With the holidays just around the corner, we put together a list of items our chefs just could not live without in their own kitchens. Here are their recommendations:
Ryan Crafts- Burr Coffee Grinder
The single most important step to take to improve your home coffee experience is using freshly roasted and freshly ground beans. I find the best beans are almost always from a local roaster (Publik, D'Bolla, and Pink Elephant are some of my Utah favorites). I weigh out the beans for my cup each morning and grind immediately prior to brewing with burr grinder.
Kaleb Crafts- End Grain Cutting Board
End grain boards last longer than edge grain boards. End grain boards are easier on your knives, leaving them sharper longer. They're also one of the most beautiful additions you can make to any kitchen. You can buy one of Kaleb's custom made ones here! Meagan Crafts- Bench Knife and Squeeze Bottle
The 2 items I use most in my home are a bench knife and squeeze bottle. I use my bench knife to cut and divide breads, desserts, and candies. It is the way it fits in your hand as opposed to a chef knife that makes it faster to use. I use squeeze bottles for everything—dressings, chocolate, sauces, etc. It makes plating and designing fun and creative!
Chef Brandon Roddy- Immersion Blender
From soups to vinaigrettes, a stick blender in your home will change a daunting task to the easiest thing to do in the kitchen.
Chef Robert Mendoza- Can Opener
I recommend a good can opener! I can make do with a lot of other things, but there is really only one way to get into a can!
Chef David Dexter- Vegetable Peeler
This is simply for ease. Every home has 3 or 4 vegetable peelers, but only 1 good one. Invest in a quality one and throw the other ones out!
Chef James Arnold- Cutting Board
My cutting boards are my most used items in my kitchen. I love having set cutting boards for each type of food I am cooking—poultry, red meat, vegetables, etc.
Chef Utahna Warren- Quality Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Drop the money to buy some quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It will change the way you cook. Culinary Crafts put together a box of our favorites here! Chef Jaden White- Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls are a great addition to your collection. At Culinary Crafts, we have dozens and dozens of bowls and the varying sizes makes the kitchen experience a breeze.
Chef Libby Rice- Electric Stand Mixer
My KitchenAid is my most precious possession in my kitchen. I don't know how people managed to whip cream and egg whites or hand knead dough endlessly back in the day. A good mixer can change the speed and efficiency with which you cook in the kitchen.
Chef Kayde Dexter- Cast Iron Pan
A 9-11" cast iron skillet is the most versatile pan I own. It adds a cool level to home cooking.
Chef Raquel (Rocky) Ortega- Heat Resistant Spatula
Make sure you find one that can withstand the heat, it will ease your cooking experience.
Chef Lacy Johnson- Instant Read Thermometer
The best way to revolutionize the way you cook is with and instant read thermometer. Getting your proteins to the perfect temperature instead of guessing will change the way you eat.
Chef Danielle Mahoney- Chef Knife
You cannot even begin cooking without a quality chef knife. If I was going to upgrade any item in my kitchen it would be a good knife first!
Chef Madison Oliveira- Rice Cooker
As silly as this may seem, my mother-in-law gave us a rice cooker for our wedding, and I am never going back. It is wonderful.
Chef Megan Gagne- Off-Set Spatula and Piping Bag
As a pastry chef, I love to decorate—especially for the holidays. An off-set spatula and piping bag with tips are key to decorating all those fun desserts and plates for your holiday season.
Chef Cambridge Dockendorf- Kitchen Shears
If you follow our blog, last week we showed you all the glories of spatchcocking a turkey. The magic of kitchen shears doesn't stop there. I use mine every day and I love not having a pair that has to cross over—they are just for cooking.
Chef Jocelyn Gillies- Scale
Cooking is a science, the weight of your ingredients is so important, a volume measurement is never as precise as it should be. A scale will change the quality of all your recipes.
Chef Hunter Ashton- Microplane
A microplane in your home will add a new level to your cooking. Fresh orange zest over your pork loin or fresh nutmeg shaved right into your egg nog is a beautiful addition.
Chef Kyle Castillo- Non-Stick Skillet
A good non-stick skillet is a great addition to any kitchen. You cannot have too many of these!
Chef Dardree McClellan- Serrated Knife
I bake bread in my home all the time and having a great serrated knife makes my life easier.
Chef Calli Kassel- Hallow Ground Santoku Knife
A quality chef knife is important but an Asian chef knife is super cool. Because the blade is ground at a 20 degree angle it is crazy sharp and makes cutting anything like cutting though butter.
Chef Allison Parker- Knife Sharpener
I recommend a knife sharpener, not a honing steel (although that is a great piece as well), so you can keep your blades crazy sharp. Being able to do this at your home instead of taking it to a shop makes keeping your knifes sharp easy and convenient. Having this addition to your kitchen will surprise you by how dull your knives can get.
Chef Megann Brimhall- Bacon Grease
I couldn't think of a tool, but I certainly use bacon grease often! Don't be grossed out—I use it to grease pans, fry pancakes and eggs, and sauté vegetables—yummm. A great Christmas gift for me would be a pound of bacon and a wide mouth mason jar specifically for keeping my grease. Make sure to buy a little strainer specifically to get out the little bits of bacon, though, so it doesn't go rancid.
Chef Adam Park- Large Flake Salt and a Salt Cellar
Most home cooks under season. One of the best ways to finish a dish is with some beautiful seasoning salt. A salt cellar will help you keep your finishing salt separate. Also, salting by hand is more balanced than using a shaker. The salt cellar lets you measure your salt in your palm. Check out our favorite custom cellars here.