10 Chefs on the Best $10 They’ve Ever Spent on Their Kitchens
As you might imagine, professional chefs rely on a lot of fancy-schmancy tools to do their jobs day in and day out. We’re talking immersion circulators, high-performance blenders, flash chillers, vacuum sealers, blow torches, and beyond. But not every gadget that professional chefs swear by has to cost you an arm and a leg (or look like it belongs in a laboratory).
We reached out to 10 chefs to talk about their favorite cheap kitchen tools that they couldn’t live without. Here are their picks which all cost $10 (ish) bucks or less.
“I spent less than $10 on this pull-type two-stage knife sharpener. Most home cooks are baffled and afraid of knife sharpening, but this tool will get you through until you really sharpen them.” — Jet Tila, Food Network Judge
2. Silicone Saute Spoon, $12 at Sur la Table
“I bought this from Sur la Table and I call it the spoontula. I love that it’s like a heat-resistant spatula — and the head doesn’t pop off.” — Julya Shin, former chef at Chez Panisse
3. Lux Minute Minder, $10
“The hardest thing to manage in a kitchen is time. In a restaurant kitchen, there’s never enough of it. At home, the problem is often too much. The best 10 bucks I ever spent on my kitchen was on a device that manages all that for me. It’s a Lux Minute Minder wind-up timer.” — Cal Peternell, former head chef at Chez Panisse and the host of the Cooking by Ear Podcast
4. Knife Sharpening Service, $1 per inch
5. Weck Jars, $25 for six at Williams Sonoma
“I bought a few small Weck jars to keep my spices in. It keeps everything fresh and looks nice out on the counter.” — Matt Hyland, Executive Chef of Pizza Loves Emily restaurants
6. Japanese-Style Can Opener, $8
“A Ganji Japanese-style can opener. Forget the ones with gears and mechanisms, I am in love with this can opener. It opens square or rectangle cans really easily, which is hard to do with other can openers. It also opens bottles and punctures holes in cans if needed, like when you buy a large can of olive oil and it won’t pour out nicely unless it has another hole in it. It cleans up really well because it doesn’t have any gears for food to get stuck and never breaks. It’s super heavy-duty and comes in handy for all sorts of things I never thought I’d need it for.”— Katie Button, Executive Chef of Cúrate and Nightbell
7. Stainless Steel Meat Tenderizer, $15
“Definitely a meat tenderizer! It opens a whole new world on meats — especially ones that are traditionally thought of as cheap cuts or braising meats. A few punches with the tenderizer and almost any meat can be cooked however you want to any temperature.” — Jake Nemmers, Executive Chef at Flora Bar NYC
8. Splatter Guard, $11
9. Ball Keepsake Canning Jars, $12 for four at Jet
What’s the best $10 you’ve ever spent on your kitchen?