dutch oven game. Some home cooks prefer Staub because the black matte enameled interior doesn’t stain, is more effective at browning meat evenly, and can build up a nonstick seasoning over time.

Buy: Staub 5.5-Quart Cocotte, $379.99 at Zwilling

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Small Appliances

There are so many small appliances on the market these days (all different kinds of machines from all different brands), so it was interesting to see lots of repeats come up in the suggestions.

Credit: Amazon

Cuisinart Food Processors

It did not surprise us to see Cuisinart food processors top the list of suggestions. The 14-cup machine is the top pick from Wirecutter and Cook’s Illustrated. And the little guy is in basically every kitchen we’ve ever been in.

Buy: Cuisinart 14-Cup Custom Food Processor, $249.95 at Williams Sonoma

Credit: bestbuy.com

Instant Pot

Speaking of not being surprised! We already knew our readers loved their Instant Pots, and this just further solidified that. The six-quart is definitely one of the most popular, and that’s the size that most recipes are based on. Specific model suggestions ran across the board, but we suggest the Instant Pot Duo, which is even faster than other models, has an easy-to-seal lid, and lots of extra features.

Buy: Instant Pot 6-Quart Duo Pressure Cooker, $90.99 at Best Buy

Credit: Vitamix

Vitamix

When it comes to blenders, Kitchn readers are Team Vitamix. If you don’t have a blender you love, consider getting one from the Ascent Series. Why? Because these are compatible with Vitamix’s new food processor attachment.

Buy: Vitamix A2300, $499.95 at Vitamix

Credit: Amazon

Philips Air Fryer

Air fryer suggestions also included the Breville Smart Oven and the Ninja, but this giant option from Philips got the most mentions. It has a 4-quart capacity and can fry up a whole chicken or two bags of french fries.

Buy: Philips Premium XXL Air Fryer, $113.99

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Tools & Gadgets

Turns out Kitchn readers love their tools and gadgets as much as we do. This little survey got enough suggestions to fill pages and pages in a Word doc. These were the most popular.

Credit: Epicurean

Epicurean Cutting Board

This is also our favorite wood cutting board! It’s actually a composite board, which means it can go in the dishwasher. We also like that it has a groove for juices and rubber feet for stability.

Buy: Epicurean All-In-One Cutting Board, $39.99 on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

John Boos Cutting Boards

Readers who like a more substantial board suggested John Boos. The brand makes edge-grain and end-grain boards and they’ll all last a lifetime if you take care of them properly.

Buy: John Boos Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board, $100.13 on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

OXO Garlic Press

We’ve learned that people are either for or against garlic presses, in general (those who are against prefer to mince cloves themselves). The readers who are pro garlic press are most into this press from OXO, which pushes out the most perfectly sized pieces, has a comfy handle, and features a built-in cleaner.

Buy: OXO Garlic Press, $24.20 on Amazon on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

Chef’n Strawberry Huller

Proof that some unitaskers have their place, this strawberry huller got lots of nods. And honestly, we love it too. It makes quick work of de-stemming strawberries and doesn’t dig out too much of the fruit.

Buy: Chef’n Stem Gem, $7.95 on Amazon

Credit: Chef'n

Chef’n Citrus Juicer

Fact: A handheld juicer is the very best tool/method for juicing lemons. (We know because we tested!) This one is a favorite among Kitchn readers and staffers, alike. Why? Because it squeezes out every last drop, filters out seeds, and requires minimal effort.

Buy: Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer, $24.99 on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

Microplane

People use the words Microplane and zester interchangeably because Microplane really is the tool when it comes to grating. If you don’t already have one, brace yourself: You’re about to see clouds of cheese so fluffy, you’ll think you’re dreaming.

Buy: Microplane Premium Classic Zester, $16.99 on Amazon

GIR Ladle

We’ve only recently started to tout the wonders of this GIR ladle (we’ve been so focused on the spatula that we forgot to talk about the ladle!). But our readers are already wise to it. And it’s a good thing. This ladle is seriously perfect in every possible way.

Buy: GIR Ladle, $12.99 on Amazon

Credit: Amazon

OXO Tongs

OXO makes a few pairs of tongs, and readers just said “OXO tongs” in general. We love these specific ones because the silicone heads will protect the coating of nonstick pans and can help you mix up salads without bruising your lettuce.

Buy: OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Tongs with Silicone Heads, $13.80 on Amazon

Credit: ThermoWorks

Instant Read Thermometer

A lot of readers nominated an instant-read thermometer but didn’t say the brand name, so we’re going to cheat a little on this one and suggest our favorite from Thermoworks. Yes, $75 is an investment, but the hyper-fast, hyper-accurate read of a thermocouple probe is utterly worth it, and it’s also durable and easy to read. It’s a favorite among our staff and many, many pro chefs.

Buy: Thermapen ONE, $74.96 at Thermoworks

How many of these items do you have in your own kitchen? And what else would you like to nominate? Discuss in the comments below!