Our Must Have Tools In the Kitchen

So we all know the basics — cutting board, chef’s knife, mixing bowls, measuring spoons, etc. But what about the tools that aren’t in the “everyone knows” category? There are tools that marry the professional kitchen with the home kitchen that make cooking much easier and more efficient — think “cook smarter, not harder” So what are those tools and what exactly do you use those for? Our chef’s at Hestan Cue picked a few of our go-to’s and want to include YOU in on the conversation. What is your MUST HAVE tool in the kitchen that allows you to cook smarter, not harder?

Starting from upper left corner and moving clockwise:

  1. Kitchen Scissors: They come in all shapes and sizes, but chef’s at most restaurants will tell you these are their favorite — Joyce Chen kitchen scissors. They are sharp, small enough to tuck away easily, and cut through just about any food.
  2. Tamis: Want the key to making smooth mashed potatoes? This is it right here. It is fine metal mesh that is secured across a metal ring. Place batches of steamed potatoes on top and press through the mesh to result in a smooth texture with no clumps. A must have in a professional kitchen, and a bonus at home! Don’t have room for one more gadget in your kitchen? Press the potatoes through a fine mesh strainer or food mill as an alternate.
  3. Microplane: We love microplanes. Whether you are zesting citrus, grating parmesan, or want to grate a nut over a dish to make it extra special, this is your tool. It is also great when you want garlic or ginger flavor, but without the texture. Micro-planing both gives you the finest possible texture.
  4. Mandoline: Slice, julienne, grate (with the teeth attachments), a mandoline is a must buy for your kitchen at home. Our favorite trick is to grate garlic, ginger, or shallot before you continue to chop finely. It get’s you there just a tad quicker!
  5. Pass Card aka Bowl Scraper: Always have a pass card handy next to your cutting board to scrape up chopped herbs, vegetables, etc to put them in the pot or pan instead of using your hands. Much more efficient and clean.
  6. Gram Scale: Tired of washing all of your measuring spoons and cups? Just grab a scale and weigh the exact amounts right into the bowl or pan! Chef’s use this for ultimate accuracy, especially for baking.
  7. Rubber Spatula: I know, this should be a no brainer, but you would be surprised with how many people have plastic spatulas, not rubber ones. These are great for scraping down just about anything in a pot or pan or to mix ingredients without sticking.
  8. Offset Spatula: This is the much smaller version of the giant spatulas you usually see in the kitchen area of stores. These are much more useful for flipping small items, gently scraping under a surface to make sure it is not sticking, or to remove thinly sliced pies, frittatas, etc.
  9. Fine Mesh Strainer: These also come in all sizes, but important to have at least one for all sauces, soups, or custard bases. It ensures that you have no clumps or unnecessary textures in whatever you are cooking.

Comment below if you have any questions or just to tell us about your favorite tool in the kitchen!