Chef Dan Kluger is a tinkerer: He grinds his own sausage, makes his own ricotta, and mills the wheat that's used in his pizza dough at Loring Place in New York City. So we figured he'd have some strong opinions on the best tools to help him with all of these little tasks. And we were right.
We asked him to name the five kitchen tools he couldn't live without and he had answers ready to go. They're not just for pros, either — these five tools are all pretty important for home cooks, too.
"I am addicted to my digital probe thermometers. I have two amazing ones from OXO. One is on a cable, so you can probe something — like a roast in the oven — and the meat can cook for a while and the display sits outside on the counter, beeping at you as it gets closer to temp."
"The other is an instant-read thermometer that I use on the grill to quickly take the temp of something — like a steak that I am constantly watching over. I feel like both allow my temps to be foolproof."
"I use this for all cheeses, citrus zests, nutmeg, and even some bonito I bought back from Japan."
"This should go without saying, but I often find that no one ever has a sharp knife. This leads to poor knife work, higher probability of cutting yourself, and often wasted products that the knife damaged, like tomatoes and herbs. Masanobu knives from Korin are some of my favorites. I also love the Zwilling Miyabi knives.
"The Vita-Prep is worth the splurge. I use it for making everything from smoothies to dressings to soups. But one of my favorite things is some kind of thick purée. It works so well, I can purée cooked vegetables into a thick purée without adding a lot of liquid."
Note: The Vita-Prep is a commercial Vitamix blender and is not available for home cooks. Instead of the Vita-Prep, we've suggested a Vitamix that you can get.