Cooking implements you couldn't do without

This thread is inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s wonderful book Kitchen Confidential, in which he says (IIRC) the only things he feels are vital for him to cook are a big sharp knife, a small sharp knife, and a mandoline.

For me, it’s tongs and a pallette knife. So handy to pick up the edges of stuff with the tongs, and slide the knife under to make way for a spatula without damaging delicate food. There are hundreds of uses for this combination. Before I had the tongs, I used cooking chopstics, which are also extremely useful once you have the hang of them. I also have a very very sharp Japanese knife that has holes down the blade in order to reduce the vacuum on meat and vegetables being sliced. It can cut millimetre-width, transparent slices out of a soft tomato.

So, what are the implements you couldn’t do without?

A menu and a phone.

I use my crock pot and kitchen aide mixer at least three times a week. That little steamer basket thingy comes in very handy, too. And when I’m tired, the menu/phone combo just can’t be beat :slight_smile:


Thank you for visiting this lonely little thread.

A set of sharp knives (Henckel 5-Star), a set of quality graters/shredders (such as Microplane), a very large cutting board, a selection of cookware, and my wooden cooking tools from all over the world. And more often these days, sadly, one of those tools that helps open jars.

Does a microwave oven count?

Maybe you should ask one of the mods to move this over to In My Humble Opinion

Well a while back I put a cooking thread in IMHO and it got moved to Café Society.

If I had to, I could get along with just 1 spoon, 1 knife, a frying pan and a pot.

However, I use my little electric chopper almost every day, and the electric skillet 3 times a week, and the wooden spatula thingie everyday.

Microwave, frying pan, cookie sheet, tea pot, coffee maker, telephone.

Knives, it’s got to be the knives. I can hack up stuff on the back of a phone book if there’s no cutting board, but things grind to a halt without the sharp pointy objects.

Next on the list is a salt shaker. Try cooking without salt sometime if you doubt me.

For how much of the stuff I use, I suppose the next item would be a Susi garlic press.

It’s pretty hard to cook without a pan, so I’d enter my Le Creuset skillet as the next item after the above utensils.

Toss in a spatula, corkscrew plus a fork and I’m good to go.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Can Opener !!!

The internet, so I can look up instructions on how to hardboil eggs and things like that.

Yes, I’m very sad.

Can’t live without my sea salt grinder, vegetable steamer and little baby gas grill.

Forgot to mention my latest favorite: a little cheap tool called an Accusharp. Cost about $10 and beats any other sharpener I’ve used hands down. Keeps those Henckels like razors.

Microwave. :smiley:

I recently bought a caged ball whisk. It looks like a regular whisk, but inside of it there’s a ball made of the same sort of wire that acts as a “cage” for a small marble. When you whisk, the ball moves around in the whisk and the marble moves around in the ball and it aerates what you’re whipping 3 times more than a regular whisk and mixes everything much more quickly and completely.

I don’t know how I ever mixed anything by hand before.

Other than that, I’m pretty paralyzed without a good set of knives, a decent set of pots and pans and sufficient good-sized bowls. I once visited my sister-in-law’s house and the woman only owned two bowls and they were straight sided bowls that came with her ancient stand mixer. It was miserable trying to cook a major meal (Thanksgiving) using cereal bowls and plates when all I needed were a couple of decent sized bowls.

Cast iron skillet
Good knives
Large mixing bowl
Measuring spoons and cups
Scales( I like to weigh ingredients too)
Good quality medium size saucepan
Baking sheet
Wooden spoons for stirring

The above are the basics. If I could expand I would have more variety in sizes of the above. For example, a small and a medium mixing bowl, as well as a large. If I could add to the above I would have

Chopping board
Wire whip and/or hand held beater set
Bread pan

Baker, when I first read your post, I thought you’d put down Zenster as an indispensible cooking implement.

Wok. Best pan I own.

Instead of a zester, buy a fine mesh Microplane grater. Does the job in a fraction of the time and much better.